Mobile Advertising Jumps by Over 75% in Canada {Statistics} ©

eMarketer reports that display and search mobile advertising is skyrocketing globally, with Canadian growth second only to the US.  All statistics point to that being a very smart marketing move, with mobile usage at an all-time high in Canada. eMarketer also predicts that over 50% of Canadian mobile users will have SmartPhones by the end of 2013.

Mobile devices can include phones, tablets, and laptops (although the latter is usually lumped in with PC’s), but recent data usually focuses on SmartPhones.  At the end of March, 2012, there were 26,543,780 mobile subscribers in Canada, according to The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).  The number of subscribers increased by 659,961 since March, 2011.

Tomi Ahonen of Nokia says, “The average person looks at their phone 150 times a day, or once every six-and-a-half minutes of every waking hour.”  That means mobile marketing offers similar benefits to advertising on prime-time television, but all day (and evening) long.

According to the Interactive Advertising Beaureau (IAB), in 2010 Canadian mobile ad placement revenue grew at a rate of 105% year-over-year, driven primarily by search and mobile sponsorship. About 85% of Canadians subscribed to cell phone services in 2010, and 45% of Canadian mobile phone users had SmartPhones.  Mobile advertising revenue for 2010 was $46.6 million Canadian.

eMarketer predicts $251.5 million will be spent on mobile advertising in Canada in 2013. The increase is 88.6% over 2012, and that growth rate is expected to be repeated next year.

The opportunities presented by mobile marketing hasn’t escaped marketers.  ClickZ’s report, A Glimpse Into Mobile Measurement and Apps In 2013, declared that 87% of marketers are planning to increase emphasis on mobile during 2013, and belief in the power of mobile is rapidly growing stronger.

The report also indicates that marketers have a broad mix of mobile tactics planned for the next year:

  • 52% plan to create a mobile- or tablet-optimized website
  • 48% plan to increase engagement in mobile advertising
  • 41% hope to develop a mobile app
  • 39% are planning to market a mobile app

The first step of engaging mobile users is to optimize the website for mobile marketing.  While the above ClickZ statistics indicate marketers have big plans in this regard,  Marketing Sherpa’s 2012 Mobile Marketing Benchmark Report revealed that many web marketers hadn’t taken this basic step.  Those who do implement their mobile marketing optimization plans will have a serious competitive advantage over those who do not.

Mobile Marketing Optimization

The rapid growth of mobile device usage has left advertisers scrambling for the past several years, with little historical data to draw upon for metrics, analytics, and geo-targeting. That has improved recently as more statistics and case studies emerge, and with the introduction of tools such as Google’s Mobile App Analytics.

Marketers are now in a better position to strategically target mobile users, as opposed to throwing anything out there in the hopes of cashing in on the mobile market.  Still, the ClickZ report suggests marketers continue to struggle with mobile analytics. 59% of marketers surveyed consider themselves either novice or inexperienced when it comes to measuring mobile.  Of course, you can always hire a professional mobile marketing company and jump right in. Even then, you’ll need enough knowledge to make wise decisions and to judge the effectiveness of campaigns.

Learning Mobile Marketing

It’s clear that education is in order. Like most aspects of Internet marketing, that necessitates a lot of self-study if we want the latest information. Books about mobile marketing will provide a good base of knowledge and several have been recently published, including Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing Strategies for Engaging the Digital Generation, by Ryan Damian and Jones Calvin.

It comes down to something that everyone who does business online should be familiar with – keeping your finger on the pulse through cutting edge info.  It’s also helpful to keep an eye on the big boys who have the resources to invest heavily in mobile marketing. Watch – learn – profit.

IAB Canadian Mobile Advertising Revenue Report
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association
Marketing Sherpa


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on,,, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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We intend to do more with mobile this year but we do have a lot to learn yet.


Business has shot up by more than 25% since we started mobile marketing and that’s only the trackable number. We’re very excited about doing more in 2013!


It’s hard to believe that in my lifetime mobile was a Walkman and we didn’t market to those! LOL


Very handy information for Canadian marketing in the new age.


I take statistics with a grain of salt but the mobile trend is impossible to miss. You’re right though, nobody seems to know just what to do with it for marketing and we’re still in the experimental stages. I’ve been checking it out because our business could really benefit from realtime marketing.

Leon Benson

You have such a talent for bringing information together with a Canadian slant. I hope a magazine doesn’t steal you away from this site. Keep up the good work.