Has Canadian Internet penetration reached its saturation point?
Posted: December 21, 2011 | 9:23 ET by Tessa Wegert
With more than three-quarters of the population online, close to half of all Canadians on social networks, and the majority of users boasting at least ten years on the Web, all signs point to 'yes'. According to a new report by eMarketer the annual growth of Internet users in Canada is only expected to be about 2 per cent between now and 2015. What this means, in essence, is that the Internet is firmly embedded in our culture and in our lives. As it has been. And as it will stay.
This is an important bit of information for digital marketers to consider on the cusp of a new year. For years we've been biding our time, waiting for the market to hit critical mass. Now that it has, and now that we know for certain we're dealing with an audience of experienced and dedicated digital consumers, we can finally stop underestimating them and start giving them online experiences worthy of their well-earned prowess.
Above all else the key to achieving this is to make ads as interactive as possible. Internet users expect interactivity now, in part because display banners on the US sites they frequent tend to be quite sophisticated but also because users are eager for a seamless online experience. Banners that expand to show video, product information, inventory availability, available promotions and discounts, and all manner of conveniences without requiring the consumer to leave the site page will give online shoppers everything they've come to understand they need and want from a brand. Whereas once these types of ads were considered overkill, they now show a certain respect for savvy users and acknowledge their appreciation for ads with real value.
The time has come for marketers to give it all they've got. Canadian consumers are ready and waiting.
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Tessa Wegert is a veteran media strategist with a background in media planning and buying, content development, ad copywriting, and campaign management. As a prominent industry writer she has been covering digital marketing and technology for leading newspapers and trade publications for over a decade. Connect with her on Twitter (@tessawegert) and LinkedIn.