Decoding Industry Growth at IAB Canada’s State of the Nation Toronto 2024

The State of Digital Advertising Industry in Canada 

IAB Canada’s recent State of the Nation event in Toronto provided some key insights into the state of the industry as we close out the first half of the year. Canada’s digital media revenue is expected to reach $18.1 billion by the end of 2024, indicating steady growth from $15.9 billion in 2023. Growth is diverse in this dynamic sector as we turn our attention the retail media, CTV and the changing definition of search and performance media. 

Sonia Carreno, President of IAB Canada, outlined the key challenges and opportunities facing the Canadian market in her keynote on the State of the Digital Advertising Industry in Canada. 

The Looming Challenges 

  • Evolving privacy laws like the C-27 and Law 25 in Canada, coupled by the patchwork of regulations in the US make navigating compliance a complex task for the industry. The E.U. further complicates this challenge with discussions surrounding the ethics of data collection and user consent. 
  • The coming deprecation of the third-party cookie forces the industry to rethink measurement strategies. Thankfully, the industry is working together to find solutions that work, like the IAB Tech Lab with innovative solutions like the Ad Creative ID Framework (ACIF) which is designed to enable cookie-less cross-media measurement. 
  • Inflation is forcing consumers to tighten their belts, potentially impacting advertising budgets. 

Turning Challenges into Opportunities 

These challenges present several success opportunities. 

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize advertising by significantly reducing creative production costs, making the industry more accessible. However, transparency and ethical considerations around AI use are paramount. 
  • Small and Medium-Sized Businesses are a significant force in the Canadian online advertising market. This sector’s potential can be tapped through tailored solutions and partnerships. 
  • The rise of subscription models presents both a challenge and opportunity for the Canadian publisher. Through understanding the consumer preferences,  

The industry has a wealth of data, talented individuals, and powerful new technologies at its disposal. The focus should shift from planning to taking action and implementing these solutions, rather than waiting for a perfect roadmap to emerge. Carreno emphasizes that “The shortest answer to everyone’s problems is just in doing, keeping your head down and keeping focused on the outputs. There are three things that we all as an industry always think about – How do we generate revenue? How do we future proof our business and then how do we untap market opportunities?” 

This article offers a taste of valuable insights on the State of Canada’s Digital Marketing Industry. IAB Canada is bringing the State of the Nation event regional, starting with Vancouver on June 27, followed by Montreal on July 9, and finally Halifax on July 11. Don’t miss this chance of hearing directly from the experts. Register now and secure your spot. 

The State of the Canadian Economy 

Following Carreno’s keynote at the State of the Nation Toronto event, Marwa Abdou, Senior Research Director at the Business Data Lab of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, delivered her address. Her keynote highlighted the current state of the Canadian economy. Here are the key takeaways: 

  • The Canadian economy is recovering from a slump, with GDP growth expected to be 1.0% in 2024. Business sentiment has improved, with a rise in the Business Expectations Index (BEI), driven by a positive sales outlook. 
  • Cost pressures remain the biggest obstacle for businesses, particularly input costs, interest rates, and debt. Despite inflation reaching the Bank of Canada’s target range, many businesses still expect to raise prices.  
  • E-commerce remains a significant part of retail sales. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, but brick-and-mortar stores still play a significant role. Consumer preferences vary by product category, with some favouring online shopping and others preferring physical stores. 
  • Canada lags behind the US in terms of advertising expenditure. Greater investment in sales and marketing is crucial for business success. Businesses need to be more targeted and data-driven in their marketing efforts, leveraging technology and focusing on full-funnel marketing strategies. 

Abdou emphasizes the importance of adaptability and agility for businesses in this evolving environment. Businesses need to go beyond headline numbers and use data to understand their competition, target audience, and brand strategy. She further states “The idea here isn’t to slash the budget, but to be more agile and more specific in terms of how you are pouring capital more targeted pockets of growth.” 

State of the Nation Goes Regional – Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax 

Be ahead of the curve with cutting-edge advertising strategies. There’s no substitute for hearing directly from the experts. Join us for our State of the Nation regional shows! The next stop is Vancouver on June 27, followed by Montreal on July 9, and finally Halifax on July 11. Don’t miss out – register now to secure your spot