Report on Data 2022 – Event Recap

Written by Guest Contributor, Maryam Kakal 

IAB Canada wrapped up a busy year of events this week with the Business of Digital: Report on Data. Hosted in-person at the Scotiabank Theatre, this event featured an agenda of experts covering all things data including the highly anticipated 2022 CMUST Study.  

Presented by Matt Devlin, Managing Director at PHD Media, this year’s CMUST uncovered the latest trends on Canadian media usage, including key highlights on ad-supported streaming, cookies, privacy, and the industry’s environmental impacts post-COVID. Devlin explained in detail how while consumers across three generations cohorts do have distinct traits, at their core, the upper end (30-54’s) are quite similar to their younger (under 30) Canadian counterparts. Other highlights included a note on eCommerce and how its acceleration over the pandemic years has now mainstreamed it across all age groups and that by and large, media habits have returned to a pre-pandemic state as though Covid had never occurred. 

Devlin explained that there are significant growth opportunities for advertisers via CTV as the data demonstrated a high receptivity level for consumers to accept ad-supported video content. On a sobering note, the report delved into the carbon emissions issue for our sector. The industry has its work cut out for it in 2023 as we look to measure and minimize our collective footprint. 

Next up, Ryan Fuss, Senior Vice President at Stingray Advertising, and Paul Nowosad, Director at Walmart Connect, turned the focus to in-store relationship building between buyers and brands and the key takeaway was clear – brands with strong in-store presence see amazing returns. Buyers who are given a connection to brands in store are far more likely to buy at the shelf and this focused, intent-driven and proximity-based retail environment is gaining a great deal of industry attention.  

Big opportunities for growth across CTV remain in full bloom. Justin Fromm, Head of Global Insights at Samsung Ads, stated that the pandemic forced the progression of digital ecosystems, especially in streaming content. He went on to say that TVs today are smarter, bigger, and more affordable and that the penetration of smart TVs in Canada has brought CTV to the forefront of media plan and offers a great deal of measurability.  

Picking up on the topic of CTV, Darrick Li, VP Sales North America, Dreamscape SMI and Chris Herlihey, VP Research, IPG Mediabrands revealed that CTV provides an opportunity to move away from measuring in a silo to a more holistic, industry-wide approach opening up the possibility of collaboration and incremental reach opportunities, especially when targeting a younger cohort.  

Saad Uddin, Co-Founder & CEO of Native Touch, took the stage to elaborate on how to target consumers while balancing the decline of available data due to cookie deprecation. He projected that the future of consumer targeting will come from panel-based measurement solutions which can fuel strategies across both linear and non-linear channels. By building fresh panels, companies will be able to access new data sets with richer insights available in real time. These include reach & frequency, foot traffic attribution, as well as brand lift studies.  

Uri Gorodzinsky, Managing Director at Amazon Ads Canada sat down with Sonia Carreno, President of IAB Canada and provided some insights into the Amazon Ads suite of services for advertisers. Gorodzinsky and Carreno took a moment to reflect on the tremendous talent that Canada has to offer the global marketing community.  Gorodzinsky reflected on the need for Brands and advertisers to turn their attention to measurement in times of uncertainty.  

Sean Stanleigh, Head of Globe Content Studio at The Globe & Mail presented a powerful illustration of how Sophi (The Globe and Mail’s AI solution) AI helps unearth insights and opportunities for advertisers to align with content. Stanleigh presented from the eyes of the consumer as he highlighted the top stories of the year and went on to explain the complex, symbiotic relationships between content and strategy.  

The day wrapped up on a thought-provoking note about the importance of open-sourced standards. In a conversation between IAB Canada President, Sonia Carreno and Alex Gardner, Chief Revenue Officer at Index Exchange, industry was urged to take and apply those standards currently available to maximize clarity and minimize disparities and confusion in an already convoluted industry. Standards around the health of the environment; addressability and privacy lead us on a more transparent and accessible path forward resulting in greater confidence from both consumers and regulators alike. Gardner was clear in his pleas for industry to start now and don’t wait as Canada is in a unique position to command the ship and determine the direction of an industry in flux.

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