Canadians don’t like ads unless they’re personalized.

The Digital Canada 2023 study provides a detailed portrait of the country’s virtual consumption habits. (Photo: Wes Hicks for Unsplash)

Take it for granted: Nearly 80% of Canadian internet users generally don’t like being exposed to an ad. However, if a brand manages to show them personalized content, their experience softens, according to data provided exclusively by Les Affaires.

“Therefore, we can no longer approach all social platforms with the same strategy and the same format. They are used by different groups and for different reasons. It’s getting more and more difficult to determine how we will use these platforms,” confirms Sylvain Martel, vice president of media, partnerships and strategic development at ressac.

This is what emerges from the very first study, conducted among a sample of 3,000 Canadians by Léger and digital marketer Ressac, to draw a detailed and loose portrait of the country’s virtual consumption habits.

“We work a lot with intuition, and we often lack data about our online audience in Quebec and Canada,” Sylvain Martel says the day before the results are released.

And the collected figures show that the situation is indeed “difficult”.

Indeed, while half of the respondents value advertising in their area of ​​interest, few are willing to share their personal data. Only a quarter of Canadians surveyed agree to share this information through digital platforms, a core element of offering tailored content. Especially since new regulations and the disappearance of third-party cookies make this collection more difficult.

“What I like about what I see is that people [surtout de la génération X et Y] willing to contribute if they have something in return, such as a better online experience, says Sylvain Martel. The doubling doubles between 55 and older and between 16 and 34, and [la fermeture] worse among those aged 65 and over. They do not want to give anything and ask that access be free.

However, young people are more likely to be willing to pay to no longer be exposed to ads, with 55% of people aged 16-34 saying so, and 32% of people aged 55 and over agreeing.

Instead of relying on traditional advertising, businesses can instead focus on creating content in their own accounts. Indeed, 79% of the people surveyed who follow the banner on social media believe that what is broadcast there is trustworthy.

However, they are still a long way from attracting them, as only 37% of Canadians surveyed subscribe to a particular brand. People aged 16 to 34 who are most likely to follow them are more likely to do so on Instagram, and those aged 35 and over are more likely to follow them on Facebook.

To try and lure them to their social media page, companies can bet on their physical space, knowing that 81% of followers say they’ve already set foot there and on sponsored posts. Banner ads and other more traditional strategies seem less popular for attracting new fans.

“We often say that if you don’t invest in a post, you might as well not do it at all, because today it won’t generate the commitment and impact that justify spending so much time on it,” says Pablo Stevenson, CEO and Founder of Ressac. .

Although they are still treated with reluctance, influencers are worth their weight in gold to attract consumers, especially those between 16 and 34 years old. Nearly three-quarters of their followers have changed views, habits, or completed a transaction after viewing their content.

“It’s super effective, we see that when people trust, the consequences are great,” the vice president outlines in general terms.

Another misconception is that data compiled by Ressack and Léger shows that 83% of Canadians surveyed have a Facebook account. Thus, the platform is far from its last gasp, experts say.

However, its daily use is much more common among those aged 35 and older than among those aged 34 and younger.

What’s more, the numbers show that Québécois are less represented than other Canadians on Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, Messenger or WhatsApp.

To continue to follow the evolution of consumption, Léger et ressac intends to repeat this exercise.

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