Agency partnerships, audio marketing on the upswing in 2023, survey finds

Dec 06, 2022

One in four marketers have ‘fundamentally changed’ their digital strategy

Toronto, ON, December 6, 2022 –
Amidst shifts in consumer behaviour and a challenging economic climate, marketers are in­creasing their use of audio marketing, and more broadly, their reliance on agency partnerships, according to the 16th annual Digital Marketing Pulse Survey released today by Ipsos Canada in partnership with the Canadian Marketing Association.

The report evaluates how digital tools and strategies are viewed and utilized across the industry, with a view to helping marketers navigate the constantly changing circumstance.

“As we head into an uncertain future, advertisers must adapt. One in four marketers and agencies agree that the current economic realities have ‘fundamentally changed’ their approach to digital marketing,” said Steve Levy of Ipsos Canada.

Audio marketing is one strategy that is gaining ground. 54% of Canadian consumers say they are willing to receive digital advertising through audio streaming apps, yet marketer usage has been comparatively low in recent years…. until now.  2022 saw the frequent use of digital audio advertising move up from 24% to 33% for agencies and from 17% to 29% for marketers, reflecting the increasingly sophisticated and scalable marketing opportunities that exist on these platforms.

“Given the growth of Spotify, Apple Music and the world of podcasting, it should come as no surprise that there’s been significant growth in the use of digital audio marketing,” Levy said. “As the quality of the content improves and the audiences expand, we anticipate significant investment in digital audio strategies which can provide for great brand narratives.”

These shifts in audio, and other strategies, demonstrate marketers’ resilience and agility.

“The Digital Pulse research is another proof point for how incredibly agile Canadian marketers and agencies are,” said Alison Simpson, president and CEO, Canadian Marketing Association. “They’re navigating unprecedented uncertainty and adapting their approaches to deliver business results in the face of changing consumer needs and market dynamics.” 
In 2020 and 2021, just 28% and 25% of marketers, respectively, said they’d increased their reliance on agency partnerships. But the pendulum swung back this year, with 42% of marketers reporting that they’d increased their reliance on their agency.
This pivot doesn’t necessarily indicate a return to the past, however. Many teams are creating a “hybrid model,” where marketers take specific tasks in-house and rely on agencies for others. At the same time, others are outsourcing certain tactics or elements of tactics for access to innovation and specialization – talent that is not available in-house. And these changes are accompanied by a wave of new challenges not least of which is the disuse of third-party cookie tracking.

"The realignment of the brand-agency collaboration, and the variety of approaches to this, reflect how marketers are embracing new ways to reach consumers in a landscape that is increasingly dynamic and complex,” Simpson said. “The revitalized relationships between marketers and external agencies reverses a pandemic-era trend and signals a broader strategic shift.”

Further findings can be found in the full report, which is available to CMA members.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Nathaniel Glassman ( ׀ 416-998-2258)

About the Canadian Marketing Association
The CMA’s purpose is to embolden Canadian marketers to make a powerful impact on business in Canada. We provide opportunities for our members from coast to coast to develop professionally, to contribute to marketing thought leadership, to build strong networks, and to strengthen the regulatory climate for business success. Our Chartered Marketer (CM) designation signifies that recipients are highly qualified and up to date with best practices, as reflected in the Canadian Marketing Code of Ethics and Standards. We represent virtually all of Canada's major business sectors, and all marketing disciplines, channels and technologies. Our Consumer Centre helps Canadians better understand their rights and obligations.

About Ipsos
Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. Our 75 solutions are based on primary data from our surveys, social media monitoring, and qualitative or observational techniques.

Our tagline "Game Changers" sums up our ambition to help our 5,000 customers move confidently through a rapidly changing world.
Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has been listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and Mid-60 indices and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP




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