Key Takeaways from the IAB Canada Digital Marketing Summit

The IAB Canada Digital Marketing Summit (formerly the Roadshow) took place on October 17th, where digital marketers across Western Canada were invited for updates on digital research, viewability, ad blocking, and future trends. Key speakers included ComScore, EyeReturn, and Native Touch. We’ve highlighted our main takeaways for those who didn’t make it to the event.

The Current State of Ad Blocking, Viewability, and Ad Fraud

  • Viewability rates differ between desktop and mobile, with 52.8% for desktop and 79.8% for mobile. IAB Canada’s aim is to have publishers move towards a 70% viewability rate.
  • Invalid (fraudulent) traffic remains low in Canada, with an average of 1% of digital traffic. However, it is concerning that fraudulent traffic ranges from 0.2% to 73.9% depending on the website. Third party tracking helps identify these outliers that have heavier levels of invalid activity.
  • The topic of adblocking was also discussed, which we highlighted in a previous blog post. Currently, 17% of Canadians have an ad blocker installed on their desktop; however, three-quarters of Canadians prefer free, ad-supported websites versus paying for content alternatives.

The Present is Mobile Heavy, the Future will be Mobile-Only

Moving towards mobile-only

  • We’ve all heard that mobile usage is growing. However, the mobile-only population is now skyrocketing with over with 2.3 million Canadians only using their mobile devices to access online content. This is a 44% increase compared to the mobile-only population in the past year.
    • This mobile-only population is less likely to use more than one resource per category of interest. Instead, they pick their favorite mobile sites and apps, becoming more loyal to specific brands.
  • Previously, increases were seen from both digital mobile and desktop users. This past year, desktop usage declined by 13%.
  • According to Native Touch, 69% of Canadian digital ad spend will be dedicated to mobile by 2019.
  • While Millenials are showing increases in smartphone, video game, and app usage, Baby Boomers are increasingly using their tablet devices to access content online.
  • Mobile now accounts for 60% of time spent online.
  • There is 6x more time spent on mobile apps compared to mobile sites.
  • Most common mobile activities include instant messaging (14 million Canadians) and Weather app usage (11.7 million Canadians).

Measurement, Analysis, and Cross-Media Opportunities

  • Marketers struggle with providing attribution details for their integrated campaigns, which tend to include both offline and online media.
  • ComScore is aiming to improve cross-media measurement by finding ways to bring merge reach and frequency reporting for TV media and digital media.
  • Numeris released a public RFP last week for a digital video partner to measure audiences across TV and digital platforms. ComScore will be responding to the RFP, in hopes to gain that partnership.
  • Similarly, EyeReturn discussed the importance of consolidating various digital media (social, paid search, media buys, etc.) through a third party ad server, in order to analyze all media tactics in one centralized platform.


The next year will be an exciting time for marketers, with standards continuing to increase for viewability and premium content, new mobile opportunities for advertisers to reach a mobile-only audience, and new measurement platforms to bring together the worlds of TV and digital media. The landscape will shift to cater to how users prefer to access and engage with content. Marketers need to be prepared for these changes and stay informed of opportunities, in order to reach their audience and make effective media planning decisions.

6Sers at the IAB Canada Digital Marketing Summit

Members of the 6S Marketing team at the IAB Canada Digital Marketing Summit

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