Marketers today have so many more options than before. There are still the more traditional media of newspapers, magazines, and TV, but added to that there is also the wide world of digital marketing that includes blogs, social media, videos, and more.

What do companies and marketers need to know about today’s marketing trends? Is it worth advertising on TV or in newspapers and magazines anymore? Or is it better to spend money on digital media advertising?

In this article, we have collated statistics and trends in marketing in Canada that answer the questions above and more.

Marketing Statistics for Canadians

  • 65% of the net advertising volume is spent on digital media advertising.
  • TV advertising is still the most effective in Canada and the average TV campaign can deliver 337 million impressions.
  • Over half of Canadians pay more attention to TV advertising than to online videos or social media adverts.
  • Magazine reading is declining in Canada, while 67% of the older generations read them weekly, the weekly readership is down to 44% among younger generations.
  • Newspaper readership is still strong in Canada, with 88% of millennials and 90% of baby boomers reading newspapers weekly.
  • Despite 68% of Canadians still listening to the radio daily, the advertising revenue has been falling since 2014.
  • Digital marketing is likely to surpass $12 billion by 2024.
  • 60% of Canadian businesses had a content marketing strategy in 2019.
  • Blogging can increase traffic by 126%.

How is money spent on marketing in Canada divided?

According to News Media Canada, the value of advertising on the Internet in 2020 was $9.624 million, which represented 65% of the total. TV came next with 18% of the share worth $2.701 million.

Radio and newspaper advertising values were $1.070 million and $941 million, representing 7% and 6% of the total. Out-of-home advertising, including any advertising outside the home such as billboards and posters, counted for 3% with $412 million. Magazine advertising only had 1% of the total share worth $78 million.

Marketing on TV is still the most effective

According to ThinkTV, Canadians spend around 22 hours per week watching TV. The media’s weekly reach is 85% of the population and the average TV campaign can deliver 337 million impressions.

Even though TV advertising only accounts for 18% of advertising value, when measuring rates of conversion, TV advertising is still the most effective. In a survey by ThinkTV, 51% of the respondents said they pay attention to TV adverts the most.

24% said online video adverts captured their attention the best and 20% were likely to pay more attention to social media adverts. 5% of the respondents could not say which type of advertising they paid the most attention to.

When asked which media carries the most influential advertising, 50% said TV. 27% chose social media, 18% online video and 5% were once again unsure.

Newspaper and magazine readership in Canada

The magazine market is declining around the world and Canada is no exception. The number of magazine readers in Canada has fallen since 2014, when there were 17.2 million people who regularly read magazines to 15.9 million people in 2016.

According to a Statista survey from June 2021, only 11.78% of Canadians aged fourteen or over, had read or looked through a magazine the day before they answered the survey. However, 67.97% of respondents had read a physical magazine and 50% had read an online magazine in the past three months.

Magazine readership is highest among people aged 50-69. 67% of this age group read print magazines weekly compared to 44% of Canadians aged between 21 and 34 years old.

According to a Media in Canada report from 2019, newspaper readership in Canada is still strong. 90% of baby boomers, who make up 37% of the population, said they read newspapers weekly and prefer to read printed newspapers.

For the millennials, the figure was 88%. They make up 34% of the population and prefer to read newspapers on their phone. For marketers, business decision-makers, at 37% of the Canadian population, are an important group of newspaper readers. 93% of them read newspapers every week and they read both printed and digital newspapers.

Marketing in magazines and newspapers

Spending on magazine advertising is down with a drop of over $100 million from 2015 to 2016, according to Statista. However, findings show that 44% of Canadian magazine readers and buyers have visited an advertiser’s website after seeing their advert in a magazine. 46% of the readers also used or planned to use a coupon or promotion included in the advert.

According to News Media Canada, daily newspapers reported $530 million in advertising revenue in 2020. $341 million came from print advertising, $173 from online, and $16 million from online newspaper revenue.

Community newspapers reported an advertising revenue of $411 million. 89% of that revenue came from print advertising and the remaining 11% from online advertising.

Marketing on radio

There were 965 radio stations in Canada in 2022 according to Statista. 721 out of the radio stations were commercial. The revenue was consistent between 2010 and 2014, but since then has fallen year-on-year. Most of the revenue (82%) comes from FM radio and the rest from AM radio stations.

According to the American Radio Archives, research shows that 68% of Canadians listen to commercial radio regularly. 39% of commercial radio listeners say they listen daily compared to 19% for streaming music and 2% for CBC/Radio Canada.

Operating revenue for private radio stations fell by 20.7% from 2019 to 2020. The advertising revenue fell by 23.5% and in 2020 was at its lowest level since 2002.

Direct mail marketing

Despite the growth of digital marketing, 60% of Canadians still like to receive coupons in the mail. 42% of Canadian consumers collect their mail five times a week and 50% will open and read advertisements. 79% of households say they read or scan direct mail ads.

44% of consumers will visit a company’s website after reading their direct mail marketing and 39% end up trying out their products or services. Direct mail marketing works for younger target audiences, too, with 92% of young consumers saying they prefer direct mail for making purchase decisions.

Direct mail is a key source of donations for nonprofits, with 78% of donations coming from direct mail marketing.

Digital Marketing

According to Statista, the internet advertising revenue in Canada has grown from $3,418 billion in 2013 to $8,76 billion in 2019. Marketers are spending more money on digital promotion than before and in 2020, 54% of advertising budgets were spent on digital advertising.

If the digital marketing trend in Canada continues to grow at the same rate, it is likely to surpass $12 billion by 2024.

Despite the money allocated towards digital marketing, Canadian consumers still trust advertising in printed media or TV more than what they see on the internet or other digital platforms.

Digital media plays an increasingly important part when new businesses are starting. In 2019, 57% of new business owners used Facebook to start their companies. Existing companies have also used Facebook to their advantage, with 46% reporting growth because of their presence on the platform.

In response to the rise of digital advertising, 67% of content marketing jobs required applicants to have social media skills in 2020. The other skills expected from candidates were strategy (59%), knowledge of SEO (50%), analytics (49%), and research (30%),

Content marketing

Content marketing is part of the digital marketing field along with SEO, paid advertising, email marketing, and lead generation.

Using content marketing effectively requires marketers to create content and understand the other fields of digital marketing. Content marketing includes posting on social media, writing blog posts, and creating interactive tools such as quizzes and contests.

Most Canadian businesses had a content marketing strategy in 2019

Canadian companies marketing to the public, as opposed to other businesses, clearly have noticed the importance of content marketing in creating brand awareness, educating their audience, building credibility, and generating leads.

60% of businesses had a content marketing strategy in 2019. 75% of Canadian companies reported they were more successful after investing in content marketing.

Business-to-business marketers are also utilising content marketing, with 91% of them using it to reach their audience in 2019.

Out of the businesses not using content marketing yet, 54% plan to invest in it soon. However, content marketing does not appeal to everyone as 43% of those businesses not using it have no plans to start using it in the future.

Blogging as a marketing tool

According to Story Chief, blogging is an effective marketing strategy and can create three times as many leads as traditional advertising. Companies publishing sixteen blog posts per month can increase their traffic by up to 126%.

Blogging is great for SEO and it is up to four times more likely to bring traffic to a website and not just any traffic, but an audience interested in what the company offers. It is an affordable marketing tool and easier to manage and create than webinars or videos.

Marketing using interactive tools

Interactive tools include quizzes and contests to attract customers. Quizzes are also a great way for companies to learn more about their target audiences. 93% of marketers see interactive tools as effective.

Challenges with content marketing

Even though content marketing is seen as important by many companies, it poses challenges, especially to smaller companies that cannot dedicate a person or a team to create content for them.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, for 67% of companies, having a small team is the main reason for not developing a content marketing strategy. 44% say they lack the time to work on a content creation strategy. Very few companies felt content creation was not significant or not needed with 11% and 4% respectively.

36.7% of companies say they struggle with the constant need to post engaging visual content. Companies are also concerned about constant changes to search engine and social media algorithms at 61% and 45% respectively.

Automated marketing

Many companies are making use of automation to save time when marketing. Using automation returns $5.44 for every dollar spent in the first three years and has a payback period of less than six months.

According to the report The State of Marketing Automation, 2021, the main reasons companies choose to automate their marketing are to streamline marketing and sales efforts (35%), improve customer engagement (34%), and improve customer experience (34%). In addition, 30% of companies want to minimize manual tasks and 28% look to increase the number of leads captured.

Over three-quarters of companies have reported increased conversions since they have used automated marketing. 44% of the companies said they had seen a return on their investment within six months.

When choosing an automation tool, 50% of companies want easy integration into their existing content management systems and 45% look for lead-scoring capabilities. 25% of companies who use automation use it extensively and 91% say it is now essential for their business.

The benefits of automation noted by companies are that it allows personalized marketing (49%), saves time (45%), increases efficiency (39%), improves deal quality (35%), and provides more leads (27%).


While TV advertising is still seen as the most effective by just over half of Canadians, the number of people paying more attention to digital marketing forms is rising and marketers are spending more money on advertising on the internet than anywhere else.

Successful marketing today requires knowledge of the different media available to marketers. However, the most important factor for marketers is to know their target audience and choose their advertising platform based on the audience’s preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

TV advertising is still the most effective in Canada. An average TV campaign can deliver 337 million impressions.

65% of the net advertising volume in Canada is spent on digital media advertising and the value is likely to surpass $12 billion by 2024.

This depends on the target audiences. Older generations are more likely to trust advertising in print media more than online advertising, while younger generations are more likely to be persuaded by what they see marketed online.

Blogging is one of the best ways to generate more traffic. Statistics show that it can increase traffic by 126%. It is also a very cost effective way to market.

For 67% of Canadian companies, having a small team is the main challenge for content marketing. 36.7% of companies also say they struggle with the constant need to post engaging visual content. Other challenges include constant changes to search engine and social media algorithms at 61% and 45% respectively.