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Personalization Key to Clicks on Online Ads in Canada

Nonpersonalized digital ads do not see much interest

Smartphone users in Canada aren’t fond of clicking on online ads—making them much like consumers in other developed digital markets. But personalization could be a way around that, according to research from SAS conducted by market research firm Léger Marketing.

The May 2013 survey of smartphone users in Canada who had made an online purchase in the past year found that only one-third of them reported clicking on web ads “sometimes” or “often,” while nearly half reported doing so rarely. About one in five said they never clicked on such ads.

When smartphone users were asked about personalized ads, however, their answers were different. In this case, nearly half of respondents said they clicked on personalized online ads regularly, vs. 34% who rarely did so. Meanwhile, the share who never clicked on ads dropped by 3 percentage points.

eMarketer estimates advertisers in Canada will spend CA$3.2 billion ($3.2 billion) on digital ads this year, including online and mobile, in hopes that users like these will be persuaded to click. Of that amount, CA$757.0 million ($757.0 million) will go toward banner ads, with about twice as much going to search.


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