Ivan Roubtsov

About Ivan Roubtsov

Ivan Roubtsov is the Director of Product Marketing at AdGear

Top US vs Canadian Marketing Tech Solutions

us vs can tech

Working in the technology industry, where there’s an abundance of marketing tech tools available, I often wonder what marketing technology solutions are most commonly used by the major North American brands. What tech is most popular and how do major brands in Canada and US differ in terms of technology adoption and usage?

Looking at Fortune 1000 lists for both Canada and the Unites States, it became clear that Canadian companies are generally more conservative when it comes to marketing tech adoption – buying less, spending less and being less innovative.

Why does this matter? It may have an effect on a company’s bottom line. If Canadian companies use, on average, half the tools Americans do, and there is less variety in terms of tech tools being used across the country, big brands in Canada may struggle to grow on a similar scale as their American counterparts.

Methodology

Using the standard Fortune 1000 lists, for Canada and America, I used builtwith.com to find out what technologies and tools each of those 2000 companies were using. Then I organized a unique list of all the major technologies, organized by function, with the percentage of all Fortune 1000 companies in the US and in Canada that use that particular tech tool.

The only issue with this methodology is that builtwith.com can detect the technologies and tools connected with a brand’s website, but PPC platforms (like Acquisio) don’t usually show up in this type of search because they are connected with third party agencies and not with the brands directly. In addition, any internal solutions created by the brand will not appear on this list.

So leaving out PPC platforms and internal tools from this search, here are the top results of the comparison between Fortune 1000 marketing tech solutions in US vs Canada.

Web Analytics

Almost every company on the Fortune 1000 lists relies on Web Analytics technology to measurement and analyse website data. The few companies without web analytics tech solutions have likely developed their own internal solutions, which did not appear in the builtwith.com search.

The most commonly used technology solution, being leveraged by a majority of Fortune 1000 companies in both countries, is not surprisingly Google Analytics.

With Canada taking the lead (as you can see from the table below), the second most popular tool in Canada, Omniture, is only used by 6% of all Fortune 1000 companies, marking a huge majority for Google Analytics. An almost equal percentage of American brands use Google Analytics, but what is interesting is that a significant chunk of Fortune 1000 companies in America use the expensive web analytics solution, Omniture, almost 4x more than Canadian companies. Across the board American companies use other web analytics tools significantly more than Canadian brands.

It seems that US based companies have a stronger web analytics in terms of diversity and adoption compared to their Canadian counterparts, who focus most of their efforts on Google Analytics (an inexpensive analytics tool).

USA

CANADA

Google Analytics

61%

67%

OmnitureSiteCatalyst

22%

6%

Google Universal Analytics

11%

6%

Web Trends

9%

2%

Omniture Adobe Test and Target

7%

2%

TeaLeaf

6%

1%

CrazyEgg

4%

3%

Conversant

2%

0.2%

ClickTale

2%

1%

Coremetrics

3%

1%

Cross Channel Media / Display

DoubleClick and AppNexus are the most popular cross channel media and display solutions used by Fortune 1000 companies, in America and Canada, but the difference in usage between the countries is staggering. Canadian brands used these solutions almost half as much as American brands.

How are Canadian companies remarketing and why are so few companies using available tech solutions? Whether Canadian companies are unwilling to invest in these technologies or they are investing internally it is unclear, but what is clear is that more American brands are investing more money into these existing cross channel media tools.

USA

CANADA

DoubleClick.Net

27%

16%

AppNexus

13%

7%

Facebook Exchange

8%

4%

Turn

6%

2%

Rubicon Project

6%

2%

Atlas

5%

1%

MediaMind

4%

1%

Google Remarketing

4%

5%

Casale Media

3%

2%

Twitter Ads

3%

1%

Bizo

3%

0.1%

Adap.TV

3%

1%

Rocket Fuel

3%

1%

ContextWeb

3%

1%

AdRoll

2%

1%

The Trade Desk

2%

2%

Mediaplex

2%

0.1%

Specific Media

2%

0.1%

Chango

1%

1%

Switch Ads

1%

0

Adometry

1%

0

LiveRail

1%

0

Tube Mogul

1%

0.3%

Accuen

1%

1%

Integral Ad Science

1%

0

Site Scout

0.4%

0.2%

AcuityAds

0.2%

1%

AdGear

0.1%

0.4%

Social Tools

At this point I saw the pattern – Canadian brands use one technology to a significant majority but overall fewer companies are using fewer solutions. The pattern continued with social tools and utilities. Even with Facebook tools appearing as the leader, the numbers were surprisingly low, for both countries, but especially for Canada.

USA

CANADA

Facebook Like

24%

19%

Facebook for websites

14%

8%

AddThis

13%

8%

Twitter Platform

11%

8%

Share This

5%

4%

Google+ Platform

5%

4%

Google+ +1 Button

4%

3%

Twitter Tweet Button

3%

2%

Linkedin Platform API

2%

2%

Content Management

With Canadian companies falling behind in terms of spend and diversity when it comes to marketing tech tools, I began to wonder what strategies these massive companies relied on. Content Management is the answer. Where a combined 23% of Canadian brands rely on various WordPress offerings only a combined 6% of American brands use WordPress solutions.

It appears to be a complete role reversal, where Canada finally comes out on top, but with both countries showing such low numbers (at a time when content marketing is all the rage) it seems like something else is in play here. Presumably many companies are implementing their own content management solutions.

In this case, while Canada uses the available tools significantly more, internal solutions must be a large piece missing from this puzzle.

USA

CANADA

WordPress

3%

9%

WordPress Plugins

2%

8%

WordPress 3.8 & 3.9

1%

5%

Drupal

3%

4%

Ektron

2%

1%

Joomla!

0.5%

2%

Conclusion

Tech tools for marketing automation, audience data, video, google apps, website chat and more were used so infrequently across all Fortune 1000 companies (with less than 6% majority in either country) they were excluded from the list. Despite the many gaps in data, collecting and sorting through all the marketing technologies used by major North American brands is something that has never been done before.

The first thing I set out to find was the diversity of technology solutions used across North America. The variety of tools used by Fortune 1000 brands in the US was impressive compared to Canada – with American companies generally using more than twice as many solutions as Canadians (this is easier to see in the original excel doc).

My second objective was to discover which marketing technologies were most popular among the highest grossing brands. There weren’t many surprises, with Google Analytics, DoubleClick.net, Facebook and WordPress rising to the top of their respective functions.

What doesn’t appear here (but can be seen in the complete list of Fortune 1000 technology adoptions) is that there are a surprising number of platforms being used. Canadian brands often had a clear favorite for each marketing function, but American brands used technologies both large and small, often integrating more tools into their offering.

The difference between the countries, if nothing else, shows that there are two very different strategies in place on either side of the border. Whether Canadian brands will be able to scale their businesses with half as many marketing tech tools is yet to be seen, but considering these businesses are all Fortune 1000 brands, both strategies must be working.

Learn the technologies used by top 1300 e-commerce retailers, or see the complete list of top marketing technologies used for US vs Canada Fortune 1000 companies.

3 Ad Tech Acquisition Trends of 2014 and What They Mean

acquisition

It’s fun to hear about corporate giants gobbling up the latest and greatest start-ups or businesses to grow their empire, and there’s always a thing or two to learn from the most recent ad tech acquisition trends. This year, in 2014, corporations are doing whatever they can to grow their marketing departments and cloud offerings. Looking at the big name buyers and the companies they bought, here are the three key acquisition trends you should be aware of.

Trend 1 – Audience Data

Earlier this year when computer technology corporation, Oracle, bought data management company, BlueKai, for approximately $400 million, we saw the start of the audience data acquisition trend. Companies like AOL (who purchased Adap.tv for data mining and targeting) and J.D. Power (linking digital ads to car purchases with their newest acquisition, Korrelate) were also looking for ways to manage and match their audience data.

Corporations want to merge their online audience data with their offline data. Why is this worth $400 million for Oracle? Well, for one, BlueKai is one of the largest audience data providers in the world, and by acquiring it Oracle has complete access to its pool of audience data. Plus, using BlueKai, information about every person landing on Oracle’s webpage can be collected. Oracle will have access to potential customers’ interests, socio demographic data and more, and with that info they can retarget more effectively.

There is a limited supply of good quality audience data pools out there and Oracle, AOL, J.D Power and others have already taken a fair few of these management companies off the market.

I’m willing to bet that we will see big Fortune 500 brands buying audience providers as well. Those corporations will have an in house advantage not only from merging their online and offline audience data, but by taking audience data resources away from competitors. Walmart has already gotten in on the action.

Trend 2 – Cross Device Targeting

With the explosion of devices on the market (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc) cookie tracking isn’t as effective. There is now a growing acquisition trend where corporations are buying up cross device technologies and integrating them into their product offering. MediaMath, the global technology company, for example, bought Tactads to enable cookieless cross device targeting and measurement.

It only makes sense that corporations would want to follow their users across all devices without losing track of data, but this technology is so new and so complicated there are not a lot of players on the field yet. It’s definitely a technological field that will be growing, and big name brands want to get in on this trend now before it’s too mainstream.

Trend 3 – Attribution Offerings

Attribution is the third largest trend we’re seeing in 2014, with big buys coming from Google (purchasing Adometry) AOL (buying Converto) and Ensighten (buying Tagman in attempts to rival Adobe). Not only are corporations anxious to track audiences across devices and merge online and offline data, these big name brands need to know where their conversions are coming from.

Buying up attribution offerings is no big shock, but these big acquisitions mark the beginning of the formation of market leaders. In house attribution offerings are usually weaker, so by big companies buying attribution resources they are paving the way for stronger more accurate attribution models.

What does all this mean? It means more accurate tracking, management and analysis of audience data, and by extension it means stronger more informed ads.

Just as PPC platforms started as a trend, now there are only a few key players dominating the market. Soon we’ll see which vendors can grab the biggest piece of the audience data and attribution pie and we’ll see where that leaves all the little guys.

 

* The views expressed in this post are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of Acquisio.