us vs canada marketing 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.