Market Development Research

Canadian companies typically launch their products before becoming active in marketing and sales. They also spend less than Americans. As a result, our companies grow more slowly and never make it to world class, being sold before that because they have great technology. This research delves into various practices in market development.


The CMO Search

The goal of this scaleup research was to examine and compare the quality of marketing leadership in Canadian and American tech companies. On the whole, we found that Canadian-based marketing leaders are less qualified and less experienced than their American counterparts but what worried us most about our findings was domestic brain drain. With foreign firms taking our best talent, and Canadian firms conducting marketing out of U.S. offices and being sold before they flourish, we have a severe problem. We are not developing a local talent base that will enable us to solve the marketing challenges our firms face. This has implications for public policy and the development of support programs aimed at accelerating the growth of Canadian companies.

Canadian Tech Tortoises

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many Canadian technology companies wait until their products are completed before raising and spending funds on crucial functions, including marketing and sales (M&S) and that this practice is delaying success in raising funding.

The goal of this scaleup research was to determine whether Canadian technology startups do in fact delay funding M&S activities. To this end, we looked at job classifications of employees at over 900 private Canadian technology companies that had received external investments. What we found was that in the startup phase Canadian firms have significantly fewer employees in marketing and sales than US firms do. Even among the best-funded firms, Canadians have 25% fewer M&S employees than US based Unicorns do.

A Nation of Soft Sellers

Our success as an “Innovation Nation” depends not only on our ability to come up with novel ideas or inventions but also on our ability to market and sell those ideas. Unfortunately there is a striking difference in the spending behaviour of Canadian and American on marketing and sales (M&S). While mid-sized US software companies spend, on average, 34% of their revenue on M&S, comparable Canadian firms only allocate 20% of their budgets to those expenditures. This scaleup research looks at how our lack of focus on marketing and sales is inhibiting our ability to scale companies to world class.

How Buyers Use the Internet to Select a Vendor

The Internet has drastically changed the dynamics between buyers and sellers and this shift has presented both tough challenges and great opportunities for sales and marketing departments. The landscape has changed from sellers “pushing” their wares to one where buyers now “pull” what appeals to them in their own way and at their own pace. Companies stuck in the old growth paradigm will eventually find it more difficult to compete and survive. Some may be feeling the pain already. We recently conducted some research to understand how the buying process has changed and how decision-makers rely on technology to: find potential solutions to their problems; narrow down potential vendors; and select the short-list of those lucky enough to participate. We surveyed 500 business people across industries to find out how buyers use the Internet when they are ready to buy. The context of the research and this report applies to consumer behavior on many levels, but has particular relevance to the B2B buying process.

Are you Spending Enough on Sales and Marketing?

Always a key question for any business leader is “how much should I spend on sales and marketing?” We researched 350 public companies in the software industry to understand the relationship between investments in sales and marketing and revenues.
The problem is that many companies expect to be able to grow without devoting enough resources to this critical expense area. They wonder why they can’t beat the competition consistently when they are being outspent. If it is true that you have to touch a prospect seven times before he becomes a customer then you have to have enough resources in sales and marketing to be able to do reach out to a prospect on a consistent basis.
If you want to see the high-level results of our research, click the button on the right to view the infographic. If you want to see how your company compares with others, contact us for detailed benchmarks.