5 Factors to Consider When Gaining Insight from Canadians

Posted by Op4G Staff on December 10, 2019


So your organization wants to expand into Canada. And why not? The Great White North is home to over 37 million customers[i] with immense purchasing power (relative to international standards)[ii]. It also has much in common with the US of A.

Still, there are some key differences between Canadians and Americans—enough to warrant serious market research. With recruitment experience and capabilities in 11 countries[iii], including Canada, Op4G can secure the panelists you need.

Op4G can also help you develop custom research studies to obtain the best insights from Canadians. Here are five factors to consider:

  • Language: According to the latest census, the vast majority of Canada (approximately 30 million or 86%) can speak English[iv]. But approximately 4 million Canadians, living almost entirely in Quebec, can speak French only[v]. Hence, if you desire responses from “La Belle Province”, questions should be in French (or in both official languages). 
  • Internet Penetration: Canadians love cyberspace! As of 2017, 93% of Canucks use the internet, compared to 75% of Americans[vi]. Given this fact, an internet survey may be more effective than, for example, a phone or in-person interview.
  • Units of Measurement: Like nearly all countries, Canadians use the metric system[vii], not the older imperial system. They use grams and metres, not pounds and feet. Canadians also have their own currency, the Canadian dollar, currently equivalent to approximately 75 US cents[viii]. Remember to use these units when drafting your questions—and when deciding on compensation!
  • Demeanor: Canadians are regularly mocked for their politeness, but there is some truth behind the jokes. In general, Canadians are more reserved than their Yankee counterparts and adopt a “more indirect, subtle approach”[ix] to communication. Thus, learning Canadians’ true feelings can take some persistent digging (so incorporate follow-up questions into your research studies).
  • Group Orientation: Between universal healthcare, a generous welfare system, and progressive taxation, Canadians tend to be more group oriented than Americans. When together, they often “seek harmony and consensus”[x]. Bear this in mind when conducting market research, particularly for focus groups. Despite potential benefits, a collectivist perspective could impede independent thinking and honest critiques.

To learn more about our friendly neighbors to the north, and how to cater research studies to them, please contact support@op4g.com.

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Topics: Consumer Research