• 12
  • February

Announcing the Waterloo Region Technology Marketing Spotlight!

By combining a top-down study of publicly available company information with a bottom-up survey of technology marketers, we just might have conducted the most comprehensive study, ever, of the Waterloo Region tech scene.

I’m excited to announce the release of The Waterloo Region Technology Marketing Spotlight: an examination of the Waterloo Region tech scene, with a particular focus on technology marketing.

As I said at the outset, our aim is to produce a report that provides us all – the technology marketers and company leaders of the Waterloo Region, and beyond – with common understanding of shared issues, priorities, challenges, concerns, and more.

At the very least, I hope to spur productive discussions, but my ultimate goal is to help to advance our region’s tech marketing effectiveness by bringing tough subjects to the fore.

Why? Because without effective marketing, the ceiling above us is artificially low, and we can’t let that happen. We need to give our world-changing, life-saving, innovative, powerful, amazing things a fighting chance in the market!

A special thanks to everyone who participated in and supported the survey component – there’s really no substitute for the genuine insights you shared, and your commentary brings the data to life. And thanks also to the fine folks who proofread the draft!


By combining a top-down study of publicly available company information with a bottom-up survey of technology marketers, we just might have conducted the most comprehensive study, ever, of the Waterloo Region tech scene.

The insights we gained, while not always surprising, are nonetheless instructive. Some interesting take-aways:

  • For Region-based tech companies, marketers make up 4.2% of the tech workforce, but that average hides enormous variation: on one end of the spectrum, some relatively large companies devote as much a 17% of their headcount to marketing; on the opposite end, and somewhat alarmingly, a large number of companies seemingly don’t have any dedicated marketing resources at all
  • While Waterloo Region’s tech companies participate in no fewer than 66 industries, a baker’s dozen form the foundation of our economy: these 13 appear in the lists of top 20 industries both by number of companies, and by number of employees
  • Despite attention being lavished on start-ups, fewer than 10% of employees work for a company that hasn’t yet celebrated its fifth birthday; in contrast, more than 50% of employees work for a company founded before 2002 – and those stats ignore OpenText and BlackBerry, which would skew the results enormously in favour of older companies
  • Statistically speaking, Waterloo Region’s scale-ups should be larger: they seem to hit barriers at approximately the 200-, 250-, 500-, and 1000-employee marks; further investigation is needed to learn whether this observation is a statistical anomaly, or a sign of some deeper challenge
  • When it comes to getting organized and directing our efforts, understanding of objectives, strategies, and tactics declines significantly as we move down the organizational hierarchy: Executives should regularly circle back with their teams to make sure objectives and strategies, in particular, are well-understood
  • On a related note, Middle Managers and Individual Team Members reported that “Changing priorities” is the most frequent challenge they face
  • “Enabling greater sales effectiveness” is the most challenging marketing objective; investigating more deeply, the most significant sales enablement challenge is “Creating differentiation versus alternatives”
  • One major contributing factor is relatively poor bottom-of-funnel content, in general, and a significant dearth of technical content, in particular – both of which clearly stood out in the survey

Be sure to read the full report for the data that supports those assertions, and for more insights.

More Information

More information, including the study methodology, is available here.

Draw Prize Winners

For survey participants eager to see if they’ve won a draw prize, here you go!

Winners of $10 gift cards:

  • Andrew Bryden
  • Sarah Burt
  • Alida Cane
  • Sarah Deyarmond
  • Siva Kumar
  • Heidi Marr
  • Jason Moore
  • Harneet Singh
  • Dawn Smith
  • Matt Trushinski

Winners of $25 gift cards:

  • Rick Andrade
  • Veroljub Mihajlovic

And the winner of the fabulous grand prize $50 gift card is…Cam Davies!

I’ll be in touch with all the winners soon.

Here’s the video of the prize draw, from our stunning corner office (my cinematographer did not alert me to the horn-like hair tuft).