Entering a new market needs preparation that often lasts months. You need to do a lot of research and understand your target audience, their interests, and their pain points. Then, you need to frame your marketing strategy in a way that resonates with your target audience and builds an emotional connection with the brand.
And when you are entering the Quebec market, you are dealing with a market that is culturally and linguistically different from most parts of Canada. You may have a successful marketing strategy for Canada as a whole, but you’ll need a more nuanced approach towards this unique market.
Today, we will discuss a few important things you need to know about the Quebec market. You’ll get an idea of the challenges ahead, and you’ll get to prepare your marketing team better for the challenges.
6 Things to know about the Quebec market
1. More than 4 million people speak only French in Quebec
With a population of 8 million, Quebec accounts for over 23% of Canada’s residents, and around 4 million of them speak only French. This stat tells you that you can’t afford to miss out on the French-speaking Quebec population.
You need to market your products and services in French to truly connect with Quebecois consumers. At the same time, that doesn’t mean your whole marketing should be in French. Targeting consumers based on their mother tongue is the smarter approach that can yield better results, but you must also comply with Quebec’s language regulations.
Quebec’s strong and unique cultural identity makes it different from the rest of Canada and other French-speaking nations. So you’ll have to move forward with a bilingual marketing strategy that isn’t limited to translation but also considers the cultural differences that make Quebec unique.
2. Stick to Canada’s bilingual regulations
There’s one more reason to go for a bilingual marketing strategy: Canada is an officially bilingual country and has bilingual regulations for products and services, and you need to adhere to those regulations to do business in Canada. For example, all information on consumer unit packaging must be shown in both English and French.
In Quebec, there are more language regulations you need to comply with. French must be included in all labels and communications, and your products and services need French marketing materials.
We recommend reading The Charter of the French Language to learn more about Quebec’s language regulations applicable to your business.
3. Providing customer service in French is essential
In a survey conducted in 2018, 95% of consumers said that excellent customer service is essential for brand loyalty. And 60% of consumers reported having deserted a brand because of poor customer service. This makes providing customer service in French extremely important in a French-speaking province like Quebec.
But there’s one more reason to provide customer service in French: Quebec’s Charter of the French Language requires all businesses to be able to serve the public in French. Everything from greetings and messages to telemarketing and customer service must include a French version if they are used in Quebec. But you can always serve a non-French speaking person in their own language.
4. 93% of adults use the internet on a daily basis
One of the major questions you ask yourself before entering a new market is whether the market offers potential for growth. And in Quebec’s case, the answer is yes.
To begin with, 93% of Quebec’s adults use the internet on a daily basis, and the pandemic has boosted e-commerce by an impressive 118% compared to pre-covid stats. Also, Quebec’s government wants to turn the province fully digital, and they’re investing millions of dollars to stimulate knowledge, development, and innovation in the digital space.
5. A localized marketing strategy can shoot up your ROI
Once you have met the language requirements, it’s time to think about your marketing strategy. Developing a Quebecois French-focused marketing strategy may seem like a huge investment, but it is the smart and the right way to go—you’ll be rewarded with a high ROI.
Make sure that you don’t just translate your marketing campaigns to French but actually localize your campaigns with a brand voice and tone that resonates with your target audience. Getting your ad campaigns adapted to the Quebec market, both linguistically and culturally, will lead to a much higher ROI.
6. SEO and PPC advertising prices are generally lower in Quebec
Companies tend to leave out the Quebec market as it takes too many resources to do business in French. As a result, the companies that do business in Quebec enjoy comparatively lower SEO and PPC competition.
English-language SEO and PPC campaigns are effective components of most brands’ digital marketing strategies, but they’re also highly competitive and hence, expensive. Comparing the difficulty and CPC of similar French and English keywords reveal that the ROI on French campaigns can be as much as four times that of English campaigns!
Yes, you may have to put in a lot of resources to do business in Quebec, but the market is also equally rewarding.