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marketing in quebec canada

6 Things to Know Before Launching Your Quebec Marketing Campaign

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. 

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Frequently asked questions


Is Canada a bilingual country?

Canada is an officially bilingual country, the two official languages being English and French. 98.1% of the Canadian population can hold a conversation in English or French.

How many Canadians are bilingual?

In 2016, around 6.2 million Canadians reported being bilingual, accounting for 18% of the country’s total population. 23.3% of the population speak French at home, while 74.7% speak English.

Why are there two official languages in Canada?

Although 18% of the Canadian population is bilingual, many Canadians can speak only English or French. To ensure that all citizens get access to government services without any language barriers, the Canadian federal government declared French and English as the two official languages.

What is French used for in Quebec?

French is the widely spoken, official language of the province of Quebec. Quebecois French is used in everyday communication, product packaging, education, media, and government.

Is knowing French useful in Canada?

Yes, knowing French is useful in Canada since it is a working and official language of the Canadian federal government. Canada offers many opportunities for skilled professionals who are proficient in both English and French.

How is Quebec French different?

Quebec French is distinctive from European French because of the strong influence of the English Language. It has a moderately different vocabulary, idioms, slang, pronunciation, and cultural references that European French speakers may not be familiar with.

Can French people understand Quebecois French?

Generally, French people have no problem understanding formal Quebecois French. However, they may find it slightly difficult to understand informal speech because of the difference in slang and cultural references.

Is French becoming more popular in Canada?

Between 2011 and 2016, the share of Canadians who speak French at home reduced to 23.3% from 23.8%. At the same time, the number of bilingual Canadians increased to 18%. In 1961, just 12.2% of Canadians were bilingual.

Why is French needed in Canada?

French is one of the two official languages of Canada, with 23.3% of the population speaking French at home. All product packaging, labeling, and documents must have French versions, and all organizations doing business in Quebec must be able to serve the public in French.

Is Quebec almost 100% French-speaking?

85.4% of Quebec’s population speak French, while 13.7% speak English. French is also the official language of Quebec, and all businesses are required to serve the public in French by law.

What is the right of communication in Quebec?

Quebec’s Charter of the French Language says that every person in Quebec has the right to be served in French, known as the right of communication. So employees who interact with the public have to know French. All marketing, advertising, and documents must also have French versions.

Does your business need to support French in Canada?

Whether your business needs to support French or not depends on the province you’re doing business in. If you’re doing business in a French-speaking province like Quebec, your packaging, marketing, customer communication, and labeling must include French.

Do I need to translate my business documents in Quebec?

Yes, you must have French versions of your business documents in Quebec, including contracts, catalogs, brochures, order forms, receipts, and warranties. Anything written on a product sold in Quebec, or on the product’s package, must also have French versions.

Do websites need to be in French in Quebec?

Yes, you must have a French version of the website if your business carries out commercial activities in Quebec. However, companies usually go for an English-first website in Quebec.

Do Canadian websites have to be in French and English?

No, Canadian websites don’t have to be in French and English. In fact, English-only websites are very common in Canada. Only the federal government and related agency websites have to be in both French and English. However, if you carry out commercial activities in Quebec, your website must have a French version.

Can you run English ads in Quebec?

Yes, you can run English ads in Quebec as long as you have a more predominant, French version of the ad alongside the English version. However, you can use only French in some cases, such as on billboards and advertising on buses.

Is e-commerce in demand in Canada?

Yes, e-commerce is in demand in Canada. The number of digital buyers in Canada has grown from 22.8 million in 2017 to 27.6 million in 2021. It is expected to reach 30.5 million by 2025.

How can I sell my products online in Canada?

To sell products online in Canada, you can set up your own e-commerce website using platforms like Shopify or WordPress. Alternatively, you can go with one of the trusted Canadian online marketplaces like or an international marketplace like Amazon or eBay.

What is the future of e-commerce in Canada?

96.5% of the Canadian population are internet users. In 2021, over 27 million Canadians were e-commerce users, accounting for over 72% of the population. This is expected to grow to 77.6% by 2025, indicating a bright future for the Canadian e-commerce market.

How do I market to Quebec?

First, understand Quebec’s language laws that apply to your business. Then, develop a marketing strategy that resonates with Quebecers, considering the native culture, customer behaviors, and interests. You can go for SEO and PPC campaigns in Quebecois French to get a competitive advantage and a higher ROI.

What do you need to know about doing business in Quebec?

First of all, all organizations that carry out commercial activities in Quebec must comply with Quebec’s Charter of the French Language. In marketing, strict translation of your English campaigns will not be enough to succeed. You need to market your products and services in a way that resonates with Quebecers, adapting your brand voice and tone to the native culture and customer behaviors.