Year in Review: Government & Consumer Affairs, Learning & Events, Marketing & Member Engagement

Year in Review: Government & Consumer Affairs, Learning & Events, Marketing & Member Engagement

In 2016, Canada’s #1 Marketing Association continued to champion marketing as a key driver of business success.  CMA helped its Members grow their business, increased their team’s knowledge and safeguarded their profession. 

Government & Consumer Affairs

Finding the Right Balance on Privacy:  CMA submitted a response to the Privacy Commissioner’s paper on the issue of Consent. CMA and Members of the Association’s Privacy & Data Advisory Committee also participated in consultative forums across Canada and collaborated on data usage and handling best practices. CMA engaged with federal officials to provide detailed input for the upcoming regulations needed to implement new requirements for data breach reporting. 

Mitigating the Impact of CASL Changes:  Along with Coalition partners, CMA lobbied Innovation Canada (ISED) officials to suspend the Private Right of Action provision from taking effect July 1, 2017. Coalition partners also met with the Minister and policy advisors. The Ethics & Standards Committee created a CASL subgroup to update CMA’s CASL Guide and assessing CASL impacts. CASL Quiz was launched.

Shaping the Innovation Agenda: Building on CMA’s consultations hosted by Innovation Canada, CMA presented several program concepts to ISED officials, specifically on supporting the commercialization of innovation.

Representing Member Interests:  The Competition Commissioner spoke at a CMA policy event about key regulations and issues, such as the importance of fostering consumer trust in eCommerce. CMA submitted to the Task Force and  Parliamentary Committee that studied the mandate of Canada Post.  CMA also appeared before the committee reviewing Alberta’s privacy law.  With support from the Ontario Government, CMA continued AODA initiatives, including two webinars and a compliance seminar.

Supporting Regulatory Compliance: CMA held roundtables, seminars and webinars on key topics, including CASL competition Law and the Accessibility law requirements of Ontario AODA law. As Chair of the Executive Committee for the Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada, CMA supported increased growth and industry compliance with the industry’s self-regulatory program, AdChoices.


New Learning Platform Launch:  A new online learning platform was launched with D2L’s Brightspace, a best-in-class provider, allowing students to access courses 24/7, including on their mobile device. CMA students and instructors now have even more opportunities for interaction and flexibility on the new learning platform.  Increasingly positive feedback continues to be received in post-course surveys and registrations for online learning are at a multi-year high.

New Course Launch:  Digital Marketing Strategy, an intermediate online certificate course, was launched in the Spring. The course provides the essential elements of building a digital marketing strategy plan, from understanding and serving your ideal customers and setting marketing objectives to content strategy and modern marketing management models.

Online Courses Refreshed:  The Integrated Branding and Digital Marketing certificate courses were revamped. Integrated Branding was launched on the new platform in Fall 2016 with Digital Marketing refreshed for January 2017.

Expanded Seminar Programming:  In-person and webcast seminars increased in attendance while maintaining high satisfaction ratings with top-rated content and facilitators.  Seminars continue to be led “by marketers for marketers.”

Increased Webinar Offerings:  Members featured their latest research and perspectives on key marketing topics. Webinars remained free to Members and helped to connect business leaders with the marketing community across the country with a near doubling of registrants for each webinar.

Marketing & Member Engagement

New Member Engagement Strategy:  With two dedicated Member Engagement Managers and one Director, Members received customized event, sponsorship and business opportunities. Q3 and Q4 saw a significant increase in Member retention, new Memberships, corporate sponsorships and attendance / engagement with CMA programming.

Morning Event Series Launched:   Following feedback from Members throughout 2016, CMA evolved its live event structure to a “3 hours, 3 experiences” Morning Event Series starting with CMAconnections and CMAfuture.  These half-day events garnered higher attendance and even stronger feedback than full-day conferences and will continue in 2017.

Social Mixers Introduced:  A Digital Mixer was introduced, with support from the Digital Marketing Council, providing networking opportunities for digital marketing professionals.  A Social Mixer series is being launched throughout 2017.

New Awards at Canada’s #1 Marketing Gala:  For the 4th year in row, CMA’s Awards Gala was named the #1 Marketing & Advertising Awards in Canada and the #1 Marketing & Advertising Event in Toronto by BizBash. Two sponsored awards were featured: the Canada Post INCITE Award and the new Facebook Mobile Marketing Award.

Council Engagement Revamped:  By introducing a new Council Orientation session, CMA provided Council Members even more networking opportunities. Council input included thought leadership whitepapers, blog posts, podcasts, videos and CMA event advisory services with an engaged group of over 70 top marketing practitioners in Canada.

Member & Social Content Increases:  CMA amplified Member, sponsor and Council thought leadership across various content channels: Top 5 Picks weekly e-newsletter (whose reach doubled to 17,000 contacts), downloadable reports/articles, web advertising and social media.  CMA’s social media communities grew 20% versus 2015.

New & Renewed Partnerships:   New partnerships with Kantar TNS, Uberflip, Twitter, National PR and the Ontario College Marketing Competition increased CMA’s awareness, digital capabilities and understanding of Member needs.

Post-Secondary Institution Membership Launched:  This new Membership category conceived in Q1 delivered over 20 new PSI Members who are extending complimentary Member benefits to all full time students, faculty and staff.

CMA is constantly evolving its services to meet Member needs and thanks all Members for their continued loyalty.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please visit or contact Tim Bishop, Vice President of Marketing & Member Engagement at or 416.644.3738.