Getting Started with CDAP for Canadian Digital Agencies

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is providing 4 billion dollars in total funding to help small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) embrace digital transformation. This Government of Canada program helps SMEs adopt digital technologies to increase their competitiveness. Eligible businesses will receive a grant to build their digital plan, followed by a 0% loan of up to $100,000 to implement it.

Through the Boost Your Business Technology grant, successful applicants can access up to $15,000 to retain a certified Digital Advisor and offset the costs of planning their transformation journey. A Digital Advisor would specialize in digital adoption strategies and provide Businesses with a digital adoption plan (DAP) that will position them to be more flexible, scalable, and ready for growth.

The program offers two main opportunities for Canadian Marketing Agencies:

  • Leverage the program to drive digital adoption for your own agency
  • Become a certified advisor and offer Digital Adoption Plan and implementation services for your clients.

The Boost Your Business Technology Grant

This grant is for SMEs, like marketing agencies or their clients, who may already be embarked on their digital journey and looking to expand their digital technology. The program includes digital transformation across multiple areas, such as accounting, IT infrastructure, cyber security, and customer support services, but most relevant to marketing agencies is online sales and marketing infrastructure.

Depending on your area of expertise, the elements of digital transformation may vary, but common examples might include:

  • Create a digital marketing and e-commerce strategy
  • Build a digitally optimized website or e-commerce store
  • Boost conversions with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and data attribution
  • Create dashboards and scheduled reporting to provide actionable insights
  • Implement a Marketing Automation, Sales CRM, or ERP system
  • Digitize areas of your business for better account management processes
  • And so much more

Watch the On-Demand Webinar:
Leverage the $4B CDAP (Canadian Digital Adoption Program) for Your Agency and Clients

Presented by: ActiveDEMAND and Digital Maturity Advisors

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The steps to get started with the process is:

  • Confirm you meet the eligibility criteria and complete the initial application for the grant.
  • Complete your digital maturity assessment and choose a certified digital advisor
  • Work with your registered digital advisor to build your digital adoption plan (DAP)
  • Submit the plan for approval
  • Implement the plan with a 0% loan

cdap process

Become a Registered Digital Advisor

An important element of the CDAP program is working with a Registered Digital Advisor to develop the Digital Adoption Plan. Digital advisors listed on the marketplace may be businesses, business accelerators and incubators, and independent for-profit and non-profit service providers with expertise in small business digital transformation. Many marketing agencies fall into one or more of these categories and could be eligible to be Registered Digital Advisors.

A digital advisor registered with CDAP is an organization that meets the required criteria to deliver digital advisory services to eligible Canadian SMEs. Digital advisors are required to provide vendor-neutral advice in the provision of advisory services to SMEs and will work with eligible businesses to develop digital adoption plans tailored to the needs of the client. Digital adoption plans must meet the minimum viable elements identified in the CDAP digital adoption plan guide.

In an effort to build a diverse marketplace of advisors, CDAP will maintain the marketplace through an open and continuous call for registration. Currently, the Canada Digital Adoption Program has made some changes to the application process and short-term eligibility requirements, due to a backlog caused by the unexpected number of digital advisor applications received.

Another option for agencies is some Registered Digital Advisors provide certification so your agency can offer CDAP services through their channels.

Agency Opportunities

Marketing agencies that become registered advisors have additional opportunities for growth:

  • Providing Digital Adoption creation services
  • Providing digital marketing services that align with their business offering
  • Marketing automation and CRM implementation services
  • Developing long-term retainer business
  • Prospecting for prospective clients via your CDAP services

cdap benefits for agencies

Start Driving Canada’s Digital Transformation

The world is becoming increasingly digital and small business owners can find it difficult to keep up with new trends and digital advances. The COVID-19 pandemic also had a big impact on digitalization and online trends as small businesses were forced to shift to online sales and marketing capabilities. This sudden change meant many implementations were hurried, incomplete, or not well thought out. CDAP is an opportunity to help SMEs get the right solutions in place for the future and they are looking to experts like marketing agencies and software providers for guidance.

If your agency is not in the driver’s seat or on the road to digital transformation, then your clients may be hitching a ride with someone who is. Find out more about the CDAP program and what digital marketing platforms are available to drive the digital age.