Canadian Embassy, Washington, DC

The Challenge

In 1995 trade promotion staff at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC could see the potential of the Internet for promoting Canadian business and national interests in the United States.

The Solution

whitehouseMy web development practice, Canniff and Company had two prime advantages in competing head-on with American firms:

  • I was a registered developer for a new web log analysis product called Intersé Market Focus. This gave me access to a powerful tool for tracking site usage across North America. Driven by a sophisticated geo-demographic database, Market Focus was crucial in separating Canadian and American traffic patterns.Intersé's technology was eventually acquired by Microsoft and integrated into its Site Server product
  • A lower-valued Canadian dollar allowed my bid to offer comparable value at lower prices. The embassy received effective on-going support and face-to-face consultations, despite the distance from Washington.

In March 1995 I began work on storyboards and site drafts, proceeding through several iterations. On April 25, 1995 the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC became the first Canadian embassy to have a website.

The Result

capitolTo prove value for money to Ottawa, the embassy needed to reach a primarily American audience.  Relying upon analysis with Intersé Market Focus, I was able to continually refine site content to attract the American target audience.  Over a period of several months, the Canadian/American user ratio was reversed from 60/40 to 40/60, thanks to content re-design and site marketing.

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