The Longer Story:
My enduring interest has been in human behaviour – understanding why we behave the way we do in different situations, and how behaviour can be influenced.
This interest in behaviour led me to work in marketing, because the ultimate objective of marketing is to influence behaviour – whether that behaviour is purchasing a product, using a government service, doing an environmental “good deed”, etc.
Some People Were Born To Be Artists; I Was Born To Be An Analyst
Before joining the Canadian government in 2001, I graduated from Dalhousie University with a Master’s Degree in Development Economics (with an emphasis on Behavioural Economics).
The thing I loved most about the program was the fieldwork I did for my thesis. It involved designing and implementing a survey in several villages in Raisen District, Madhya Pradesh, India.
My thesis was entitled “Norms and the Decline of Common Property Resource Regimes: Evidence from Madhya Pradesh, India“, and looked at communal management of forest “products”.
I can still remember coming back every day from the field, and furiously coding the day’s data, before my memory of the interviews faded. Raw data is what I love!
After graduating from Dalhousie in 2001 I began work for the Canadian federal government, and a common thread has woven its way through my fifteen-year career: a passion for marketing and market research.
Starting with my job at Treasury Board Secretariat – where I worked in online marketing, web analytics, public opinion research, and performance measurement – I’ve been involved in projects that have attempted to either influence behaviour (online marketing) or measure behaviour (web analytics, public opinion research, and performance measurement).
Here’s a sample of the digital marketing and market research projects I’ve worked on over the past fifteen years:
Digital Marketing Experience
- While working for the Government Online Initiative (GOL) at Treasury Board Secretariat, I wrote marketing plans for GOL web portals; served as the coordinator of the GOL Marketing Working Group; and contributed to the development of web analytics standards
- At the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I managed the “Canada International” web portal, and executed email marketing campaigns, content placements (NewsCanada), and paid search campaigns
- While with Environment Canada, I managed the web presence of a national social marketing campaign called the One-Tonne Challenge. The purpose of the campaign was to encourage Canadians to change their lifestyles to reduce their impact on the environment. The campaign had a database of 50,000 email subscribers, and the website had significant daily traffic.
At Environment Canada I drove traffic through email marketing, social media, and pay-per-click advertising (Google Adwords, Bing Ads, and Canoe Klix); launched and managed the department’s first Twitter account and Facebook page; took strategic oversight of the ”Take Action for the Environment” website, building it to one of the highest-traffic sites in the department; and implemented a monthly web metrics ”dashboard” for management of websites
Market Research Experience
- Conceived, planned, and implemented the largest on-line survey ever undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The survey was administered in eight languages across thirty-six websites
- Conceived and planned qualitative research (individual interviews) with staff at Canadian missions overseas
- Managed studies on environmental behaviour and environmental website usability for the department
- Advisor to consumer behaviour research study related to sustainable consumption
- Designed survey for World Vision Canada to collect baseline data on women’s access to water, bathing areas, and toilet facilities, and women’s participation in local decision-making bodies
- Designed and implemented dozens of online surveys using SurveyMonkey.com and SurveyGizmo.com. Many of these surveys included an online advertising component, in which respondents were recruited through pay-per-click advertising
- I’m an avid surfer, snowboarder, and body weight fitness guy.
- I love the tropics, beaches, ocean sports, and anything to do with islands – which is why I live in Ottawa (sarcasm!) From 2013 to 2015 I was based in Bali with my good bride and two sons.