Coffee & Case Studies Event Recap

We started January with a bang by launching our first ever Coffee & Case Studies event. And in my maybe-a-little-biased opinion, it was a great way to start the day. Hosted by Antenna, 40 MIMA members sipped on Kindly Coffee (which, by the way, is incredibly delicious) and discussed two case studies presented by two local digital thought leaders. If the coffee wasn’t enough to get inspired, the findings from the case studies certainly were.

Here’s what went down at this #MIMACoffee.

Purina Pro Plan myPlan Case Study

Lachlan Badenoch, senior strategist at Zeus Jones, started the event with his case study on Purina Pro Plan myPlan. Did you know there’s over $21 billion in US sales for dog food and cat food alone? Or that 90% of Westminster Kennel Club Champs eat Purina Pro Plan? We didn’t either. But that’s a ripe market for Purina, and that’s where we’ll start this case study recap.


  • Problem #1:  Most of Purina’s expertise is not visible to consumers, who are faced with choosing the right pet food. Purina’s expertise is scientific, and it’s hard to convey science on your product, especially when there’s a sea of pet food options. How do you grab the attention of consumers with a tyranny of pet food choices?
  • Problem #2:  Human food trends drive consumer choice. And when you think about it, that makes sense. We as humans know what’s good for us and trust marketing messages that relate our food trends to dog food. But humans and dogs are different, and human food and dog food should be different. How do you get through to humans on this message when they’re bombarded with the wrong message?


Return the focus to your pet and its unique needs.


Since Purina’s expertise is scientific, they got to thinking:  “What if we could mirror the experience you would get if you spoke to one of our nutritionists first hand?” Turns out they can, and that’s how myPlan was born.

As consumers face more and more product options, brands need to provide help and recommendations, not just choices. That’s exactly what myPlan does. Rather than starting with an ingredient conversation, they start with understanding the pet. The consumer goes online and first tells Purina about their dog’s unique traits and preferences. Based on that, Purina is then able to recommend the right product for that specific pet.

With this solution, Purina now has a platform to build on. They’re no longer just a product selector, they’re a platform with a pipeline of initiatives open to them. This offers mutual and multiple benefits for Purina, pets, and pet owners alike.

The product was built with an agile approach using design sprints and testing prototypes along the way with real customers. They went from concept to product in 90 days and 5 iterations by launch.

Key Takeaways

  • Untapped internal assets can turn mundane user issue into something more interesting.
  • Use an iterative “sprint” design process with clients to get the simple first iteration.
  • Keep an eye on development and creating infrastructure with longterm, multilayered value to multiple stakeholders.
  • Build and test fast, small and cheap prototypes together with key client stakeholders.
  • Don’t start with listing products for you customers. Start with personalized recommendations and relationship building.
  • For testing and iterations, use real customers. There’s no substitute for real world results.

“Follow the Money” approach to SEO and Ecommerce

Next up on the Coffee & Case Studies stage was Chris Aburime, senior SEO strategist and partner at Augurian. While he couldn’t disclose the customer the case study was about, he could provide us with knowledge bombs on his optimization project.


  • Identify opportunities for incremental revenue from organic search for an apparel company that owns the majority of the market share.


  • Define current share of voice and identify missed opportunities.
  • Do an analysis on the competition to also assess missed opportunities.


  • Conduct a performance audit to identify, qualify and prioritize areas of opportunity. They first did an audit on 80 different areas that impacted results.
  • By slicing and dicing the data they collected in their audit, they determined there’s $xx amount in missed opportunities in one segment over another (such as baby clothes vs. women’s clothes, for example).
  • After identifying missed opportunities, they then looked at how well their messaging was aligned. Are the title tags in line with the content strategy? Are keywords and descriptions in line with how customers talk about their products? This is important. You need to write for your customers and know how they search for products like you. The company in this case study was using the word “infant” for everything, but consumers were using “baby” to search. Simply changing “infant” to “baby” resulted in increased search results.
  • Execute and measure. Use an agile marketing model to rapidly test hypotheses to scale what works and table what doesn’t. This helps you focus on the most important things first. Just because something got tabled doesn’t mean you can’t revisit it in the future, it just means it’s not as pertinent as other opportunities. To do this, identify what makes a significant impact, decent impact, and marginal impact. Table the actions that deliver marginal impact, and move forward with those that make significant and decent impact.


In the organic search channel within 9 months year-over-year:

  • Over 50% increase in revenue
  • Over 34% increase in conversion rate
  • 40:1 return on investment
  • Clear understanding of where opportunities are and what they are worth
  • Growth of internal knowledge and capabilities for on-going internal best practices and process

To see more insightful nuggets from these case studies, run through #MIMACoffee on Twitter. Become a MIMA Member to get updated on more Coffee & Case Studies events in the future, and don’t miss next week’s MIMA Monthly event on social broadcasting. See you there!


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