Digital Summit by Purina

Angela LaRocca is the chair of the UMSL Marketing Advisory Board and the Brand Manager at Unidev in St. Louis. This year she was invited to the Purina Digital Summit. This is an event put on annually for the company’s employees, close colleagues, and business partners. Below, Angela shares her thoughts and experiences about this event with us and what she has learned.
Purina Got Personal. So much so that it quickly became a trending hashtag: #PurinaGotPersonal.
I may have been the only non-dog owner in the place, but I tried my best to play it cool. I may or may not have tweeted about my sweet dogsitting skills so I would at least appear to fit in. (Excuse my flashback to wanting to sit at the cool kids’ table in junior high).
First things first, Purina knows how to put on an event. Period.
Google. ESPN. Facebook. L’Oréal. Yes, they brought in the big dogs to preach on the latest trends in creating effective consumer experiences.
2 words: Ballpark Village.
The speakers were stellar and especially stylish, might I add. I had the opportunity to personally shake hands witmailserviceh Sasha Strauss of Innovation Protocol, and I introduced myself as the one tweeting about his fierce suit. It was the perfect segway from his talk titled, Branding in a Consumer Obsessed Era, into hearing from Lindsay Ferstandig of Stitch Fix. Then flowing into a talk from Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions. She ROCKED a bold Facebook blue dress, for the record. The speakers were so inspiring that I was leaning over the ledge, hanging onto every word, and occasionally checking myself for balance.
Things I learned:
Foundation is key, in every sense of the word.

Sam Cheow, of @LOrealParisUSA, got to the bottom of personalizing products and taping into the psyche of consumers. One of the most universally relevant game-changers was when he boldly broke down the difference between Personalized and Customized. We’ve all heard those
terms and honestly, ignorantly, interchanged the two on multiple occasions.
Personalized: Modified to meet the consumer’s specific needs and preferences.
Customized: Created to meet the individual’s unique selections.
The moral of the story: beautification is an emotional choice. Options for consumers to get truly personal make
the purchasing process even more flawless.
Facebook Really “Likes” Mobilemailservice (1)
And now, a reading from Facebook. Carolyn Everson shared some impressive mobile
facts. Anyone surprised? You shouldn’t be. Fun fact: The average consumer looks at his/her phone a minimum of 150 times a day. Holy mobile, Batman.
Emotional Sports Fans…
mailservice (2)Think sports fans can take a day off work and call in “emotional”? After haring Molly Parr from ESPN drop some serious stats and some moving video, I’m going to go ahead and say yes. She headlined that segment with, “Every Moment Matters.” Molly elaborated on the roller coaster of emotions during the game and post-game. On brand interaction, she stated 50% of users have a “heightened propensity to click” during a game, while post-game, “29% actively convert.” Molly shared “Reach your target audience at the right moment with the right message.” Badabing! So simple. For the visual audience members, she illustrated strategy for content with this color-coded slide. Data science and research sure play well together, tracking fans’ emotions.
With an Hour Left, Google Scores!
mailservice (3)While there were many zingers and a plethora of quotable content, the one that stood out the most to me was from Kirk Perry from Google. I almost considered a tattoo.
The timing from the ESPN presentation flowed perfectly into this. No wonder Kirk’s the President of Global Solutions at Google. I love this so much I wanted to throw a hat off the balcony and create my own hat trick, but I refrained. The key: Keep moving. Stay put and you’ll get clobbered. Think ahead and keep things in motion.
The Purina Digital Summit was packed full of nuggets of inspiration; this is a very condensed version of the Summit
People I now follow and think you should too:
@Purina (obviously)