General Mills Canada

Double-digit conversion rates across multiple teams, 9 brands and 2 languages

"With the flexible, reactive nature of the ion platform templates, I can modify and iterate landing pages on the fly which ultimately makes it so much easier to create targeted, specific landing pages." –Jesse Abrams, Digital Associate Marketing Manager, General Mills Canada


General Mills is among the world's largest food companies, marketing some of the world's best-loved brands, including: Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Green Giant, in more than 100 countries on six continents. The company generates annual revenue of approximately 14.9 billion in the U.S. Retail, International, Bakeries, and Foodservice markets.

the challenge

General Mills drives millions of unique visitors from paid search and other online media sources. The goal? Convert this traffic using online registration for free newsletters that offer recipes, meal ideas, coupons and more. Prior to adopting ion, the General Mills teams worked in a very decentralized manner, even though both were working towards the same lead generation goals. They needed an easy way to centralize the management of their landing pages and create a repository for standardized components such as forms, page layouts and data exports.

the ion difference

The US team at General Mills initially adopted ion (September 2010) in order to increase agility, speed-to-market, and ultimately increase overall conversions. Within a few months, the US General Mills team moved from having thirty general landing pages to hundreds of unique landing pages across seven different brands. After hearing about the success of the US team (conversion rates up to and beyond 30%), the Canadian team knew they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work in ion platform as well.

For their first campaign, the Canadian team focused on their Life Made Delicious brand, a new online resource for parents that provides a great selection of tips, games, articles and recipes to help families find new ways to celebrate and enjoy their time together. Within a few weeks of adopting ion, the team launched their first platform landing page, with plans to launch 13 more in the upcoming weeks.

Having a central repository makes it easy for the two teams to standardize data collection and forms for easy implementation. ion’s centralized libraries (for images, page layouts and data exports) allow the teams to easily reuse assets, making production of multiple versions of a page a breeze. As Jesse Abrams, the Canadian Digitial Associate Marketing Manager, explained best, “With the flexible, reactive nature of ion's platform templates, I can modify and iterate landing pages on the fly which ultimately makes it so much easier to create targeted, specific landing pages.” 'Winning' templates are leveraged by both teams to accelerate testing and quickly drive conversion results.

The Generals Mills marketing teams finally have a tool that is agile enough for their hands-on approach, but also capable of easily centralizing online marketing efforts within one platform. ion now helps the US and Canadian teams at General Mills manage well over 400 multi-page landing experiences with double-digit conversion rates across multiple teams, nine brands, and two languages. More importantly, they are building a culture of continued testing and sharing of results — everyone can now learn and work towards common goals together.

what’s next?

In 2012, the Canadian marketing team will be focused on expanding their landing page program with the ion platform by testing and optimizing holiday-themed campaign landing pages. Testing the registration flow — single step forms versus two-or three-step forms, progress indicators, and messaging — is also high priority.