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We are working with Goodyear Tire & Rubber in their search for a GM, Interactive Marketing based in Akron, OH.

As a part of Goodyear’s Consumer Marketing Team, you will work alongside Goodyear’s agency, Digitas, to reinvent an industry. Seriously.

As the GM of Interactive Marketing, you will play a key role in accelerating Goodyear to be best in class in how it leverages the internet to promote and sell its products and services. In order to deliver Goodyear’s volume and profit goals, the GM is expected to create and manage integrated marketing efforts that span: i) consumer websites, ii) interactive advertising — search & display, iii) social media, iv) promotion, and v) analytics across Goodyear’s distribution footprint including Brand and Retailers.

A passion for, and experience in, delivering results and building creative new tools that deliver against the entire consumer purchase funnel is a must. Ability to be a data driven decision making, marketing innovator, and strong collaborator in building working relationships with agencies and cross-functional teams will distinguish the winning candidate for this role.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Goodyear manufactures and sells tires through wholesale channels in addition to operating hundreds of company-owned stores where they sell those tires and other auto services directly to consumers.

The company has three primary brands: Goodyear, Dunlop, and Kelly. Goodyear is the premium brand, Dunlop serves the mid-market, and Kelly is positioned as the lower end brand. The company does not operate in the bargain space, and they typically do not compete with the Chinese brands who dominate the entry-level tire market.

The $15 billion US tire manufacturing industry is concentrated: the top four companies generate more than 70% of revenue. Demand is driven by sales of new vehicles and the need for replacement tires.

In addition to selling through thousands of independent tire retailers and big box stores, Goodyear operates retail establishments that sell tires and provide automotive repair services.

You can buy Goodyear tires practically anywhere – which is going to present some interesting opportunities for ecommerce. All told, the tire manufacturing, sales, and service space is intensely competitive, and it’s forecast to grow at a moderate rate in the next two years.

That’s your competitive sandbox, and I have compiled TONS of research on this company, industry, and competitive challenge. My call with the hiring manager, Mike Dauberman, lasted 90 minutes and I have 6 pages worth of kickoff call notes in 11 point type. 2691 words + additional research; yours for the asking.

Goodyear is the 500 lb Gorilla in this arena – which gives it a major advantage in terms of the muscle you’ll have to grow its online business. The brand is as well known as any on earth, and let’s face it: Who doesn’t like the Goodyear blimp?

About the role …

Goodyear is looking for an expert in all general facets of Internet marketing. You’ll run the entire digital practice at Goodyear, so you’ll need to be a strategic leader with a wide array of online marketing skills. By “strategic,” it’s critical that you can assess Goodyear’s position in the industry (in an academically rigorous way) and determine what Goodyear’s role should be in the digital space – and then make that happen.

To do that, you’ll need experience building complex transactional platforms and marketing programs. This will start by understanding deeply how people buy tires online, and then determining what Goodyear’s role should be in that process. This is not about disintermediating Goodyear’s valued channel partners. Rather, it’s about using digital technologies to educate consumers about the benefits of Goodyear products and services, and removing friction from the purchasing process.

Think of this job like running a startup in the midst of a much larger company.

YOU will get to determine how people buy tires in the future. YOU will get to lead the discussion about how ecommerce can enhance how tires are distributed in the world’s largest automotive market. YOU will become one of the primary faces of ecommerce for the tire industry. Y.O.U.

Since it’s tires, let’s talk about alignment.

Seen here is Geoffrey Moore’s famous Technology Adoption Lifecycle from his landmark technology marketing book, Crossing the Chasm. If you don’t own the book, you should buy it. It will change your life.

TALC

The model posits that where the adoption of new technologies is concerned, people always fall into 5 groups in any population: Techies; Visionaries; Pragmatists; Conservatives; and Skeptics. The Techies and Visionaries are the first to adopt any new technology, followed by the Pragmatists, Conservatives, and Skeptics.

Speaking honestly, the tire manufacturing and retail industries are not exactly hotbeds of Techies and Visionaries. There are Techies and Visionaries in this space, but they are in the relative minority – just like in the model.

Across Goodyear’s population of internal and external stakeholders, the mental makeup pretty closely resembles Moore’s TALC curve. The Pragmatists are not there to block your progress as you roll out ecommerce. However, they do make decisions logically, so you’ll need to understand and leverage “what’s in it for them” if they support the rollout of ecommerce throughout their own areas of influence.

This is nothing new.

This dynamic already exists here and here, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know how to interview internal and external stakeholders to assess their business needs and develop digital strategies to help them achieve their goals. It’s like Zig Zigler used to say …

“You can have anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.”

At Goodyear, helping other people get ahead will involve educating them on how digital commerce can help reduce customer acquisition costs in every channel. It will also involve helping executives understand how to use digital to improve the loyalty loop that brings customers back when they are ready to return to the tire market.

Huge issue: Currently when you buy Goodyear tires, the company has no idea who you are, no way of communicating with you, and no way of ensuring you’ll return to Goodyear when your tires wear out (which, like death and taxes, is a lock). In a sense, Goodyear must reacquire you as a customer by dislodging you from whichever competitor sold you your last set of tires.

That is insanely expensive.

The good news is that a 2% tweak in the business could be $20 million improvement. Obviously, even the most diehard Conservatives will want to hitch their wagon to the digital star once they understand this.

Five years ago, it would’ve been nearly impossible to gather enough data to substantiate these claims. But not any longer. Today, with analytics packages being what they are, business cases can be made much more compellingly.

But just because you have the data doesn’t mean you can beat people over the head with it. You will still need a pleasing bedside manner. However, if you are humble, smart, business-oriented, and have a tactically sound, fact-based analytically biased approach to selling your ideas both internally and externally, this will be a fantastic career move for you.

The money is great and the people with whom I have spoken are wonderful. Truly, this is a world-class organization that is ready to get the digital religion. All you have to do is give it to them in a way that’s hard on the issues and soft on the people.


Principal Responsibilities to include:

  • Develop and execute strategies for all NAT consumer tire websites including Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly, USA and Canada
  • Lead the development of dealer extensions such as inventory, pricing, appointment scheduling, ratings and reviews and ecommerce.
  • Establish and manage external and internal interactive marketing and web development teams
  • Effectively issue strategic direction to agency partners via briefs, creative feedback etc.
  • Create new best practices for how Goodyear leverages search engines and display advertising to target in-market shoppers
  • Lead the creation and operation of an International Committee to guide and support all Goodyear worldwide interactive capabilities
  • Own the investment of marketing funds, including ROI analysis and year on year efficiency improvements

Requirements

  • Bachelor level degree (MBA / MA desired)
  • Minimum 10 years experience in interactive and web initiatives.
  • Proven success at a company where interactive/e-commerce were integral to success and key company strategies/investment.
  • Experienced interactive marketer.
  • Strong analytical skills in pulling meaning from various sources of data.
  • Has experience developing and delivering scheduled reporting of results to all business levels to communicate performance of interactive programs and initiatives.
  • Hands on knowledge of web front-end (usability, wireframes, design) and back- end (programming, database, serving) best practices is essential.
  • First hand experience working in robust web analytics and targeting platforms such as Monitored and Test and Target; SERP display platforms such as Endeca and Ad Serving technology.
  • Strong understanding of optimization techniques involving A-B and multivariate testing.
  • Ability to assess back-end systems and link various platforms.
  • Extensive background in Interactive Marketing knowledge, with hands-on experience in different channels.
  • Must have complete comprehension of industry accepted measurements.
  • Must have experience in project management and application of those skills as a business owner.
  • Must be able to work independently leveraging agency/vendor partners to accomplish goals as well as understand how to build a core team of internal experts.
  • Meticulous attention to detail, while handling multiple responsibilities

Tasks

  • Lead all technical web development actives. Will identify projects and priorities for internal and external development teams. As a web systems expert, will drive decisions and overcome challenges inherent to integrating Goodyear and third party systems to interactive platforms (such as point of sale, inventory, CRM, warranty registration, fitments, etc)
  • Develop and sell to executive management the organizations rolling five year roadmap, Interactive AOP and supporting budgets for all North America Tire Consumer web development and interactive marketing activities
  • Develop Goodyear’s position and plans for how Goodyear will participate in the Social web. Educate Goodyear legal and executive management on the benefits and pitfalls of playing in this space. Identify, hire and manage top notch partners to execute strategy while fully integrated into Corporate Communications and Brand Marketing
  • Lead efforts between Creative, Brand, and Tech teams to implement new marketing campaigns and interactive initiatives in a timely manner. This includes the management of web front-end (usability, wireframes, design) and back-end (programming, database, serving) activities along with site usability, testing practices, quality assurance activities and deployments.
  • Develop strategy for Search Engine Marketing programs including annual marketing budget. Measure and reporting. Develop on-going search engine optimization (SEO) programs. Run SEO campaigns and set annual marketing budgets. Measure and track organic site traffic. Develop and manage analytics platforms and testing strategies.

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Harry for a packet of market research and company / competitive intel that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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