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We are working with Lands’ End in their search for a Director of Marketing – Contact Strategy and Planning based in Dodgeville, WI. The brand has never looked better …

The Director of Marketing – Contact Strategy and Planning is responsible for leading the development of email contact strategies that will maximize customer value and return on investment. The Director will establish strategic marketing plans, programs, and test plans to drive traffic that support revenue objectives for all channels, including LandsEnd.com, LandsEndCanvas.com, phone traffic, the Lands’ End Shops at Sears, and Inlets. In addition, this role supports the International and Lands’ End Business Outfitter marketing teams to drive a global view of the firm’s Brand customer contact strategy.

In this role, you will research, analyze, and monitor financial metrics, historical results, technological factors, and customer segments to capitalize on marketing opportunities aligned with overall Lands’ End Brand Strategies. Important to your success will be ability to integrate implementation efforts of marketing initiatives across functions and organizations to ensure a consistent brand image and optimization of customer contacts.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: In my experience, there are two ways an email marketer’s career can progress. The road usually taken is for the email marketer to broaden into other ecommerce functions: Moving from, say, managing email to overseeing some or all of customer acquisition; then moving into merchandising, then moving into other areas of the business. The functional areas into which email can extend differ from company to company.

The road less traveled involves the email marketer growing “an inch wide and a mile deep” in the email function, touching mobile, social, merchandising and more as the email channel itself broadens. In these instances, the email marketer broadens to the extent that the email channel broadens.

For Lands’ End, this road less traveled is an 8 lane superhighway.

To say that this is a high profile email marketing role is an understatement. If you are an email marketing rockstar and you are looking to do reputation enhancing works, look no further.

This role can make your career.

But here’s the deal: You’ll need to exert serious influence on every aspect of Lands End’s email marketing activities from soup to nuts. Meaning, you be expected to impact everything from strategic planning, promotion planning, assessment, roadmapping, organizational design as it pertains to the channel, to performance management, technology selection and integration. Each of these disciplines is up for serious scrutiny.

Nothing is sacred.

In particular, you’ll need to refine the company’s email contact strategy, including its segmentation process and what that means for Lands’ Ends’ loyalty, retention, and customer reactivation process, as well as its customer acquisition methods. As you know, these things are driven by how the customer thinks and buys as well as the merchandise mix.

But they can also be dictated by Lands’ Ends’ email technologies. Which is why we need a marketing person with a technical bent. In this role, you’ll need to translate “IT speak” to the rest of the organization while managing an email data re-achitecture and ESP integration project. You’ll be heavily involved with impacting how data flows into the ESP, and you will lead technical conversations that involve data flows, process flows, platform structures and so forth. You will be business lead on technical projects while leading one of the firm’s most important channels.

Everyone is watching this channel.

Your ability to lead productive, consensus driven change is almost as important as your ability to drive revenue. Everyone knows that Lands’ End was built on the back of an extremely successful catalog. Indeed, these folks are the New York Yankees of the catalog business. Accordingly, you will need to position your improvements to the channel in terms of improvements to the issues that impact the rest of the organization: Revenues; Gross profit; Recency; Frequency; CTR, AOV; Merchandise productivity; Lifetime value; Circulation and more.

These people need a continuously updated email strategy, strong execution, and a better perspective on the current and future state of email marketing.

For example …

On the one hand, according to Quora more than 425 million people have a Gmail account (roughly one in 4 email users worldwide). And recently, Gmail introduced a “tabbed inbox” which automatically routes emails into one of three Gmail categories: Personal; Promotional; and Social. Initially, one might think that this is bad for email marketing. Indeed, MailChimp has reported a drop in e-mail open rates since the introduction of this Gmail feature. For email marketers, this all sounds very dire – until one remembers that nearly 50% of consumers access their email on a smart phone where no such tabs exist.

Given the number of email recipients who view emails on their smart phones, it would fall to your team to make sure that emails are kept short, call to action buttons are enlarged (for ease of use), the number and size of images are small enough to load quickly, and that each offer’s benefits remain at the top so people don’t have to scroll down to see them.

Again, that’s just one example.

Other projects might involve improving the cadence of emails, reviewing email’s promotional strategy, improving the editorial story, or doing a better job of speaking with customers in a one-to-one manner based on what the company already knows about them. You might need to change LE’s architecture to introduce new dynamic emails, allowing recipients to change the system’s triggers based on customer actions and input. Frankly, there needs to be more artificial intelligence applied to the channel.

To be successful in the role, you must …

Ask great questions and metabolize that information very quickly. You’ll need to be strategic in your thought. This role will have you managing serious discussions with seasoned executives regarding LE’s brand strategy, contact strategy, technology strategy, channel strategy, and more. All of these things are interrelated, and you’ll need to regard the enterprise as one giant organism. Given the magnitude of LE’s email channel, anything you do could have significant consequences elsewhere in the organization.

We need the kind of person who does her homework and can think three moves ahead. We need a big-league email marketing careerist who is fact-based, analytically biased, and academically rigorous in the way they research issues, make decisions, and present information. Everyone in the organization has an opinion about email, and most of those opinions are extremely well-informed. However, given the size of Lands’ End’s team, customer base, revenues, and growth objectives, there is a “blind men and the elephant” dynamic to the way people see the same issue.

It will be your job to manage the trade-offs between these issues in a fact-based way that’s hard on the issues and soft on the people.

There’s a great team already in place, and there will be lots of low hanging fruit, quick hits, and easy day-to-day wins that will help you acclimate yourself well with the team and become a true partner. You’ll need that trust and credibility to seize the real opportunities to make a big impact. There’s certainly potential here!

In my 10 years of ecommerce recruiting, I’ve never seen a more important email marketing search. True, Dodgeville (just 45 mins west of Madison) is a quaint, affordable, family-friendly town whose average temperature falls below 30° between last half December and first-half March. There’s no sugarcoating that. You’d notice the snow on the ground during the interviews. That’d be like the first thing you’d notice.

But so what! It’s Lands End, for Pete’s sake! We can get you a coat — and gloves!

What’s important to remember is that if you are successful in this role, everyone in the industry will know about it. This is the big time. This is your opportunity to parachute into one of the most vaunted brands in the North American ecommerce space and contribute something lasting and meaningful to its existing marketing mix. Make no mistake, your fingerprints will be all over this one.

Give this job two years and everyone in the world of email will know your name. Then, if you still got a problem with three months of cold weather, call me and I can get you a job in Florida. Heaven knows you will be easy to place.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Responsible for overseeing the creation of email contact strategy marketing plans by customer segment
  • Evaluate market research, historical results, test results, and competitive intelligence to adjust marketing contact and customer segment strategies to meet changing market and competitive conditions.
  • Provide thought leadership in the areas of multi-channel contact strategy and marketing mix optimization.
  • Lead improving the productivity and effect of marketing planning and execution processes to drive a customer-focused value approach.
  • Actively lead and collaborate with all cross-functional partners including key stakeholders, product management, creative, public relations, e-channel management, retail marketing, international marketing, Business Outfitter marketing, marketing operations, and consumer insights within Lands’ End.
  • Develop and manage associated operating budgets.
  • Ensure superior execution and effective control of marketing results, and take corrective action to adjust marketing plans and activities to ensure results.
  • Establish and maintain a consistent corporate image throughout all marketing initiatives.
  • Track performance and establish metrics as needed.

Skill/Experience Requirements:

  • 10+ years in a marketing management and strategic planning role supporting a multi-channel organization with 3-5 years marketing planning functional experience.
  • Strong P&L orientation, well versed in drivers of marketing costs and impact on initiatives
  • Strong leadership and consensus building skills with the ability to develop successful business relationships and work at all levels of the organization
  • Must possess top-level business management, interpersonal, facilitation, and communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze situations, develop and research alternatives, and make customer-focused recommendations
  • Comfort with ambiguity and change; able to make strong recommendations and decisions despite ambiguous situations
  • Strong project management skills; able to deliver consistent high quality results on time and within budget
  • Ability to focus the organization on efforts that add significant value
  • Ability to direct the work of direct and indirect reports as well as cross-functional and cross–divisional partners
  • Bachelor Degree in Marketing / MBA Preferred

Lands’ End provides a rewarding environment that provides opportunity for growth. You’ll enjoy the firm’s balanced and competitive employee benefit package including our 80,000 sq. ft. world-class fitness center and its onsite health clinic. When you choose to pursue a career at Lands’ End, you join a group of dedicated professionals who are all focused on one thing: servicing customers one at a time. And as a company, Lands’ End carries this same philosophy to take care of each employee the best way it can.

UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.

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Harry Joiner

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