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We are working with Whitewater Brands in its search for a Director of Omni-Channel Marketing in Boise, ID. This is one of the coolest ecommerce jobs in Idaho. The purpose of this role is to help this traditional B2B catalog marketer grow its sales by further ramping up ecommerce in its marketing mix. This is a middle management position with an opportunity to advance into the role of VP of Marketing as the firm’s current VP seeks to reduce her responsibilities over time.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Whitewater Brands seeks a results-oriented, omni-channel marketer with a passion for ecommerce and a strong knowledge of the traditional print catalog channel. This is a fantastic opportunity to further your career while enjoying an unequaled quality of life offered by Idaho

Whitewater is a private equity backed, Boise-based holding company for three unique businesses:

  1. Collision Services, Inc in Hudson, Iowa, which is focused on selling consumable products and equipment collision repair shops.
  2. I/D/E/A, Inc. in Boise, Idaho, which operates two lines of business: IdeaAutoBody.com, focused on selling consumable products and equipment to collision repair shops; and IdeaAutoRepair.com, focused on selling consumable products and equipment to mechanical repair shops.
  3. Sole Source, in Boise, Idaho, which designs and manufactures cards and promotional materials of various types for the veterinary, trucking and construction industries.

Additionally, Whitewater seeks to acquire other multi-channel B2B marketers and distributors. This position may eventually impact those brands as well.

At a high level, Whitewater operates like a manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of consumables and equipment for the collision repair and mechanical repair industries, and I/D/E/A and Collision Services are highly regarded by those repair shops as a one-stop-supplier for their equipment and repair supply needs.

It works like this:

Perhaps at some point in your life you’ve been in a fender bender. If so, you may have been in an auto body shop. As you waited to pick up your car, you might’ve seen any number of job folders, specialized equipment and tools, floor mats, key tags, paint stands, parts caddies, repair order racks, business forms, and more. That’s what Whitewater’s automotive businesses sell, and there’s real money in it, too.

Here’s a breakdown of the market:

Industry research estimates that the collision repair industry in the United States generates approximately $30.7 billion in revenue annually and consists of approximately 35,000 collision repair shops. The entire U.S. automotive repair and maintenance services industry generates revenue of ~$90 billion and includes ~120,000 mechanical repair shops.

Collision Services and I/D/E/A serve both industries.

The auto repair industry is very fragmented: the 50 largest companies generate less than 10% of revenue. Most auto repair shops are independently owned, although many are being acquired by industry consolidators or becoming part of networks.

Most firms in the mechanical field provide generalized services, such as maintenance plus specialty services. These shops primarily deal with deterioration of parts due to normal wear. Common repairs involve air conditioning, brake, transmission, and electrical systems.

Collision repair involves two distinct types of repair: body work and painting (or refinishing). In the body shop, technicians correct damaged car frames and panels. Each repair is unique and depends on the accident that caused damage.

A typical mechanical repair shop has seven service bays and handles 200 repairs a month, according to the Automotive Service Association (ASA). A typical body shop has 15 bays and handles about 100 repairs per month.

Almost 80% of mechanical repair shop and 50% of collision repair shop customers are repeat, according to the Automotive Service Association (ASA). Auto repair shops typically draw customers from a 20-mile radius. Marketing and promotional vehicles include phone directories; signage; local newspaper, TV, and radio ads; and direct mail.

Because business related to insurance claims can be a large percentage of sales, relationships with insurance agents and companies are important for large body shops. About 30% of body shops report higher profits after affiliating with an insurance-sponsored direct repair program (DRPs), according to BodyShop Business.

All of these firms tend to rely on repeat business, maintaining customer satisfaction is crucial. A good reputation among customers can yield valuable word-of-mouth advertising – many of CSI and I/D/E/A’s products can help a shop owner in the marketing process.

Given how these customers refer to print catalogs in their shops, Whitewater’s print catalog is a critical pillar of the firm’s marketing mix.

In fact, the firm’s websites are designed to mimic its catalog — and that’s a good thing. Both the catalog and website play key roles in driving customers to the company’s call centers in Boise and Iowa, which are staffed by two dozen extremely knowledgeable service reps.

As a marketer, you’ll be solving some very interesting problems. For example, the average body shop owner is 55 years old and loves the catalog. However, the next generation, possibly the body shop owner’s son, is much more likely to pull up the Internet. And while dad is making the decisions today, Whitewater must position itself as a trusted resource to both generations.

As usual, we have several thousand words worth of kickoff call notes, KPIs, and industry research we are happy to share with qualified candidates. All told, there are 9 key marketing disciplines Whitewater will expect you to know deeply in order to succeed in this position. But at the end of the day, success will boil down to a handful of critical initiatives:

  1. Gaining an understanding of all the marketing channels used by the company, and developing ideas for how to improve the firm’s marketing.
  2. Supporting both the catalog and e-commerce sides of the business.
  3. Providing meaningful guidance on the merchandising side of the business, reviewing products, understanding what products are selling (and WHY), and understanding the latest product trends within the industry.
  4. Tying marketing promotions and plans to the sales effort, which will include improving product training; and integrating product marketing plans with the sales promotion plan. Naturally, that would involve integrating sales, training, and marketing.
  5. Assisting in better managing and rationalizing vendor relationships between Whitewater’s Boise and Iowa facilities.

The role is perfect for an energetic, detail oriented person with a proven ecommerce track record. You will need to be tech savvy in this position, and you’ll need a cross channel philosophy of the business. Moreover, it’s essential that you understand how to excel in a lean environment. If that describes you, then we’d love to hear from you.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Possess four years of strategic marketing expertise across multiple brands and integrated marketing channels – catalog, ecommerce (SEO, SEM and mobile), trade shows, e-mail, social media, facsimile, etc.
  • Have the ability to develop and implement integrated sales and marketing strategies in a multichannel environment.
  • Take an interest in the automotive aftermarket and demonstrate a desire and willingness to learn additional industries such as veterinary
  • Possess a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university

Leadership Characteristics

  • Leader, thinker, strategist and a doer
  • Must be able to generate enthusiasm among team members
  • Must be able to manage the process of innovative change
  • Must provide a positive cultural contribution

Responsibilities

  • Be a creative, thought leader in the development and execution of omni-channel, multi-brand marketing strategies
  • Develop, analyze, execute, monitor, report and continually adjust multi-faceted marketing campaigns through all channels to optimize results and achieve growth though …
    1. Catalog
    2. Ecommerce (SEO, SEM and mobile)
    3. Trade shows
    4. Email
    5. Social media
    6. Facsimile
    7. Direct telephone sales
  • Establish programs to acquire new customers through organic search, paid search, social media and other eCommerce marketing programs
  • Identify new ecommerce marketing technologies and execute strategies to improve overall marketing efforts
  • Contribute to catalog and web site design, individual product descriptions and the proofing process
  • Drive continuous improvement of the customer experience and brand recognition
  • Lead ongoing effort to monitor competitive product prices, assist in establishing or adjusting prices based on the market and competitive pricing strategies
  • Assist with new product identification and development
  • Assist in training sales staff on new products, existing products, as well as marketing and sales strategies being implemented
  • Work with outside direct marketing consultants as needed

Required Skills, Experience and Characteristics

  • Passion for omni-channel marketing and eCommerce
  • Strong technology skills, including proficiency in Excel, Word, Outlook and Google Analytics
  • Must have strong knowledge and experience with web analytical tools and interfaces (Google Analytics)
  • Knowledge and experience with order entry and eCommerce platforms a plus
  • Strong depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in SEO, SEM and mobile
  • Social and/or mobile marketing experience a plus
  • Ability to successfully organize, prioritize and manage multiple projects on a day-to-day basis in a deadline and margin conscious environment
  • Candidate will stay up to date on emerging trends in eCommerce marketing strategies and technologies

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Allan for additional information 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.

PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (through us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.

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Harry Joiner

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