KANSAS CITY, MO – With more than 200 digital commerce searches each year, EcommerceRecruiter.com is the leading contingency-based executive search firm serving the Shop.org, Ad:Tech, and IR-500 communities. To opt-in to our popular “Ecommerce Job of the Day” email, click here. To invite Harry Joiner to connect on LinkedIn, use Harry.Joiner@EcommerceRecruiter.com
One of the coolest VP Ecommerce jobs around …
We are working with North America Savings Bank (“NASB”) in their search for a VP of Ecommerce based in Grandview, MO 64030. A locally-owned community bank with over $1 billion in assets, NASB has provided strong, conservative financial leadership for the Greater Kansas City area since 1927.
NASB offers a comprehensive line of retail banking products and services, and is proud to be one of the nation’s leading home mortgage lenders, funding nearly $10 billion in home loans since 2008. Located primarily in the Kansas City metropolitan area, NASB operates nine deposit branch locations, four residential loan origination offices (one serving Springfield, Missouri), and one residential construction loan origination office.
About the Role
NASB’s VP of Ecommerce is responsible for the implementation of the firm’s ecommerce strategy across all business lines and customer channels. The position will work closely with senior management to define strategic objectives for ecommerce and aid in developing platforms and marketing plans using ecommerce to increase revenue.
Additionally, NASB’s new VP of Ecommerce will collaborate with IT and Marketing to increase sales, improve customer experience, and provide accurate information and offerings and the means to act on them. This role will assure compliance with all applicable advertising and electronic regulatory compliance requirements and standards while ensuring ongoing testing of creative and landing pages.
NASB’s VP of Ecommerce will prepare periodic written analysis of channel usage, ROI, penetration, conversion and abandonment rates, funnel analysis, budget allocation, etc. for the benefit of senior officers while monitoring trends and analyzing potential risks and opportunities.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: If you’re reading this posing job posting, then it’s safe to assume that, on some level, you see yourself as a customer acquisition specialist. Congratulations! You couldn’t have chosen a more competitive field.
According to Linkedin Recruiter, there are 47,680 Linkedin members with the words “digital marketing” in their current job title. That’s not people who can DO digital marketing; those are folks who are currently card-carrying digital marketers. Similarly, there are 81,706 Linkedin members with the word “SEO” in their current titles and more than 12K members with the word Adwords.
Professionally speaking, customer acquisition is a very densely populated universe, and it’s really hard for the stars to shine through. Remember that as you read the rest of this post.
… One of the first things I look for in a search is “will the role be reputation enhancing for my candidate?” Like, in 3 – 5 years, will they be significantly better known in the industry as a thought leader and BUILDER of people and businesses.
Why do I care about that?
Because the average tenure in the Internet Retailer Top 500 is about three years. Meaning, people in the IR-500 get a new job roughly every 36 months. And every time they do, it’s usually for higher money. Since 2004, there are three executives in this industry I’ve placed three times – and every time I placed them they made substantially more money than they did the previous time I placed them.
Reputation enhancing roles allow ecommerce executives to trade up!
I know what you’re thinking (because I’ve closed +150 ecommerce searches and it’s my job to know what you’re thinking): “Harry, how could working for a bank in suburban Kansas City be reputation enhancing? I just don’t see it.”
That exactly what I thought until I heard the story behind the search. Put yourself in my shoes: I’m a contingency-based recruiter. Every search I take is on spec, and I don’t get paid until I close a search. The fact is, it’s not in my economic interest to takes searches that can’t be closed on the back of a really cool story.
So here’s the story behind this role:
NASB employs fewer than 500 folks, yet it packs a massive punch: The bank specializes in commercial and residential real estate lending, and last year NASB ranked 96th in America for residential real estate loans. I’ve got plenty of information on the number of loans, average loan size, and what percent of that business was done online.
Candidates, you’ll want to see that information. It’s amazing.
As background, companies in the mortgage banking industry lend money with real estate as collateral. Major companies include units of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo (all based in the US), as well as units of Barclays Bank (UK), BNP Paribas (France), and Deutsche Bank (Germany).
The US mortgage banking industry includes 7,000 individual financial institutions with 96,000 branch offices. (And then there are the non-FDIC insured mortgage lenders.) First Research puts the size of the industry at $70 billion. Demand for mortgages is driven by home sales and refinancing, and the 50 largest players generate about 75% of revenue. Although NASB competes very effectively against the industry giants, the volume of leads it buys from third-party sources is mind numbing.
Bottom line: NASB’s new VP of Ecommerce (YOU) will be considered successful to the extent you can reduce the firm’s dependency on these lead sources.
Again, when you see how many loans NASB closes, how many leads they bought, and what their average loan value is, you’ll understand the MASSIVE value you’ll create for NASB by bringing some or all of its mortgage lead gen function in house.
That success story will end up on your resume.
BUT: You will be the key architect for NASB’s multi-touch, multichannel lead gen and customer acquisition strategy. Think about what that might entail …
- Search engine optimization
- Cross-selling during the sales process
- Online chat, both proactive and reactive
- Product selection tools
- New customer on-boarding campaigns
- A/B testing of promotional offers
- Click to call initiatives
- Customer ratings and reviews
- and more.
Also, you should be aware that HOW your prospects buy mortgages can differ greatly by generation: Gen Z (18-23); Gen Y (24-32); Gen X (33-46); Young Boomers (47-56); Older Boomers (57-67); and Seniors (68/up).
YOU will design and manage the sales funnel for each of these cohorts – and each sub-segment within each of these cohorts. Each cohort will have different preferences (email, mobile, web, call center, etc) for how they want to be made AWARE of NASB’s offerings; how they’d like for their awareness to be converted into INTEREST; how they’d like to have their interest converted into DESIRE; and finally, how they’d like to take ACTION. Like so …
This is not just a simple customer acquisition role!
“To sell John Smith what John Smith buys, you must first see the world through John Smith’s eyes.” Bryan Eisenberg calls this Persuasion Architecture, and it’s what this job is about.
The acquisition of new customers will be the byproduct of your ability to …
- Design and execute reality-based strategies to fill NASB’s sales funnel and get prospects through it;
- Manage NASB’s underlying ecommerce infrastructure;
- Contribute materially to the bank’s website redesign and mobile commerce initiatives; and
- Scale a profitable digital business by building and leading a team of professionals with expertise in mobile, online sales, user experience, and multichannel analytics.
Should you apply for this role?
The obvious answer is YES if you are a business oriented, hypothesis driven, analytically biased, channel agnostic persuasion architect who wants to take your career to the next level by putting your stamp on a multi-billion dollar business.
In very short order, you will need to work with this rolled hiring manager and others to get an ecommerce acquisition plan built. These are smart, driven, entrepreneurial people. (They’re extremely nice, too.) They know what they want and they are looking for someone who can help them make that happen. They have lots of great ideas, and they want you to take what they’ve got and build on it.
You cannot be illiterate with regard to the underlying technologies. While you won’t have your hands in the dirt all day with regard to these technologies, neither can you be a Luddite. Beyond that, it’s essential that you be strategically literate and understand how to tease out the issues that I’ve outlined above.
Obviously, you’ll need to bring this initiative to life by aligning with the proper vendors in getting the contracts going. And finally, you’ll need to understand whether your benchmarks and metrics are headed in the right direction by leveraging NASB’s analytics package.
I would not have taken the search if I didn’t think someone could do this job. As I mentioned above, I don’t get paid if I can’t close a search. Not only is this job doable, but this role will be incredibly reputation enhancing for whoever can bring NASB’s customer acquisition initiatives in house. This is just the kind of thing bloggers and journalist write about.
Today, you’re a rock star. Tomorrow, everyone will know it.
Skills / Requirements
- College degree in business, marketing, or communications required; Master’s degree or equivalent experience is preferred.
- Three to five years of online marketing experience.
- Experience with usability and website functionality.
- Extensive experience with web analytics programs
- Effective business communication skills (both oral and written)
- Excellent time management and organizational skills – must be detail-oriented and thorough
- Excellent customer service skills
- Strong interpersonal communication skills; Ability to effectively interact with individuals in all areas of the bank
- Ability to develop and present information in varied mediums
- Sound judgment, analytical and decision-making abilities
- Effective management/supervisory skills
- Strong knowledge of social media channels, online applications, PPC, SEO, HTML, key wording, and web content creation.
- Ability to improve usage of online tools through enhanced site functionality, interfaces, and services to increase brand exposure and account acquisition.
UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.
PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (though us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.