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One of the coolest analytics jobs around!
HARRY’S COMMENTS: Great opportunity with a well loved brand. Outstanding compensation package, but I won’t get into that here. For this posting, I chose the following video just because I liked the song.
See if this doesn’t get stuck in your head …
Anyway, everyone knows Vera Bradley, the iconic creator of fashionable and functional handbags, travel and accessories products. The firm designs its own products in-house at the company’s US corporate headquarters and manufactures overseas. The firm’s main distribution center is also on the Roanoke, Indiana campus. in addition to more than 120 full-line and factory retail stores. On the wholesale side of its business, the firm has more than 1500 specialty accounts in addition to marketing through key accounts such as Dillards, Macy’s, QVC and more.
On top of all that, the firm maintains an extremely healthy online retail business.
Vera Bradley’s online retail site was launched in 2006 to serve primarily as a liquidation channel for its wholesale business. (Prior to having physical stores, Vera Bradley was primarily a wholesaler.) However, as the firm launched its own retail stores, the website began to carry full price merchandise as well as its liquidation inventory. Today, even though Vera Bradley’s online retail business has been very transactionally oriented, the firm must maintain an intelligent balance between brand and commerce.
Vera Bradley is striving to develop a ‘digital brand flagship’ online, which embodies the brand and tells its product story – yet can operate as a profitable standalone business.. This dual focus, smartly executed, has resulted in e-commerce sales that, in percentage terms, are higher than the industry average.
But here’s why this is such a critical role for Vera Bradley:
The firm’s core consumer is changing. She’s changing her tastes. She’s changing how she thinks, and how (and why) she shops. She’s introducing more devices to her relationship with Vera Bradley and she’s adding much more complexity to the firms marketing mandate. She loves to buy, but she hates to be sold. As she changes, so does the essence of the Vera Bradley brand.
Changes in the brand demand a different – and better – digital experience.
Now, I’m not about to get into a lengthy discussion about what Vera Bradley knows about its customer. It knows a lot, and we’re happy to share what the client shared with us with qualified candidates. For now, simply understand that in this role you will be serving first as a “normal” web analyst — focused on reporting on marketing initiatives (sources of traffic, digital KPI’s, the relationship between paid, earned, and owned media, etc).
The second – and as equally important part of the job – involves supporting Vera Bradley’s user experience team, increasing their understanding of events on the website. This will involve testing, performing standard funnel analysis, and improving the team’s understanding of the things it should be doing on the website. Currently, this work is getting done as a part-time jobs held by different individuals. Management is getting the data, but they’re not getting in-depth analysis.
That’s a problem.
Additionally, management could use a bit more information on user behavior. The idea is to have this position shed light on the customer experience on the website. Beyond that, there’s quite a bit of tagging that needs to happen in light of Vera Bradley’s pending re-platforming. Ideally, management would like to have this new hire provide best practices on tagging for the benefit of everyone.
Bottom line: Vera Bradley’s digital team needs someone who knows how to pull data, run reports, and set up experiments to effectively measure the performance of particular features. Additionally, this role will involve providing thoughtful analysis of the data, prepared in a hypothesis driven way.
Here’s an example of you being a rock star in this role:
- YOU: Hi Tom. We have a problem with conversion rates on the site. So I designed a test and conducted some analysis. Here was my hypothesis … Here’s how I set up the test … Here were my variables … Here’s the data the test yielded … Here’s my analysis … The numbers say this, but this is what the numbers really mean. And here’s why. Here’s my recommendation … What do you think?
- TOM: Great work! The CEO and I are playing golf this Saturday. Why don’t you join us?
Sounds great, doesn’t it? You’re probably wondering how you can hit the ground running in this role. Well, there are a few ways. At the end of 100 days, would love it if you could …
- Do an audit of what web reporting the firm is currently using. What data should Vera Bradley evaluating, or reviewing more frequently? What web reporting is Vera Bradley not running, and should be reviewing immediately? What web reporting is Vera Bradley running that shouldn’t be run at all? Why?
- Work to build out a user experience dashboard, which assesses the performance of specific features on the site. (I’m happy to offer ideas to qualified applicants.)
- Get up to speed on Vera Bradley‘s site redesign and re-platforming project. Obviously, would like you to drive the requirements around tagging and reporting on the new site, and you can expect to be a ground-floor architect for the analytics function as it pertains to the new site (being built by Razorfish, btw).
As always, my team and I spent quite a while on the phone with this role’s hiring committee exploring this opportunity and teasing out exactly what the new Web Analytics Manager must do to “win” in the role. Yet for competitive reasons I’m not going to get too granular here.
I’m happy to discuss everything I’ve heard, seen, and researched about those things with qualified candidates. You definitely don’t want to apply without this intel, so let me hook you up.
Simply TEXT [your name + “Vera Bradley”] to me at (404) 281-2025. Or simply apply online below. Either way, I look forward to chatting with you!
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop advanced, efficient reporting processes for website performance as it relates to digital marketing programs, creative execution and user interface design elements.
- Proactively report on graphics placement, content, click-through, conversion, entry and exit pages, time spent per visit, and other metrics that can help drive creative decisions
- Analyze site content and product performance and recommend adjustments for business trends and seasonal transitions
- Analyze marketing tactics to maximize sales and margin opportunities
- Develop and maintain reporting activities on core systems including web analytics, competitive tracking, email and affiliate portals to leverage data effectively for the ecommerce business
- Present visual analytical reports to the Digital Creative team on an ongoing basis, both digitally and during collaborative brainstorm meetings
EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or related field preferred
- 4+ years digital or retail analysis and reporting experience
- Digital media experience with familiarity with web publishing, digital media and related technology integration
- Corporate communication and/or marketing experience, with emphasis on digital marketing
- Strong appreciation for web design, branding, digital marketing, user experience, information architecture, typography and color
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES
- Excellent written, and verbal communication skills with the proven ability to communicate with all levels across the organization
- Collaborative, while able to influence and persuade
- Strong team player with the ability to build and maintain good rapport with both internal and external customers to handle situations with confidence and tact
- Exceptional organizational skills with demonstrated ability to prioritize workload, and concurrently manage multiple projects
- Flexible, adaptable with the demonstrated ability to work under pressure in a fast paced environment
- Ability to make decisions within guidelines and policies impacting a range of standard and non-standard matters
- Able to solve complex problems with the ability to take a new perspective on existing solutions
- Ability to apply best practice and industry knowledge to improve products or processes
- High level of analytical thinking and attention to detail
- Strong understanding of digital channels, trends and user behaviors
- In depth knowledge of third-party web analytics tools (IBM Coremetrics, Adobe SiteCatalyst, Google Analytics, etc.)
- Working knowledge of promotion and marketing strategies
- Proficiency utilizing Microsoft Office software
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