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One of the coolest VP Ecommerce jobs around!
HARRY’S COMMENTS: We are working with Beyond Proper by Boston Proper (as the exclusive recruiter of record) in their search for a VP of Marketing and Ecommerce based in Boca Raton, FL.
Boston Proper was founded in 1992 and made a name for itself as a specialty retailer of high-end women’s apparel and accessories. The primary purpose of the company is to inspire women to be “fearlessly feminine, enviably chic, and possess the poise and confidence to Wear It Like No One Else®.”
The brand emphasizes an iconic, classy and sexy aesthetic, delivering on-trend styles with age-appropriate fits that cultivate glamour and inspire individuality. The company’s catalog and website have long transcended the page with an aesthetic and feeling that is aspirational, exotic and uniquely personal. While times and technology have evolved the brand over the years, its passion and dedication remain unchanged.
In January 2016, Brentwood completed its acquisition of Boston Proper in partnership with management. Recently the firm renamed itself “Beyond Proper” because, as CEO Sheryl Clark explains matter-of-factly, “We’re not from Boston. We never have been, and we knew it was time for a name that fully embodies our beloved brand.”
Let’s talk about Sheryl …
I really appreciate it when a CEO gives me 90 minutes of her undivided attention for a search’s intake call. My first draft of this posting showcased Sheryl’s quick witted and thoughtful answers the 18 questions I had carefully prepared for our call.
Then I thought: Why give Sheryl’s competitors so much competitive intelligence? So I cut down my draft to just include my questions. But then I thought why give MY competitors so much free intelligence?
What you see below is my final draft — which is really bare-bones by my standards.
Candidates, you’ll just have to take my word for it: My intel packet for this search is just insane. There’s nearly 60 pages of printed material included, everything from ecommerce research to apparel industry research to company specific research. Not to mention a recap of my call with Sheryl (which I will only share by phone).
For now, here’s what I can share with you about your new boss …
Pretty awesome, right?
One look at this video and it’s obvious that Beyond Proper by Boston Proper is focused on empowering women with a conviction that confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can wear; and that style is defined by attitude, not age. I have several Beyond Proper women in my life – and they’re kindred spirits – each in their own way. The company has a proven, unique and compelling merchandise strategy backed by a passionate, action oriented team.
There’s an old saying that “People buy products and join brands.”
That saying applies here. Beyond Proper’s brand personality is daring, distinctive, sexy, sophisticated and above all else – unforgettable. The brand’s promise is to curate for its college educated, active, feminine, stylish, independent, well-traveled, and time-constrained audience a line of diverse and distinctive pieces they won’t find elsewhere. The opportunities to grow the business include developing new channels of distribution, driving sales on social media, partnering, co-promotions, and even guerrilla marketing.
Beyond Proper by Boston Proper has yet to see its best days.
Not sure if you saw it, but last week Prof. Scott Galloway of NYU authored a great blog post about how important it is for companies to nurture committed, long-term relationships with their customers. As always, Prof. Galloway’s logic was pretty compelling – especially for the apparel brands.
There’s a consensus that 2016 / 2017 were extremely challenging for the fashion industry. But now the fashion industry seems to have turned a corner. Mainstream customers are moving into a decisive phase of digital adoption, which is great news for apparel brands. Having said that, modern consumers expect a consistent brand experience across channels and have high expectations of customer experience while scrutinizing convenience, price, quality, and newness.
Consumers are much less brand loyal than they used to be, with two-thirds of millennials saying they would switch brands for a discount of 30% or more. Even wealthy shoppers are more pecuniary than they used to be.
Additionally, shoppers now base their purchase decisions on whether a company’s practices and mission align with their values, which increases the importance of a brand’s work with charities. Beyond Proper’s audience is no different in it wants it all: Convenience, quality, newness, price, and values orientation.
As Beyond Proper’s new Vice President of Marketing and Ecommerce, it will fall to you to keep the audience engaged in resource friendly, brand accretive ways while using analytics and customer insights to meet their needs and increase responsiveness. Translation: The pressure is ON.
About the Role
Every day you will be responsible for creating and driving the acquisition and retention strategy at Beyond Proper by Boston Proper, including developing, creating, executing and measuring digital marketing initiatives tied to the company Email/CRM program, prospecting marketing, search, digital display, social media, circulation and contact strategy and all ecommerce initiatives at BostonProper.com.
And lest we forget: you will be responsible for the company’s print catalog, which drops 11x per year. Your catalog must make Beyond Proper’s audience feel good when they buy; have an atmosphere they like; make them feel comfortable; always have a good merchandise selection; make them feel appreciated; and make ordering easy with every option – call center, mail, desktop, smartphone, etc.
To win in this ecommerce job, you will need an up-to-date knowledge of social media (especially Facebook / Instagram) given the amount of apparel category traffic generated by influencers.
It will fall to YOU to build an ROI-driven marketing strategy that introduces the brand to new prospective customers, deepens the customer relationship across online and offline channels to encourage repeat purchase, and drives incremental sales through optimized contact management.
Your other duties and responsibilities will include …
- Executing a CRM strategy that segments the brand’s audiences and enables best-in-class digital marketing to drive sales and customer loyalty while maintaining engagement and minimizing email unsubscribes
- Partnering with the team to optimize media spend and contact strategy across channels. This will mean using CRM and BI tools to identify merchandising opportunities and customer lifetime value dynamics.
- Developing / executing on an innovative digital marketing plan, including creating budgets, choosing partners, customer acquisition, search-engine optimization, paid search, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. The whole ball-O-wax.
- Working closely with Finance / FP&A to determine optimal marketing spend and ROI.
- Selecting and managing agency relationships; assessing build vs buy for technology and marketing agency decisions.
- Reviewing business trends, sites and customer metrics to optimize digital spend, user experience, conversions and business performance.
- Partnering with internal brand and creative teams to deliver consistent brand messaging.
- Aligning with Merchandising to ensure that digital marketing campaigns are informed by the latest trends, promotions, and best-selling products.
You won’t believe how much we know about this search …
We spent a ton of time on the phone with this client teasing out exactly what you’ll need to KNOW and DO to hit the ground running in this role. Some of the things we can share with highly qualified candidates include …
- The “real” background requirements for this position, along with the top five things all resumes MUST have to be considered for the role.
- The top five problems that exist due to this position being open. These are the little brush fires you will be expected to put out during your first month on the job. Every job has these — and this one’s no different.
- What your average day / week will look like in this role. There’s what you read in the standard job posting … then there’s reality. We’ve got the reality.
- The leading and lagging KPI’s that will determine your success in this role. In a nutshell: How you keep score.
- The major projects you’ll need to complete by Day 100 to be considered a home-run in this position. We’ve got the lowdown on how you can plug-and-play and drive REAL value in this job.
Again: I have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. My industry research for this VP Ecommerce job is nearly 60 pages! Be sure to TEXT Harry Joiner at (404) 281-2025 for this info. Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.
- Build and shape a highly effective word class Marketing / Ecommerce organization.
- Partner with President, COO, CCIO and CMO BA to architect and continually update and optimize integrated marketing strategy.
- Develop, implement and manage all aspects of the company’s marketing strategy, with a focus on customer acquisition and retention, website analytics and experience, CRM and social media.
- Serve as a liaison and primary point of contact within the Marketing organization for cross functional partners acting as a project manager to evaluate, prioritize, develop, manage, implement and test Marketing initiatives.
- Manage all aspects of web analytics related to Marketing and communicates relevant information to team members, executive leadership and cross-functional partners. Communicates strategies and results to senior management on a consistent basis
- Partner with key cross-functional teams to ensure all relevant organizational goals and implications are factored into Marketing projects.
- Support and amplify larger brand initiatives with digital programs
- Foster a culture of continuous optimization by developing and implementing a strong framework for fast, recurring and iterative testing.
- Lead marketing analytic strategy across devices and channels to develop an actionable 360 degree view of the customer
- Generate innovation ideas for marketing, digital commerce technology, customer experience and other areas in order to grow profitable sales and improve the firm’s competitive advantage.
- Experience in web and usability principles, including A/B and multivariate testing
- Analyze and assess the effectiveness of all existing operations and current needs based on new technology and market competition
- Oversee re-development of websites to reflect key brand concepts, and maintain brand identity on an ongoing basis.
- Direct website enhancements to improve conversion, including visualization tools, personalization, and a Content Management System. Maximize website design and content for search engine optimization.
- Develop overall e-commerce and marketing strategies that create annual and long term business and revenue plans.
- Identify promotions, content, advertising and contact strategies to develop customers at a predefined acquisition cost or contribution, and to maximize contribution per customer over the customer lifecycle.
- Develop business plan and annual budget for e-commerce function. Manages the e-commerce budget and partners with circulation to exceed revenue and company-wide profit targets.
- Define mid and long-term road map for taxonomy, features and functionality to improve the user experience.
- Drive best practices for e-commerce opportunities, processes and tools through continuous learning, keeping abreast of ecommerce trends and innovation.
- Map out the operations plan to support this growth for the firm’s commerce business, including infrastructure, software, and logistics.
- Degree in Marketing with a focus in Digital Marketing and Ecommerce experience
- 7+years’ Marketing and Digital Marketing experience at well-known digital/media/e-commerce Companies with expertise in brand building, public relations, and brand storytelling
- Extensive knowledge of and passion for Digital Marketing Best Practices that result in customer acquisition, retention and growth and managing a marketing P&L
- Knowledge of search engine optimization, mobile marketing and performance marketing
- Outstanding analytical skills, strong experience interpreting test results & drawing conclusions and able to define metrics, instrument their measurement, and lead a team to hit them
- Demonstrated strong business judgment and decision-making skills; ability to identify, prioritize, and articulate highest impact initiatives
- Knowledge of search engine optimization, mobile marketing and performance marketing
- Experience and interest in working with small teams in a creative and entrepreneurial environment, a thoughtful coach and manager who loves helping your team grow, collaborate, and achieve more together
- Prior fashion experience not required, but must have an interest in fashion
- Comfortable in start-up mode (ambiguity, frugality, etc.) and ability to excel in a high-growth, entrepreneurial culture that requires teamwork and significant interaction with employees at all levels
- Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills; strong multitasker with the ability to work effectively under tight deadlines in a stressful environment. Ability to juggle several assignments simultaneously
- Intellectual curiosity, innovative thinker
- Strong passion for testing, data and metrics, curiosity and belief in discovering insights in data
- Functioning understanding of digital marketing technology, including advertising and marketing technologies requesting and prioritizing internal technology projects
- Excellent quantitative and analytical skills – use and analyze data to inform media strategies and optimizations
- Proven leadership & strategic skills; strong collaborator; excellent organizational and project management skills
Applications for this email marketing job are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to email Harry 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.