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We are working with Marriott International in their search for a Director of On-Site Marketing and Merchandising based in Bethesda, MD.

HARRY'S COMMENTS: There are four trends that will support the explosive growth of ecommerce over the next ten years: Mobile, Local, Social, and Global. Marriott has significant initiatives in each one of those areas — and the company's culture is a model of diversity and internationalism. Check out this video of Marriott's success in Sao Paulo, where the firm's multi-local (as opposed to multi-national) approach to hospitality is paying off … is an incredibly successful website: It's one of the top ten U.S. ecommerce sites, in terms of revenue, and a very significant portion of Marriott's room nights are sold online. SEO accounts for a large part of Marriott's traffic — but email and PPC are critically important as well. Marriott's Vice President of Global eCommerce Marketing, Andy Kauffman, has a ton of edgy ideas about the role of search in the firm's marketing mix, as well as how Marriott should merchandise its services on the web and to its 35 million Rewards members. Andy's the hiring manager.

Working in ecommerce for Marriott provides executives with the feel of working in an innovative technology division backed by a larger global company. What's especially great about Marriott is that it has a broadly diverse culture that embraces change. The team oversees six different international sites, and the web team is hungry to swipe, test, and integrate the ecommerce industry's best practices — regardless of the source.

Inspiration can come from anywhere.

Marriott is looking for an established, creative merchant who can translate proven retail practices into the hotel world. The ideal candidate must understand the art and science of online merchandising and be able to build strong internal relationships so that industry best practices are adopted. Basically, you've gotta know how to "work the building."

For the ideal candidate, that means having a keen sense of profitability and merchandising optimization. It means being process-driven and having a methodology for getting the right product in front of the right customer. It means being able to blend hard data and one's knowledge of consumer behavior to develop a unique merchandising experience. And finally, it means being able to leverage tools like Endeca and Omniture's Test and Target to create measurable and sustainable incremental revenue improvements.

It can be incredibly difficult to differentiate a hotel brand online. But it's certainly possible. As the Director of Ecommerce Marketing and Merchandising, you'll get to bring your world-class analytics chops to bear on a host of consumer behavior issues as attempts to diversify its online business, adopt better personalization technologies, and double-down in under-served and or under-promoted markets.

Please Tweet this job, and you'll be automatically entered into our monthly drawing. Just do it and see what happens: 2010 prizes included $100 Amazon gift certs, Dean & Deluca steaks, and Keurig coffee machines …

Position Description:

The Director, On-site Marketing & Merchandising will lead a team focused on growing conversion and revenue per customer through 1) better matching supply and demand utilizing web analytics, 2) employing proven eCommerce and merchandising best practices, and 3) identifying new ancillary revenue opportunities.

This role will be accountable for on-site marketing and merchandising on and its global sister sites. Balancing web analytics, customer research and internal business needs, he/she will recommend strategies and build internal buy-in. This associate will have at least two direct reports and will be required to partner with many cross-functional teams in order to achieve his/her goals.

Mind the Store

  • Analyze daily site performance
  • Identify and regularly communicate key performance indicators (i.e. bounce rate, funnel conversion) for and all of the global sites.
  • Create hypothesis for variations observed and develop recommendations for improvements.
  • Direct pathway analysis and revenue optimization cross functional teams
  • Work in close coordination with the User Experience and Measurement & Analysis teams to identify highly trafficked site paths as well as opportunities for improvement within them.
  • Drive revenue optimization activities, partnering with User Research / Experience and Development teams to implement a programmatic approach, actively participating in the analysis of results, and evangelizing its impact.
  • Optimize product performance
  • Monitor, steer, and communicate demand trends and source / destination market performance while illustrating the impact on the overall performance of the Marriott websites
  • Influence site content based on demand trends and partner with Online Acquisition marketing team to effectively drive high converting traffic to appropriate site content.
  • Create & Maintain Marketing Plans
  • Identify optimal touch-points and targeting strategies for messaging to the user base
  • Partner with Brand & Marketing organizations within Marriott International (at both corporate and field levels) to evangelize, prioritize and execute on-site marketing opportunities
  • Share applicable learnings and recommend opportunities for Ritz-Carlton eCommerce.

Manage Ancillary Revenue Streams

  • Improve the existing ancillary products program in partnership with other eCommerce teams
    • Identify opportunities to expand the portfolio of products offered and track results
    • Monitor and optimize the ancillary selling site experience to maximize revenue
  • Define the business case and champion the implementation for new programs designed to maximize non-hotel revenue per visitor.
    • Act as main stakeholder in technology implementation and site design projects
    • Identify and manage agency partners and outsourced vendor solutions as necessary
    • Design and implement ongoing scalable operational models as needed
  • Collaborate across product strategy, product development, marketing, and revenue management teams to maximize opportunities.

Lead Merchandising Initiatives

  • Serve as the eCommerce champion for cross-functional merchandising initiatives.
  • Lead the business case and guide the implementation of advanced merchandising capabilities to more effectively match supply and demand.
  • Define and implement innovations that improve the customer shopping experience and revenue per visitor.
  • Act as a key contributor and stakeholder in the requirements for larger enhancements to
  • Participate in cross-functional working teams on the definition and optimization of post-reservation, online customer communications.

Manage team

  • Lead a team of talented individual contributors managing the retail operations of the websites.

Position Requirements:

  • Hands-on experience in direct to consumer marketing communications, ideally in the retail and/or "eCommerce" space.
  • Demonstrated ability in product lifecycle management
  • Proven skill in leading and working across multiple and distinct functional organizations (e.g., IT, International, Marketing) in support of specific business priorities
  • Demonstrated comfort with Web Analytics or similar retail store reporting
  • Effective written and oral communications skills, with particular sensitivity to global communication needs.
  • Demonstrates self confidence, energy and enthusiasm.
  • Ability to solve problems quickly, think creatively, and satisfy Internet speed-to-market requirements.
  • Thrives in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, but within a large, complex business.
  • Ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects.
  • Team player that works well with counterparts from various functions/departments and has the ability to influence the work of counterparts without direct reporting accountability
  • 6-8 years of experience, with 3-5 years in online space desired
  • College degree in Marketing, International Business or related field.
  • MBA and/or previous eCommerce / Online retail experience preferred.

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to ask Harry for packet #1344 of market research and company / competitive intel that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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