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Now then: We are currently working with ShopNBC.com to find a Director of Mobile and Emerging Technologies to join their team in Eden Prairie, MN.

ShopNBC is a multichannel electronic retailer offering brands and products that are meaningful, unique and relevant to thier customers. ShopNBC has a strong presence in television home shopping and on the Internet, where they are positioned as the premium lifestyle brand. Their merchandise extends across many categories, making ShopNBC the destination and authority for home, fashion, beauty and electronics.

ShopNBC is the third largest television home shopping network in the United States and is a leader in upscale television home shopping. The shopping network is available in 76 million homes through analog and digital cable as well as on DirecTV (channel 316) and Dish Network (channel 228).  Here’s their YouTube channel, and if you want to see what’s cooking right now — here’s ShopNBC’s live stream.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: By now, everyone knows that the future of ecommerce will be driven substantially by mobile. Currently, there are 1 billion Internet users worldwide. Yet there are 4 billion cell phones in use, only 5% of which are web enabled. Naturally, in the next 5 years, as today’s mobile phones become obsolete, smart phone use will explode. Already, Google’s Android boss, Andy Rubin, reports that Android activations are currently running at 500,000 per day.

The implications of that trend for online retailers are obvious. Around the world, where governments have long controlled the national telecom infrastructure, the number of land lines has constrained internet adoption. With mobile, that’s no longer an issue.  The vast majority of consumers who buy online will be doing it through a mobile interface.

What that means for ecommerce executives remains to be seen: Are the same executives who manage a company’s ecommerce business the same ones who will manage its m-commerce initiatives? Often, but not always. And is the way a company sells online the same way it should approach its mobile business? It depends.

According to Tom Kraus, ShopNBC’s Vice President of Commerce and Content, the thought process for mobile marketing is basically the same as it is for online marketing. In ShopNBC’s case, all of the same metrics would apply: Monthly Uniques / Average Order Value / and Conversion Rate.

The challenge lies in the relative immaturity of the mobile channel. The main difference between mobile and online is the question of where do you develop in terms of the platform? BlackBerry? iPhone? Android? iPad?  (Or any one of the iPad’s top ten competitors? …)

ShopNBC needs someone who can read the tea leaves and determine the platform(s) on which the firm should develop. And that’s what makes this job so strategically cool.

ShopNBC’s new Director Mobile and Emerging Technologies (that’s you …) will define the company’s mobile strategy. According to Mr. Kraus, ShopNBC’s success will come from cultivating customer relationships across multiple marketing channels: TV, direct mail, the web, social media, the call center, and so forth.

Although I am not in a position to discuss actual numbers, I have heard the math and there is an unbelievable revenue opportunity in turning mobile customers into multichannel customers. Mobile’s greatness lies in its ability to place transactional ecommerce brand within arm’s length of the consumer anyplace, anytime. This position will involve figuring out how to create engagement for customers across all ShopNBC marketing channels in a way that increases in their lifetime value to the firm.

I’m not talking about theory here. I have seen the way my wife uses her iPad when she watches ShopNBC, QVC, and JTV. She is better informed, she’s in her comfort zone, and she spends more. That’s a fact.

As usual, I have a ton of confidential information about this search, and I will be happy to share it with qualified candidates. What I can tell you is that this is an incredibly high-growth career opportunity with a wonderful company, working for people who are both smart and likable. It is not essential that you have mobile experience to apply for this role, but it would sure help.

To hit the ground running, you will need to make strategic mobile commerce decisions very quickly. For example, some of the critical “first 100-days” decisions will involve architecture:

  1. What’s the value of a live proxy environment (versus the alternatives)?
  2. Which environment will facilitate more social interaction?
  3. Which environment will provide more interesting ways to view content and integrate with Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  4. What are the best ways to benchmark best-in-class mobile applications, and which types of mobile apps will allow the ShopNBC customer to better relate to the brand?
  5. And so on.

If you can get your arms around those issues, then we’d love for you to apply for this role. The official job posting appears below.

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 Overview:

The Director Mobile and Emerging Technologies partners in the development of and executes the strategy for ShopNBC.com mobile initiatives.  Key responsibilities include formulating mobile application and mobile website strategies, mobile content and presentation strategy, Mobile video deployment strategy, and oversight of implementation mobile initiatives, along with mobile website and application operations to support these initiatives.

This individual is also responsible for vendor selection, vendor contracting and negotiation, along with oversight and strategy for the program.  This individual partners closely with the ShopNBC.com Content Team and IT team to integrate mobile website technology enhancements to support strategic direction of ShopNBC.com.  

Success Attributes: 

  • Strategic, out of the box thinker
  • Mobile and Ecommerce expertise
  • Results oriented leader 
  • Analytic 
  • Team player

Essential Functions:

Principle Accountabilities & Authorities:

  • Executes the strategic direction for ShopNBC mobile initiatives. 
  • Direct and oversee Mobile and Application development
  • Direct and oversee mobile content
  • In coordination with online content team, develop impactful mobile promotions to drive traffic & sales via the mobile website
  • Define mobile merchandising & content initiatives 
  • Serve as primary business owner for mobile technology initiatives
  • Manage and negotiate vendor contracts for mobile service providers 
  • Work with members of Interactive team to set priorities for mobile technology initiatives 
  • Define mobile business requirements for technology initiatives 
  • Oversee the creation of wire frames and functional specifications for mobile technology initiatives 
  • Provide project management to assure business goals are met 
  • Serve as a liaison to connect the mobile strategy and team with key corporate initiatives, e.g. corporate attributes project, color/size project, samples, legal conformance, etc. 
  • Serve as a catalyst to achieve systemic process improvement that will enhance mobile web delivery capabilities
  • Interface with online content team to design merchandising strategies that are consistent with promotional strategies. 
  • Staffing and recruiting 
  • Coaching and mentoring 
  • Set and maintain quality standards 
  • Problem solving – including cross-functional problem-solving to address company-wide and systemic issues. 
  • Drive overall improvement in top-line revenue and gross margin contribution 
  • Set key financial objectives 
  • Measurement of key business results


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Three to five years of ecommerce experience required.
  • One to three years mobile commerce experience required. 
  • Three to Five years of managerial experience preferred
  • Strong aptitude for software and thorough understanding of online technology required.

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to ask for the packet 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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