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We are working with the Vermont Country Store in their search for an Internet Marketing Manager, based in Manchester Center, VT. The Vermont Country Store (VCS), an Orton Family business, is a premier employer in South-Central Vermont with over 60 years of experience exciting and delighting customers and employees alike. The company focuses on “selling products that don’t come back to people who do.”
VCS catalogs, Web site, and stores are stocked to the rafters with a combination of more than 5,600 old-time products that are useful today, and brand name products that bring back memories and traditions. VSC is #279 on the Internet Retailer Top 300 list.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: I have worked with VCS on a number of occasions, and everyone in the organization is a pleasure to deal with. But a pleasing personality is no protection in the competitive world of e-commerce.
Vermont Country Store is a family-owned business founded in 1945, when Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalog – just 12 pages and 36 products, mailed to the folks on their Christmas card list. Decades later, the company is a highly successful multichannel retailer stores, a print catalog, a call center, and a transactional website.
As with most successful businesses, the basic concept behind VCS is pretty simple: Vermont Country Store is basically an old-timey general store which sells practical and “classic” hard-to-find products that will take you back to yesteryear or simplify your life. When I take a new search, one of the things I look for in a client is uniqueness.
There are so many companies within the Internet Retailer Top 500 that do the same thing, but that’s just not the case with Vermont Country Store. When I think of VCS, I’m reminded of marketing guru, Seth Godin, who has always believed that if you want to be remarked about in the marketplace, you must sell and do remarkable things. With a company mantra of “It’s all about the product,” VCS does that in spades and double.
Another thing I look for when taking a search is, “What kind of impact can my candidate have on the business?” Essentially, I want my candidates to have meaningful challenges to tackle so that they can build their reputations within the e-commerce industry. One of the challenges VCS faces is that of a rural, older customer.
For decades, VCS has been a very successful cataloger selling to people born in the 1940s and 50s. Those customers were very profitable and felt comfortable buying through a print catalog. But times are changing, and customer attrition in the older demographic has placed importance on making the business appeal to a younger crowd – and selling to the younger crowd the way it wants to buy: Online.
None of this means that the catalog is irrelevant. Far from it. In fact, the VCS catalog is a powerful differentiator which underscores its old-timey brand. Matchback issues aside, the catalog and the website have formed a powerful one-two punch to generate tens of millions of dollars in yearly sales. The company is in great shape, and the culture supports the online business 100%.
Candidates, if you want to go somewhere where you can make a difference in the next 2 to 3 years, I urge you to apply for this role. We want a person who is excited by positive change – both industry change and company change.
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 …
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Management and oversight of Internet Marketing Program & Operations
- Develop and optimize a comprehensive marketing plan through Internet channels such as: email, paid search, online advertising, social networking/Web 2.0-based programs, catalog/print bind ins/blow ins, support multi-channel coordination (e.g., catalog, retail).
- Build and execute a coordinated calendar of campaigns, events, offers and messages, collaborating closely with Product Team, E-Commerce Merchandising Ops, Catalog Marketing and Creative Teams.
- Drive the development of creative assets and tools needed to effectively communicate the VCS message to consumers.
- Work in close collaboration with VCS buying, planning, online merchandising and finance teams to achieve the group’s overall ecommerce business and financial goals.
- Ensure efficient and effective delivery of services by external marketing agencies, consultants and partners.
- Oversee the process of email and search operations. (Weekly builds of emails and other campaigns to be executed either internally or with outside resources.)
Reporting and Analysis:
- Develop a complete view of the revenue and profit contribution across all Internet marketing channels and perform ongoing assessment of traffic, conversion, sales and profitability from marketing campaigns.
- Build the business case for incremental Internet marketing investments and optimize the ROI from marketing vehicles, tactics, templates and content through data-driven analytics and testing.
- Collaborate with Catalog Marketing Team to develop customer segmentation and targeted campaigns.
- Drive expansion of VCS’s E-Commerce customer file and leverage it to drive rapid, profitable revenue growth.
- Work with E-Commerce Director and VCS Senior Management Team to help identify and prioritize strategic opportunities to drive growth, including brand building, promotional strategies, site functionality, business partnerships, product assortment, market expansion, etc.
- Optimize E-Commerce business processes to increase operating efficiency and enable increased focus on strategic, value-adding activities.
Other Skills, Abilities, Attributes:
- Ability to work with others and communicate trends in business and future sales forecasts. This includes ability to translate ‘numerical results’ and knowledge into clearly stated and communicated action plans and recommendations
- Demonstrate strong leadership, mentoring and development skills with an ability to motivate team and to’ think outside the box’
- Display strong negotiation, selling and ‘people relations’ skills
- Willingness to do hands-on work with a strong team environment
- Resourcefulness – able to generate cross-department enthusiasm and cooperation to accomplish required tasks.
- Strong math and analytical skills with attention to detail and knowledge of direct marketing metrics. Ability to compile relevant data, audit for accuracy, create summations of data and report conclusions and recommendations.
- Ability to be the in-house expert.
- 3+ years (non affiliate) online marketing with an emphasis on Email Marketing and Paid Search Marketing.
- 6-10 years combined experience in retailing, e-commerce, catalog and/or print marketing.
- Demonstrated ability to grow and build a business leveraging core processes and capabilities.
- Proven skills leveraging online analytics tools such as Omniture.
- Expertise in Email Campaign Management Tools and Best Practices.
- Successful track record of e-commerce management
- Able to develop strategies and plans for online programs targeted at building online success and profitability
- Expert experience working with and developing custom reports and metrics
- Experienced at developing financial plans and supporting documentation for the planning process.
UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS NOW CLOSED.