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We are working with Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies in their search for a Director of Marketing. MHWS is a rapidly growing ecommerce and retail supplier of high demand specialty consumer products with leading position in the homebrewing and winemaking industry.

As a member of the leadership team, the Director of Marketing will develop and execute marketing plans and define strategic direction for marketing and branding. The Director of Marketing will execute tactical marketing and communications programs using traditional and electronic media, including online, email, social, direct / catalog, advertising and media.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: There are some companies who acquire a customer to make a sale. There are others, the smart ones, who make a sale to acquire a customer. The difference has to do with the lifetime value of an optimized customer and how far negative (if necessary) the smart company must go to acquire it.

Naturally, the difference between the long-lived smart companies and the short-lived ones has to do with how accurate each is in determining how little negative each must go and how long each can maintain a happy, profitable customer. Doing this requires the mind of an actuarial.

Midwest Supplies seeks a multichannel marketing “actuarial.”

Midwest Supplies is an IR-500 supplier of homebrewing and winemaking supplies. The company makes its money by selling home brewing and winemaking supplies, including the equipment, bottles, and ingredients. It acquires customers in a variety of ways, and it cultivates relationships with them over a long period of time so that when customers are ready to make their next batch of beer or wine, they return to Midwest Supplies.

“The Home Depot of the homebrewing space.

Home brewers and vintners are a rabid subculture: They are mostly males in their early 40s, but this can vary. They tend to be well-educated, have good incomes, and appreciate a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives. They devote personal time to their hobbies, and they brew because they love it.

Brothers and sisters:  If you have never tasted high quality homebrew, you don’t know what you are missing. It will change your life.

Not your average ecommerce job.

When I was contacted about this search by David Kidd, Midwest Supplies’ new CEO, I imagined it would be a garden-variety search for a candidate whose primary strengths were in online customer acquisition. But after speaking at length with David, I now realize that this role calls for a channel agnostic marketer – someone who sees the online medium as one way (of many) to bond with the customer.

In short, David seeks an accomplished marketer who can identify new opportunities to drive revenue from Midwest Supplies’ OLD customers while using the most cost-effective means of acquiring profitable NEW ones.  This goes way beyond improving the ROAS of the company’s current AdWords programs.

Consider that there are basically 4 verticals of media:

  1. Print: Magazines, Newspapers, Books, etc.
  2. Broadcast: TV and Radio
  3. Online: Paid, Organic, Social and Affiliate
  4. Direct mail

In the hundreds of searches I have managed, I have seen the smartest marketers integrate these media, like taking a number of strands of twine and weaving them together into a very strong rope. Multistep, multimedia marketing systems are the engines of successful businesses. You don’t have to use all of the channels — just the ones that improve the mix. Test small, and double down on the media and messages that work.

David Kidd seeks someone who can bring this mentality to Midwest Supplies.

Certainly, the successful candidate can have a strong comfort level with the online medium, but they can’t have a bias towards it. Only the customer can.  As Midwest Supplies’ new Director of Marketing, you’ll need to sell to each customer the way each customer wants to buy. Individually. Whenever. Wherever, if possible.

You will need to understand where each customer is in his lifecycle, and offer cross-sells and up-sells based on his history, current preferences, and even seasonal factors. You’ll need to manage the marketing budget and understand where and why the company must allocate its resources.

Additionally, you will need to analyze the company’s marketing systems and ask “Do we have the right systems to accomplish our goals?” Finally, you will be responsible for optimizing the company’s allocation of internal versus external resources, ie: “Are the things that are central to the company’s value proposition also Midwest Supplies’ core competencies? If not, why not?”

In this great role, you will report directly to David Kidd, who bought the company last year. The firm has 80 employees, along with a wonderful culture, a great benefits package, and unlimited vacation.  As if you’d need a vacation from marketing and brewing beer!

Position Description:

Reporting to the CEO, you will drive profitable revenue growth by planning, coordinating, and executing direct to consumer marketing activities. While your experience with the client’s existing channels (online, PPC, SEO, email, mobile, catalog, retail, print) is important, your flexibility and ability to adapt and learn new channels is highly valued. Leadership and teamwork are critical parts of this role, as is a highly analytical orientation. You will know how to measure your activities and insist on using data to optimize decisions. You will also be the guardian of the client’s brand and the budgetary gatekeeper for all marketing activities.

Job Responsibilities:

Planning: Develop the marketing business plan. Select activities that fit MHWS’ marketing strategy, deliver the highest ROI, and drive profitable revenue growth. Maintain the marketing calendar and coordinate with vendors, operations, and purchasing. Prepare for contingencies and use milestones to review performance and shift resources accordingly.

Leadership: Lead all marketing efforts and promote a productive and fun work environment that fosters teamwork, data based decision making, and marketing excellence.

Execution: Deliver results based on the marketing plan, working with the marketing team and vendors. Run A-B and multi-variant testing to optimize direct to consumer marketing. Seamlessly coordinate and communicate all activities. Work closely with IT.

Analysis: Track all marketing efforts by activity, business line, and customer segments. Manage the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing plans and projects. Prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting on all of the company’s marketing activities and the results of these activities.

Budgeting: Prepare a comprehensive annual budget to fund all recommended marketing activities. Track results (expenses and ROI) monthly, analyzing variances and making changes to meet objectives. Creatively shift resources to pursue new opportunities as they arise.

Brand Management: Enforce written, visual, and virtual brand standards vigorously. Enhance MHWS’ image across all channels, maintaining its values and authenticity with customers at all times. Be the liaison with representatives of media and advertising, as well as MHWS’ marketing vendors.

Research: Perform customer surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather customer intelligence as necessary. Conduct industry and competitor research to refine marketing strategy.


  • Bachelor degree in marketing or business required; advanced degrees or certifications a plus.
  • 7+ years of marketing experience, preferably within a direct marketing, consumer oriented ecommerce or multichannel environment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and success in market segmentation, opportunity analysis, business modeling, and product strategy.
  • Excellent analytical abilities and mathematical orientation required.
  • Knowledge of Magento, Mail Chimp, Abode Photoshop, and HTML a plus.
  • Outstanding written, verbal, and visual communication skills.
  • Brand management oversight a plus.
  • Strong computer skills and technology orientation – an active user of social media.
  • Creative and data oriented problem solver; detail oriented with outstanding organization skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and a leader.

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Harry Joiner for a packet of market research and company / competitive intel 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.

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