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We are working with Colgate-Palmolive in their search for a Global Ecommerce Marketing Director based in New York City. The Colgate-Palmolive Company was founded in 1806. Colgate-Palmolive markets its products in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. With brands like Murphy® Oil Soap, Colgate®, Palmolive®, Softsoap®, Mennen®, and Ajax®, the company serves global customers with products in four major categories: oral care, personal care, home care, and pet nutrition.

These folks are smart, driven, hard-core internationalists.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: There was a time when companies could sell boatloads of product with a simple slogan. Remember “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should?”

Those days are gone.

Modern consumers have never been more cynical nor more empowered: At any given time there are between 50 and 200 different versions of Google’s core algorithm in the wild, handling more than 11 billion queries per month. Twitter serves up nearly 350 billion tweets per day, and there are nearly 1 billion Facebook users generating content for their friends and family. Worldwide, $73 billion was spent on Internet advertising last year, and cutting through the clutter is murder.

As Colgate-Palmolive’s new Global eCommerce Marketing Director, this is what you’re dealing with. If you can handle that, then read on …

This is our second ecommerce search for Colgate-Palmolive, one of the world’s most respected CPG companies. Our first search is ongoing, and you can read about it here. The Global eCommerce Marketing Director will report to Colgate’s VP of Global Advertising & Digital and will be responsible for helping Colgate-Palmolive’s brand managers around the world build brand equity online as well as motivate, incentivize, and reward purchase behavior.

Doing this will be a tall order given the size, scope, and dynamism of the client’s business: Colgate-Palmolive’s global revenues are $17 billion, and the firm manages a portfolio of well-known of brands in more than 200 countries and territories. Around the world, both digital marketing and ecommerce are evolving very quickly, and Colgate sees huge variations in different regions.

Initially, you will be part of the Global Digital team within the Global Marketing Organization, yet this will be an individual contributor role. You’ll need to be a self-starter who can create a vision and gain buy-in from others to accomplish what has never been done before.

You’ll work with people from all backgrounds, geographies, and business functions, so you must be smart and “relatable.” Meaning, you’ll need deep consumer marketing experience to complement your world-class digital marketing and ecommerce background. Take a look at how “the Next Elon Musk” (aka Jeff Bezos) manages this conversation with Charlie Rose. In terms of intelligence, approachability, and teachable point of view, this is what I’m looking for …

Moreover, it’s essential that you understand all areas of digital including mobile, social, and search since you will be one of Colgate-Palmolive’s internal experts on these things. This is not just about developing a direct-to-consumer online retail piece for Colgate-Palmolive …

… at least not necessarily.

It’s about helping Colgate-Palmolive sell more products in brand-friendly ways that are consistent with how the customer wants to relate to them. If that’s direct to consumer, so be it. But more likely Colgate-Palmolive will be building its business through its valued channel partners such as Amazon,,,, and Tesco in the UK.

In fairly short order, Colgate-Palmolive would expect you to 1.) Understand what the company has done previously, and 2.) Formulate a global strategy for how CP will market its products through ecommerce going forward. (How cool is that?) Such a strategy might involve addressing the following questions …

  1. Objectives: What are Colgate’s overall ecommerce goals, and which channel partners are involved? What types of online marketing will help accomplish Colgate’s goals?
  2. Audience: For each partner and product, who are CP’s customers, and what are their pain points, motivators to purchase, and other hot buttons?
  3. Content plan: How can your understanding of customer needs inform a relevant mix of Colgate’s content, topics, media, and desired outcomes?
  4. Promotion: What’s the plan to get CP’s content to end-users as well as influencers for genuine sharing to new and relevant audiences?
  5. Engagement: What’s the plan for growing Colgate-Palmolive’s network an increasing engagement among its target audience? How should brand managers be listening, participating, and rewarding these communities?
  6. Measurement: What’s working? What’s not? How do we know? What insights should be captured to refine future digital marketing efforts?

My own experience with Colgate-Palmolive has been extremely positive, and these people have an analytical bias to the way they make decisions. You’ll need outstanding analytical skills and strong experience interpreting test results and drawing analytically rigorous conclusions.

That’s what’s so interesting about this position: You’ll need to be creative enough to understand how Colgate-Palmolive’s brand managers can engage their consumers via storytelling that doesn’t fit into traditional CPG marketing formats, yet logically, you’ll need to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Imagine helping the brand manager understand these things …

  • Is your product category being discussed? What questions do people have? What are their concerns? What opportunities are being revealed?
  • Is your brand being discussed, and what are people saying? Who is saying it and where? What is the sentiment? How can Colgate-Palmolive leverage that information to build sales and improve its brand image?
  • What topics seem relevant to our customers? Is it productive for the brand to take a position on any of these topics?
  • On which social channels or websites are there active discussions and communities of interest relevant to Colgate-Palmolive’s interest?
  • Who are the influencers participating in key discussions and in what channels?
  • Are Colgate-Palmolive’s competitors being discussed? What does that mean for Colgate-Palmolive’s sales both online and off? Are Colgate-Palmolive’s competitors active participants on the social web? To what end?

You’ll need to understand key performance indicators such as search visibility, social mentions, webpage links, citations in blogs and other online media, social shares and links, blog in social content subscribers, fans, friends, followers, as well as comments and other measures of engagement. And you’ll need to understand what outcomes are most relevant to each brand, such as downloads, online event participation, inquiries, sales, referrals, and other proxies of brand advocacy.

Overall, the name of the game will be elevating brand perception and driving sales and customer engagement through better content. If you can demonstrate what’s working in an academically sound way, you’ll find that getting traction at Colgate-Palmolive will come very easily.

But you’ll need to be your own social media strategist as well as your own analyst.

Again: This position calls for a self-starter with a strong commercial background. You must have a strong leadership presence in order to build strong relationships and influence a cross functional, international team. The client is not interested in consultants or people with a consulting background. We’re looking for an A-player with 12 to 15 years a solid marketing and digital marketing background and ecommerce experience making it happen in a fast-moving consumer marketing environment.

Main responsibilities include:

The Director of eCommerce is responsible for collaborating with cross-functional partners to manage all aspects of the eCommerce business including, business planning, content strategy and development, promotional campaigns and other online marketing, website design, customer service, web analytics and web technologies.

The position requires 1.) outstanding analytical skills and strong experience interpreting test results & drawing conclusions; 2.) strong business judgment and decision-making skills; and 3.) the ability to identify, prioritize, and articulate highest impact initiatives.

In this role, you will be required to …

  • Serve as a liaison and primary point of contact within the eCommerce organization for cross functional partners acting as a project manager to evaluate, prioritize, develop, manage, implement and test eCommerce initiatives
  • Participate in the development and execution of strategic and tactical business plans with other members of the cross functional team supporting the eCommerce strategy
  • Manage the user experience of the website eCommerce sites including site navigation, content development, checkout funnel and promotional campaigns
  • Develop and oversee the effective planning, Quality Assurance and execution of eCommerce content across the websites and online marketing campaigns to ensure efficiency, accuracy and timeliness of all web content publishing
  • Manage all aspects of web analytics related to eCommerce and communicate relevant information to team members, executive leadership and cross-functional partners
  • Partner with key cross-functional teams to ensure all relevant organizational goals and implications are factored into eCommerce projects
  • Know fully ecommerce technology and analytics
  • Generate and implement new marketing initiatives to increase eCommerce sales and profitability
  • Provide expertise on current eCommerce industry best practices. Consult on cross-functional projects to ensure eCommerce principles are incorporated
  • Identify new areas of eCommerce opportunity beyond current organizational thinking

Required leadership skills:

  • Business/Global Perspective – Brings cross-disciplinary knowledge to bear on issues and opportunities
  • Strategy/Vision – Leverages knowledge of customers, competitors and marketplace to enhance competitiveness and accelerate business growth
  • Consumer/Customer Focused – Actively seeks in-depth understanding of customer/consumre/profession needs and trends
  • Leading change – Creates a compelling picture of the future in the face of uncertainty and communicates a clear direction
  • Fostering Experimentation – Brainstorms and nurtures new ways of doing things
  • Driving Innovation – Champions new initiatives
  • Relationship building – Creates and uses formal and informal networks to gain support and get things done
  • Digital passion – his/her interest in this space transcends their day job; keeps abreast of trends


  • Bachelor degree is required. MBA is preferred.
  • 12 – 15 years of work experience.
  • Consumer Marketing: Leadership position e.g., Marketing Director in a marketing role in a consumer products company; Proven record of marketing success building brands, building market share, and winning in the market through superior strategy, planning and execution.
  • eCommerce & Digital Marketing: Direct responsibility for eCommerce strategy and implementation; Experience in Digital Marketing, advertising, search, Consumer Relationship Management, etc

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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