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We are working with Simplexity, LLC in their search for a Director, Consumer Insights based in Reston, VA. At a high level, Simplexity is the premier ecommerce and MVNO solutions provider in the wireless industry. Privately held, Virginia, Simplexity’s proprietary platform offers a suite of fully integrated and highly customizable branded wireless solutions. Business is booming.
The Director, Consumer Insights works across key Simplexity business units, and is responsible for providing timely, evidence based, actionable, and insightful analysis and business evaluations in the areas of online ecommerce optimization, online merchandising and multi-channel marketing effectiveness, and online and call center customer experience and satisfaction. By way of driving a deep and shared understanding and dialogue across key metrics and analyses within Simplexity, this highly engaged position focuses on driving greater profitability and volume of business.
The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in both preparing and presenting data-rich analyses, and be a responsive and business savvy team player. This individual will also be intellectually curious, creative with visualization, master the ability to mine data to answer complex questions, and ultimately will be able to clearly communicate findings. Attention to process and detail is a critical, as is the ability to manage multiple tasks at one time.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: Let me start by saying that this is a great business, and these are lovely people. Last year I was blessed to place Dave Rook as Simplexity’s CMO, and Rich Pompilio as its VP of Marketing. Both executives have worked out extremely well and are very happy in their current roles.
And why shouldn’t they be?
Simplexity is the Internet’s leading ecommerce solutions provider for the wireless industry. Privately held and based in Reston, Virginia, the company’s proprietary platform offers a suite of fully integrated and highly customizable branded wireless solutions, tailored not only to their enterprise clients’ needs (e.g. Walmart, Target), but also their in-house brands as well, namely Wirefly.com, a dominant force in the wireless specialty ecommerce space.
At a high level, Simplexity’s suite of offerings includes:
- Custom branded wireless ecommerce storefronts and mobile storefronts. For example, if you buy a cell phone from RadioShack.com, their cell phone offerings are powered by Simplexity – they manage that part of the RadioShack.com website, maintain the inventory, activate the phones and ship them to the customer who thinks RadioShack did all of that. They’ve literally got thousands of these partnerships with most every major retailer and etailer in the country. You name ‘em, they’ve got ‘em.
- Fully customizable MVNO platforms. Simplexity provides both turnkey and customized solutions that allow their enterprise clients to offer customized, private branded wireless services to their own customers at a fraction of the time and cost usually associated with launching an MVNO themselves. Think Costco’s “Platinum Wireless” brand. Simplexity made that all happen. (Walmart’s “Straight Talk” brand is another example of an MVNO.)
- Transaction Services/Retail Virtual Inventory Programs: Simplexity’s patented Virtual Inventory Program (VIP) allows traditional brick and mortar wireless retailers with limited carrier offerings and inventory constraints to expand their product catalog, allowing participants to offer their customers hundreds of the latest cell phones and smartphones from the top wireless carriers in the U.S., including both post-paid and pre-paid/no contract service plans. This solution ensures that Simplexity’s clients never have to say “We are out of stock”.
Simplexity offers all of these services in addition to running its own powerhouse online retail store, Wirefly.com, which accounts for 50% of its revenues. In fact, Wirefly.com gets 1.7 million monthly unique visitors, with 80% of that traffic coming from search engines. It’s an extremely competitive trade, but management remains extremely bullish on Wirefly’s prospects.
Here’s why: According to Morgan Stanley, the United States currently has 208 million 3G mobile subscribers, with a 64% 3G mobile penetration rate. Even better for Simplexity, Android phone adoption has ramped 4 times faster than iPhone adoption, and Android phones are Simplexity’s bread-and-butter. Better still is that despite tremendous smartphone user adoption so far, we have a long way to go in terms of the ubiquity of smartphones, and we are still in our infancy in terms of the number of wireless devices per US household.
In addition, only 13% of today’s cell phone purchases occur online. That number is going to grow exponentially in years to come. Add to that the fact that mobile traffic is growing rapidly to 10% of all Internet traffic, with mobile accounting for 8% of US ecommerce and you’ve got a product on your hands that it eventually going to replace the home computer as people’s primary tool for accessing the internet and managing their life.
In short, there’s never been a better time to be in the mobile business.
And the people at Simplexity aren’t just coasting either. They are innovating, and they are digging deep right now to better understand their current customer base and future target segments (They just completed a massive consumer landscape and segmentation study with a leading brand research firm in LA). The business model is changing, and the business is becoming more transactional. Given the growth rate of mobile, and the fact that customers come to Simplexity from everywhere, the company’s data analysis and insights into their consumer needs have never been more important – nor complicated.
Which is why Dave wants to change the title of this position to Director of Consumer Insights, even though the role was previously defined as a purely analytics position. These days, simple “Caveman” analytics is far too narrow in terms of what this person will do. The new hire will be looking at web analytics, but also media optimization and marketing analytics to assess the effectiveness of Simplexity’s online and off-line marketing activities. The new hire will also be measuring call center, online and fulfillment customer satisfaction metrics.
Traditionally, Simplexity has been an Omniture Insight shop, so a knowledge of Insight would be ideal. However, more important than a specific knowledge of Insight would be an understanding of attribution modeling as it pertains to the true cost of acquisition through multiple customer touches. Ever heard of Tagman? What about Radian6? How about ForeSee? ClearSaleing? Perfect, because these are some of the tools that Simplexity is looking to leverage.
At a high-level, here are some key areas where you’ll have a major impact:
- Web analytics: You will be responsible for tracking and ANALYZING the KPIs of web analytics: traffic sources, UVs, sessions, page views, duration, conversion pathing, bounce/exit rates, tools engagement, etc. Get ready to get nitty gritty.
- Mobile commerce: You’ll be applying the same sort of analytics from the desktop into the mobile experience. Much is known about how Simplexity’s customers relate to what’s on the desktop. Much less is known about mobile. Yet the company has a very big (and growing) mobile channel. The mobile shopping experience is not as mature as it should be, what with Simplexity’s mobile customers being prompted to call the call center once they are ready to transact. Dave needs Consumer Insights to guide the build out of a user-friendly one click shopping mobile experience.
- Customer satisfaction measurement: You will be responsible for tracking customer satisfaction from beginning to end, including web, mobile, call center, and the post transaction experience. Soup to nuts.
- Marketing attribution modeling: This is a very complicated ball of wax for Simplexity, given that the company does a tremendous amount of online advertising. What happens when Web users see a Simplexity advertisement yet do not click? Has that impression created a value? What happens if the customer sees the advertisement again, and then buys? Again the question: Did the first impression matter? Welcome to the science of “view-based” attribution modeling, which (unlike “last click” attribution modeling) allows companies to tag each advertisement and know how many ads or brand impressions a consumer saw before they purchased. You will be the expert on this.
In the interest of saving your time, I will refrain from discussing Simplexity’s analytics needs in the areas of personalization, paid search, organic search, UX, and site search. Please know that you will be waist deep in those functional areas. Brace yourself.
Having said that, Simplexity is going to place their trust in the new Director of Consumer Insights. There won’t be a lot of armchair quarterbacking in this role. Clearly, Dave knows his stuff and has a well honed “Analytics BS meter.” You’ll have to know your stuff. But the company doesn’t want someone who can run reports and leave it at that. Dave needs a detective, someone who has the capacity to get what they need out of the system and solve major business problems.
Before applying, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you consider yourself more of a reporter or a “canary in a coal mine” who can draw attention to critical consumer issues and major shifts in the business?
- Once these issues and shifts are identified, can you develop follow-up before you’re told to?
- Do you have a philosophy and a teachable point of view on managing and GROWING people?
- Do you have a philosophical position on attribution modeling and view based attribution?
- In general, do you have an informed opinion about where most companies go wrong in developing consumer insights?
This is a fantastic company, and I have really enjoyed working with them. There is no such thing as a sacred cow at Simplexity. Everything is up for informed debate, and usually, there’s nothing as devastating to an opinion as a number. Meaning, if you are a numbers person, Simplexity will be heaven on earth to you.
- Provide ongoing inputs and actionable recommendations towards the cycle of optimization across all key Simplexity business units; enable smarter business decision-making driven by way of fact-based collection of observed and behavioral data, and direct customer feedback
- Define, collect, monitor, and analyze key performance indicators for multiple marketing channels as well as all Simplexity sites and qualified partners; identify opportunities for growth and improvement and work with business owners to develop a business case for change
- Utilize voice of customer survey data as an input to interpreting overall consumer behavior; explore new opportunities and tools to improve customer insights designed to increase customer satisfaction and profitability
- Participate proactively in the product development process; consult with business sponsors and IT to define clear and measurable goals before new features and products are developed and maintain ongoing communication during development and close the loop by measuring success once projects are completed
- Sustain healthy ongoing partnership with IT team responsible for health and maintenance of site traffic tools; utilize platforms and resources to their capacity to increase Simplexity’s data collection and interpretation capabilities
- Continuously refine business processes across the organization related to data collection, generation, reporting and analysis; supervise ongoing, automated site traffic reporting structure across all Simplexity partners through the Adobe Insight tool (or others as selected)
- Deliver timely and actionable insights to design and user experience teams in their efforts to test and optimize online experiences using tools such as Adobe Test & Target, and other tools as appropriate; provide detailed live site testing results analysis as tests are completed
- Manage the selection of analytic platforms and tools and related budgetary assumptions; maintain regular monitoring and validation practices to ensure the accuracy of underlying data collection and web analytics system performance
- Identify and provide expert-level training to appropriate department staff members in the use of analytical tools and data sources for optimal business analysis; expand use of analytics across multiple departments to further excel product optimization across Simplexity business units
- Experience with Adobe Insight
- Bachelors Degree or advanced degree in business or related subjects required
- Minimum of 6 years relevant experience in the retail sector with a focus on digital
- Minimum of 3 years in a business analytics role (marketing, market research, forecasting, sales analysis, finance, pricing, or other related areas)
- Ability to work across functions, partnering with the brand teams and other groups within Simplexity
- Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects with conflicting deadlines
- Excellent writing, presentation, project management and strong influencing skills required
- Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills required
- Strong PowerPoint, Excel, and database experience required
- Works independently – gathers input about needs from stakeholders and sets own direction accordingly
- Capability to analyze the details while still always thinking towards the bigger picture
- Aptitude for innovative problem-solving and “out of the box” thinking beyond standard practice
- Ability to manage a team of business-focused data analysts
- Experience translating data into actionable information
- Strong analytical, communication and data visualization skills
Platform Knowledge and Skills Considered a +
- Web analytic, segmentation and marketing platforms: Adobe Marketing Suite – including SiteCatalyst, Insight, Test and Target, Discover; Google Analytics and advertising platforms (AdWords, Optimizer, etc)
- Analytic computing: SQL, VB, Excel wizardry a must; SPSS, and/or other statistical modeling software
- Customer satisfaction: Net promoter, Foresee
- Attribution modeling: Tagman, Tealium, Clearsaleing
- Social monitoring and reputation management; Radian6, Lithium
- Media analysis and benchmarking: Nielsen, comSore
UPDATE: This search is now closed.
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