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We are working with Guitar Center in their search for a VP of Marketing for its Music & Arts + Woodwind Brasswind brands based in Frederick, MD.

Music & Arts is the largest music education company in the country with 110 retail stores, 300 retail affiliates, website operations and a road rep force servicing students and music teachers nationwide. The company also rents hundreds of thousands of musical instruments and teaches nearly 1.5 million music lessons per year.

Woodwind Brasswind is the leading direct supplier – catalog and web – of band and orchestral instruments to professional musicians, schools and music educators. In combination, the two brands have revenue in excess of $250 million per year and are a dominant force in band and orchestral sales.

Industry Overview

The US musical instrument stores marketplace includes about 3,400 stores with combined annual sales of $5.2 billion. Major competitors include Guitar Center and Sam Ash Music. The industry is somewhat concentrated, with the 50 largest firms accounting for roughly 50% of revenue.

Competitive Landscape

Consumer income plus changes in musical tastes drive primary demand for musical instruments. The profitability of companies can depend on effective merchandising. Large firms have economies of scale in marketing and purchasing, while smaller competitors compete by specializing in personalized service or high-end instruments. Primary products include pianos, guitars, drums, sound equipment, parts and accessories, and sheet music. Other revenue sources include equipment leasing and repairs.

Full-line stores include national chains (like Guitar Center) and independents. National chains operate in strip malls or stand-alone buildings, with stand-alone stores ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet. Chains might also run midsized stores within indoor malls and often own specialty stores under a different brand name (as is the case with Guitar Center’s Music and Arts stores).

Typically, specialty stores operate within 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of space, either as small stand-alone buildings or in strip malls. Many specialty stores supplement retail sales with an online store or through auction sites like eBay.

Product assortment varies depending on the store size, sales channel, and product mix. Major full-line stores sell between 4,000 and 7,000 SKUs in a typical store, but often offer upwards of 40K SKUs online.

About the Role

The Vice President Marketing is key member of the executive team reporting directly to the President and is responsible for developing, planning and implementing innovative multi-channel marketing programs that deliver profitable sales growth for both brands. Promotions must be measurable and should be designed to drive customer lifetime value, revenue growth, customer file-size growth, and ROI.​

Marketing tactics are expected to be both online and offline with specific focus on multi-channel conversion, customer loyalty, targeted and local marketing, and overall advertising effectiveness. Extreme fluency with digital marketing is an absolute requirement for tactics that will include paid and natural search, affiliate programs, content integration programs, radio, TV, email, retargeting, and innovative programs to excite and motivate key influencers.

The successful candidate will be a leader who also has hands on execution experience – we are not looking for someone to simply manage external agencies – but rather, one who has experience leading internal and external teams to deliver in the most efficient and measurably effective multi-channel marketing campaigns possible.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create comprehensive marketing plan for both brands using all appropriate channels (SEO, SEM, Partnerships, Ad Networks, affiliate networks, social networks, blogging networks, E-mail lists, SMS campaigns, traditional media, market places like eBay, Amazon, etc.) to support the overall brand strategy and drive incremental sales.
  • Develop the promotional calendar for the brand meet or exceed business performance objectives.
  • Analyze campaign performance and against ROI benchmarks and report on outcomes weekly.
  • Ensure effective creative development and execution to support program and media efforts.
  • Optimize marketing spend to meet or exceed budget goals.
  • Drive new features and services by partnering with IT, Store Ops, Contact Center, and Merchandising
  • Leverage web interactions to increase customer acquisition and retention, and drive incremental sales.
  • Stay abreast of competitors and develop plans to aggressively compete against their tactics
  • Lead, manage, and develop the Music & Arts and Woodwind marketing teams.
  • Measure everything, constantly striving for improved efficacy of spend.
  • Never be satisfied with the status quo. Innovate constantly, creatively and cost effectively.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required, MBA preferred.
  • 5 – 7 years of multi-channel marketing experience with strong web marketing foundation

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Harry 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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