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We are working with TJX Companies in their search for an Ecommerce Search Marketing Manager based in Framingham, MA. TJX is the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States, operating four major divisions — Marmaxx (T.J. Maxx and Marshalls) and HomeGoods in the United States; TJX Canada (Winners, HomeSense and Marshalls); and TJX Europe (T.K. Maxx and HomeSense). With over $25 billion in revenues in 2012 and 168,000 Associates, success is always in style at TJX.
TJX understands that both its customers and the talent pool from which its Associates come are increasingly diverse. The firm’s core values of respect, integrity and fairness are inherent in the relationships TJX team members build with each other, its vendors and its customers. The company is totally committed to leveraging the differences among our Associates and customers to create both a diversified mix of talent within TJX — and a diversified mix of merchandise within its stores.
TJX’s ecommerce team is in search of a Search Marketing Manager for its new, fast-paced ecommerce business. Our ideal Search Marketing Manager is a passionate, collaborative, outgoing and creative leader, who has a natural love for retail fashion.
Since this is a new venture, TJX requires the expertise of a seasoned Ecommerce Search Marketing Manager to be responsible for the development and management of its ecommerce SEO, paid search, and related acquisition marketing efforts. This key hire will be an integral part of the e-marketing team and oversee the full SEO and SEM process from strategic development to implementation and optimization recommendations to achieve the goals of driving efficient traffic, revenue and ROI.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: The department store industry is huge, ain’t no two ways about it. Last year, the top 10 retailers captured 88% of department store sales with combined revenues of more than $130 billion. These industry leaders operated 4,111 stores and accounted for 80% of the total number of department stores in operation. Companies in this space operate physical stores that market items like cosmetics, clothing, footwear, and home furnishings. Major competitors include JCP, Dillard’s, Sears, and Macy’s. Key challenges for department stores include declining consumer spending and changing fashion trends.
Fashion trends and consumer spending drive demand. The profitability of competitors relies on tight merchandising and marketing. Major players have advantages in marketing, purchasing, and distribution — while small retailers compete by offering specialized service, niche merchandise, and in some cases a distinctive store experience. The industry is extremely concentrated: the top 8 firms generate ~95% of the industry’s revenue.
Traditionally, TJ Maxx has been a part of this industry mix, and in two months it will launch its new ecommerce venture. The company’s ecommerce fulfillment facility will be in Tennessee, from which many of its ecom team members will work (creative, photography, copywriters, etc.). The balance of the ecom team will be based in Framingham, Massachusetts, where T.J. Maxx has long maintained its staff of merchants, procurement experts, information technology, and all marketing.
The firm’s value proposition and operating model have always been oriented towards liquidation. Essentially, T.J. Maxx buys for a song the overstocks of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, et al and markets those items for as much as 70% off. This relationship has been good for both T.J. Maxx and its suppliers — and of course T.J. Maxx’s customers have grown to love the incredible deals.
But with such great pricing, customers understand that when a particular item is sold out, very often it’s gone forever. This lends a “treasure hunt” vibe to the T.J. Maxx customer experience. Every T.J. Maxx is like a box of chocolates: You don’t know what your going to get. And T.J. Maxx’s loyal fans eat up this value prop. Additionally, T.J. Maxx’s customers understand that they have 12 months to return any item, so there is a “buy now because this might not be here later, and I can return it if I change my mind” mentality among its customers. They buy impulsively. And the best part is, these customers rarely return what they buy. To the contrary, they’re glad they bought — and they had a ball just looking, too.
In general, TJ Maxx’s product assortment is very broad and, by design, somewhat unpredictable. For example, suppose you need a new pair jeans: At the Gap, one might encounter an entire wall of blue jeans, with numerous styles, cuts, washes, and so on. The Gap’s perfect if you need a pair of jeans now and money is not your primary concern. In comparison, T.J. Maxx couldn’t guarantee you that you’d fine the perfect pair of jeans — but they could guarantee that you’d find something perfect. And the best part is, your friends would think that you paid full retail for that item at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or wherever.
So here’s the $64 question: How does TJ Maxx’s concept translate online? T.J. Maxx’s online concept will be similar in some ways to popular dealsites like Gilt or Rue LaLa, but with several potent differences, among them …
- Legions of loyal fans who are anxious to see what the company can do online.
- 50 years of excellent supplier relationships. T.J. Maxx is no mere bottom fisher. The company works with its suppliers to keep them clean on inventory that has become a problem for them. It’s a classic host/beneficiary relationships where both parties win.
- Buy online, return in-store. T.J. Maxx and its sister company, Marshalls, have a combined retail footprint of 1,867 stores as of January 28, 2012. This advantage prevents T.J. Maxx’s online buyers from having to hassle with UPS. And frankly, it’s another excuse for them to visit the stores they so love.
- Committed management. Everyone at TJ Maxx, from the Board of Directors to the C suite is completely committed to omni-channel digital commerce.
- Powerful financial backing, given that TJX’s stock has gone from $10-$50 per share in the last 5 years. Current revenues are $26 billion, and management would like to see that number hit $40 billion in five years.
I’m spending a lot of time describing T.J. Maxx’s business model because it will have a major impact on the firm’s organic and paid search initiatives. T.J. Maxx typically turns its inventory 12 times a year. Meaning, if the company has 100 blouses in inventory at the beginning of June, it will have sold through that entire inventory position by July 1 and will have an entirely different range of blouses to offer in July. Once TJ Maxx sells through its July inventory, a whole new shipment of blouses will roll in for August. Such inventory velocity allows T.J. Maxx to remain true to its treasure hunt concept, where its stores are constantly bringing in fresh, new and exciting inventory.
The constant wave-like rotation of T.J. Maxx’s inventory means that a channel like Google search will present unique opportunities and challenges for T.J. Maxx’s new Search Marketing Manager. It’s absolutely essential that the Manager have fashion experience to ensure that they have an affinity with T.J. Maxx’s customer and can bid on the keywords that she is likely to search. Additionally, it’s critical that the new Search Marketing Manager understand how Google search is (and will) impact the smart phone and tablet environments.
For our normal search marketing searches, it wouldn’t matter too much if the candidate did not understand the client’s business. But this time around, it matters due to the opportunistic way T.J. Maxx buys and sells product. As an off-price retailer, T.J. Maxx has a very fast paced culture: Friendly, passionate, smart, driven, and business-oriented. Fashion is a very emotional thing, especially the way T.J. Maxx does it. When a woman in your life buys from a T.J. Maxx store, she gets very excited because she know she got a great deal.
We’re looking for someone who can bring that sense of intelligent opportunism to T.J. Maxx’s ecommerce marketing efforts.
- Set the vision and strategic approach for search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (SEM), and pay per click (PPC) campaigns leveraging the overarching e-marketing strategy and business objectives.
- Partner with cross-functional business teams including planning, merchandising, visual design, and site management to develop timely and relevant search marketing optimization recommendations that align with business positioning. This includes keyword research, SEO best practices, on-site & off-site linking strategies.
- Create, implement, measure, and optimize strategic SEM campaigns to achieve goals
- Manage 3rd party relationship with search agency partner in day-to-day bid management, keyword selection, copy development, reporting and optimizations.
- Proactively identify new campaign opportunities to grow site traffic and revenue
- Ensure a cohesive online consumer experience with development of relevant keyword copy and landing page recommendations.
- Identify and leverage synergies between SEO & SEM.
- Develop long term integrated SEO & SEM roadmap and executes day-to-day to increase revenue, site traffic, and conversions.
- Develop reporting templates, and consistently analyze campaign results and provides optimization recommendations
- Identify, negotiate, and implement affiliate marketing & comparison-shopping engine programs.
- Drive innovation and best practices by sharing key findings and search marketing insights across the business team.
- Demonstrate leadership and industry expertise by evaluating new technologies and continuously analyzing competitive landscape.
- Manage search marketing budget and forecasts.
- Ensure all campaigns deliver an efficient ROI within budget.
- Bachelors Degree preferred in business, marketing, advertising, statistics or related field
- A minimum of 5+ years of experience in ecommerce search marketing. Client side or search agency.
- Strong analytical background with experience in online analytic tools such as Adobe SiteCatalyst, IBM Coremetrics or Google Analytics
- Google AdWords Certified preferred and a huge plus for consideration
- Strong experience working with and managing 3rd party bid management tools
- In depth knowledge of SEO best practices, and understanding of basic HTML, CSS, and Code structure as it relates to SEO recommendations
- Experience with comparison shopping engines and knowledge of data feed requirements
- Experience with affiliate marketing programs
- Proven ability to collaborate in cross-functional teams and influence great outcomes across a matrix organization with evolving requirements.
- Driven focus on results and detail oriented
- MUST be highly analytical and strategic
- Leadership and development of others’ skills
Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to email Allan 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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