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Here’s one of the coolest motorcycle jobs ever: We are working with Motorcycle Superstore in their search for a world-class SEM Manager based in Medford, OR 97504.

Reporting to the Director of Online Marketing, the SEM Manager is responsible for planning, optimizing, implementing, and analyzing paid search engine marketing activities. This position is the key to future growth and will be responsible for leading our pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Last week, search marketing blogger Navneet Kaushal published an excellent article called, Search Marketing Trends of 2014. As someone who creates a fair amount of his own content, I read quite a bit of this type of material. But Navneet’s article was unusually spot on.

As I read the article, I asked myself “Why is it that more search marketing candidates don’t have a teachable point of view on the future of integrated search marketing?” Seriously. I speak with search marketing candidates all the time, and relatively few of them can put the future of integrated search in the context of what’s happening in their own business. And that’s really too bad.

Motorcycle Superstore wants an SEM Manager with vision.

In 2012, the company was acquired by Motorsport Aftermarket Group, Inc. (“MAG”), a family of leading brands and businesses in the powersports industry. The Oregon-based Motorcycle Superstore joined with J&P Cycles to create the MAG retail group, one of the top motorcycle parts and accessories dealers on the web. Currently the firm is topgrading its marketing department and rationalizing its marketing operations to better serve its brands.

Folks, this is a fantastic market to be in.

According to First Research, the global motorcycle manufacturing industry is expected to reach $90 billion by 2016. This bodes well for MAG Retail should it decide to pursue international growth opportunities in the future. Leading countries for motorcycle manufacturing include China, India, Japan, and the US. IBIS World ballparks the size of the US motorcycle dealership and repair industry at $22.5 billion, generated by 5,039 businesses. With the economic recovery now in full gear, the motorcycle parts industry is expected to grow briskly through 2018.

So, who exactly is the target customer?

Actually, there are a couple of key markets you will be selling to: J&P has targeted the cruiser market and it really understands cruiser enthusiasts. You know what a cruiser looks like: The cruiser is the big bike with the windshield and the massive seats and saddlebags designed to take long-haul trips. Well, J&P owns a store in Daytona, and teams from J&P attend rallies 30 weeks a year. The folks know cruising enthusiasts … Who they are … How they think … What they value … What they fear … What makes them mad … What their daily frustrations are … and more.

That’s what you get when you actually hang out with your customers.

MAG Retail’s second brand, sells to the broad market of motorcycle enthusiasts who love the excitement of the hobby and the lifestyle. These people are fans, not customers. Motorcycle enthusiasts are a unique breed, set aside from the rest of the world by their passionate love for their sport/hobby. These folks are consumed with biking, and much like golfers, will use any flimsy excuse to partake in their chosen activity – whether it’s riding, planning a motorcycle trip, reading about bikes, tinkering with their bike, or simply admiring it.

My father-in-law owns 12 motorcycles (including a number of Ducatis), and he’s an avid Cycle World reader. When it comes to motorcycles, he is a man possessed. Like every motorcycle enthusiast, my father-in-law is driven to learn as much about motorcycles as possible. He’s a free spirit, like every motorcycle lover.

MAG Retail’s goal is to market both brands differently while maintaining the flavor of each. You won’t be held back (within reason) by infrastructure or budget. Your job is to build the business. In most businesses, search marketers may find themselves fighting for funding, resources, or management support. That’s not the case here. The firm’s top people will be behind you 100%.

About the role …

MAG Retail has a number of valued agency relationships, and you’ll be responsible for managing those. I know one of the agencies, and they are first rate.

You will OWN the performance marketing channel for MAG Retail, and you will be the performance marketing “go-to-guy / gal” for these two brands. Meaning, you’ll be responsible for any and all of the following …

  • Building Google Adwords campaigns from scratch – the right way
  • Organizing your campaigns to cost less while driving more revenue
  • Developing high-quality keyword lists to craft killer headlines
  • Writing Google ads that attract eyeballs, get clicks, and earn money
  • Knowing how to use Google’s conversion tracking tools to know and report on what’s working (and what’s not)
  • Understanding how to drive traffic with Google’s display network
  • Knowing how to drive real value using Google image ads
  • … and more.

At the end of the day, there are SEVEN key ecommerce disciplines that MAG Retail has deemed are critical to your success in the role. Please contact me for that list. Additionally, there are FOUR key 100 day objectives that you must complete or make substantial progress against in order to be considered accessible in the role. Competitive considerations prevent me from going into much detail here.

However, consider these FOUR to know if you are right for this position:

  1. Are you really passionate about paid search, and do you have a teachable point of view on this all-important marketing channel? Basically, we are looking for someone who is going to deliver this stuff.
  2. Are you a data geek, and do you have an analytical bias to the way you make decisions? Do you love numbers, and love diving into the data? Even though MAG Retail has a very talented analyst on staff, it will be up to you to look at the data to find new opportunities to direct the firm’s outside agencies.
  3. Do you ride? Do you subscribe to motorcycle riding magazines? Can you use the customer vernacular in your paid search campaigns? In this position, it will be essential that you understand how to engage the modern motorcycle rider.
  4. Can you see yourself making a commitment to Southern Oregon? Chances are you have never seen southern Oregon, so it’s impossible for you to know for sure.

In case you didn’t know, Southern Oregon is fantastic.

MAG Retail has access to a 16,000 acre park with 220 days of sunshine per year. There are trails all over the place – which is absolutely perfect for anyone who loves motorsports. Which is why the ideal candidate for this position is not only a seasoned SEM pro, but also a motorcycle enthusiast. Sure, we know that the population of SEM gurus who love motorcycles and are open to an Oregon relo is tiny, but here’s why we have this crazy dream:

Motorcycle enthusiasts are fiercely independent in their thinking, and the language they speak to one another is laced with its own vocabulary. We want someone who can create performance marketing campaigns for sport bikes, dirt bikes, standards, scooters and more. We want someone who can appreciate the difference between British, Italian, American, Japanese, and German bikes while appreciating the performance and technical differences of each. Because “speaking moto” is how bikers will know you’re the real deal.

If you’re not a motorcyclist, then hey, whatever. No biggie. But understand that the folks you’ll be marketing to will want you to at least love them for who they are. Which is what any world class, future oriented search marketer would do anyway.

Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Online marketing and pay-per-click
  • Keyword research and analysis.
  • Campaign implementation and planning
  • Reporting of key benchmarks and performance

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead the day-to-day paid search marketing activities across multiple search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Bing, etc.) including the campaign planning, implementation, budget management, performance review, and optimization of paid search campaigns.
  • Develop near and long-term PPC account strategies, roadmaps and execute day-to-day tactics that increase revenue, site traffic, conversion and margins.
  • Effectively oversee a 3rd party PPC vendor that executes on keyword bid management and general account management of PPC campaigns to grow PPC traffic, revenue and maximize return on investment.
  • Oversee keyword research (discovery and expansion), review and editing of creative copy, review and analysis of web site performance metrics, and optimization of campaigns.
  • Oversee testing of ad positions, ad copy, and landing pages based on traffic patterns, navigation paths, bounce rates, conversion and average order size.
  • Determine and coordinate the right level of spend with internal staff and vendors to meet ROI expectations, cost of acquisition and the goals of the business.
  • Identify and report on key performance indicators, and opportunities for improvement on a regular basis.
  • Continually discover and leverage best practices and new tools within the online marketing domain as applicable to the client’s business and PPC.
  • Serve as the “product expert” in the client’s industry and create an associated keyword expansion roadmap, working with the merchandising team to develop relevant ads and landing page content.
  • Work in conjunction with SEO team to develop a cohesive strategy for optimizing the performance of all MAG Retail brands across paid and natural search.
  • Drive continued innovation and best practice implementation, regularly sharing your knowledge with the marketing and leadership teams.
  • Integrate strategies and recommendations into other active marketing channels such as Email Marketing and Social Media.

Educational and Experience Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or Business and a minimum of five years of directly related SEM experience is required for this position. Previous experience in business to consumer marketing is preferred.
  • Proven track record of success in developing and managing PPC across Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
  • Ability to analyze a wide variety of performance metrics, including: CTR, CPA, Conversion Rate, and Profit Margins.
  • Fluent in the search landscape, including performing competitive analysis, keyword development, tracking tools, bid-management systems and reporting tools.
  • Previous experience in analyzing marketing metrics, quantitative evaluations of marketing efforts, establishing test methodologies, and analyzing results.
  • Ability to work with 3rd party vendors, agencies, affiliates and partners.
  • Experience in building business models and cases in the online space.
  • Proficiency of Google Analytics, WebTrends, and/or web analytics.

Other Special Requirements

  • Possess a good understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to present ideas in user-friendly language.
  • Self-motivated and self-directed and must possess the experience and desire to work in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
  • Ability to pay keen attention to detail.
  • Effectively prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment.


PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (though us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.

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