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We are working with Speakman Company in its search for a home based Digital Marketing Manager. Speakman is headquartered in New Castle, DE. Since 1869, Speakman has continually ventured into the uncharted waters of plumbing innovation. From creating the actual concept of showering (yes, they invented it) with the very first invention of the modern shower head, to developing revolutionary advancements like their Anystream® technology, Speakman continually strives to provide bathers with a luxury hotel showering experience.
But Speakman is more than just a 145 year old luxury shower head company.
Obviously, many things may have changed since Speakman constructed its very first shower head, but one thing continues to remain the same: The company’s total dedication to craft shower, bath and plumbing products that redefine quality, exemplify durability, and provide luxury performance to anyone that crosses paths with Speakman’s blissful streams.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: In the April 2014 issue of Fast Company magazine, there’s an excellent article called The Cult of Nasty Gal (the online version is called “Secrets of a Nasty Gal”). Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ve heard of Nasty Gal, the $100 million apparel retailer founded by Sophia Amoruso, a street mart, dumpster diving, twentysomething fashionista with no business training.
As I read the article, I was reminded of Seth Godin’s simple test of whether you’ve created a remarkable customer experience …
“Would you buy the T-shirt?”
Speaking just for myself, I’d probably buy the T-shirts of less than 5% of the brands in my life. But for those 5%, I’d wear the shirts proudly. Craviotto. RGM. Moz. Concept2. Ebay. Evernote. Those are my only T-shirt worthy vendors. What are the coolest brands in your life? And: If your company is not T-shirt worthy, what would it take?
For starters, it would take a remarkable product. And that’s exactly what Speakman makes. A truly remarkable product. A product so remarkable that people actually remark about (See feedback on Amazon and Speakman’s Facebook page). The Speakman showerhead actually has a cult following. Which is kind of amazing, given that a showerhead is just a plumbing fixture.
Yet some of Speakman’s products, like the Anystream 8-Jet Shower Head, are designed to be the last shower head you’ll ever need. With its solid brass construction, timeless design, and absurdly powerful performance, this shower head is designed to give fans a luxury experience for the rest of their lives.
How would you like to sell a product like that?
Well, that’s what this job is all about. Speakman makes branded plumbing fixtures which it sells through 4 primary channels: Commercial; Hospitality; Industrial; and direct to consumer through retail and ecommerce. If you’re like most people who have enjoyed a long hot shower at a Marriott, Hyatt, or Hilton Hotel, then you know what it’s like to shower with a Speakman.
The company is in great shape financially, and its best days are ahead of it.
In my two-hour project kickoff call with the company’s CEO, Rob Cook, it became abundantly clear to me that Speakman’s strengths include a phenomenal ability to execute on the B2B sales side of its business, having recently restructured and retooled its already effective sales team. Its product development capabilities are first-rate, and the company has interesting projects in its product pipeline.
About the Role:
In the commercial world, traditionally companies have not sold very effectively to consumers. Yet that’s the central goal for Speakman. The firm seeks to build a brand friendly ecommerce channel that can operate as a profitable standalone while providing strategic lift to its Commercial, Hospitality, and Industrial channels. Management believes (and I agree) that if ecommerce is pursued correctly, there’s no reason Speakman can’t double or triple in size.
That’s not a pipe dream: Speakman has more than 100 years of designing, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing its products. This company knows how to design, engineer, source, and manufacture products. In fact, Speakman has 1,500 products in its product portfolio.
And it’s not like Speakman lacks experience online.
Currently, the firm does several million dollars in ecommerce business, and has moved its products online resulting in over 1,000 products on Amazon, Build.com, and HD.com. In the commercial side Speakman has moved its commercial products to web as well, for instance, it has 600 items on Grainger.com. Meaning, there is a significant opportunity to take what’s working in Speakman’s wholesale facing ecommerce business and apply those best practices on the consumer ecommerce side of the business.
According to company CEO Rob Cook …
“There’s fantastic potential to create enormous value for the business and make a name for ourselves in online retail. We consider the ecommerce channel to be our showroom. Speakman has a flat management structure, and we make decisions quickly. The fact that we are so lean gives us an opportunity to embrace nontraditional ways of doing things. We are transitioning from being an old line plumbing company to one well attuned to the Silicon Valley orientation regarding product innovation.”
“Additionally, because of the way our wholesale marketing initiatives are structured, we don’t have the same channel conflict issues that plague larger companies in our industry. We can try new things without fear of alienating our channel partners. The commercial side of our business gives our products a very strong validation, plus it’s a wonderful way to expose our fans to new products in a risk-free way.”
The existing ecommerce team includes a copywriter, a data specialist, a graphics designer, a product merchandising specialist, and an account manager for third-party marketplaces like Amazon, HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com and Build.com. What the company needs is a financially savvy, strategically literate general manager to grow the channel in a way that makes sense to the entire business.
In other words, when Speakman’s sales reps visit Hyatt, Marriott, and other commercial accounts, corporate buyers must see Speakman’s ecommerce activities as image boosting, not as a threat. Obviously, commercial buyers and major hotels are looking for the best possible experience for their guests. Therefore, the more highly regarded Speakman’s products are, the better the hotelier’s image will be to guests.
As usual, I have an extraordinary cache of information I can share with qualified candidates. Suffice it to say, this is an outstanding opportunity for an up-and-coming ecommerce general manager to have a major impact on a highly respected, T-shirt worthy brand. If that appeals to you, then we’d love to hear from you. Please apply below.
- Be a significant part of the team who will redo Speakman’s website this year.
- Build, grow, and manage a team of 3-4 channel experts to drive aggressive online user growth with the firm’s own ecommerce website and through its ecommerce partners.
- Develop and execute a multi-faceted online user acquisition strategy.
- Define and own key metrics around acquisition, activation, conversion, engagement, and lifetime value of consumers.
- Leverage audience channels such as SEO/SEM, social, content partnerships and influencers to drive growth.
- Oversee overall search strategy through organic and paid channels.
- Identify new opportunities for traffic growth.
- Work with product to define features and optimizations that will drive user growth and conversions (e.g. landing pages).
- Leverage analytics to measure effectiveness and reach of campaigns.
- BA/BS in marketing or related field.
- 5+ years of experience in digital marketing.
- 3+ years of experience in acquisition marketing.
- 3+ years of experience marketing consumer durables in the online world to Amazon, and other leading ecommerce companies.
- Expertise in building and managing effective teams.
- Strong understanding of SEO and paid search.
- Startup experience preferred.
- You are inquisitive, and a product person, and love marketing consumer durable products to the consumer.
- You’re agile and and quick thinking. You like making things happen, are disciplined about time management, and consider yourself a remover of obstacles.
- You understand that marketing is commerce, and commerce is marketing, and you can drive to a revenue number.
- You are willing to take risks, and be responsible for the outcome.
- You understand the metrics and can communicate them to people who don’t understand them.
- You’re self-motivated. You see something that can be improved, and you don’t wait for permission to fix it.
- You communicate well. You can articulate issues and solutions not only to team members but to other teams in the company.
UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.
PS – If you’re thinking about changing jobs this year (through us or anyone else), you might want to check out this post on why even TOP candidates get rejected.