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We are working with Speakman Company in its search for a Director of Marketing based in New Castle, DE. This is one of the coolest Delaware marketing jobs around. 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, 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 bathe 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
The Director of Marketing will lead a team responsible for operational elements of the marketing strategy, including brand management, product marketing, direct channel marketing, and the firm’s overall digital presence. This role plans, scopes, and executes marketing strategies — ensuring that all plans and tactics are coordinated for the attainment of targeted product and channel results.
In the commercial world, traditionally companies have not sold very effectively to consumers. Yet that’s a 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, either.
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 — many of which should have a broad consumer appeal. It’ll be your job to coordinate the firm’s messaging across its DTC and wholesale channels.
- Become a vital part of the leadership team.
- Build, grow, and manage a team of 7-10 to drive grow the firm’s brand to the trade and to the consumer.
- Be responsible for the re-launching of Speakman’s web site in 2014.
- Own the planning and execution for over 20 annual trade shows, customer shows, and customer facing meetings.
- Lead Speakman’s trade marketing effort.
- Lead the ecommerce team to quadruple the firm’s ecommerce revenue.
- Ensure that Speakman’s catalogs, collateral material, and promotional brochures are updated annually.
- Understand the firm’s product line, and which products are right for each channel.
- Take Speakman’s brand to the consumer through ecommerce, social media, email marketing, and consumer advertising.
- BA/BS in marketing or related field.
- 10+ years of experience in marketing.
- 4+ years of experience in digital marketing.
- A strong consumer durable product background.
- Expertise in building and managing effective teams.
- A strong history leading teams and driving results.
- An understanding of both digital and traditional trade marketing.
- Experience is managing outside vendors.
- You understand channel marketing, have done it successfully, can communicate previous campaigns, and will hit the ground running.
- You consider yourself to have a merchandising flair.
- You are a detailed planner, organized, with a strong history of executing initiatives.
- You have high standards for yourself, for your team, and for every initiative your team delivers.
- You are inquisitive, and a product person, and love marketing consumer durable products to the consumer.
- You’re agile and and quick thinking. You love 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’re self-motivated. You see something that can be improved, and you don’t wait for permission to fix it.
- You communicate well to your team, to other members of the organization, and up to the CEO. You can articulate issues and solutions not only to team members but to other teams in the company.
Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to email Harry for additional information 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.
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.