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We are working with Extended Stay America (“ESA”) in their search for a world-class CRM and Email Marketing Manager based in Charlotte, NC. This is one of the coolest email marketing jobs around!

HARRY’S COMMENTS: One of these days I’m going to write a book about the ridiculous world of recruiting. And when I do, you’ll be reading about this role’s hiring manager — Christopher Thomas-Moore, one of the most capable digital marketers I’ve ever placed. How I met Christopher and came to place him in 2011 at Extended Stay America defies belief. If you think job seekers do dumb things from time to time, wait until you hear about the company who initially passed on Christopher — and why.

You’ll swear I’m making it up.

Now then, Extended Stay America (NYSE:STAY) is one of America’s largest company-owned hotel chains. You probably know them. The firm offers hotel accommodations that are appropriate for anyone, with the main difference being that ESA’s rooms feature a kitchen. Stay in one of these the next time you take a trip somewhere. They’re great. Extended Stay is the undisputed leader in the extended-stay category, and their accommodations allow consumers to live very comfortably while they are away from home for extended and even short periods of time.

Hence the name.

The extended stay hotel category is experiencing a recovery following declines sustained during the recession. Now, on the back of increases in demand from domestic and international travelers, the extended stay category has outperformed the broader economy.

The number of extended-stay rooms has been growing, in part because these properties tend to have lower guest turnover and operating costs. The segment saw more than $1 billion in new investment during 2012 amid increased demand, high occupancy, and strong gains in average rate, according to Hotel News Now. Extended-stay hotels typically offer lower prices than traditional hotels, efficiency kitchens, and limited maid service. Over the five years to 2019, the industry is forecast to expand dramatically.

Perfect timing.

Candidates, as you are doing basic research on this company, you’ll notice that the firm came out of bankruptcy four years ago. That bankruptcy had to do with a recapitalization and was not related to the company’s solvency. Big difference. In fact, the private equity firm that bought ESA realized that the company had huge potential, and that the future of ESA was one of the great untold stories in American business.

In an all-out effort to align the customer experience with that story, Extended Stay America’s management and backers completely launched a hotel renovation program in 2012 that to date has resulted in the renovation of more than half of the company’s portfolio of 682 properties. At an estimated cost of $600 million, this effort solidified the solid commitment of the organizations investors.

It’s a whole new ball game

ESA has a new brand, a revitalized mission and purpose, and its best days are ahead of it. Management consolidated the company’s five brands under three strong brands (Extended Stay America, Extended Stay Canada & Crossland Studios), value prop, and operating model. The brand has a new voice with authentic tonality and has been a leader in its category for years. In other words, Extended Stay America’s star is on the rise! There could not be a better time to join this growing organization.

Now it’s time to rock and roll.

And that means continuously improving the online experience; taking ESA’s digital testing strategy to the next level; getting much more aggressive in specific target markets; and optimizing the business across 1000 far-flung customer touch points. From a CRM and email standpoint, it all comes down to three things: Lead generation, Optimization, and Retention.

According to a recent survey by YesMail, email open rates on mobile devices accounted for 64.5% of opens in Q2 2014, compared with just 36.5% on desktops. The obvious implication here is that mobile is growing in importance, particularly in the travel category. Your job will be to prevent ESA from missing optimization opportunities across multiple devices, which will mean identifying and eliminating deficiencies in ESA’s ESP and CRM platforms.

Reporting directly to Christopher, this role will have the responsibility for the management of ESA’s multi-layered email marketing program and related systems. Meaning, you will help set strategic direction of the eCRM program while ensuring a balance between company and guest / client objectives. Obviously, we’d expect you to be confident and capable in all facets of the CRM applications and Email Service Provider platforms.

As you might expect in such an important role, you’ll be working closely with internal and external interests plus cross-functional leaders including members from: Brand Communications, IT, Sales, Social Media and Product teams. ESA is a high-growth organization where everyone brings a ton of energy, drive, and enthusiasm to work every day.

There’s not a lot of red tape here.

Which means that you will play a critical role in making important organizational decisions. This role will have P&L accountability for all email related budgets. The good news is, your fingerprints (and nobody else’s) will be all over your successes.

Bottom line: You and your email coordinator will be expected to mine and leverage guest insights and behaviors to develop effective marketing and communications strategies. If you can do that in a world-class way, we’d love to hear from you.

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MAJOR / KEY JOB DUTIES

  • Assume the role of primary business owner of ESA’s email marketing and CRM platforms, providing strategic direction within the organization
  • Partner with ESA’s internal and external technology teams to develop product road maps for the CRM platform
  • Proactively assist the organization in realizing the full value of the CRM application and look for opportunities to realize a return on the investment to include but not limited to increase the productivity of a company’s employees, re-engineer business processes to improve efficiencies, leverage automation, etc.
  • Lead email marketing program, developing contact strategies and partnering with functional areas for the creation of content and creative
  • Work with internal and external (vendor) resources to ensure email marketing platform and associated databases are properly configured and capturing all appropriate data element to drive board reach and targeted efforts
  • Create analytics processes to understand consumer insights to better identify guest behaviors and brand engagement
  • Develop segmented communications and predictive modeling strategies that maximize annual spend, retention, frequency and loyalty
  • Manage the creation of reporting dashboards through current CRM system and 3rd party vendors to highlight trends, segment shifts and behaviors
  • Develop business cases to address key business issues (i.e., resources, guest services, buying trends, etc.) based on guest insights derived from CRM insights.
  • Partner with various functional teams including Operations and Sales to determine and implement strategies for the increase in capture rates of qualified guest data across all customer touch points
  • Monitor and influence KPIs of key initiatives through consistent optimization and embracement of a “test & learn” mindset
  • Create customer segment level contact plans and customer experience maps

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES & COMPETENCIES

  • Extensive experience with data and analytics and leveraging analytics to plan and drive sales and marketing efforts
  • Extensive experience in CRM applications, with a preference in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Email Service Providers with a preference towards Silverpop.
  • Experience working across and influencing cross-functional teams including IT, Marketing disciplines, vendors/consultants and ideally also multiple global Regions
  • Experience with understanding interfaces between CRM and ESP systems
  • Strong interpersonal, partnership and influence management skills
  • Superb project management expertise including excellent multi-tasking, prioritization and organization skills
  • Comfort with white space and a fast-changing environment
  • Hands-on, results-driven mentality

ENVIRONMENTAL JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • Located in a comfortable indoor area. Any unpleasant conditions would be infrequent and not objectionable.
  • Overnight travel, minimal to none (less than 5%)

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • 5+ years of experience in core disciplines of Marketing (e.g. segmentation, digital marketing channels, email marketing, customer engagement and loyalty program, etc.),
  • 3+ years of email marketing experience (strategy, creative direction, CAN-SPAM, related systems/vendors and analytics)
  • BA in Business or Marketing field, or related experience

UPDATE: THIS SEARCH IS CLOSED.

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