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One of the coolest ecommerce marketing jobs around …
We are working with American Textile Company in its search for a worldclass Ecommerce Manager based in Duquesne, PA.
Reporting to the VP of Marketing, the Ecommerce Manager will be responsible for transforming the company’s online consumer ecommerce platform into an industry leading presence, as well as growing the online sales of American Textile’s major retail partners. The firm provides a fast-moving entrepreneurial environment and needs an experienced professional with the desire and proven skills needed to create and execute a strategy.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: “Performance bedding.” Ever heard of it? Me neither, but it makes perfect sense to America’s 50 million allergy sufferers (nearly 1 in 5). Aller-Ease keeps beds clean and fresh while providing allergen, bed bug, and waterproof protection. I have six kids, and my wife and daughter suffer allergies. During certain times of the year, they’re both miserable, so I can relate to this product. Parents, you take every measure you can to protect your child — so why wouldn’t you protect their mattress?
Who wants a miserable kid?
American Textile to the rescue.
American Textile is a consumer products company operating in the bedding space. The company specializes in bringing innovative bedding solutions to market. In the last several years, the bedding industry has become commoditized — leading to flattened differentiations among competitors and price competition.
Inspired by companies like Under Armour which have developed and marketed technical fabrics with specific benefits (like temperature regulation), American Textile has brought its R&D capability to bear on the development of bedding solutions that address specific consumer problems such as allergies.
This is an outstanding strategy that has led to dramatic improvements in the client’s underlying economics, and clarified its brand proposition in the marketplace, which has led to greater pricing power and improved margins. Additionally, by marketing to a well defined, easily addressable, and self-referencing (meaning, they talk to each other) segment of the market, it’s much easier for a company with a phenomenal product to gain traction and develop a lead in the market.
Necessary, Different, Proprietary, and Vertically Integrated
At the risk of repeating myself to my regular readers, one of the questions I ask myself when I’m considering taking a particular search is “Would I invest my own money in this company?” For a company to merit the investment of my hard-earned cash (and by extension, my candidate’s reputation, energy, and time – all of which are irreplaceable), I like to see businesses that are necessary, different, proprietary (in terms of what they do or what they sell) and vertically integrated.
Necessary = Indispensable
When marketers talk about finding a market’s “point of pain,” normally they’re not referring to actual “pain.” But in the case of American Textile, that’s exactly what we’re talking about. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergy is the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S. among all ages, and the 3rd most common chronic disease among children under 18 years old.
Allergy sufferers may or may not know it yet, but they absolutely need American Textile’s products. In fact, once an allergy sufferer catches a good nights sleep on Aller-Ease bedding, they don’t want to go back. As a marketer, I’m all over that.
And the thing is, very few companies do what American Textile does. Its products are innovative, its brands are trademarked, and the barriers to entry in the textile business are very high. Additionally, the firm adapts its brand to specific situations, which gives it the ability to sell through multiple retailers and multiple channels without serious fear of disintermediation. Again, as a fellow online marketer I love being in control of my product’s destiny.
Which brings me to what this job is about.
At the risk of mixing my metaphors, let me start by saying that American Textile’s VP of Marketing is one sharp cookie. He’s a classically trained CPG marketer with an analytical bias. He knows exactly what the firm’s business is about; who the businesses for; and exactly why that slamdunk customer would choose to do business with Aller-Ease versus any option available to them – including doing nothing.
Additionally, American Textile has come to the conclusion that ecommerce is a strategic priority from here on out. Even better, the company has decided that because digital commerce is so important, it’s essential that they put a rock star in the role. Today, the company does a fraction of its business online. In the next 5 years however, American Textile hopes that a double-digit percentage of its total revenues will transact online, both on its own websites and through retailers like Target.com, Walmart.com, and others.
Although I cannot get into it here, I have crunched the numbers with the hiring manager and the online revenue goals are totally attainable. Aggressive maybe, but not at all unrealistic — especially if you are business oriented, strategically literate, and understand multichannel customer acquisition.
We are looking for someone with a very strong commercial sense who can say “Okay, here’s what we need to do: We will drive customer reviews this way; We will merchandise the site like so; We will create product collections to improve the average order value; and so forth.” The role requires a very strong commercial acumen to drive the business in a way that is pie-enlarging, not pie-rearranging.
An exciting role at an exciting time.
The role is perfect for an ecommerce A-player who can take initiative and be entrepreneurial about growing the business. Obviously, you’ll need to be a creative problem solver. American Textile is a smallish organization, and we would expect you to come prepared to visualize and shaped the company’s ecommerce initiatives, and then make that happen in a way that is resource friendly, brand accretive, and doesn’t involve a lot of broken glass.
As usual, we have compiled an extraordinary amount of information on this company, this industry, and this particular role (reporting relationships; 100 day KPIs; points of leverage in the firm’s operating model, etc). Candidates, don’t be shy about requesting this information prior to interviewing. You’ll be glad you did.
- Leadership of ATC Digital Programs
- Evaluate and continually improve the aller-ease.com ecommerce web experience, as well as other ATC-owned brand sites
- Develop and implement ecommerce marketing, merchandising, and creative programs to drive sales and reviews, and continuously improve sales effectiveness
- Monitor and improve the impact of paid and unpaid portal sites
- Manage agency relationships, including those for web development and social media
- Develop platform to test and refine new brands prior to retail launch
- Create and execute a plan for mobile
- Continually enhance core systems to support the eCommerce experience
- Management of Customer ecommerce Programs
- Manage product descriptions and links across dot.com, enhance images and video, and test promotional opportunities to drive consistent growth for our customers
- Develop a catalog process for new item and account set up
- Establish relationships with customers dot.com buyers and marketers to align American Textile’s efforts with theirs
- Implement new user ratings and reviews system
- Improve DTC execution and scalability working with Customer Service, Operations, and other functions appropriate
- Develop consistent POS reports and site analytics to enable informed decision-making
- Report user reviews, coordinate responses with Customer Service, and address root cause
- Minimum of 3-5 years experience in a similar role, with ownership of ecommerce initiatives
- Bachelor’s degree in Business, Information Technology, or related field
- Ability to lead and shape a new role in growing, demanding, and complex environment
- Very strong project management skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills for reporting and interacting internally and with customers
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.