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One of the coolest online marketing jobs around!

HARRY’S COMMENTS: If you know something about selling apparel to young Millennials and Generation Z, step right up! We are working with rue21 in their search for a Vice President of Digital Marketing based in Warrendale, PA — just north of Pittsburgh.

This is a terrifically cool digital marketing job.

rue21 is the largest fast-fashion retailer in the nation. The firm’s operating model centers on tightening the loop between R&D; new product launches; marketing; and distribution. With a presence in 48 states, rue21 has +1,100 stores located in shopping malls, outlets and strip centers. The firm prides itself on its social responsibility …

The premise behind rue21 is that fashion plays a key role in a teen’s journey to self-discovery. The company exists to help teens choose a style and make it their own. The signature rue21 look focuses on fresh, feel-good pieces that let individuals totally “own” their own look. With brands like rue21 etc! (girls’ shoes and accessories), rue+ (girls’ plus sizes), tarea (girls’ lingerie), ruebeauté! (girls’ fragrance and beauty), CARBON elements (guys’ shoes and accessories), rueGuy (guys’ expanded apparel selection) and ruebleu Swim (girls’ swimwear), rue21 seeks to make the latest trends of affordable and efficient and available to anyone.

About the Market

While there’s some disagreement about how many millennials there are in America, there is evidence that teenagers have never been a smaller portion of our population. Meaning, this space is hugely competitive, and it’s getting more so every day.

In case you’re wondering, here’s a reference list of some commonly used age brackets and their corresponding population estimates and population shares as of last year:

  1. 12-17: 25 million (7.8%)
  2. 18-24: 31.5 million (9.9%)
  3. 25-34: 43.5 million (13.6%)
  4. 35-44: 40.5 million (12.7%)
  5. 45-54: 43.5 million (13.6%)
  6. 55-64: 40.1 million (12.6%)
  7. 65-74: 26.4 million (8.3%)
  8. 75+: 19.8 million (6.2%)

The first two brackets represent rue21’s “sweet spot” — and as the firm’s VP of Digital Marketing, you’ll be responsible for the strategy, execution, analysis, and on-going optimization of rue21’s online marketing programs to these cohorts — most of whom dig YouTube and read magazines like Twist, Glamour, Allure, and Lucky.

(Useful to know for integrated digtal marketing purposes.)

Reporting to the SVP of Digital Retail, this role is directly accountable for driving performance across a portfolio of online marketing programs including …

  • Paid Search,
  • Natural Search/SEO,
  • Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE),
  • Remarketing,
  • Targeted Display,
  • Affiliates,
  • Online Marketplaces,
  • International/Borderfree,
  • Site Ratings & Reviews,
  • Strategic Partnerships, and …
  • Discovering and testing new and emerging digital channels

The VP of Digital Marketing supports the ecommerce business – driving qualified traffic to rue21.com. Beyond that, the role supports the overall digital marketing efforts designed to drive the overall rue21 business and brand.

We’re looking for channel marketing expert in this role; someone who knows how to optimize channels today — as well as in the future. You’ll be coming into a small staff. Initially, you’ll be an army of one. Direct hands-on experience in organic search, paid search, affiliate management, CSE and Google PLA’s is essential.

Agency-types are welcome!

Currently this job is being handled part-time by other people, but there’s lots of opportunity for personal and professional growth because the responsibilities are chain wide. Those opportunities include improving marketing planning and cost optimizing rue21’s current programs, along with the integration of email, search, and Google PLA’s.

The comp on this role is pretty awesome, btw. And Pittsburgh rules!

As always, my team and I spent more than an hour on the phone with rue21’s hiring committee exploring this opportunity and teasing out exactly what the new VP must do to “win” in the role. Yet for competitive reasons I’m not going to get too granular here.

I’m happy to discuss everything I’ve heard, seen, and researched about those things with qualified candidates. You definitely don’t want to apply without this intel, so let me hook you up.

Simply TEXT [your name + “Rue21”] to me at (404) 281-2025. Or simply apply online below. Either way, I look forward to chatting with you!

View Harry Joiner's LinkedIn profileView Harry Joiner’s profile


  • Drive the digital marketing strategy, aligned with brand standards, execution and budget
  • Lead, train, hire, and develop digital marketing team
  • Manage digital marketing processes, plans and spend optimization across digital properties and device types
  • Develop specific retention, reactivation, and new customer acquisition segment plans along with additional sub-segments (geo/market, credit, sub-brand, category, etc)
  • Drive traffic and revenue through Paid Search, Natural Search/SEO, Affiliates, Email, Targeted Display, Site Ratings/Reviews, Retargeting, Marketplaces, International, and Strategic Partnerships
  • Partner with Merchandising team to recommend and develop product, content and other promotional marketing programs that drive qualified traffic and increase sales
  • Create customer and geo segment based digital marketing strategies: Create digital strategies that drive customer acquisition and engagement
  • Manage the online content and effectiveness of targeting and relevant communications to customers
  • Establish digital best practices and grow digital expertise across the organization
  • Coordinate with IT Operations team to ensure seamless execution of any/all site-side updates to support online marketing and analytics initiatives
  • Collaborate with the Brand Marketing team and IT to design and develop new innovative digital programs that elevate and advance our digital brand presence, while also supporting the growth of the ecommerce and store channels
  • Complete all other duties and responsibilities as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing or related field
  • 8+ years digital marketing experience
  • 2-3 years’ experience managing a digital marketing team
  • Hands-on expertise managing Paid Search, Email, SEO, Affiliate, Display, Mobile, and Social campaigns required
  • Prior specialty retail experience
  • Proven people management and leadership skills
  • Proven ability to work with and influence senior management
  • Strong, professional and effective verbal and written communication skills
  • High degree of proficiency in MS Office Suite, Outlook & Internet applications
  • Demonstrate strong creative instincts balanced with very solid strategic and analytical capabilities
  • Ability to operate independently while establishing strong working relationships with co-workers and cross-functional teams
  • Ability to foster a positive and motivating work environment, encouraging feedback and innovation
  • Self-motivated with critical attention to detail and deadlines
  • Ability to adapt well to change in direction and priority in a fast- paced and deadline-oriented environment


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