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One of the coolest ecommerce careers around!
We are working with Petco in their search for a Director of Subscription Services based in the ever-sunny city of San Diego, CA — one of the world’s smartest cities. We’ve worked with Petco before, and there’s never been a better time to join its ecommerce team.
HARRY’S COMMENTS: Ever wonder what your pets talk about? What they think about? And what they do when you’re not home? That’s because as a pet parent, you’re likely “humanizing” your pets …
Humanizing a pet involves attributing human characteristics to them.
Happens every day. My family has two dogs and my kids adore them. Our dogs will listen patiently to our kids’ secrets without telling anyone, and they’ll love the kids unconditionally while asking little in return.
Pet parents want their pets to enjoy longer, happier lives and they’re often willing to spend a fortune to make this happen. 27% of of people now take care of their pets in their wills, and this year 50% of dog owners will buy their pooch a Christmas present.
(The number is actually 60% for millennials.)
It gets better: 87% of millennials say their pet makes them happier than anything else, and it’s not uncommon for a dog to sleep in the bed of a millennial pet parent. At one point, Gucci sold a sterling silver dog bowl, and the Google SERPs are loaded with local listings for luxury dog hotels.
According to Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, each successive generation has a stronger bond with its pets — a trend that seems here to stay.
That’s why Petco is a great business serving a FANTASTIC market.
According to the APPA, 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. This widespread pet ownership has made animals especially effective in consumer advertising, which further humanizes them.
Worldwide, the largest pet market by a wide margin is the US.
According to First Research, the US pet and pet supply store industry includes about 9,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $15 billion. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 70% of revenue. Competitors include grocery stores, warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers, and online retailers.
Online retail demand should remain brisk:
From now through 2021, IBISWorld forecasts that online revenue for the pet products category will enjoy a CAGR of ~5.0% to $6.3 billion, driven by increases in 1.) consumer internet access, 2.) pet ownership, and 3.) increases in per capita disposable income which will allow pet parents to spend lavishly on nontraditional items like chews, nutrient drops, vitamin enriched waters, snacks, and protein bars.
About the Role
We’re looking for a Director of Subscription Services who can drive the growth of this Petco business by leveraging Petco’s selection, pricing, customer experience, marketing and more across the lifecycle of the firm’s customers. In this role, you’ll be expected to think and act BIG, exercising a bias for action coupled with hypothesis-driven experimentation to drive the profitable growth of this program.
Petco’s subscription-based repeat delivery program is not new.
Nope. In fact, it’s been around for a while and you’d be shocked to know how big it is. By itself, “repeat delivery” is actually just the first pillar of a MUCH broader subscription services play (where subscriptions cover more than just the delivery of dog food).
As a direct marketer yourself, you already know that an etailer’s most profitable list is its own housefile. And you may know that many etailers do (something like) 80% their business with the top 20-40% of their customers. But what does it take to grow the rest of the housefile? This job is about helping Petco better service and deepen its relationships with its existing customer base.
And how might one do that?
The short answer is “anyway you can.” Marshall Field said it best: “Customers always return to the place where they have been proactively made to feel special.” So that’s the job: To help customers feel better about themselves because of their relationship with Petco and its member community.
Can you improve Petco’s loyalty, retention, and reactivation initiatives through smarter One-to-One marketing? You’ll have that opportunity. Can you improve Petco’s omnichannel customer experience through sharper data driven insights? Here’s your chance. Can you make the kind of business case for improving customer loyalty that will make your Petco peers jump on the loyalty bandwagon?
Today’s your lucky day.
Naturally, you’ll need to be a bit of a data nut to win in this role. The opportunities to grow Petco’s subscription business are everywhere, and we’ll expect you to have a knack for identifying the highest payoff opportunities — then prioritizing them using the 80/20 rule.
You’ll be leading a talented group of managers responsible for the growth of this program, so it’s essential that you be seen as a credible, polished executive within the firm. Financial literacy and strategic agility are a must, as is the ability to build organizational alignment around your programs, both internally and externally.
Should you apply for this job?
At a high level, we are looking for a driven A-player who has managed program business before. You’ll need to understand the various inputs for a program like this: pricing, marketing, selection, logistics, supply chain, everything. We need someone who really understands cost and revenue drivers and can break down both marketing and operations barriers to growth.
Beyond that, we need someone who understands the digital world and subscription models. Everyone knows about Amazon prime. But not many people understand all the different ways that customer relationships can be put on autopilot in ways that customers actually appreciate. That’s part of what this job entails.
This is an EXTREMELY high profile job.
As usual, we spent a ton of time on the phone with this client teasing out exactly what you’ll need to KNOW and DO to hit the ground running in this role. I had TWO lengthy calls with one of the smartest hiring managers I’ve ever engaged. It was a magic show. Some of the things we can share with highly qualified candidates include …
- The “real” background requirements for this position, along with the top five things all resumes MUST have to be considered for the role.
- The top five problems that exist due to this position being open. These are the little fires you will be expected to put out during your first month on the job. Every job has these — whether your recruiter wants you to know about them or not!
- What your average day / week will look like in this role. There’s what you read in the standard job posting … then there’s reality. We’ve got the reality.
- The top KPI’s that will determine your success in this role. In a nutshell: How you keep score.
- The major projects you’ll need to complete by Day 100 to be considered a home-run in this position. We’ve got the lowdown on how you can plug-and-play and drive REAL value in this job.
We have a massive amount of proprietary intel to share with qualified candidates. Our industry research for this assignment exceeds 100 pages! Be sure to TEXT me, Harry Joiner, for this info at (404) 281-2025.
Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.
Essential Job Functions:
- Ensure goals and objectives are strategically and tactically aligned to differentiate Subscription Services from the competition, as well as deliver on Petco’s customer value proposition of exceeding customer expectations and financial budgets.
- Collaborate with cross-functional partners to manage all aspects of the Subscription business (including, business planning, content strategy and development, promotional campaigns and other online marketing, website design, customer service, web analytics and web technologies) to facilitate channel planning and competitive strategies to gain alignment & drive consistency in Petco’s go to market programs.
- Provide leadership to Subscription Services team and broader cross-functional team in defining strategies and tactics to achieve goals.
- Drive a culture of experimentation and rapid testing, to quickly identify winning tactics and scale them swiftly across the portfolio
- Acts as a relentless customer advocate with an undeterred focus on delivering a world-class online store experience.
- Provide expertise on best practices for e-Commerce industry and subscription programs. Consult on cross-functional projects to ensure e-Commerce principles are incorporated and impact to Subscription Services is understood.
- Direct the development of marketing plans and promotions across all digital channels to drive awareness, consideration and conversion of Subscription Services (across acquisition, engagement and retention) with an eye towards scalable process and efficient marketing spend. Collaborate with marketing teams to constant review, refine these plans to drive towards goals.
- Maintain expert-level knowledge of products, customer trends and market factors, utilizing the category review process to identify key factors affecting the performance of assigned categories.
- In collaboration with cross-functional teams, direct the creation, development and utilization of data-driven processes and predictive models to monitor customer performance against previous cohorts of customers and also proactively detect abnormal behavior that may yield to negative outcomes (customer cancelling or pausing subscription)
- Build and direct a cohesive, high performance team of internal and external personnel to effectively drive the business.
- Coach, mentor, motivate and supervise project team members and contractors, and influence them to take positive action and accountability for t assigned work.
- Interact professionally and effectively through verbal and written communication with all professional contacts with emphasis on company interests.
- Perform other related duties, tasks and responsibilities as required, assigned and directed.
With a keen eye for detail and an ability to work under tight deadlines, you’ll manage a portfolio of online initiatives and will supervise other team members to deliver key business results. The buck will stop with YOU, and your impact will be demonstrated through 1.) a sustained level of contribution over time, and 2.) the ability to mentor and guide team members through the transformation created through key omni-channel growth initiatives.
Education And Experience
This role requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but a top-tier MBA will certainly come in handy. The role requires a minimum of 10 years experience in progressively responsible, professional-level consumer/ online marketing with increased responsibilities/scale. To win in this role, you’ll have demonstrated experience running and optimizing large scale business programs, using data and customer-centricity to effectively drive results. Hands-on experience on subscription program and/or consulting background a plus.
Additionally, this role requires functional experience to include business management, product management, online/ channel marketing, and pricing. Beyond that, the role requires the advanced business acumen and analytical skills necessary for proper financial modeling and management of assigned categories, including the ability to control financial metrics required to achieve profit objectives.
Hence the need for an MBA.
Naturally, you’ll need advanced computer skills, including MS Office Suite and the aptitude to learn and utilize new internal applications.
Other responsibilities will include …
- Leading a staff of direct reports and/or cross-functional team without administrative supervisory authority
- Directing, persuading, and motivating others with the ability to flex style as the situation requires, and collaborate or empower as needed
- Partnering and negotiating with vendors, as well as with Petco associates
- Understanding and communicating with a diverse set of leaders and associates at various levels and within various functional areas that impact their category(s)
- Managing multiple responsibilities with the skill to multi-task, as well as shift the focus from one task to another seamlessly
- Developing long-range plans for assigned category(s) based on sound knowledge of category and corporate expectations
- Recognizing and seizing opportunities to maximize sales and profitability
- Championing change management efforts through the effective utilization of the talent of team members
You MUST have a valid driver’s license and the ability to obtain a US Passport for international travel.
Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERE. Candidates, please be sure to email Harry for a packet of market research and company / competitive intel 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.