FILLED: Director of SEM / PLA (Miami, Florida)

  • Full Time
  • Miami, FL
  • This position has been filled

  • Full Time
  • Miami, FL
  • This position has been filled

SOUTH FLORIDA – With more than 100 ecommerce searches each year, is the leading contingency-based recruiting firm serving the, Ad:Tech, and IR-500 communities. To opt-in to our popular “Ecommerce Job of the Day” email, click here. (Simply unsubscribe at the end of your job search.)

One of the coolest Director of SEM jobs around!

HARRY’S COMMENTS: We are working with a confidential client in their search for a Director of SEM / PLA based in always-sunny South Florida. The client is one of the largest suppliers of promotional products in America.

The company serves both BUSINESSES and CONSUMERS.

In B2C, the firm markets to consumers for special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, baby showers, family reunions, weddings and anniversaries, as well as holidays and seasonal events like Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, the Super Bowl, Fourth of July and so on.

Consumer orders are a HUGE part of this business.

Think about it: Does it seem to you like there’s always a party going on somewhere? Well, there is — which is why this is such a great industry to be in!

In B2B, promotional products are usually given away to promote a product, brand or corporate identity at trade shows and conferences, on sales calls, used in direct mail, and as bonus items in shipped orders.

They’re often the centerpiece of guerrilla marketing campaigns, too. Given the importance of brand vitality in driving purchasing behavior for both new and existing customers, the promotional products industry is MASSIVE. And it’s only getting bigger.

I mean, who doesn’t love clever swag? For fans of a brand, it’s a very cost-effective way to stay top of mind.

About the B2B Market

According to IBIS World, the Promotional Products industry has grown considerably over the last five years. Now at $18 billion (which includes both B2C and B2B), the industry has benefitted from both increases in corporate profit and higher advertising expenditures. Demand for industry services is strongly linked to the marketing budgets of business clients, and seasonal events and elections tend to boost industry revenue.

Yet digital is making its mark on the industry.

Due to a high degree of competition from other mobile advertising, industry operators (like my client) have widened their portfolio of services while shifting toward integrated advertising campaigns, whereby promotional products are used in conjunction with other forms of advertising as part of a coordinated marketing campaign.

The result: Promotional products will likely continue to be favored by companies because they offer the advantage of repeated exposure, as potential consumers are exposed to a brand name, message or logo each time they use a promotional item. Key industries benefitting from promotional products include …

  • Supermarkets & Grocery Stores
  • Clothing Stores
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Trade Show and Conference Planning
  • Concert & Event Promotion
  • Colleges & Universities
  • For-Profit Universities

Again, the client sells to both the B2B and B2C markets, but you can expect both of them to grow. You’ll be tasked with seizing both market opportunities.

About the Role

In this position, you’ll be responsible for two of the firm’s most important customer acquisition channels: Adwords and Google PLA. Meaning, you’ll oversee everything from bid optimization, to copy tests, to audience-based rules, to PLA feed optimization to drive profitable growth. I hope you like being in the spotlight!

You’ll be analyzing data for insights on issues like:

  • “Do conversion rates differ by market or time of day?”
  • “Is it worth bidding more for certain search terms or certain audiences?”
  • “Can you run a cohort analysis?”
  • “Do you understand sampling size calculations and p-values?”
  • … and more.

Be ready to get in touch with your inner nerd.

You’ll be reporting to the client’s CMO, and his boss, the CEO, used to be a CMO. And these guys are process-driven marketers and LOVE data. They’ll want you to build tools and systems that’ll allow you and the team to build scalable, reliable systems to grow the business.

We’re looking for someone to really ramp up performance marketing productivity.

To win in this role, you’ll need deeep experience running big, gnarly Adwords campaigns. You won’t be able to manage these campaigns with a spreadsheet. You’ll be bidding on several hundred thousand keywords, and there are seasonal nuances to the business.

You MUST know how to manage Adwords at scale.

You should be able to manage the SEM account in detail, set automated reports, tinker with bid modifiers, and be an advanced user of Excel (gotta love those vlookup statements and pivot tables). Experience with SQL is a big plus. You should be able to pair complex data analysis with business intuition and be able to succinctly communicate key insights to company leadership.

Every day, you’ll find yourself elbow-deep in “smart bidding tools” similar to Google’s tROAS, Kenshoo, or Marin (we’d like you to have experience with at least one of the three). And: You must be well versed in close-variants match logic (no exceptions). Ideally, you’ll have experience with both SEM and PLA. Experience with A/B testing is essential, and experience with Bing and/or Criteo is a plus.

To be clear, this is a pretty senior role within the company.

Reporting directly to the CMO, this is an individual contributor role — at least initially. If you’d prefer to manage people vs getting very hands-on, this is probably not a great fit. You will be building new campaigns, adding negative keywords, setting bid strategies, tinkering with ad copy, tweaking PLA ranking factors, and reporting results.

This is not a junior role for someone looking to learn. We are looking for someone with at least 5 years of experience with Google SEM and/or PLA who can bring a proven playbook to the team.

You won’t believe how much we know about this search …

Like I said, Allan and I spent a ton of time on the phone with the client teasing out exactly what you’ll need to KNOW and DO to hit the ground running in this role. Some of the things I can share with highly qualified candidates include …

  1. The “real” background requirements for this position, along with the top five things all resumes MUST have to be considered for the role.
  2. The top five problems that exist due to this position being open. These are the little brush fires you will be expected to put out during your first month on the job. Every SEM job has these — and this one’s no different.
  3. What your average day/week will look like in this role. There’s what you read in the standard SEM job posting … then there’s reality. We’ve got the reality.
  4. The leading and lagging KPI’s that will determine your success in this role. In a nutshell: How you keep score.
  5. 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 SEM 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 Harry Joiner at (404) 281-2025 for this info. Or simply use the email link when you apply for the role below.

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


  • Manage the strategy and setup of all Google Adwords and PLA campaigns.
  • Measure and optimize Adwords / PLA campaigns using specific dashboards.
  • Collaborate with marketing teammates to maintain a consistent brand voice and message across all Adwords / PLA initiatives.
  • Create and test landing pages and lead-gen forms for content to distribute through relevant Adwords / PLA programs.
  • Stay up-to-date with digital marketing trends and potential new channels and strategies, including relevant updates to social media marketing, attribution, and programmatic media buying.
  • Manage technical aspects of key marketing systems (marketing automation, CRM) used to generate, distribute, and report on leads.
  • Establish and maintain scalable processes that ensure best practices in campaign and lead management.
  • Analyze marketing and sales data to develop insights and make recommendations on areas for optimization.
  • Monitor and maintain data quality within the marketing database.
  • Evaluate new technologies and add-on applications to improve and optimize marketing team performance.
  • Collaborate with marketing teammates, product managers, and other key stakeholders to implement what you learn.
  • Lead strategic guidance and build of Product Listing Ads / Shopping program
  • Create, implement, track, analyze, and optimize paid search campaigns in Google AdWords and Microsoft Ads
  • Utilize successful bidding strategies to hit key revenue and growth KPI’s
  • Provide data-driven, analysis-based recommendations in order to increase overall search performance efficiency
  • Optimize and continuously improve ROI campaigns across multiple ad platforms
  • Manage budget within set guidelines


  • BA/BS or equivalent working experience.
  • In-depth knowledge of the latest performance marketing capabilities, especially Adwords / PLAs
  • Experience handling huge Adwords budgets and forecasting/reporting results.
  • 5+ years of demonstrated expertise and experience in paid search for direct response
  • Hands-on experience with online campaign management, analysis, and optimization
  • Experience managing PLA / Shopping campaigns
  • Experience with website analytics tools
  • Advanced MS Excel fluency required (pivot tables, charts, vlookup, sumifs)
  • Digitally savvy, with specific proficiency at MS Suite: Excel, Word, PowerPoint
  • Highly personable, with strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment
  • Self-motivated, results-driven professional who consistently delivers


Recruitment and Staffing Services for Ecommerce Experts
For more info about Ecommerce Jobs call (404) 281-2025


Scroll to Top