Vice President of Marketing
(VP Recruiter)

Vice President of Marketing

With 14 VP’s of Marketing placed in just the past two years, the recruitment of senior marketing leaders has become a major focus of mine. Be sure to check out my blog article,  “Defining Excellence in the Marketing C-Suite.”  Also, if you haven’t seen it, you’ll enjoy this excellent article by Gartner’s Jake Sorofman on “Five Things Digital CMO’s Do Better,” published by the Harvard Business Review. A must read for anyone in a senior marketing leadership role.

Our Philosophy

When it comes to looking for a Vice President of Marketing, you have lots of choices. Often the first recruitment firms that come to mind are the global, silk slipper executive search firms whose services include psychological testing and thorough resume vetting and background checks.

They also charge fully retained fees.

I offer an alternative.

Our Approach

We offer a “boutique” high-touch approach that may or may not align with your needs:

  • We work only with high growth companies that have revenues less than $500M.
  • Our focus is digital and multi-channel, including traditional direct response. We do not focus on brand marketing or general advertising.
  • You’ll partner closely with me throughout the entire process.
  • I leave resume verification to online services that can do that work for a very low cost.  I focus on what I do best: Identifying, evaluating, qualifying, presenting and making sure you hire only best of breed marketing leaders.
  • There is a modest engagement fee, with the majority of the fee contingent. We keep plenty of skin in the game.
  • We encourage you to make the investment to bring me to your company headquarters to meet the decision makers and HR (if involved), draft a job description, discuss your culture, your hiring preferences and your management philosophy. This in-house experience is what truly differentiates our service, and assures that the person you hire will be a perfect fit. Once we fill the position those expenses are deducted from the placement fee, so you’ll get that back.

This process has led to the successful placement of more than 120 VP’s of Marketing and CMO’s over the past two and a half decades. And when it comes to placing these highly specialized professionals, process is the name of the game. Learn more about my specific recruitment process.

vice president of marketing

Thought Leadership

Job Description

Expand the title below to read a job description I wrote for a recent Vice President of Marketing placement.  This is representative of my approach to job descriptions, focusing heavily on performance outcomes.

Position Title: Vice President of Marketing

Location: Corporate headquarters are located in Carlsbad, CA.

Position Summary: The Vice President of Marketing is a newly created position that will be a key member of Dealstruck’s executive team and play a critical role in the company’s future growth.

General Duties:
The Vice President of Marketing will:

  • Provide the leadership and vision to strengthen existing client relationships, as well as identify and penetrate new market segments;
  • Be the steward of the brand(s) and support all marketing efforts across the company, as well as new business initiatives. This will require very close cooperation with the CEO and Chief Strategy Officer;
  • Work in conjunction with internal operating units, as well as with external agencies and business partners, to lead the development and execution of a substantial number of new programs and products;
  • Proactively adjust market strategy and make recommendation to modify business strategy to meet changing market conditions;
  • Use analysis to enhance company-wide marketing competencies, such as thoroughly understanding our customers and brand positions;
  • Impact and improve organizational structure to achieve marketing goals;
  • Develop marketing plans with emphasis on implementation,evaluation, feedback and measurement, including key performance metrics, to maximize ROI;
  • Lead public relations, branding and thought leadership efforts on a national scale;
  • Be instrumental in positioning Dealstruck as an industry leader in commercial finance services.

Reporting Relationship: The Vice President of Marketing will report to the Chief Executive Officer.

Direct Reports: The Vice President of Marketing will initially manage a PR Consultant and an outside marketing/SEM/SEO agency. New staff will be added as needed.

Key Internal Relationships:

  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Chief Strategy Officer
  • VP of Operations
  • Director of Sales

Major Performance Objectives:

1. Existing Marketing Strategy Assessment : Assess the current state of Dealstruck’s marketing capabilities and gain a firm grasp of the competitive landscape.

  • Review digital and traditional marketing plans
  • Evaluate use and extension of social media efforts
  • Evaluate efforts in event, association, affiliate and other marketing
  • Analyze positioning and value proposition against others.
  • Enhance business development efforts by understanding the customer and the buying process:
  • Investing in market assessment
  • Dialogue with current customers
  • Refinement of product offerings

2. Inbound Pipeline Management : Achieve origination, revenue, and margin goals through the effective management of people and resources.

  • Continuation and extension of lead generation strategies, by industry and segment.
  • Continuance and support of current large-scale marketing activities:
  • Oversee and adjust as necessary the company’s efforts to drive traffic to its website;
  • Oversee and adjust as necessary the organization’s current advertising and promotional activities;
  • Oversee and adjust as necessary the company’s event marketing, such as trade shows, networking events, and public/community relations;
  • Oversee and adjust as necessary the company’s strategic partnerships.

3. Staff Management : Extend the reach and establish leadership in the department by:

  • Reviewing the capabilities of each team member, as well as outside vendors;
  • Mentoring, coaching, and training the team to achieve personal growth and company success; and
  • Working directly and cooperatively with peers to help them grow and succeed.

4. Overall Corporate Strategy : Be an integral part of the company’s strategy:

  • Identify potential new market segments;
  • Participate in the development of new products;
  • Find innovative and cost-effective ways to market those segments and products, especially through digital marketing and promotion;
  • Find opportunities to cross-sell, cross-promote, extend the brands collectively or individually.

Specific Strategic Objectives: Since Dealstruck is an online financial services platform, digital ownership is paramount for this position. Expectations within this element of the role include:

1. SEM / PPC :

      The importance of paid search cannot be overstated for online finance companies. The Vice President of Marketing will be expected to bring focus, discipline, and creativity to this channel. The VP of Marketing will work closely with third party partners to:
        • Better understand Dealstruck’s value proposition and its success metrics;
        • Research the marketplace to identify new opportunities for growth;
        • Review, refine, and enhance Dealstruck’s targeted keyword list and develop relevant text ads;
        • Develop strong landing pages that convert as per the pre-defined success metrics;
        • Ensure all tracking is in place and working across key data points; and
        • Manage appropriate returns on ad spend.

      2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) : The Vice President of Marketing must thoroughly understand:

      • Off-site influences (document sharing; social bookmarking; press releases; pins; +1’s; likes; shares) and
      • On-site influences (sitemaps; editorial calendaring; semantic indexing; etc).

      3. Email Marketing : Currently, there is a significant opportunity to improve Dealstruck’s email marketing efforts through more sophisticated e-mail segmentation by thinking more strategically about how we maintain contact with our customers. The Vice President of Marketing must help the team identify and exploit new opportunities to grow this channel by treating different customers differently. Doing that will require:

      • Extensive hands-on, “in the trenches” experience in slicing and dicing the database and
      • Refining the promotional calendar.


      4. Web Design / User Experience :
      Although you won’t be expected to get into the weeds on web design and UX issues, it’s essential that you are snow proofed on issues like:

      • Wire framing;
      • User flows;
      • Interaction models; and
      • Style guides.

      Experience and Abilities:

      Experience Desired:

      • BA/BS in Business and/or Marketing;
      • 5+ years experience in both strategic marketing planning and execution in digital marketing, direct mail and alternative media;
      • 5+ years experience in strategy, branding, and research;
      • 2+ years experience in B-to-B multichannel direct marketing;
      • Proven experience/exposure to small business services, preferably in the financial services industry, at a national level;
      • Significant understanding of general digital technologies;
      • Deep understanding of marketing technologies to review, analyze and improve marketing efforts;
      • Strong base of brand management experience;
      • Proven success at project management as it relates to development strategies, tactics and rollout plans for new marketing initiatives, including management of outside vendors.

      Desired Abilities:

      • Able to adapt leadership style to effectively communicate and build consensus across functions that are both highly analytical and highly creative;
      • Excellent communication skills: Internal and external spokesperson, equally comfortable talking with customers, employees and the executive management team;
      • “Hands-on” or “Player/coach” entrepreneurial style, one that looks to become involved in all elements of managing their functional responsibility, with high personal standards of commitment and integrity;
      • Excellent analytic abilities in forecasting and P&L management, business metrics, campaign analysis, segmentation solutions, media evaluation, customer valuation and customer strategy development;
      • Proven ability to manage change, drive transformation and successful implementation.

      Personal Qualities:

      • Strong leader, builder, self-starter, motivator, highly collaborative team member;
      • Energetic and enthusiastic business leader with drive and ambition;
      • Innovative and creative thinker;
      • Flexible and open to change;
      • A scientific, experimental and analytical mind set—open to ideas while ensuring proper testing of alternatives.

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      Mailing Address

      Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC
      2068 Greenwood Drive
      Minneapolis, MN 55060
      507-451-4270
      jerry@bernhart.com