- Allergy Control Products:Oversaw successful installation of a new website and ongoing enhancements. Collaborated with a talented consultant to launch a successful email platform and increase file from 3K to 35K names. Tested new formats and promotional strategies. Managed a paid search channel that generates highly profitable revenues of ~$500K per year.
- Really Good Stuff (classroom merchandise):Selected an outside agency to develop a paid search channel.Led the project team to identify the specific products, keywords, copy and landing pages that would comprise the campaign.Used online analytics to evaluate customer behavior.Outcome: In its first year, the effort generated more than $1 million in revenue (versus total revenue of about $30 million), with outstanding profit margins.
Led implementation of search engine optimization best practices: submission of sitemaps to search engines and directories; use of relevant keywords in all content; use of proper meta tags; launching an inbound linking program; adding internal links that include targeted keywords; ensuring graphics have descriptive, keyword-rich alternative attributes.
Crafted a segmentation strategy to more effectively exploit the 300K-name email file: evaluated opt-out, open and conversion rates; used A/B split tests; performed deliverability tests.Outcome: increased conversion rates by 30%.
- Danbury Mint (MBI):Designed and managed the launch of the company’s first website.Evaluated competitive web sites, developed overall page flow and navigation.Managed design and programming team, developed and reviewed shopping cart functionality.Coordinated the gathering and uploading of copy and images from multiple product groups.Led the testing of banner ads, email, and affiliate marketing.Outcome:The initial investment of about $100K generated nearly $2 million in revenue in its first year (vs. total category revenue of ~$40 million).
- Wellconnected (personalized jewelry): Led development and implementation of search engine optimization, paid search, and opt-in email programs.Also managed the integration and tracking of web sales driven by print promotions.
- Homeowners Membership Service: Managed the launch of a consulting client’s online affiliate marketing program: determined payout rates; supervised creation of graphics and copy; reviewed and executed affiliate agreements; evaluated performance results; identified and analyzed the cause of poor click/sales rates (exposure, creative-demographic alignment, clarity of benefits, appeal of offer, landing page effectiveness, etc.)
- Dart Marketing:Created promotional material for online purchase recommendation service.Designed lead generation and contact tracking strategies, conducted online teleconferences.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MARKETING/MANAGEMENT (CRM)
- Determination of lifetime value (LTV).
- Development of communication programs dependent on customer purchase stage or trigger event (e.g., first purchase, cancellation, birthday, purchase amount milestone).
- Data mining, database management and offer optimization.
- Segmentation based on prior purchase category, amount/recency of purchases, gender, geography, demographics, and more.
- Promotional shipment inserts, follow-up mailings, and targeted cross-sells.
- Targeted cross-sale offers to existing customers.
- Retention/loyalty incentives for continuity program members (e.g., free/extra shipments, free display/storage devices, premiums, newsletters).
- Allergy Control Products:Resurrected and completely redesigned the company’s consumer catalog, taking revenues from zero to $350K (annualized).
- Really Good Stuff (classroom merchandise):Managed four catalog titles related to classroom merchandise - circulation of about 20 million per year.Responsibilities included budgeting, merchandising, layout and creative, list selection, production and distribution, ROI reporting and analysis.
- Danbury Mint (MBI):Spearheaded design of the first catalog in the early 1990’s.Since then, the number of titles has been expanded to include collectibles, sports memorabilia, diecast vehicle replicas, jewelry, dolls, and leather-boundbooks. The jewelry and dolls catalogs were among my direct responsibilities.
- General: Extensive experience with direct mail, email, print space ads, package and statement inserts - having planned and/or executed hundreds of solo-product advertising campaigns.Campaign responsibilities included the following:
o Manage promotion schedule to maximize impact and avoid over-mailing prime segments.
o Develop spending recommendations, including projected profit and inventory needs.
o Issue creative briefs, including ad specifications, key selling points, photographic guidelines and licensing/legal statements.Worked closely with internal ad agency.
o Review and edit copy, graphics and photography.
o Manage production and delivery of required materials and services (e.g., letters, brochures, merge/purge, insertion) and confirm their quality is satisfactory (e.g., press checks, proofing output reports).
o Submit list selection criteria for mailings (product type, dollar amount, frequency of purchase, gender, geography, etc.) and insertion orders for publications.
o Track and allocate results across multiple channels.
o Provide explanations for variances vs. projected spending and sales.
Proficient in telemarketing and direct response television (DRTV), having managed 60 and 120-second spot campaigns for Danbury Mint classic car replicas and for the PMG Collections presidential $1 coin continuity.
PROMOTIONAL TESTING STRATEGIES
Spearheaded many campaigns to test new creative formats:
- Developed an innovative pre-screening mail package that matched five new designs against a proven winner - dramatically reducing test marketing costs.
- Formalized a program to split-test jewelry offer elements, such as price points, number of installments, reply deadlines, 800#’s, 10kt vs. 14kt, and many others.
- Tested more than 25 new packages in two years for State Quarters continuity program, some of which beat the control by more than 50%.
- Initiated extensive use of cooperative database mailing lists and data modeling.
- Danbury Mint Jewelry (MBI):Compiled response data, categorizing them by type (e.g., ring, necklace, watch), price, stone, metal, etc.Scoured catalogs and the web to identify popular trends, styles and competitors.Based on this new knowledge, increased product development capacity and created more efficient product testing.Outcome: Sales increased from $20 to $65 million in two years.
- MBI - Pet Food: Researched breed-specific nutrition, formulation, competitor brands and pricing, auto-ship programs, regulatory issues, production, labeling and packaging.
- Really Good Stuff (classroom merchandise):Regularly conducted focus groups and online surveys to gauge general interest as well as gain specific feedback on planned new products.
PR / AGENCY EXPERIENCE
- Attended trade shows, provided material for trade publications and websites.
- Managed / worked with in-house creative service groups.
- Prepared press releases for new products, events.
- Supported company brands in development of product promotions.
Danbury Mint, World Series Champions 22kt Gold Baseball Cards, Postal Commemorative Society, Statehood Quarters, US First Day Covers, Easton Press, Wellconnected, Really Good Stuff, American Homeowners Association, SmartBrief, and many others.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT / MERCHANDISING
- Allergy Control Products:Work with product team to identify opportunities to add categories (e.g., high-end bedding), expand assortment within categories, and reduce/consolidate where appropriate. Led analysis and discussion of appropriate promotion structures.
- MBI: Virtually all products are exclusive, and most of these are “home grown,” so development, sourcing and merchandising were among my core responsibilities.Experience includes jewelry, soft goods (e.g., collector throws), die-cast products, porcelain, imprinting and engraving.
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT / PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
- Allergy Control Products:Designed process and channel performance reporting from scratch.Planned and implemented the transfer of in-house call center service agents to a 3rd-party service provider – both preserving core knowledge and making scalable this key competitive advantage.
- PMG Coin Collections:Designed the product; found a manufacturer and worked out the production process; defined the website’s structure and content; and lined up third-party resources for website hosting, phone service, call center, warehouse and fulfillment.
- Danbury Mint (MBI): Managed the Operations Center for three years.This included the call center, order processing, fulfillment, and IT - over 100 individual contributors.
o Identified a shipping consolidator and negotiated rates that saved $250K/yr.
o Led the effort to use warehouse space more efficiently, saving $100K/yr.
o Initiated the move to lower-cost outside fulfillment, saving $100K/yr.
o Hired an outside agency to increase receivables collections by $75K/yr.
o Reduced order and payment processing turnarounds, improved cash flow.
- Supervised installation of new website shopping cart from MainStreet Commerce.
- Spearheaded development of an advertising/sales projection system using Microsoft Access/Excel databases - eliminating hundreds of hours of tedious spreadsheet work.
- Served as product management’s project coordinator for IBM AS/400 enterprise system upgrade.
- Designed and managed launch of the company’s first website, DanburyMintSports.com.
- Managed the Danbury Mint’s IT group for three years.Responsible for prioritizing and supervising projects, and serving as liaison to product management groups.
- Served as an Information Systems Consultant for Arthur Andersen and Co.
PARTNERSHIP / VENDOR MANAGEMENT
- Negotiated rates for product, freight, advertising, printing and professional services.
- Developed licensing agreements with major properties such as Disney, Major League Baseball, M and M Mars, the US Postal Service, and others.
- Managed relationships with professional service providers: creative, printing, logistics, data processing, prospecting databases, etc.
LEADERSHIP AND TEAM BUILDING
A company’s success is directly related to the success of its people.With that in mind, I have trained, mentored, reassigned, hired and fired.I have delivered or supervised hundreds of performance evaluations and managed teams as small as 3-4 and as large as 100.
My management style depends on the individual and the circumstances.Sometimes it’s very hands-on, other times it’s more delegation-oriented.I tend to be “tough on issues, easy on people.”I believe in sharing ideas, embracing change, taking prudent risks and rewarding outstanding performance.
- Allergy Control Products:Expanded the company’s reach into new channels, such as email, 3rd-party online retail (e.g., Overstock.com, Linens n’ Things) and membership benefit discount programs.
- Wellconnected (personalized jewelry):Drove redefining the business model, product development direction, and marketing strategies.Helped move the company from low-ticket continuity programs to higher-ticket installment products that generated better cash flow and profit.Showed the owners how to segment Sunday FSI space ads and increase ROI by 50%.
- Really Good Stuff (classroom merchandise):Developed growth targets, planned new catalog titles, improved catalog layouts, identified new marketing channels (e.g., online marketing, cooperative databases), and evaluated potential acquisitions
- MBI:Improved testing procedures (e.g., using statistics and multi-product mailings), developed new product lines (e.g., collector throws), implemented new marketing approaches (e.g., regional spending for sports memorabilia), and adopted new creative testing methods (new mailing formats, etc.)
COLLABORATION / PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS
I have successfully worked with bosses, colleagues, reportees, in-house support staff and external service providers.I have presented and argued for proposals, interviewed clients, mentored reportees, led cross-departmental projects, and managed budgets.
My business and creative writing skills have been honed by 25 years of experience.My analytical skills and problem-solving skills are very sharp. I do a lot of research to support strategic recommendations.I am straightforward, articulate and insightful.
P+L / BUDGETING
- Allergy Control Products:Submitted annual budget and regular updates for review by Board of Directors.Enhanced reporting to provide greater visibility into performance by channel.
- MBI:Submitted an annual budget, as well as two subsequent forecast revisions.Operating statements and variance analyses were issued every month. Every marketing campaign, from test to major expansion, required a detailed financial projection and inventory evaluation.
- Allergy Control Products: From day one, there has been an ongoing need to cope with operating losses that threaten the company’s existence.This has required aggressively applying techniques to all aspects of the business, including cash and credit management, cost control, vendor management, and selling expenses.
- MBI: We had to react quickly to eroding businesses as well as newfound opportunities.Many products were either trendy (e.g., responding to a competitor) or time-sensitive (e.g., commemorating a sports championship, paying tribute to a fallen leader), so it was important to move quickly.