Equivalent to a product manager in a consumer packaged goods environment, the marketing manager for a catalog is responsible for day-to-day marketing, creative, and operations of one catalog. Or often, two or three.
Duties: Carries profit and loss responsibilities for a high-volume catalog or a number of smaller ones, generally under the guidance of the catalog marketing director. Develops and executes budget. Decides the positioning, theme, pricing, marketing approach, creative thrust, and media selection. Supervises production by internal or external facilities to ensure mailing schedules. Reviews fulfillment procedures to maintain expeditious delivery of consumer orders. Confers with research department and is conversant with and knowledgeable in recency-frequency-monetary analysis and its descendants.
The consummate diplomat by mail, and now primarily by phone, a customer service manager thrives in the ability to satisfy everyone, answer a query, or resolve a problem and have the buyer become a repeat customer or remain one.
Duties: Prepares budget, develops customer service policies and procedures within corporate guidelines, and prepares handbook for the department. Trains department personnel to answer inquiries and complaints effectively by mail and phone, always bearing in mind the difficulty of acquiring new customers and their lifetime value to the company. Regularly reviews performance of staff. Monitors calls for courteous responses and customer satisfaction levels. Analyzes and evaluates problems with products or services as reported by customers and makes remedial proposals to management.
The seas of direct marketing are strewn with the shells of corporations that sank despite a convincing product mix, a well-conceived catalog, a brilliant marketing plan, and excellent financing, for lack of a professional in this slot.
Duties: Departmental budget and responsibility for mailroom and mail processing, caging, order entry, pick and pack operations, implementation of credit and collections procedures, maintenance of databases, including buyers and inventory. Reevaluates work measurement guidelines. In many cases, directs customer service department, ensuring satisfaction to keep customers, retain sales, and satisfy inquiries. Expedites delivery to preserve customer loyalty and avoidance of complaints to regulatory authorities. Ensures proper mailings of backorder notices. Recommends new computer systems.
A direct marketing organization thrives when it has an operations professional who prepares for growth and prevents problems, but when they arise, has the experience, ability, and ingenuity to solve them quickly, before they get serious.
Duties: Responsibilities include direct and indirect supervision of diverse functions and activities, with the exclusion of marketing, creative, and financial departments. Establishes and monitors performance standards, evaluates and effectively improves efficiency of data processing, fulfillment, production, purchasing, printing, warehousing, and, in some corporations, the human resources department. Recommends new or additional facilities or equipment, and negotiates purchase or lease. Interfaces with postal and other delivery systems to effect speedier and more cost-effective delivery.
The inbound department is often the only personal contact a company has with its customer. Everyone relies on this leader to keep customers loyal and happy to buy again, while monitoring productivity and morale.
Duties: Has complete strategic and operations responsibility for the inbound division, including the integration of the inbound function with order processing and fulfillment. Development of upselling and cross-selling techniques and programs. Establishes acceptable levels of call handling, including rates for abandonment, busy signals, and time in queue. Responsible for scheduling, setting staffing levels, and putting systems into place to measure and control allowable cost per order. Selection of telephone equipment, switches, line configurations, facility planning, and cost control.
In the trenches with the troops, always alert to potential problems, acts as the eyes and ears of the order department to ensure proper staffing without overstaffing, and maintains a professional atmosphere in a stressful environment.
Duties: Has supervisory responsibility for a staff of telesales representatives (TSRs) often headed by supervisor(s), responsible for orders and inquiries. Hires and trains staff in phone techniques. Implements and monitors the telesales order entry system and develops policies pertaining to fulfillment of orders. Oversees clerical and administrative support staffs. Responsible for the instruction of TSRs on product features and pricing. Schedules staff for optimum handling of incoming calls. Conducts performance reviews. Presents daily, weekly, and monthly reports on activity to management.
Never mentioned in annual reports, seldom honored for their diligence, and rarely acclaimed for their contributions, these officers accept duties as challenges, faithful to the principle that nothing enters or leaves their domain without approval.
Duties: Prepares departmental budget. Supervises the sorting, packing, shipping, and billing of direct-ship customer orders and inventory control. Oversees receiving, warehousing, order filling, and inventory control in distribution facility. Plans the maximum utilization of physical space, supervises material handling and building maintenance. Controls shrinkage, optimizes pick and pack operations, maintains safety controls, and participates in union negotiations. Conducts analyses of problem areas and initiates corrective procedures. Schedules staff for company’s peak activity periods.
The Web site is the storefront — or at least the corporate brochure — for the organization, and it takes a savvy professional to present it well. An effective Web site manager keeps them coming back again and again.
Duties: Responsible for developing and executing marketing communications focusing on building the company’s Web site customer base. Responsible for growth of page impressions, unique users, Web subscribers, and registered users against target. Studies the analysis of site traffic and user surveys to gain understanding of consumer purchase patterns. Responsible for the overall look and feel of the Web site and ensuring consistency with the company’s brand image. Works closely with advertising technology vendors and partners to ensure advertising is delivered effectively and efficiently. Keeps abreast of Web-related developments and evaluates new revenue opportunities.
Crandall Associates Inc. is a recruiting firm specializing in the placement of executives in the direct marketing industry. The complete direct marketing and telesales salary guide may be purchased for $45 at www.crandallassociates.com or by calling (516) 767-6800. Selected sections are reprinted in O+F by permission.