Job Title: Product Marketing Director
Type of Company: I work for a loyalty marketing company that helps people save money for future college education expenses (their own, their children or friends/family) or to pay of their existing student loans. The company has established a network of partners (online and in-store retailers, services companies) that contribution percent of your purchase back into your account (like rebates).
Education: BA in International Relations, Master in Piano Performance
Previous Experience: I have been at my current employer for over 9 years. I joined the company because of my prior Market Research experience that was important for building a new business like the one I work for. I gradually moved into Product Management, Analytics and Product Marketing. All jobs relate to strong analytics background - prior and current job.
Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is to help our members to get the most out of the company's service and save money in order to pay for college education. It's free money - a percentage of your spend with partners goes back into your account - from a few cents to $3,000. But with over 700 partners, it can be confusing - who are they and how do I save?.
For example, I can save with gap.com but not in the store. I try to explain to them how it works, and help them with tips to get the most out of it through marketing. We creates emails, postcards, magazines and use a web site to communicate. The key thing is to make the message as clear as possible and as personal as possible - relate to members' own experiences, use information that we know about them to help them use the service well. That can be a challenging process with creative department on images and language, a legal department for compliance and an execution team to get email sent. Planning, punctuality, respect, good working relationships are key.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts are (1) the talented, motivated people that I work with; (2) the mission of the company to help save money for college; (3) success of my marketing campaigns (4) appreciation that we have back from our members.
The worst parts are inefficient processes that we have that slow everything down - it's hard to move fast because of technology limits or other resource constraints.
Job Tips: Marketing is exciting and challenging. My advice would be to watch closely what you get in the mail or email. What catches your attention - is it the subject line, an image, information that's personal to you? Conferences and free sites (www.wisemarketer.com, shop.org) are good resources for best marketing practices.
Be very analytical - marketing is not just pictures - set goals and measure success.
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