Director of Search Marketing

The Director of Search Marketing has the primary task of leading both the SEM and the SEO departments. The Director of Search Marketing is responsible for holistically driving how the business leverages search in order to engage existent and prospective consumers.

The Director of Search Marketing spearheads this highly critical acquisition channel and for this reason the Director of Search Marketing must be data-driven, a creative strategist, a consumer minded, and skilled talent-developer. The Director of Search Marketing reports directly to the Chief Marketing Officer, who is in charge of the entire marketing department.

Objectives and Responsibilities of the Director of Search Marketing

Leadership/Supervisory Role: The most prominent role of the Director of Search Marketing is leadership. In this function he is the go-to thought-leader and visionary of the SEO and SEM departments. The Director of Search Marketing is also responsible for employing effective digital marketing strategies within these departments. Additionally, the Director of Search Marketing will play a lead role in the establishment of effective consumer acquisition strategies. He creates testing frameworks and departmental calendars and processes for the purpose of achieving the business’s KPI’s

At this capacity, the Director of Search Marketing will also participate directly in activities such paid search, site optimization, display, retargeting, email and direct mail management among other activities. He also identifies and conducts necessary research and tests, and implements department-wide measurement methods that will align the digital marketing activities with overall goals of the business. On top of this, the Director of Search Marketing takes initiative in networking and seeking out new talent, and routinely interviewing candidates who he thinks will add value to the department and the business at large.

The Director of Search Marketing, however, is not just a supervisor, he also plays a mentorship role to key departmental persons by supporting and guiding the execution of their duties, constantly ensuring that their professional skills are improving and readying them for the occupation of his position in his absence or retirement.

Research and Analytics: The Director of Search Marketing identifies, tests, and scales emerging and high-impact digital channels that will facilitate goal achievement within the department. The Director leverages insight by consistently researching and tracking of relevant competitive trends and market conditions that will be the basis of the search marketing department’s strategy and direction. The Director of Search Marketing evaluates and manages marketing technologies, establishes new consumer, expense, and revenue targets that will guide all marketing efforts after which he tracks and evaluates the effectiveness of the departments marketing efforts. The Director defines and reports on goals and key performance indicators for SEO and SEM/PPC, inclusive of cost-per-enrollment.

At this capacity, the Director of Search Marketing also drives consumer conversion and segmentation strategies with a view of turning trial consumers into loyal consumers and current consumers into highly loyal super-consumers. He also guides the use of internal data as well as other data and technology solutions that deliver a more personalized and targeted search experiences.

The Director of Search Marketing will also partner closely with the Analytics departments within the business in order to acquire richer insights from data reporting processes, which enables the search marketing department to accurately measure the impact of search. Also, for the purpose of revenue generation for the business, the Director of Search Marketing takes a keen interest in technical SEM activities such as ensuring that all paid search programs are running at maximum potential.

Strategy: The Director of Search Marketing plays a leading role in strategies implemented within the search marketing department. The Director of Search Marketing oversees the long-term planning of the department’s digital marketing calendar in order to ensure that all planned programs and projects are assigned to suitable personnel and executed in a timely manner.

At this capacity, the Director of Search Marketing oversees the development of creative briefs in order to ensure that consumer insights are the focal point and the driving force of the department’s campaign messaging. He plays a leading role in the definition and maintenance of best practices within the department, availing clear and consistent operational improvements to the delivery of marketing, hence, maximizing success and reducing costs.

He also plays an active role in guiding the development of creative, ad copy, and landing pages, which increases their specificity, breadth, and impact through continuous testing and assessment. In conjunction with the Chief Marketing Officer, the Director will also make departmental budget allocation decisions.

Collaboration: The role of Director of Search Marketing is a collaborative one. The Director collaborates with the sales department, supporting sales growth by implementing new digital services/products that add value to the consumers’ experience. In addition to this, the Director of Search Marketing grows relationships with social industry leaders such as YouTube and Facebook in order to ensure that the business stays at the forefront of marketing innovation.

The Director will also work closely with engineers, designers, and data analysts in defining SEO/SEM programs, tracking success, conducting experiments, and continuously optimizing and ensuring sales efforts are aligned with the marketing programs.

Other Duties: The Director of Search Marketing also performs other duties as he deems fit for the effective execution of the duties as well as duties delegated by the Chief Marketing Officer or the Employer.

Required Qualifications of the Director of Search Marketing

Education: The candidate must have a Master’s (Phd referred) in a technical field such as Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Information Technology, Mathematics, or any other related field. A working experience of the equivalent is also acceptable

Experience:  A suitable candidate will have over 10+ years of working experience in a digital marketing, performance-based marketing, marketing strategy, or search environment. He will also have a proven and successful track record in strategic and operational leadership/management, managing high performing individuals and giving clear strategic guidance.

The candidate will also have prior experience managing SEO, SEM, or PPC for a consumer website, preferably working as the Head of SEO/SEM. He will also have a proven and successful track record in delivering the business results through multi-channel marketing management and KPI measurement.

Analytical Skills: The Director of Search Marketing will also have strong analytical skills and expertise, being able to lead and guide testing and optimization in addition to directing broader analytic studies. He will have specific experience in optimizing bid strategies, A/B testing, and marketing mix modeling. The Director will have an ability to interpret data and to create actionable insights and communicate those insights to junior personnel.

The Director of Search Marketing also has to display an exceptionally strong knowledge in Google AdWords, Bing Ads among other numerous web analytics tools and platforms. He is also an extremely skilled mathematician who possesses additional skills in Ms Word, and Ms Excel, being necessary for the preparation of research analysis reports and presentations delivered to the Chief marketing Officer and relevant stakeholders.

Communication Skills: Communication skills are a must for this position, both in written and verbal form. The effectiveness of execution of duties by junior search marketing personnel is dependent on the clarity and specificity of communication from the top. The Director of Search Marketing will also make regular presentations to the Chief Marketing Officer and relevant stakeholders regarding the performance of the search marketing department and proposed strategies and approaches. He must, therefore, have an ability to clearly articulate even the most technical concepts in a way that a non-technical audience would easily understand.

Leadership/People Skills: The Director of Search Marketing will also have extremely strong leadership skills. He will have an ability to move, influence, and partner with colleagues with a wide range of attitudes and skills and lead them towards a common vision and objective. He will also have exceptional people skills to complement his leadership abilities, which will make him likeable, relatable, and easy to trust, therefore, enabling colleagues, senior, and junior departmental personnel willing to follow in his judgment and directive.

Interpersonal Skills: A suitable candidate will also posses various interpersonal skills that facilitate the proper execution of his duties, for example, the candidate will have a bias for action and getting things done, have excellent problem solving skills, be self-motivated and inspire others to be the same, have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, be confident in his leadership, be brave and experimental, work comfortably in a team setting, and show calmness and composure in the face of uncertainty.

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