Help Wanted Ad Offers Rare Glimpse Into Strategic Marketing Gameplan

A job description for a new position at Servus Credit Union sheds light on the organization's strategic priorities in a rare display of corporate transparency.
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You can clearly tell what’s on the minds of those around the Servus C-suite. A recruitment ad for the new Senior Manager/Marketing Strategic Initiatives placed by Servus Credit Union reveals the organization’s key marketing priorities in remarkable detail. The new position is being created to tackle an ambitious list of strategic challenges, including an ethnic/multicultural strategy, a massive intranet undertaking and (of course) social media.

Among the new senior manager’s responsibilities, he or she will be expected to “research and develop a social media strategy and potential policy for Servus in fiscal 2011,” and “work alongside the interactive team, HR and other key marketing professionals to articulate a strategy around this growing marketing channel.”

Servus will also be reassessing the strategic role of its corporate responsibility initiatives in coming months. The credit union’s Community Investment Program will be reevaluated while simultaneously ramping up its financial education initiatives and “operationalizing financial literacy.”

The hairiest part of the new position is sure to entail what Servus calls the “Product Optimization Project,” a mission-critical initiative to ensure the credit union’s products are successfully integrated into a new core data system when Servus makes the switch in December 2011. If you’ve ever worked through a system conversion before, you know how painful they can be.

Implementing the intranet isn’t going to be any cake walk either. Servus is looking to combine the intranets of four separate credit unions into one single system. As intranet project manager, the Sr. Manager of Strategic Initiatives will “fulfill responsibilities laid out in the charter and will work with a project manager, executive sponsor (CMO), Steering Committee, project teams and external vendor to ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget.” Sounds like a lot of political skills and consensus-building could be involved.

One peculiar aspect of the new position seems to involve a possible expansion of services beyond the credit union’s financial roots. The successful candidate is expected to develop a competitive intelligence white paper on “health and/or wellness as a fourth area Servus may wish to participate.”

Each individual project will be given a start and end date, and last in duration of anywhere between 3-12 months. Servus officially classifies the position as “temporary,” saying it expects the job to last 24 to 36 months. For as many major initiatives the credit union intends to undertake, that seems like an optimistic prediction.

Reality Check: The size and scope of these very challenging projects would swamp most managers.

The job was posted January 30, 2011, although the position may already be filled, as it is no longer listed on the company’s “Careers” page.

With $10 billion in assets, 400,000 members, 2,000 employees and 100 branch locations, Servus Credit Union is one of Canada’s largest financial institutions.

Senior Manager, Marketing Strategic Initiatives
Servus Credit Union
January 2011

The Senior Manager of Marketing Strategic Initiatives will take on project management of initiatives that have a start and end date and are in duration of anywhere from three to twelve months. These projects could include but are not limited to the following:

  • Assist Corporate Communications in building a public relations strategyProvide leadership in building a social media strategy for Servus
  • Project Owner of the Product Optimization Project – 6 to 18 months
  • Project Owner of the Intranet – 8 to 16 months
  • Community Investment Program refinement – Determining our corporate approach to delivering in a big way on Education, Children and Youth, Poverty and Social Services
  • Developing a white paper on the value proposition of CI on Health and/or Wellness as a forth area that Servus may wish to participate (managing consultant)
  • Developing a recommendation on ethnic community councils and a multicultural strategy for Servus (managing consultant)
  • As well, the strategic resources could take on the operationalization of Financial Literacy working with our branch network and Community Councils (Servus delivered)
  • The overarching Community Investment strategy and delivery mechanisms for the same (Foundation, CSR directed support, tie in to Value Proposition and PR Strategy) – (Servus delivered)

Product Optimization Project

  • Be the Project Owner for POP so that the first suite of Servus products are launched by the first banking system conversion (Dec 2011).
  • The Project Owner will fulfill responsibilities laid out in the POP charter and will work with a project manager, executive sponsor (CMO), VP Corporate Marketing, Steering Committee, project teams to ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget.
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Intranet Project

  • Be the Project Owner for combining the current 4 sites to one in order to improve the employee experience.
  • The timeframe for the first phase work is August 2010 to May 2011.
  • This position will take the current business analysis work and refine the business case for approval subsequent to a project charter being developed.
  • The Project Owner will fulfill responsibilities laid out in the charter and will work with a project manager, executive sponsor (CMO), Steering Committee, project teams and external vendor to ensure that the project is delivered on time and on budget.

Development of a Social Media Strategy for Servus

  • Research and develop a social media strategy and potential policy for Servus regarding social media in fiscal 2011.
  • Work alongside the interactive team, HR, and other key marketing professionals to articulate a strategy around this growing marketing channel.

Support the CSR function with the following initiatives:

  • Community Investment Program refinement – Determining our corporate approach to delivering in a big way on Education, Children and Youth, Poverty and Social Services
  • Developing a white paper on the value proposition of CI on Health and/or Wellness as a forth area that Servus may wish to participate (managing consultant)
  • Developing a recommendation on ethnic community councils and a multicultural strategy for Servus (managing consultant)
  • As well, the strategic resources could take on the operationalization of Financial Literacy working with our branch network and Community Councils (Servus delivered)
  • The overarching Community Investment strategy and delivery mechanisms for the same (Foundation, CSR directed support, tie in to Value Proposition and PR Strategy) – (Servus delivered)

Required Skills:

  • Has worked with a senior management team for at least 7 years
  • Keen understanding of all the distribution channels of banking and marketing
  • Builds strong relationships and is able to collaborate across diversified fields
  • Excellent communication skills online and in-person.
  • Effective presenter in small or large groups.
  • Has the ability to manage conflicting interests and provide a workable solution
  • Exceptional organization, project management skills and a proven ability to work with all levels of management, employees, and outside partnerships.
  • Strong analytical and conceptual abilities to understand multifaceted issues and to offer solutions that support corporate goals.
  • Ability to formulate tactical strategies that support corporate goals and integrate with other corporate activities.
  • Good people management skills – directing, motivating, clarifying, relationship building, resolving conflicts, providing positive and negative reinforcement, articulating goals, delegating, listening.
  • Self-starter who works well in a team setting.
  • Diplomacy and tact
  • Results oriented, while upholding the vision and values of Servus.
  • Upholds the values of integrity, community, teamwork, investing in people, life-work-balance, member service and fairness

Experience:

7 to 10 years in management at a senior level. Prior communication, marketing, sales and service experience, marketing knowledge and operational management are a requirement. Project management would be an asset.

Education / Training:

  • A university degree related to Business Administration.
  • Trade certificates or marketing certifications.

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