‘No one knows your eyes like we do.’ A desire to ensure that people enjoy good eyesight for as long as possible lies at the core of Specsavers’ ideology and is deeply rooted in the DNA of the company. To shake up the status quo in the Dutch market, differentiate the brand and establish its position as a market leader, there is a call for a talented Marketing Director with a strong commercial mindset.
What started in 1984 as a small business run from an optometrist couple’s bedroom has evolved to become a worldwide market leader in the optical industry. Today Specsavers counts 2000 stores in 10 countries and holds the largest market share in several regions. The Specsavers Group employs over 32,000 people and is considered to be one of the fastest growing family-owned opticians. For the company, the long-term vision takes priority over short-term profitability. Sights are set on the bigger goal: to make an actual difference in people’s lives by safeguarding their vision.
CLUTTERED AND COMPETITIVE MARKET
The Netherlands is home to 144 Specsavers stores. The Dutch optical market is an especially challenging one for the company. Not only is the industry digitizing very rapidly here, but the country also has the most densely populated eye care category in the whole of Europe and the developed world. There are more opticians per capita in the Netherlands than anywhere else in the world, and as such, it’s a very competitive landscape, dominated by three key players with comparable market shares. And to make the situation even more challenging, the Dutch eye care market is also significantly impacted by health insurers and related regulations.
What’s more, the Dutch optical market is the only one in which Specsavers doesn’t own the pricing position, which makes it harder for the company to operate here. Harder, but far from impossible. Of the areas in the Northern Region (the Netherlands and the Nordic countries), the Dutch Market is where the Specsavers Group is directing a lot of its energy and looking to improve growth significantly. Hence the need to create the new role of Marketing Director Netherlands.
ABOUT THE VACANCY: MARKETING DIRECTOR
There is an entire Dutch world to be won when it comes to eye care, but to conquer the market, the company needs to challenge the status quo, shift the current parameters and truly differentiate the Specsavers brand. The goal is to bring about transformation and growth, and to establish the business as a market leader in the country. This is the challenge that awaits the new Marketing Director: to carve out a unique, more sustainable and differentiated value position for Specsavers Netherlands.
The role of Marketing Director entails management responsibility for three customer-facing functions – Marketing, PR and Product – with marketing being the main focus (80%). The Product Team covers glasses and contact lens category management, working with store partners on new product launches, stock and quality control and range development.
A NUMBERS GAME
Especially in a market that is as cluttered and competitive as the Dutch one, a strong integrated customer trading plan is vital to drive the brand forward. Numbers are critical – the new Marketing Director will scrutinize sales figures, campaign analytics and volumes weekly, develop a pricing strategy, keep a close eye on budgets and develop and lead the trading plan.
The Marketing Director will manage the Dutch Trading Team, which comprises 10 people across the marketing, PR and product functions. The successful candidate will be a key part of the Dutch Leadership Group and will report directly to Simon Hawkins, Trading Director for the Northern Region. The candidate will also have a dotted line reporting relationship with Remko Berkel, Country Manager Netherlands.
Given the complexity of the Dutch eye care market, the Netherlands occupies a unique position within the Specsavers Group. Because this region is something of an anomaly, a slightly different governance structure exists here as compared to the rest of the Northern Region, and as such, the Marketing Director Netherlands can take an agile approach to overseeing the brand transition. The ability to differentiate a brand is vital and it’s essential that the new Marketing Director knows how to adequately integrate digital into the branding and trading plan.
Stakeholder management is key. This role needs to play a part within the Netherlands Management Team representing marketing towards store partners. These partners are the key to unlocking performance with customers, hence it’s a vital relationship to nurture.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone who’s looking to stretch themselves and have a real career-defining impact in the world of marketing, branding and digital applications. He or she will be given a lot of room to do whatever is required in order to drive Specsavers Netherlands through one of its biggest transitions yet. Executing that task requires a pragmatic Marketing Director with a strong commercial mindset who has the ability to think on a higher strategic level, too. Naturally, it also requires someone who is up for a big, exciting challenge.
- 12 years’ working experience in retail or FMCG
- Experience in a big matrix organization
- Commercial experience
- Stakeholder management
- Fluent in Dutch and English