School Specialty is an education company that provides innovative and proprietary products, programs, and services to help educators engage and inspire students of all ages and abilities. Through leading brands, School Specialty designs, develops, and provides PreK-12 educators with the latest and very best curriculum, supplemental learning resources, and classroom basics. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors, and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential.
If you are a seasoned, veteran product manager and ready to take on your next challenge, then this position may be perfect for you. School Specialty is searching for a strategic thinker, someone with a very strong work ethic, and outside-the-box thinker to help drive our reading/literacy initiatives.
The primary responsibility of the Reading Product Director is to serve as the product champion for the reading/literacy product lines/categories. This position builds strategic relationships and connects with all functional areas of the company including new product development, sales, marketing, and merchandising; collaborates with vendors, authors, writers, and various other third parties that create content by informing development needs against market research and the competitive landscape; and, brings both a creativity and analytic ability to the role and will be consistently engaged in both customer-facing activities and sales interactions. This position also empowers the marketing efforts by providing in-depth product and market intelligence including product positioning, key benefits, political and funding issues, and go-to-market strategies from pre-launch to launch. This position maintains products based on revenue targets, and short and long-term strategic objectives to ensure profitable growth and will be responsible for driving organic growth, both top-line and bottom-line, within the reading arena in the target markets and customer segments, as well as through new products and new channels.
• Defining the market, understanding customer needs and funding availability
• Research/evaluate competitor offerings for assortment gaps and competitive pricing
• Specify market requirements for current and future products by conducting market research supported by on-going interactions with customers
• Defining School Specialty product strategy to win in the marketplace
• Guide the marketing team through collaboration on the development of the overall marketing strategy specific to the applicable product lines
• Attend industry trade shows to research new products and trends in their applicable product lines
• Support product training for sales and customer service teams on features and benefits and communicate product information updates
• Serve as the internal expert for product positioning and messaging needs
• Partner with Merchandise managers to provide sales forecasting guidance for marketing initiatives, new product launches, etc.
• Collaborate with Merchandise Manager on assortment, strategic suppliers and sales/marketing strategies.
• Advise on go-to-market pricing for applicable product lines
• Align with Merchandising on the sales, gross profit and direct profit contribution
• Exercises care within work environment to prevent injuries. Support and follow all company safety policies and procedures
• Product Management experience
• Bachelors or above in education, marketing, or business- related field
• Prior teaching reading/literacy a plus
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Strong analytic and strategic planning skills
• Ability to prioritize and multitask
• Demonstrated ability to build partner relationships
• Strong presentation skills
• Able to work with minimal supervision
• Able to work individually and as part of a team
• Ability to communicate effectively with diverse levels, skill sets and functions
• A demonstrable capacity to keep abreast of, and communicate, new industry trends, customer needs and possible application to real world projects
Ability to travel 30% of the time
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