Director - Digital

Job Title
Director - Digital
Requisition ID
Remote (Chicagoland area), 
Other Location

Job Summary

Do you have a passion for building brands and driving sales?  Are you ready to make a difference in the lives of children?  The Director of Digital is a key position central to the School Specialty business, integrating and collaborating closely with marketing, program management, IT, merchandising, sales, analytics, customer care and operations.

The successful candidate will be empowered to plan, strategize, execute, and optimize digital initiatives across business units, including the overall shopping experience, web site content and functionality, SEO, social, email, and paid media.

The candidate leads digital metric tracking, monitors campaign and infrastructure performance, and provides optimization recommendations.  

He/she is also a digital champion for all business units, ensuring that all initiatives conform to best practices and anticipates key future trends in the ecommerce/digital marketing space.

With a 60-year heritage, School Specialty is the leading provider of educational products and services, from crayons to curriculum to complete learning environments. Primarily serving the Pre-K to 12th grade market, our offerings include some of the most trusted national brands like Crayola and 3M, as well as our own well-recognized proprietary brands, ranging from Sax art products to Childcraft furniture and FOSS Science Curriculum.  We are a purpose-driven organization and everything we do is designed to “transform more than classrooms” by supporting educators and lifting student outcomes.  Our best-in-class marketing team was recently awarded the GOLD REGGIE for marketing effectiveness in B2B marketing. 

The salary range for this position is targeted at $116,000-$167,000.

Essential Functions

  • Lead digital strategy, user experience, campaign execution, digital analytics and project management with a team of 15+, working closely with brand, category marketing and creative teams to develop annual and quarterly plans and execute all digital experiences – from web to email, social, paid search – focused on meeting brand and category campaign objectives.
  • Oversee ongoing website product and marketing content and site enhancements based on data, emerging trends and key marketing objectives/initiatives, including optimization for SEO and onsite search functionality.  Partner with program management to drive ecommerce experience and digital transformation initiatives across the company. 
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams outside of marketing, including program management, merchandising, sales, customer care, pricing/procurement, product development, business analytics, operations and IT.   
  • Lead the development and management of a multi-million-dollar digital marketing budget with agencies and other strategic business partners. Evaluate, negotiate contracts, support, etc. As necessary, evaluate and recommend the optimal allocation of in-house staff vs. external resources.
  • Deliver a world-class demand generation function that achieves predictable growth across the business leveraging all available digital channels. Partner with key stakeholders in creating and executing a content/thought leadership strategy.
  • Provide thought-leadership by evangelizing and championing ecommerce / digital marketing trends and technologies, team needs, innovations affecting our industry, and associated applications.
  • Lead the identification of baseline and advanced KPIs across the funnel and set goals for success against all of those measures. Work with Business Analytics, Web Analytics, and Campaign Management to consistently track and report performance of all digital activities, tying to business and plan objectives. Regularly report efforts to internal stakeholders, forecast dynamically changing needs on a regular basis and adjust plans accordingly.
  • Serve as the voice of marketing in recommending enhancements in overall website and ecommerce functionality, contributing to requirements gathering, prioritization and UAT. Drive user experience across all corporate Ecommerce / Digital Marketing platforms and campaigns.
  • Together with company stakeholder partners, lead the development of a Customer Experience/Customer Journey strategy, leveraging our customer database for audience and 1:1 marketing, using best-in-class tools and technologies

Minimum Required Qualifications

We’re looking for someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing or similar discipline, or equivalent work experience. In addition, we’d like someone with at least 12 years digital marketing experience, including experience serving in a digital leadership role on either the client or agency side of the business.  Experience across B2B and B2C audiences, supporting online retailers and/or other Fortune 500/world-class brands is ideal. 

Preferred Knowledge and Skill

  • Experience with digital marketing and emerging media best practices particularly in ecommerce, UI/UX, web design, PPC, SEO, social, mobile, email and web platforms.
  • Experience leading cross-functional digital teams of 10+, both in-person and/or remote, as well as experience collaborating with teams across an organization.
  • Familiarity and/or experience in cutting edge, leading sales enablement tools and technologies such as salesforce, customer 360, marketing cloud, service cloud, etc.
  • Detail oriented with the ability to manage multiple projects from inception through execution
  • Excellent communication skills – both verbal and written
  • Ability to read and understand financial reporting.
  • Advanced skills in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Self-starter with a hands-on approach.
  • You hold yourself personally accountable and are self-motivated and customer focused. You should have a track record of meeting and beating revenue and expense targets.
  • You have experience working closely with IT functions and other departments to ensure seamless digital infrastructure design and execution in support of digital marketing plans.
  • You are comfortable making recommendations with incomplete information, and you point out the strengths and possible shortcomings of your ideas.
  • You are extremely strong writing reports and emails, and you are confident, concise, and clear in oral presentations.
  • You are committed to following standard work processes.
  • You have strong interpersonal skills and are comfortable professionally interacting with both internal and external customers from time to time.
  • Have experience in people management.

Corporate Core Competencies

  • Business Insight - Applying knowledge of business and the marketplace to advance the organization’s goals.
  • Customer Focus - Building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions.
  • Decision Quality - Making good and timely decisions that keep the organization moving forward.
  • Action Oriented - Taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy and enthusiasm.
  • Plans and Aligns - Planning and prioritizing work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
  • Ensures Accountability - Holding self and others accountable to meet commitments.
  • Drives Results - Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
  • Collaborates - Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Communicates Effectively - Developing and delivering multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
  • Courage - Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said.
  • Instills Trust - Gaining the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
  • Self-Development - Actively seeking new ways to grow and be challenged using both formal and informal development channels.
  • Manages Ambiguity - Operating effectively, even when things are not certain, or the way forward is not clear.

Physical and Mental Demands

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit, hear, use hands to type data, use a personal computer and telephone. This employee may occasionally have to operate business machines. Specific vision abilities required in this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Mental demands include multi-tasking, decision making, problem solving, comparing, copying, computing, compiling, analyzing, coordinating, and synthesizing data.

Safety Statement

At School Specialty, safety is every employee’s first responsibility.  We expect our employees to adhere to all safety practices, have the moral courage to stop other individuals from performing unsafe acts, and immediately report unsafe conditions.


  • The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed
  • School Specialty is a Drug Free Workplace. All applicants are subject to a drug screen and background check as a condition of employment
  • EEO/AA including Vets and Disabled
  • If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information

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