VP, Customer Acquisition at K12 Inc. in Herndon, VA

VP, Customer Acquisition

(Herndon, VA)

Company Overview

Established in 2000 by Ronald J. Packard and backed by the likes of Michael and Lowell Milken (Knowledge Universe), Andrew Tisch (Loews Corporation) and Larry Ellison (Oracle), K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), is a technology-based education company that offers proprietary curriculum, software systems, and educational services to facilitate individualized learning for students primarily in kindergarten through 12th grade.

K12 has grown to be the largest provider of online education for kindergarten to 12th grade students. The company has schools in 33 states and the District of Columbia, and generates annual revenue of approximately $750M. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE ticker: LRN). The company has grown at an exponential rate, and K12 is committed to bringing in world-class Marketing talent to drive continued growth at scale.

K12 is the leader in online learning for grades K through 12 for two fundamental reasons: K12 develops their own curriculum and is widely regarded as having the highest quality available online, and K12 is fully devoted to fulfilling the promise of education for every child.

K¹² offers outstanding, highly effective curriculum that enables mastery of core concepts and skills for all kinds of minds. The company enables a diverse group of children to achieve mastery through a combination of individualized learning approaches, passionate teacher engagement, adherence to the best educational research that has been conducted over the past several decades about how young minds really work, and rich, engaging content.

It's all about removing the barriers that keep children from reaching their true, individual potential—it's what gets us jumping out of bed in the morning to come to work. Each year, K12 helps tens of thousands of students reach out toward their true personal possibility.

K12’s curriculum is distributed through various channels, including online public and private schools managed by K12, partnerships with public and private schools and school districts across the US as well as direct online sales to parents. For more on the company, please visit www.k12.com

Position Overview

The “Vice President, Customer Acquisition” for K12 is responsible for developing and executing Marketing plans that drive profitable new customer acquisition and related revenue and EBITDA, via an omni-channel (TV, DRTV, Digital, Mobile, Print, Direct Mail and Alternative Media) approach, with a sharp focus on CPA / LTV. The “VP” will be expected to optimize marketing investment across all media sources based on return on investment, and to leverage hyper-local targeting in order to acquire the appropriate and priorities segments, minimize acquisition costs, and maximize student lifetime value (LTV). The objective of the VP is to develop: 1) breakthrough creative approaches; 2) new channels; and 3) new paradigms within their channels of responsibility and; 4) a metric-driven approach, focused on ROI. This senior executive will be responsible for developing a robust test-and-learn framework for conversion testing, working closely with empirical data sourced from all touch-points. This position will play a key role in the company’s future success, and reports to K12’s EVP and Chief Marketing & Enrollment Officer, with frequent interaction with the President and CFO.

This role reports directly to the Chief Marketing Officer, and includes regular interactions with other senior executives including the President and the Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for managing large-scale advertising campaigns, able to analyze, number-crunch, and independently manage multiple advertising campaigns as well as coordinate creative development and program execution. This “VP” builds, manages, and optimizes marketing campaigns to drive student acquisition for K12’s schools; leads the analytics responsible for building performance dashboards and reports; and builds internal intelligence on channel effectiveness and other key metrics.

Scope of Responsibilities

· Segmentation and Targeting – The “VP, Customer Acquisition” will be responsible for helping identify—with input from the senior leadership team and Marketing colleagues—the highest potential student segments who offer the greatest Lifetime Customer Value (LTV) to appropriately allocate Marketing resources to capitalize on these segments in a manner that meets K12’s financial hurdles and ROI objectives. This targeting process may require additional segmentation research, which will be optimized for each critical customer segment, product/solution, and channel. Strategic plans must support the overall architecture and essence of the K12 Brand.

· Customer Acquisition – As the top priority for the company, and critical to maintaining the long-term health of the business, ensure K12 meets its customer acquisition (enrollment) goals across key target segments. The “VP, Customer Acquisition” will work to optimize testing platforms and protocols by effectively leveraging Online (Display, Retargeting, E‑Mail, SEO/SEM, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media, the E-Storefront and Mobile) and Off-line (Print, Direct Mail, TV, DRTV) touch-points to achieve the appropriate number of net new student adds, revenue-per-customer/student (RPC), profit-per-customer/student (PPC), and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) targets.

· Customer Success & Retention & Development – Another key priority will be to develop and optimize all Marketing programs which result in improved student outcomes / performance, increase the LTV of the K12 customer base by increasing retention and loyalty (grade advancement), and maximizing the customer experience and value. This Marketing “VP” will seek opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of K12’s current Marketing strategies across all touch-points, grade levels.

Scope of Responsibilities continued

· Media Mix Modeling – The “VP, Customer Acquisition” must have a visceral understanding of the standard purchase/sales funnel based on experience from analogous service or subscription-based verticals. They will be responsible for managing and prioritizing media allocation across all touch-points, including the implementation of integrated campaigns across Paid and Organic Search, Display, Social, Email, Mobile, Direct Mail and National TV and DRTV. They will deploy hyper-targeted, local campaigns with the ability to retarget accordingly to improve performance and deliver ROI objectives. They are responsible for weekly reporting on pipeline metrics to senior management via use of dashboards, presentations and standardized tools (e.g., SalesForce campaign management).

· Functional Management & Development – The “VP, Customer Acquisition” will be responsible for enhancing company-wide Direct Marketing and Acquisition competencies and “Best Practices” by overseeing and improving organizational design, structure, priorities, management processes and reporting information systems. They will evaluate existing employee and competency levels and be responsible for retaining those with superior talent/energy and hiring, developing and promoting new executive talent.

Performance & Success Measures

· Total # of new leads, applications submitted and customers (students enrolled)

· Total Revenue and EBITDA (versus year-ago)

· Cost-per-enrollment (CPA)

· % Retention measures—Increased LTV, Reduced Attrition

· Marketing ROI (by-message, line of business, channel, geography)

· 360-degree feedback from internal teammates; external customer feedback

Reporting Relationship

The “VP, Acquisition” for K12 will report to Mr. Chuck Sullivan, EVP and Chief Marketing & Enrollment Officer. Chuck recently joined K12 from CCS Advisory Services LLC, a marketing strategy firm. Previously he worked at Hilton Worldwide, where he served as Senior Vice President, Global Online Services. While at Hilton, Chuck had global responsibility for Hilton’s enterprise wide digital presence, including ten brands and almost four thousand hotel websites. Prior to his role at Hilton, Chuck served as Head of Marketing, Delivery and Director, Interactive, for Chrysler, where he led all media planning and buying and campaign measurement efforts as well as digital Marketing strategy and operations for consumer and dealer websites. Chuck has also held senior level roles at Organic (digital agency owned by Omnicom), Ford Motor Company, Accenture Consulting and Caterpillar. Chuck earned a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University and his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.


· Paid Media (Digital)

· Paid Media (Offline)

· Analytics

· Campaign Management team

· Conversion

· Multiple Agencies (National Creative, Digital, Local Media)

· Multiple Vendors/Suppliers (external)

Key Internal Operating Relationships

· President



Compensation & Benefits

· Competitive base salary

· Annual cash performance incentive/bonus

· Equity

· 401K (with match)

· Paid time off

· Comprehensive health care benefits

· Relocation assistance to the Herndon, VA/Washington DC area

Candidate Profile

Experience Base

· Media Spend Management – Candidates must have current experience allocating marketing spend across media partners to achieve campaign objectives. A working knowledge of existing best practices for placing media with agency partners to optimize spend across national, regional and local TV, DRTV, digital, mobile, social and print channels is critical.

· Direct Marketing – Candidates must have current experience leading an Acquisition-based Marketing operation in a Direct Marketing-driven sector, such as Financial Services, Telecom (Wireless), Entertainment/Content and/or Media/Publishing. Very strong preference for candidates with Marketing experience within subscription-based verticals.

· Digital & Off-line Toolkit – Candidates should have recent acquisition experience driving conversion through both online (Display, Retargeting, E-Mail, SEO/SEM, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media, Mobile (App), and the E-Storefront) and offline (Mail, Print, TV, DRTV, Telemarketing) channels. Keen understanding of MROI and the ability to stack rank ROI opportunities as well as hyper-local targeting.

· Functional/Team Development – Demonstrated success building organizational capabilities through process design, organizational development, recruiting and training. Additionally, proven success at personally delivering results (“hands on execution skills” along with delegation abilities).

Agency Relationships – Experience working closely with external agency partners to create Advertising and communications plans, including strategy, targeting, copy, and a system designed to evaluate performance and ROI.

Skill Set

· World-class Digital Direct Marketing skills and execution abilities (technically proficient)

· Innovative and creative thinking balanced with pragmatism (fresh thinking)

· Organizational leadership and team development (leads through influence)

· Intellectual horsepower with strong analytical skills and experience working in metrics based companies. (highly analytical & strategic)

· Drives for results in prioritized manner (balanced sense of urgency)

· Strong project management skills (focused on timely and flawless execution)

· Listening skills, minimal ego (listen first, then respond)

· Complex problem-solving, with hands-on ability (create options, then converge)

· Highly resourceful (stretches people and money; compresses time)

· Collaborative (works with peers across many functionalities within the company)

Personality Profile

· Strong leadership skills; able to inspire action

· Willing to articulate a strong point-of-view supported by data-based insight

· High degree of emotional intelligence

· Self-directed/motivated

· Flexible and adaptable

· Results orientation with keen commercial mentality

· Enthusiastic with pride and passion for winning

· Blue-collar work ethic

· Frugal – treats company resources as his/her own

· “Hungry” pioneer with a proven need for achievement

· High integrity and trustworthy

· Flexible intellect and highly flexible work style

· Comfort working in a fast-paced, highly dynamic work environment

Search Contact

David Wiser

Principal Partner – Cincinnati, OH Office


513.919.4000 (M)