VP, Guest Engagement – AMC Theatres (Kansas City, MO)

VP, Guest Engagement – (Kansas City, MO)

Company Overview

AMC Theatres (NYSE: AMC) welcomes approximately 200 million guests annually through the doors of its more than 300 locations. With innovative amenities and a focus on providing an array of movies in the best theatre environment, AMC is recognized as an industry leader and an iconic destination. And it all started when the son of one of the original owners returned from serving in the Army and took over a successful Midwestern family business. Stanley Durwood saw one screen in one building as limiting. People wanted more choices. So he began remodeling several large single-screen Kansas City, Mo. theatres into smaller buildings with multiple auditoriums, and the first “multiplex theatre” in the world was born. The success was massive, effectively creating the blueprint for the industry. By 1968, Durwood’s multi-screen theatre chain had expanded nationwide and was incorporated as American Multi-Cinema, Inc. (AMC).

During the next three decades of Durwood’s leadership, AMC continued to innovate with the movie-goer in mind. The armchair cup holder, stadium seating and the industry’s first rewards program—AMC MovieWatcher Rewards—continued to revolutionize the cinema industry. In 2009, Gerry Lopez became just the fourth CEO in AMC history. Guided by Lopez’s leadership, AMC continues to meet the ever-changing needs of moviegoers nationwide by keeping its focus where it belongs: the guest. During Lopez’s tenure, AMC has continued its growth as the second largest exhibitor in the United States with the acquisition of the majority of the Kerasotes theatre chain in 2010.

Today, AMC continues to look for new ways to delight guests by expanding its concessions stands beyond the traditional favorites and providing options like AMC Dine-In Theatres and MacGuffins bars. The company is also constantly upgrading the movie presentation, including a conversion to digital projection, 3D movies and more large-screen formats like IMAX and AMC’s proprietary ETX experience. These are just a few of the latest ways AMC continues to invest in bringing guests the latest and greatest ways to enjoy the movies. Headquartered in Kansas City, MO, AMC employs approximately 17,000 full-time and part- time associates. For more information, visit www.amctheatres.com.

Position Overview

The new “VP, Guest Engagement” will be accountable for connecting with movie- goers, driving incremental theater and web site traffic, and maximizing share-of- wallet of AMC guests, by developing and executing Direct Marketing and Loyalty Marketing programs that are relevant and customized to AMC’s diverse guest base. The ideal candidate will be a very strong executive who is a committed team player and able to lead and develop a team of Direct and Digital Marketers who are hungry to learn and seek to be more effective in growing the AMC guest base and related LTV. The successful candidate will not only need to nurture a team to excellence, but forge strong relationships with peers on the AMC Executive Team to assure the most effective alignment of resources. They will also manage and oversee a Marketing team in the implementation of these Direct and Digital Marketing programs. This position reports to the EVP and CMO of AMC, Mr. Stephen Colanero.

Scope of Responsibilities

  • Loyalty Program Enhancement – As owner of the successful and popular AMC StubsTM guest loyalty program, the VP, Guest Engagement will be responsible for maximizing membership via new member acquisition efforts, and retention management across the installed base of AMC Stubs members. This will be achieved through careful attention to all aspects of the guest experience with the loyalty program—in-theatre, online, on phone, etc. This also includes crew training, systems development and proper communications at all stages of guest participation with the AMC Stubs loyalty program. The ultimate goal is to understand, optimize and incorporate appropriate strategies around customization, compliance and loyalty to increase guest satisfaction, repeat visits and LTV.
  • Contact Strategy & Guest Acquisition – As a top priority for AMC, and critical to maintaining the long-term health of the business and its brand, drive guest acquisition via careful management of a cross-channel communication strategy, tailored to the individual customer experience. Tactics include email, direct mail, SMS messaging and others. These acquisition efforts will target both AMC Stubs members, as well as current AMC guests, who are not yet enrolled in the AMC Stubs loyalty program.
  • Digital Marketing & Social Media – Oversee and optimize all Digital Marketing and Social Media efforts, including Display, Retargeting, SEO, SEM, Email Marketing, SMS, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Media outlets and platforms. Ensure all programs and messages are optimized for all Digital platforms and technologies including ecommerce partnerships such as Fandango and Movietickets.com.
  • Offer/Promotional Development – Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues, in advance of promotion development, and maintain strategic priorities all the way through final production to ensure that the promotions—and offers—are relevant to the target AMC guest segment, consistent with broader short-term and long-term AMC brand and financial objectives, and designed to deliver positive in-theatre or online guest experiences.
  • Enhance Best-Practices – Over time, after the results of executed plans are analyzed, the VP, Guest Engagement will be able to create a more predictable and reliable AMC Direct Marketing Success Model, identifying and sharing Best Practices as well as Best Programs. There will be performance metrics used to define this platform, and ensure programs are continually held to the highest success standards (e.g., CPA, LTV). As part of this process, they will create a series of “shelf” programs that can be activated with short notice to capitalize on—or react to—a quickly-changing business environment.
  • Superior Entertainment Experience – Collaborate with internal colleagues, with external suppliers, and with the AMC IT team, to ensure design and delivery of Direct Marketing programs that help create a compelling guest experience, further differentiating the AMC brand from others in the market.
  • Brand Stewardship – While not directly responsible for managing the AMC brand, this individual should collaborate and interact with the CMO, the VP Creative, and with external agency partners, to ensure all Direct, Digital and Social Media programs differentiate and enhance AMC’s core brand equity across all guest touch-points, and across all relevant channels.
  • Functional Operations Improvement – Review and enhance, where necessary, all Direct Marketing processes, measurements, information systems, etc., that are needed to enable the overall AMC Direct Marketing function to operate efficiently and effectively in pursuit of its objectives. Provide critical linkage to Operations, Finance and other Marketing staff to ensure the annual Direct and Digital Marketing goals align with the overall business goals of AMC Theatres.
  • Functional Leadership & Development – Build and shape a highly-effective, world- class Direct, Digital and Social Marketing team by hiring, training, motivating and setting leadership direction for all direct reports. Define and nurture a collaborative and guest- oriented Marketing culture—cross-functionally—within AMC.

    Performance & Success Measures

    • Revenue growth and gross profit targets
    • Increased attendance across the AMC system of theatres (net new visits) • Increased membership in AMC Stubs loyalty program (increased LTV)
    • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) for new guests and Stubs members
    • ROI across all Marketing initiatives
    • 360-degree internal feedback

    Reporting Relationship

    The new “VP, Guest Engagement” will report to Mr. Stephen Colanero, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for AMC Theatres. In this role, Stephen is responsible for AMC’s Marketing and Communications teams on behalf of AMC’s theatres and web site, AMCTheatres.com. Colanero began his AMC career in 2009 and has 20 years of experience in the Marketing field, specifically in Marketing Strategy, Branding and Consumer Entertainment. Most recently, he served as VP, Marketing at RadioShack Corporation. Prior to that, he was the SVP of Retail Bank Marketing for Washington Mutual in Seattle. He also worked for Blockbuster Inc. for more than 10 years in a variety of Marketing and Strategic Development roles. Stephen earned an MBA in Marketing and Strategic Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Villanova University.


    • Director, Guest Loyalty
    • Director, Digital & Direct Marketing
    • Director, Media & Analytics (possibly) • Director, Consumer Insights (possibly

    Key Internal Operating Relationships

    • CMO
    • VP, Food and Beverage Marketing
    • Director, Film and Theatre Marketing
    • VP, Operations Excellence
    • VP, Creative
    • EVP and Chief Content & Programming Officer • EVP, US Operations
    • Chief Information Officer

    Compensation & Benefits

    • Competitive base salary
    • Annual cash performance incentive/bonus
    • Stock options
    • 401K (with match)
    • Paid time off/Vacation
    • Comprehensive health care benefits
    • Relocation assistance to the greater Kansas City, MO area

    Candidate Profile

    Experience Base

    • Direct Marketing – Candidates must be highly analytical and have current experience leading a multi-channel Acquisition/Retention-based Marketing operation in a Direct Marketing-driven sector. Preference is for candidates who specialize in CRM/Loyalty.
    • eCommerce & Digital Marketing – Candidates should ideally have recent experience managing Customer Acquisition and/or CRM/Loyalty for an online business (actually selling products or services online) or an online retail channel (for a business selling in other channels, too). Must be familiar with a variety of Interactive/Digital Marketing tools, including E-Mail, Retargeting, Display, Affiliate, SEO/SEM, Social Media, and Mobile.
    • Recurrent Model – Experience in member-based or subscriber-based business models that are retail-based loyalty programs, would be highly-valued and highly relevant to AMC.
    • Vendor/Agency/Functional Management – Serve as the key liaison between AMC and its roster of external Direct Marketing supplier and Agency partners, and lead the Scope of Work (SOW), compensation, negotiation, and process optimization processes, Demonstrated success building organizational capabilities through process design, organizational development, recruiting and training.
    • Functional/Team Development – Demonstrated success building organizational capabilities through process design, organizational development, recruiting and training. Additionally, proven success delivering results with limited resourcespeople, money and time.


      Skill Set

      • World-class Direct & Digital Marketing skills (technically proficient)
      • Website management, specifically user experience
      • Innovative and creative thinking (need fresh, imaginative thinking)
      • Organizational leadership and team development (leads through influence)
      • Intellectual horsepower (highly analytical & strategic)
      • Drives for results in the right manner (balanced sense of urgency)
      • Listening skills (listen first, then respond)
      • Complex problem-solving (create options, then converge)
      • Organized and attention-to-detail approach (strong tactical execution)
      • Highly resourceful (stretches people and money; compresses time)
      • Collaborative (works with peers across many functionalities within the company)

      Personality Profile

      • Self-directed/motivated
      • Flexible and adaptable
      • Results orientation
      • Sense of urgency
      • Enthusiastic
      • Strong work ethic
      • High integrity and trustworthy
      • Intellectually curious
      • Ego in-check

      Search Contact

      David Wiser
      Principal Partner – Cincinnati, OH Office
      513.919.4000 (M)