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Marketing Specialist - Commercial Operations

Date: June 25, 2015
Reports to (Job Title): Director of Marketing and Communications
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): Graphic Designers/Promotional Representatives/Poster Run Distributor – 20 to 25 part time staff
Data Analyst – co-op student (co-report)
Department: Federation of Students


Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Marketing Specialist – Commercial Operations is accountable to the Director of Marketing and Communications and is responsible for the research, development, coordination and promotion of the Federation of Students (FEDS) commercial operations.  The incumbent is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring strategic marketing initiatives designed to maximize the financial potential of each commercial operation and ensure the objectives and goals of the Federation are achieved in these areas.  The incumbent will propose and manage a budget of approximately $60,000 annually.

To achieve the above, this role will work closely with the Director of Marketing and Communications, Director of Commercial Operations, Unit Managers, VP Administration and Finance, the General Manager and other internal staff to develop, implement and measure the effectiveness of marketing plans and strategies that increase revenue.  This will also include managing part time staff consisting of designers and promotional team members who create materials and promote commercial operations to the campus community.

The Marketing Specialist must have the foresight to recommend progressive improvements and initiatives to keep our marketing strategies and promotions fresh and competitive.

The vision of the Federation’s commercial operations is to provide undergraduate students outstanding customer service, excellent value and diverse product mix.  The commercial operations must maintain their fiscal viability by remaining competitive, effectively marketing its own service, providing students with quality and choice, and strategically targeting the clientele with entertaining promotions.

Key Accountabilities:


Strategic planning and budgeting

  • Develop 6 annual marketing plans and 6 marketing action plans every term highlighting new concepts and initiatives to increase revenue and general awareness of commercial operations

  • Integrate marketing strategies into all media, including social media, web and print communications

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these plans by designing and using instruments such as evaluation forms, questionnaires, and surveys and focus groups

  • Develop, maintain and provide training and brand guidelines for each commercial operation, to be used in the creation of all online and print communications

  • Work with the Web Design Specialist to determine web presence for the commercial operations

  • Test service levels regularly through management of the Mystery Shopper Program in order to gauge customer’s perception through the hiring, training and scheduling of at least 20 mystery shoppers per term across 9  of the Federation’s front line services and communicate these findings to area managers

  • Produce and manage the marketing budget determined annually by commercial revenues estimated at $60,000 annually

  • Report on results from all marketing and operational efforts to measure effectiveness of all programs and spending

  • Create promotions that engage the entire university community

  • Develop strategies for and oversee the purchasing and deployment of promotional merchandise


Project execution

  • Manage and oversee the implementation of the Federation of Students’ commercial operations marketing strategy
  • Supervise and approve all design and copy for marketing and communications materials for the commercial operations
  • Aid Director of Marketing in recruiting advertisers for the FEDS Student Planner in excess of $60,000
  • Work in collaboration with the Communications and Media Relations Specialist to proactively and reactively manage social media presence for commercial operations including content and promotion
  • Oversee the production of FEDS office signage and business cards for approximately 50 full time employees
  • Oversee the weekly FEDS Poster Run marketing service with approximately 140 spots across campus
  • Execute large-scale marketing projects and campaigns aimed at various audiences on campus and in the community
  • Complete market research, including identification, monitoring and data analysis of the undergraduate student population and marketing trends surrounding student commercial operations and share this data within the Federation
  • Develop and ensure consistent, reliable processes for marketing activities including writing post plan analysis reports containing team feedback for continuous improvement of all marketing initiatives


Collaboration and outreach

  • Must be able to establish strong professional working relationships with all commercial operation managers, Student Life Centre (SLC) building manager, and other on and off-campus partners to maximize effectiveness of marketing efforts
  • Work with the Communications and Media Relations Specialist to ensure integration of commercial operations marketing and promotional plans with the Federation’s digital media strategies
  • Hire, train and manage a team of at least 25 student designers, promotional team members, poster run distributer and supervise the Data Analyst co-op position
  • Implement an effective recruitment plan for part time staff and mystery shoppers, manage their payroll information and ensure appropriate levels of staff are available to respond to the Federation’s requests
  • Create an opportunity for leadership and development whenever possible within the part time staff
  • Ensure the accurate distribution of approximately 400 discount cards to part time staff and volunteers throughout the Federation
  • Member of the Brand Audit Committee and the Commercial Services Advisory Board
  • Collaborate with other marketing professionals on and off campus and to ensure best practice development


Relationship management

  • Meet with all commercial operation managers, Campus Life department staff and Executive to coordinate cross-departmental marketing and communications initiatives
  • Negotiate strategic alliances with external companies and organizations acceptable to the Federation for promotions and other services
  • Develop and manage relationships with current and prospective Student Planner advertisers in order to increase yearly sales results
  • Create strong relationships with other key departments on campus to identify opportunities for collaboration to increase communication and enhance resources available to students on campus

Position Requirements


Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing or related post-secondary degree with equivalent experience.


3 to 5 years of experience within a marketing role
- 1 to 3 years of experience supervising, evaluating and coaching part time employees
- Written and verbal communication skills; excellent editing skills
- Strategic planning and project management skills
- Experience  with the design and implementation of successful product-branding strategies
- Solid understanding of business operations and how the marketing process is an asset
- Experience with collecting customer feedback via surveys, focus groups, and mystery shopper programs
- Strong understanding of social media and the ability to work on multiple projects at once and meet strict deadlines
- Experience within a student environment is an asset
- Building strong relationships with internal and external parties to create new partnerships and foster future business opportunities


MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Advanced Advanced CRM Software, Restaurant Manager POS Software, Adobe Creative Suite, Social Media, Shiftplanner and other internet applications.

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Internally, communicates with all members of the marketing department, Director of Commercial Operations, business general and assistant managers and the Executives to ensure they are aware of upcoming promotions that require marketing support.

This position oversees several part-time positions within the marketing department.  Fostering growth and leadership opportunities for these Waterloo undergraduates is important within the Federation of Students.

Communicate with Marketing Specialist – Campus Life to explore strategic alignment opportunities and co-promotion of FEDS events.  Develop a close working relationship with Communications and Media Relations Specialist to ensure up-to-the-minute information is shared promptly.

Externally, this position will create relationships with other departments on campus, as well as establish off-campus relationships with individuals and business to foster opportunities for hosting events, catering, and advertising with our commercial operations.

Level of Responsibility:

Responsible for increasing awareness and sales of 9 commercial services (The Bombshelter Pub, Campus Bubble, International News, Wasabi!, The Dispensary, Feds Used Books, FedBus, and Turnkey Desk) to ensure the university community benefits from them.  They will utilize their extensive knowledge of marketing and communications strategies to create a yearly marketing plan for these areas including individual marketing plans for mid-to-large scale marketing campaigns.

Some design support will be required when/if the graphic design team is unable to keep up with marketing requests.

The incumbent may be required to complete additional tasks in relation to their position as assigned by the Director of Marketing and Communications

Decision-Making Authority:

Responsible for establishing the marketing and communications priorities as they pertain to the commercial operations portfolio in consultation with the Director of Marketing and Communications and Executives, and assigning resources and funds accordingly.  This position will be responsible for making timely decisions that ensure marketing efforts are kept up-to-date.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of a leadership position operating within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of a position exposed to stress and pressure associated with leadership responsibilities.  Work outside the normal operating hours of the institution can be expected in this role.

The Federation of Students is a student-driven organization with elected student Executive that change on an annual basis.  Further, the political landscape is a diverse and dynamic environment.  As such, this position will need to be sensitive and adaptable to change and be comfortable with changing deadlines and projects as needed