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Further Particulars
This document includes information about the role for which you are applying and the
information you will need to provide with the application.
1. Role details
Vacancy reference:
Job title:
Product and Pricing Development Manager
Reports to:
Head of Product and Service Development
£37,012 - £44,166
Terms and conditions:
Academic Related
Duration of post:
18 month fixed term contract
Working hours:
Full time
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes
Closing date:
12:00 noon 10th May 2012
Type of application form accepted:
Covering Letter, OU Application form and CV
Number of referees required:
Unit recruitment contact:
Amanda Gale
Human Resources HRG158 Issue 2
January 2010
Page 1 of 6
2. Summary of duties
Main Purpose of the Post:
To support the Head of Product and Service Development in all areas of product & service (for
their nominated area of responsibility) and University wide pricing management. Supporting
the development of (and where appropriate developing proposals for) new products and
services to new and existing markets, modifying existing products, product and service
evaluation and pricing propositions. The person appointed will be expected to work
collaboratively across The Open University to assist the Secretary’s Office and Curriculum &
Qualification Office (CQO), Programme Boards and Faculties in managing product/service
portfolios, aligning new and existing products/services, and pricng strategy to the competitive
market, ensuring customer satisfaction and ultimately long term profitability.
The postholder is a member of the Product and Service Development Sub-Unit and will be
required to play a pro-active role in that team, balancing the needs and recommendations of
their own area of responsibility with the wider needs and priorities of the University in
developing strategy, setting priorities and allocating resources.
Description of Duties of the Post:
Product & Service Developments 35%:
Identify opportunites (and where appropriate develop and gain buy-in for business cases)
for the development of new products/services and propositions (combining the
product/service and pricing elements to create the proposition).
Identify opportunities for existing product and services within new and existing markets,
through the development of product strategies to support Curriculum and Qualification
Office, Programme Boards and Faculties in their curriculum decision making
Develop a knowledge of the competitive environment in which the OU products exist
including competitor’s products and services offer
OU Pricing Strategy & Developments 35%:
Assist the Head of Product and Service Development in the development of the
University’s pricing strategy.
Develop and manage the pricing associated programme of research to support the
University’s pricing strategy.
Manage the production of the annual competitor price benchmarking report, developing
knowledge of key competitors’ pricing strategies and policies.
Relationship Building across the OU e.g CQO, Faculties, Programme areas 20%:
Liaise with senior staff (to Dean and Head of Unit level) to provide professional advice and
guidance on the fit between market opportunities and new and existing products/services,
including support with the Business Appraisal process
To foster 2-way communications and links between Marketing and other OU business
units in the context of the product and pricing development role.
Human Resources HRG158 Issue 2
January 2010
Page 2 of 6
Admin & Team Role 10%:
Manage and control elements of the team budget in conjunction with the ‘Head of’. The
value of the intellectual capital/property managed and influenced by the post holder is
million of pounds
As part of the team, take an active role in ideas generation across products, services,
partnerships, initiatives and schemes.
Ensure that the appropriate administration is provided to support the running of the team and
the ‘Head of Sub-Unit’
3. Person specification
A first degree or equivalent
Substantial experience of product management, including evidence of the ability to
develop and implement new product/service business plans.
Knowledge and experience of using product management tools and techniques to develop
product strategies.
Knowledge and experience of using appropriate pricing tools and techniques (e.g Van
Westendorp, conjoint analysis, competitor price benchmarking) to support the
development of pricing strategies.
Substantial years experience of providing and/or using market intelligence and
management information (including numerical and statistical data), to support strategic
decision making in a large and complex organization
Interpersonal skills (including strong negotiating and influencing skills)
excellent relationships with senior stakeholders from across the OU
Excellent communication skills including presentation and written skills to develop and
promote business cases and project plans, at the appropriate OU level from Board level
Evidence of ability to set priorities and exercise judgment within the area of responsibility
Experince of project management techniques, with proven ability to lead projects, and
project teams, where there is no formal line management of staff involved.
Evidence of ability to manage multiple projects
Innovative, self-reliant and determined approach to duties – outcome and results driven
Experience of budget setting and tracking
Computer literate (MS Office 2010 and ideally Microsoft Project)
High degree of flexibility in attitude to work
to develop
Human Resources HRG158 Issue 2
January 2010
Page 3 of 6
Ideally the post holder will have or be working towards relevant additional academic or
professional qualification e.g. postgraduate training in product management, pricing,
marketing or a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing
Experience in public sector, particularly education
4. Role specific requirements e.g. Shift working
5. About the unit/department
In 2003 Marketing re-organised into an integrated centralised marketing function.
marked a move away from the previous faculty-by-faculty approach to marketing, to an
integrated Marketing team. In early 2006, the Marketing unit carried out a business change
process. This involved an extensive review of Marketing objectives and activities in order to
determine the key processes required for future success. To support the delivery of these new
processes, the organizational structure for the Marketing unit changed. Details of the subunits are detailed below.
The most fundamental development is a robust campaign planning and campaign
management capability that enables the separate requirements of faculties, subject clusters
and OU business units to be integrated into a holistic set of segmented, customer focused
campaigns, (where the whole is greater that the sum of the parts), where the university can be
assured of efficiency of spend and return on investment.
The medium to long term aim is to create a cadre of experienced M&S professionals to enable
a move away from “mass marketing” to a more targeted, segmented approach in support of
subject areas; that will harness expertise elsewhere in OU when organised within integrated
The Marketing Unit is split into five sub-units, supported by the Directorate. These are:
Market, Customer and Competitor Insight, Product and Service Development, Marketing
Management, Marketing Communications and Regional Marketing.
The Directorate is made of three teams: Finance and Planning, Staffing and Business Change
& Project Management. The Directorate’s role is to provide direction and support/facilitation
services to the rest of the unit. This includes leading the Marketing planning processes
including development of the university’s Marketing strategy and the annual unit plan;
overseeing the unit finances; performance review; managing internal reviews; staff recruitment
and development; IT resources and support; professional project management across
marketing, pan-OU and business change projects.
Market, Customer and Competitor Information
The aim of the Market, Customer & Competitor Insight (MCCI) team is to provide useable and
accurate market, customer and competitor insight in order to inform strategy and decisionmaking within M&S and around the University. It is anticipated that around 50 market research
projects will be managed each year by the team with a budget from Marketing which is
currently c. £1m. From time to time the team will work with funds from other units within the
The MCCI team will work closely with colleagues across the Marketing unit (particularly the
Human Resources HRG158 Issue 2
January 2010
Page 4 of 6
Marketing Management and Product & Service Development sub-units) and will also be
required to develop strong working relationships with colleagues in units outside of Marketing
(such as the Planning Office and Student Services) in order to maximize the impact of MCCI
and influence a more customer-centric view across the organisation.
The activities of the MCCI sub-unit will be organised around four key areas – markets,
competitors, customer journey and product & pricing.
Product and Service Development
The Product and Service Development sub-unit’s role is to work collaboratively across the
University to develop and enhance products (inc. pricing), services and affinities to meet the
changing needs of the customer and the internal and external environments. The sub-unit will
take a lead role in the gathering, analysis, interpretation, and onward dissemination and
utilisation of intelligence related to product and service developments in an integrated and
effective manner across the University.
The sub-unit will also be responsible for the scoping and development of new opportunities
within the area of marketing affinities (partnerships, schemes and initiatives). Once the
affinities are set-up, the team will be responsible for embedding these new initiatives into
marketing’s business as usual.
Marketing Planning and Data Management
This sub unit has been constructed to assist the University to develop its marketing capacity so
that challenging targets can be met. It will be essential for the team to work to harness the
energies of staff in the University's academic units, service units and regions to develop a
more effective marketing strategy and champion the development and widespread use of
marketing management models as key business tools for new and continuing students.
The sub-unit will take a lead role in the development and implementation of marketing
activities for each subject, faculty and business unit in an integrated and effective manner. The
team will co-ordinate marketing planning and project management for all OU units and provide
the evidence base and analysis required to lead focused and robust business cases for key
strategic decisions on marketing activity.
Working collaboratively with all business units, they will act as the focus for the Marketing unit,
leading an ongoing comprehensive review of marketing plans, campaigns and operational
procedures to achieve target student numbers for current and potential students.
The Campaign Planning and Data team is also part of the Marketing Planning and Data
Management team. This team will work closely with the Marketing Planning and Data
Management and Marketing Communications sub-units in developing and using database
tools and propensity models to plan and evaluate campaigns.
Marketing Communications
The Marketing Communications unit will combine planning, design and implementation of
campaigns within the responsibilities of a range of individuals for the first time. Working closely
with the Marketing Planning and Data Management team, the Marketing Communications
Campaign Managers will devise the most effective and cost efficient campaigns to achieve
new and continuing student numbers, drawing heavily upon management information from the
Campaign Planning & Data team. Marketing Communications will develop broad campaign
experience across all communication channels, ensuring that the most appropriate channels
and creative media are used for each campaign.
The new Online Marketing team will develop digital campaigns and initiatives in order to
ensure that the University increases its utilisation of digital media, developing best practise and
efficient use of new electronic media channels. Over the coming moths, more printed
publications will be modified to be appropriate for digital media with the intention of providing
as many user-friendly materials in electronic formats as possible.
Nations/Regions Marketing
Regional Marketing is designed to be a two-way process to enable regions to better
understand, access and influence the campaign planning process.
Human Resources HRG158 Issue 2
January 2010
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More campaigns will be delivered through local media channels, aligned to national campaigns
but with additional 'localness' messages. These campaigns will respond to each region's
unique competitive environment, addressing its specific student/course targets and market
opportunities, and supporting regional outreach programmes such as Younger Students and
Widening Participation.
6. Application process
Please ensure that you send a full completed application form, CV and covering letter to be
considered for this post. You must detail how you meet the essential criteria for this post
either in a covering letter or in your application form. This is an important part of your
application and if you fail to do this you will not be considered for short listing.
If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact Amanda Gale on
+44(0)1908 659008 or email [email protected]
7. Where to send completed applications
Please ensure that your application reaches the University by: 12 noon 10th May 2012
Name/Job title:
Amanda Gale, Finance & Staffing Administrator
Department/Unit: Marketing
Level 3 North
Berrill Building
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Post Code:
Or e-mail your application to: [email protected]
8. Selection process and date of interview
We will let you know as soon as possible after the closing date whether you have been
shortlisted for interview. Further details on the selection process will also be sent to
shortlisted candidates.
Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.
Human Resources HRG158 Issue 2
January 2010
Page 6 of 6