The Grand Rapids Symphony seeks a Vice President of Marketing to lead the Marketing and Patron Services divisions in their efforts to build and engage a diverse audience for the Symphony’s broad array of performances and programs. As a central member of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Executive Team, the VP of Marketing oversees a team of at least six staff members (three or more Marketing and three Patron Services) and is responsible for annual revenue goals of approximately $2.9 million during non-COVID times.
The Symphony is in the midst of a successful series of virtual and limited-capacity in-person offerings, and the VP of Marketing will work to support and further innovate these offerings while preparing for the return to full in-person performances. They will do so through integrated marketing campaigns that serve institutional branding objectives as well as performance-level sales targets. Regardless of medium, the Marketing team works to maintain strong relationships with audiences to connect them with exceptional musical experiences.
Vice President of Marketing
Reporting to the President & Chief Executive Officer, the Vice President of Marketing leads the team responsible for strengthening and building awareness of the Grand Rapids Symphony brand, maximizing earned revenue, optimizing expenses and providing an exceptional customer experience. The VP of Marketing oversees a team of at least six who are responsible for all aspects of marketing and patron services, including institutional, performance, and subscription campaigns. The ideal candidate will have a strong grasp of all aspects of integrated marketing and communications, with a particular emphasis on digital and relationship marketing. The Grand Rapids Symphony primarily performs at DeVos Performance Hall, and the VP of Marketing ensures an optimal collaboration with venue staff for all audience-related matters to ensure an exceptional concert-going experience.
• Work with the Executive Team to establish brand goals, create revenue forecasts, and spearhead campaigns to increase ticketing and other earned revenue
• Employ all aspects of integrated marketing and communications strategy to expand the Grand Rapids Symphony audience, including best practices across paid, owned, and earned media
• Lead, develop, motivate, and retain high-performing staff
• Consistently refine marketing approaches based on available analytics and behavioral/sales data, augmenting with audience research when possible; Grand Rapids Symphony currently utilizes Ticketmaster for in-person performances and Vimeo for virtual performances, and exports buyer data for analysis and CRM/list management purposes
• Collaborate with the VP of Development to ensure that Marketing efforts are providing a strong pipeline for potential donors, and that overall brand strategy is supporting the goals of all departments
• Create a superior end-to-end experience for patrons, including first-time engagement with the Symphony, pre-concerts, concert, post-concert and retention
• Engage with all Symphony constituencies and the community to ensure an inclusive experience for patrons
• Work with Executive Team to drive further innovation of the Symphony’s mission and delivery platforms
• Achieve annual budget goals for earned revenue and marketing expense
• Drive further optimization of earned revenue to marketing expense ratio
• Collaborate with General Manager and artistic team as needed to drive specific sales and promotion strategies program by program
• A minimum of 5 years of leadership experience, and at least 10 years of marketing and communications experience
• Strong written and verbal communication skills; strong interpersonal and collaborative abilities
• Experience in planning integrated marketing and engagement strategies, media campaigns, and successful public relations efforts
• Strong business acumen including strategic, analytical, and innovative problem-solving skills
• Comfort with planning campaigns to reach a diverse array of audience segments, and a commitment to EDI initiatives at both an administrative and audience development level
• Passion for the mission of the Grand Rapids Symphony
• Experience working in an organization within the cultural sector is preferred
• Experience with live event ticket sales strongly preferred
The search for the Vice President of Marketing is being conducted on behalf of Grand Rapids Symphony by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based search firm and consultancy specializing in marketing, audience development, and adjacent disciplines within the arts and culture industries.
To apply, email your cover letter, salary requirements, and resume as a single PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Grand Rapids Symphony” in the subject line. Please name the file using the template of “Last Name, First Name.” Cover letter should include relevant experience, how you became aware of the position, and any direct experience you have had with similar positions and institutions. No phone calls please.
The Grand Rapids Symphony is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and encourages people of all backgrounds and identities to apply for its open employment opportunities.
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About The Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grand Rapids Symphony was established in 1930, when the community in Grand Rapids and West Michigan determined that an orchestra would strengthen the city and region. Following the decision to establish this important cultural resource, the steadfast commitment of visionary community leaders created an organization that is now recognized nationally for the high quality of its concerts and educational programs.
Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, the orchestra presents various concert series with performances designed to capture the imagination of young children and adults alike, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. The Grand Rapids Symphony presents more than 400 performances each year, touching the lives of some 200,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony has an annual operating budget of $9-10 million, of which 30% is derived from earned revenue during non-COVID times.
The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet.