Global Marketing Director, Aqua


The project

The Client, a global business, needed a Marketing Director Aqua as they were ready to enter an accelerated stage of growth. The aquaculture portfolio spanned several global markets and product lines. Therefore, it needed a clear brand message and portfolio strategy.

Consequently, a new “Marketing Director Aqua” role was created. The individual needed experience in senior functional roles, with drive and knowledge on guiding high-level stakeholders. 

On the other hand, An understanding of Aqua was also needed to find the right approach for growth and secure legitimacy within the industry, both internally and with customers. Lastly, as this was a central role, the candidate would also need to relocate to Switzerland. Alternatively, they could be based in one of the company’s main global hubs. 

Due to the location specifics, candidates from Nordic countries, where such talent was based, couldn’t be considered. After conducting their own recruitment process, The Client concluded that specialised market mapping and headhunting would be needed.

In the meantime, BASSWOOD was successfully collaborating with The Client on another project. This is when we were engaged.

The initial brief for the Marketing Director Aqua was…

  • Technical expert in Aquaculture, ideally nutrition
  • Experience in Marketing and Strategic Marketing, including digital
  • International network and knowledge of the global Aqua market
  • Ability to work in a matrix and influence people on all levels
  • Able to relocate to Switzerland or already based in the company’s global hubs

Our method & solution

Basswood began intensive data mining in the global aquaculture sector, including animal nutrition and health, focused on international Aqua specialists in commercial functions.

  • Total leads identified: 213
  • Total candidates interested: 28

Candidates shortlisted: We were able to qualify 11 professionals, from which 6 were selected for the shortlist.

Hired profile: BSc in Marine Biology, MBA and training in Digital Marketing. A senior Portfolio Manager with a successful track record in the aquaculture sector, having developed/promoted successful (and profitable) products for the aquaculture industry. Experienced in building strategic product portfolios and navigating matrix environments. Was open to and relocated to Switzerland.

Success timeline for the Marketing Director Aqua

  • Assignment sign-off: 24th of September 2020
  • Planned Shortlist submission: 19th October 2020
  • Actual Shortlist submission: 16th October 2020 (11 profiles discussed, 6 profiles shortlisted)
  • 1st stage interviews: 6 candidates selected, with interviews arranged throughout November 2020
  • 2nd stage interviews: 3 candidates selected, with interviews arranged throughout December 2020
  • Final stage: 2 candidates selected, concluding interviews arranged before December Holidays 2020

Successful conclusion

Contract with the chosen candidate signed in January 2021, with the position starting in March 2021. The successful professional is still employed with The Client and their manager, peers and larger cross-functional teams have the highest appreciation of their performance. They have managed to navigate and streamline some of the major Aqua markets for the business within a short timescale.

Lessons learned from the Marketing Director Aqua project

  1. Sharp focus is an effective winning strategy.
  2. Due to our experience with The Client, we started the project with clear must-haves. Firstly, find a species expert. Secondly, make sure they know marketing. And finally, qualify the location requirement.
  3. Everything else in the brief was ‘nice to have’. 

Why choose BASSWOOD?

Following this approach, we were able to have meaningful and concise conversations with the Aqua industry. The approached candidates quickly knew if the role was interesting and within their skill set. 

As a result, it was easy for us to gain recommendations in the market. The three pillars of the role immediately gave them an idea of someone to refer. By focusing, we could identify candidates with both the required and the desired skills. And that’s how we found the unicorn!

Let us find yours! Contact us.

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