Job of the Week: Opower looking for leader to regionalize its marketing approach

Arlington-based Opower went public earlier this year and is expanding its staff to accommodate its rapid growth. The company’s software helps utility companies track customers’ energy usage.

Elizabeth Clor, Opower’s director of demand generation, and Laura Ricucci, manager of talent acquisition, spoke to Capital Business about the company’s opening for an associate director of field marketing.

How would you describe this job?

Clor: We’re looking for someone who is a seasoned field marketer to lead a team of regional field marketers. We’re looking for a strong marketing background and someone who has proven success at trade shows, conferences and events, because that’s how we do a lot of our marketing.

Opower is in a high-growth phase. How does that affect this job?

Clor: It is being created to support that growth. This position directly supports the sales team, and this person’s ultimate strategic objective is to create opportunities for the sales team to have face-to-face interaction with their clients and prospects. Right now, we have a national-global campaign strategy. As we grow, we need to strategically regionalize our approach.

Why a regional approach?

Clor: Some markets have more strict regulatory requirements than others, so there are some markets where it’s easier for us to sell into and some markets where it’s more of a challenge. There are also some markets where the utility industry is competitive, so consumers can choose which utility company they use. And so our message to them would be different than the message we would use in a different area.

How do you define leadership at Opower?

Ricucci: At Opower, one of our company values is to be bold and take risks. Really, the only way for companies to be disruptive and to make a difference is for people to be risk takers and to be bold. When you’re talking about a leadership role, that’s really what we’re looking for.

How’s the recruitment process going?

Clor: We’ve only been looking for this role for about three weeks, but I do imagine that it is going to be a challenging position to fill. We’re looking for someone with a very specific background, who has worked in [business-to-business] technology, ideally [business-to-business] software and who’s a strategic thinker. But at the same time, they have to be really creative and good at trade shows and events. Those two skill sets are often a difficult match to find.

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.
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