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Ducks Unlimited
Chief Marketing Officer

Explore Company PosterDucks Unlimited seeks to recruit an innovative individual to serve as Chief Marketing Officer.

About Ducks Unlimited

Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) has conserved more than 14 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

Over 80 years, DU’s mission of waterfowl habitat conservation has resulted in its working across the continent to serve the habitats that make possible the abundance of wildlife. Waterfowl, upland birds and other species of wildlife are not the only beneficiaries of DU’s habitat work. Wetlands also provide vital ecological benefits for people. Wetlands improve the overall health of our environment by recharging and purifying groundwater, moderating floods and reducing soil erosion. Wetlands are North America’s most productive ecosystems, providing critical habitat to more than 900 wildlife species, clean water for our communities, and invaluable recreational opportunities for all people to enjoy, but just in the last 50 years, our nation has lost more than 17 million acres of wetlands. Last year, in the United States alone, DU conserved more than 248,000 acres of critical breeding, migration and wintering habitat.

Each year, the organization’s conservation success stems from the passion, commitment and dedication of Ducks Unlimited supporters, volunteers, partners and professional staff. DU has approximately 500 employees across the country and an annual operating budget of more than $220 million. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Ducks Unlimited has offices in Mississippi, California, North Dakota, Michigan, and Washington, D.C., with sister organizations in Canada and Mexico.

For more information on Ducks Unlimited, please visit their website: www.ducks.org

Chief Marketing Officer

Based in Memphis, Tennessee and reporting to the CEO, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a newly created position. The CMO will serve as a strategic member of DU’s executive leadership team. The CMO, working with the CEO and DU senior executive team members, will provide critical leadership in identifying and executing a marketing strategy to capture investment in DU’s habitat conservation related work.

As a strategic partner to the CEO, DU’s Board leadership and DU senior professional staff, the new CMO will drive DU’s work to capture productive and revenue enhancing opportunities for the organization. The CMO serves as a strategist, facilitator in support of DU’s core membership and in reaching out to new constituents and investors to broaden the reach and impact of DU. Ducks Unlimited has a comprehensive strategic communication, digital communications and publishing program. DU’s website was started about 20 years ago. In fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) the website generated 71 million page views, a 7 percent increase over the previous year. DU developed five mobile apps between 2010 and 2014, and in 2015 these were consolidated into one new mobile app, with more than 300,000 users so far. In FY16, mobile app usage was up 48 percent over the previous year. In less than a decade, social media has developed into a powerful communications platform for Ducks Unlimited with more than 1.5 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media channels have allowed DU to increase brand awareness and brand affinity, especially among younger supporters. Sixty percent of DU’s Facebook fans are under age 25, and 25 percent are female.

Ducks Unlimited TV public service announcement program has helped increase awareness of DU’s brand and mission. Since the current campaign’s launch in June 2016, DU PSAs have aired more than 37,000 times on 96 stations and networks, generating 500 million audience impressions and more than $16 million in donated media value. These PSAs are produced by DU’s video department and distribution nationally to 800 stations and networks by Connect360 Multimedia. DU TV celebrated its 20th season in 2016. It’s America’s longest running waterfowl show. DU TV’s viewership on the Pursuit Channel was 2.4 million households for the 2015 season with 1.5 million views on our website and social media channels. DU TV enjoys sponsorship support from Drake, Ram, Purina Pro Plan, Mossy Oak, First National Bank and others. The show is produced by MOOSE Media in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited. DU Films is an online short film series that explores the lives and stories of waterfowl hunters and conservationists across the country. Produced in partnership with Rock Road Creative and airing exclusively on the Ducks Unlimited website, DU Films is available in high-quality video format to anyone with internet access. The 2016 series of six short films has been viewed by more than 1 million people. Ducks Unlimited magazine has been DU’s flagship publication since 1963.

The broad strategic goals for the CMO are the following:

  • Develop a corporate marketing strategy and budget to present to the CEO and DU Executive Leadership Team.

  • In partnership with the CEO and senior leadership, align business related activities to ensure an integrated approach to DU’s corporate relation efforts that reinforces DU’s brand value and reflects its organizational goals.

  • Develop and utilize market segmentation tools and information resources, expanding DU’s opportunity to capture private sector investment and partnerships, while also coordinating effectively with DU’s senior leadership to support DU’s traditional waterfowling and membership.

  •  Advise and assist the CEO in preparing and making presentations to potential corporate partners – both domestic and international opportunities.

  • Conduct benchmark research to establish a baseline of DU’s brand penetration so that the effectiveness of the branding tactics can be measured over time and results conveyed to Board, members and staff.

  • Support investments in data acquisition to convert earlier acquisition and enhanced messaging efforts to fully support a sustainable marketing program.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The ideal professional qualifications and personal attributes the CMO ought to possess are the following:

Professional Experience:

  • Demonstrated record of success growing a business and possessing the analytical background to prioritize investment based on the data and other information-related tools.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of marketing principles, brand, product and service management and changing market dynamics.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage a team and work in a highly collegial and interdisciplinary work culture.

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills, including effective presentation and negotiation skills.

  • A bachelor's degree with an advanced degree in marketing or business (MBA) highly preferred.

Personal Attributes:

  • A commitment to DU’s mission and a demonstrated conservation ethic.

  • A dedicated team and collegial oriented person, possessing an entrepreneurial drive.

  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.

  • Stature and confidence to gain the credibility, respect and buy-in for a wide range of audiences and stakeholders.

  • Strong work ethic and willingness to travel extensively, often for weekend and evening meetings.


Compensation for the Chief Marketing Officer includes a competitive salary, and an excellent package of health and other employee benefits.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to DU/CMO in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

All correspondence will remain confidential.

It is the policy of Ducks Unlimited, Inc. to afford equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, military status, disability, age, or genetic information except where age or gender is a bona fide occupational qualification as allowed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


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