European Marketing Director – Global leader, Building Product (plumbing) Manufacturer

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Established more than seventy years ago this client has grown to become a leading global manufacturer. The business now boasts revenues across the world of over $300m, employing close to 2000 people.

Throughout the global business, in part, revenues had increased due to the business’ acquisitive nature. At the time of engaging Collingwood the company was made up of nine brands, with four of these originating from Europe. The coming together of these four brands throughout Europe was of utmost importance, a major focus of the European business in their drive to advance profits and a key part of this new recruit’s role.



This European Marketing Director was a new investment into the European Senior Leadership Team and the purpose of recruiting the role was to lead our client’s European brand and marketing strategy, whilst defining and executing an EMEA “go to market” strategy.



A key focus was moving the European team away from their over reliance on distribution channels. The client wanted to drive new business higher up the supply chain, via demand creation through specification selling with architects, housebuilders, and M&E contractors.

Refreshingly, Collingwood’s client did not wish to limit this search to purely approaching manufacturers and distributors of building products. This opened the search up to include any manufacturer who sells within a business-to-business setting.  Furthermore, there was to be no restriction on location throughout the European region.

Cultural fit would be of utmost importance, as was gravitas and previous experience of driving value proposition, via a mix of leading both sales and marketing strategies. 



Through a detailed research approach and contact with his existing network, Mark Goldsmith was able to share the current “landscape” of required talent from a business to business, product led background.  This led to 111 potential candidates to approach, Mark then engaged with them directly.

Due to the numbers involved, it was imperative regular updates were conducted with both the client's HR Manager and MD, who were receptive to this. Collingwood’s online client portal provided an overview of each stage throughout the process, allowing both the search and expectations to stay on track. This was invaluable as it allowed both parties to form a realistic view of market conditions, barriers and any refinements needed to the specification.



In summary, the following process took place:

Potential candidates identified following initial research undertaken

76 refined from the 111

Number of candidates engaged with


Targeted candidates interested & CV’s received


Candidates interviewed by Mark Goldsmith

11 with 6 recommended to client

Candidates interviewed by client

6 with 3 progressed to final, third stage client interview


It is important to highlight, this was an assignment where attaining the interest from the target markets was of little issue.  The breadth of the brief afforded Mark with many options to approach, armed with a highly sellable role and client story. The challenge was honing in on the best talent and communicating Mark’s rationale to shortlisting with the client’s stakeholders.

The three shortlisted to final stage interviews by the European board came from a diverse industry background.  Without sounding hypocritical (Mark often writes around the need for building material firms needing to open up industry backgrounds when securing senior talent), the offered candidate came from the industry, with a wealth of experience leading marketing strategy across the continent.


The placed Marketing Director wrote the following testimonial about his experience of working with Mark and Collingwood:

"I have no hesitation in recommending Mark from a candidates’ point of view. From the moment he reached out, I was impressed with the details he had put together for the role, knowledge of the industry, personalities within the company and follow up on interests from my view.

Mark kept me updated throughout the recruitment process and was very forthcoming with information when asked and willing to get more as required. He spent significant time getting to know me and making sure I had the competencies he was looking for and most importantly that I was also interested in the role from both a skills and value based fit. I found the entire experience from the first contact to the numerous calls, an enjoyable one which is rare in the world of recruiters – I could not recommend Mark and the level of service he provided highly enough."


Additionally, and of great value to any decision maker who’s looking to start a search, Mark holds the process this client went through during offer stage as a prime example of best practice.  Read his article on this process HERE.

About the author
Mark Goldsmith
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With 23 years of recruitment experience under his belt, Mark has spent the last 19 focused on Building Products & Construction

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Mark Goldsmith

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