Posted: June 13, 2019

Sr. Program Development Manager

Highlights Consumer Services
Columbus, OH
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Highlights, a family media brand that has been nurturing children with excellent, wholesome, and innovative products for more than 70 years, reaches over two million children every month throughout the world. Our wide variety of “Fun with a Purpose” magazines and books are dedicated to helping children become their best selves—creative, curious, caring, and confident.

The Sr. Program Development Manager is responsible for defining and activating the digital product program strategy, including product life cycle development, go-to market strategy and providing financial guidance to grow and scale our digital product portfolio. Candidate will be well versed in marketing, technology and business development. In addition, he/she will work closely with the Director, Digital Business and cross-functional teams, to recognize, develop and influence digital business growth.

An ideal candidate is self-directed, insatiably curious, has excellent business sense and strength in communication. Candidate is strategic, analytical and able to break down complex problems, formulate plans and deliver solutions. Strong ability to multi-task, connect the dots and prioritize accordingly, is critical to success.


  • Exhibits an ability to translate market, product and customer needs into clearly defined goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics to drive sales and profitability for the business
  • Defines, drives and activates product roadmaps and success plans to support business efforts, establishing methods to validate and refine initiatives using cross-functional input; achieves leadership buy-in
  • Identifies and remains current on market trends. Determines product/service lifecycle implications and makes recommendations to maintain market competitiveness and to achieve sustainable economic success for existing products
  • Gains and drives cross-functional support from all stakeholders and subject matter experts across, but not limited to, marketing, IT, analytics and editorial to support and expand offerings
  • Drives business value by providing objective financial and analytical counsel to facilitate decision-marking around strategic business initiatives, including business, product and marketing initiatives
  • Finds and develops new partners, markets and/or opportunities to drive growth; effectively develops and manages negotiations and deal structures
  • Defines, influences and analyzes proposed product requirements and product development programs; prepares return-on-investment analyses and establishes measurement milestones and provides pivot /persevere recommendations based on results
  • Creates financial scenarios as a key input for business planning and budgeting decisions; streamlines results and reporting  
  • Cultivates team engagement; trains and develops direct and indirect reports
  • Present to sales and marketing teams, supporting teams, and senior management various plans/business decisions
  • Manage special projects or serve as a subject matter expert on project teams requiring digital business insight
  • Some travel and presentations for business development


  • Bachelors degree in business, marketing or related field
  • Master's degree preferred
  • 9+ years’ experience in business, marketing, digital product and/or a related field
  • Product lifecycle management with subscription models preferred; kids or ed tech industry experience a bonus
  • Demonstrates basic knowledge of marketing disciplines and concepts necessary for building a business and marketing plan, including market trends, research, competitive positioning, acquisition, etc.
  • Displays strong financial acumen and logical decision making in the general business environment. Understands and can demonstrate sound thought processes as it relates to pricing, deal structure and assessing financial implications
  • Proven ability to effectively manage P&L, financial pro forma and/or financial reporting
  • Strong strategic and critical thinking skills; ability to break down complex problems and formulate plans
  • Proven ability to effectively drive business growth in a start-up environment
  • Ability to consume large amounts of input from data inputs and stakeholders and translate into a practical, yet detailed application
  • Proven ability to successfully manage a variety of complex projects in a timely manner
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication to various audiences, especially technical fluency
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and cross-functionally at all levels, including but not limited to IT, marketing, editorial and analytics

Highlights is a mission driven organization.  We help children become their best selves by publishing content and creating experiences that engage, delight, and foster joyful learning. Through the work we do and as an inclusive corporate community, we are dedicated to cultivating our best selves in our workplace.  We aim to hire talent that strives for excellence while doing the work they love, by enhancing the lives of kids and families.  We come together with a common purpose because, we believe children are the world's most important people.  

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