Zoo Sales and Marketing Manager

Organization: Minnesota Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Apple Valley, MN, United States
Job or Internship: Job


The Minnesota Zoo was established by the State of Minnesota and opened to the public in 1978. Featuring a 485-acre campus, award-winning exhibits, and a collection of more than 4,300 animals, the Minnesota Zoo is one of the premier zoos in the United States. With a mission to connect people, animals and the natural world, the Minnesota Zoo serves 1.3 million people annually as a recreation destination, educational resource, and conservation leader.

Position Description:

Reporting to the Vice President for External Relations, the Director of Marketing and Communications is responsible for developing and implementing all marketing communications, sales and public relations activities. This position is a member of the External Relations leadership team with primary responsibility to articulate the Zoo brand in fulfillment of the organization’s mission; achievement of attendance goals; and promotion of the Zoo in a clear, comprehensive and compelling manner.


This position has primary responsibility for achieving annual attendance goals by creating and implementing an effective marketing and communication plan that advances the Minnesota Zoo’s goal to be the preferred regional destination for family recreation as well as a resource for environmental education and a leader in local and global conservation. This position’s constituencies include the general public; zoo members, donors and trustees; elected officials; sales clients; local and national media; the professional zoo community; business partners; and internal staff and volunteers.

The Director of Marketing and Communications supervises a staff team responsible for marketing, sales, event and communication functions, including: communication across multiple broadcast, print, digital, and social media platforms; resource planning and allocation for advertising and promotion; sales to corporate, public, and private clients; public event design and implementation; local, regional and national media relations; and messaging for internal and external use that promotes the Minnesota Zoo in a vibrant, consistent and comprehensive manner.

This position will:

• Create and steward an inclusive brand that embraces the Zoo’s mission and its recreational, education and conservation activities.

• Design, implement and track a marketing strategy that emphasizes analytics and data-based decision-making.

• Oversee the preparation of all Zoo promotional materials, sales content and guest service fulfillment.

• Negotiate with business partners and media to achieve the organization’s marketing communications plan, including media, print vendors, and sponsors.

• Plan, organize and direct public information programs and events that promote goodwill, positive public awareness and regional affinity for the Minnesota Zoo.

• Represent the Zoo at public, social and business gatherings and seek opportunities for Zoo leadership to do the same.

• Manage an aggressive sales and facility rental program to maximize revenue and sustain growth.

• Collaborate and support Zoo leadership public speaking engagements, presentations, articles, programs, and special events.

• Plan and administer the department’s budget; monitor expenditures and revenue projections to ensure targets are met.

• Manage the department’s staff and lead the preparation of an annual work plan for the department that reflects the organizational strategic plan to meet all program and revenue goals.

• Attract, retain and motivate high quality personnel.

• Design, support and participate in cross-departmental teams throughout the organization.

Minimum Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, English, or a highly-related area from an accredited college or university, plus

a minimum of five years supervisory or managerial experience with responsibility for directing a multi-media marketing program that includes responsibility for working in traditional and new media. In order to be credited, this experience must demonstrate the following skills and abilities:

• Demonstrated success in the achievement of sales, revenue, and/or admissions goals.

• Exceptional written and oral communication skills.

• Data-based decision making, including the use of business analytics and metrics to design and implement marketing communications programs for targeted audiences.

• Detail orientation with the ability to manage projects from inception through execution.

• Creativity and entrepreneurial initiative.

Preferred Skills

• Professional experience working with nonprofit, zoo, conservation or recreation institutions.

• Strong understanding of local market, including media and cultural institutions.

• Established network of relationships with local community leaders and influencers.

• Fluency in conservation and environmental education issues.

To Apply:

Qualified applicants must submit their resume to the State Careers website (www.careers.state.mn.us) and apply directly to requisition 14MZG000031 (Zoo Sales and Marketing Manager). Resumes must clearly indicate how the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position in order to be considered. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Joan Blumstein (952-431-9465) or Amy Wassmund (952-431-9212).