Strategic Planning Director
London, England
6d ago



Future Makers

GroupM merged two of its leading global networks, MEC and Maxus, to form a brand new media, content and technology agency one of the largest in the world.

WAVEMAKER exists to be Future Makers : to build brands that pioneer the future, inspire society and move customers to action.

What started with a blank page and a fresh perspective has resulted in building an agency of the future.

Bound together by our Purchase Journey approach, we help clients translate audience behaviours and insights into smart decisions today, for a prosperous tomorrow.

Our organizational capabilities and specialisms, along with the talents of our 8,500 people are united through our focus on understanding, accelerating and optimizing purchase journeys.

Our obsession with purchase journeys is apparent in the solutions we create for clients, in how we structure ourselves and in the job roles our people perform.

So a job a WAVEMAKER may not sound like a job at any other agency, and that’s because it isn’t.

Our people are encouraged to become the best versions of themselves and share the values and behaviours of what we refer to as PACED - passionate, agile, collaborative, entrepreneurial, and diverse.

With our combined global heritage coming together to create something new; our people are the brains, the data experts and the thinkers of the GroupM family.

WAVEMAKER is a leader in its field. We’re in front of transformation, making waves by making bold choices. It means the impact of our choices today creates momentum into the future.

Our vision is simple : To become the most distinctive and admired media, content and technology agency in the world.

The future is not only coming, it’s now.

Job Specification

Job Title : Strategic Planning Director

Reporting to : Strategy Lead & Client Lead

Role context :

The Strategic Planning Director is a design role within an integrated client team. It sits within our Journey Design function and is responsible for ensuring that we design industry leading solutions using media, tech and content to solve client problems across the purchase journey.

With an excellent grasp of Rapid Growth Planning techniques, Strategic Planning Directors ensure that the voice of the consumer is heard, understood and reflected in the Journey Designs created for clients.

Strategic Planning Directors will be expert users of all WAVEMAKER tools which will allow them to create data-driven solutions to client briefs and quantifiable recommendations on their investment decisions.

The Strategic Planning Directors role can broadly be split into three key areas of responsibility :

Firstly, you will be responsible for designing the most effective purchase journey for your client. On major briefs this will be in the form of supporting the Strategy Lead, for day to day briefs, you will take the lead, designing the entire solution end to end, from purchase journey insights, to tasks, to ideas, to role of channels and finally implementational plans across media, content and tech.

You will be passionate about uncovering new insights that unlock new approaches and challenge existing thinking. Every single penny invested will be justified through your analysis of data.

You will have the ability to write a story which pulls together the entire proposal from objectives to ideas to solution into one simple, easily understandable and buyable narrative.

Secondly, you will ensure that implementation and ideas answer the strategy . You will ensure that Journey Designs do not lose focus as they progress.

You (with your team) will work within the Rapid Growth Planning stages of Diagnose and Decide to regularly audit your clients specific Purchase Journey.

You will be responsible for the Journey Design from the point of brief until implementation plans have had initial sign off.

The role of Journey Design is to brief Activation, WM Content and other specialist parties in an inspiring and motivating way.

Journey Delivery will sit alongside you in the briefing and will then conduct Journey Activation, WM Content and other internal stakeholders (and clients) around them to make it happen.

A key part of the role will be ensuring all implementation and solutions reflect the latest understanding and learnings from previous activity, you will ensure that the entire team are all aware of what works and why.

Thirdly, you will have line management responsibility for Managers and Executives within your team. You will manage and support them day-to-day, assisting them with workload management, delegating where appropriate, provide ongoing pastoral care and train / develop them to ensure that they are developing quickly and successfully.

The Client : Danone Dairies & DWP

Danone Dairies UK & UBN (75%)

This role is to work on the Danone Dairies account.

  • Within Danone there are three divisions we work across namely Waters, Diaries and Early Life Nutrition (ELN). This role will be working on the Dairies assignment, across a portfolio that includes well-established brands like Activia, Actimel, Oykos, as well as more recent additions such as Light & Free.
  • It will be your responsibility to take and manage the annual planning brief we receive for each brand and develop a compelling touchpoints strategy for the year to which all subsequent campaign briefs for the year will be aligned.
  • Developing strong working relationships with the brand teams is key to the success of the role and you will be encouraged to spend at least one day per week at the client’s offices in Chiswick.
  • Beyond annual planning and campaign briefs, you will be expected to work with your Delivery colleagues to run client learning sessions including innovation, best practice, media partners, and inspiration.
  • Working closely with your Delivery colleague you will ensure that all work undertaken is within scope of the assignment.
  • From time to time you may be asked to work on special projects from Danone around product innovation. These are great opportunities to demonstrate fresh thinking and where we can push innovation further.
  • Developing rich audience profiles that really bring the consumers of their brands to life is an essential and ongoing responsibility.
  • We love to celebrate to great work we do on Danone Dairies and what better way to do it than by winning awards. Having that end to end view on campaigns from strategy through to activation means you will be best placed to identify and develop potential award winning campaign entries.
  • Department of Work & Pensions (DWP)

    The Department for Work and Pensions is made up of two strands : Work and Pensions campaigns. The majority of our work for this client sits within the Pensions strand and their department goal is to Increase saving for, and security in, later life’.

    With an aging population and rising costs of living, the state pension is no longer enough for most households to rely on post retirement and it’s vital that the UK population are not only aware of this, but are motivated to set up and be responsible for their own saving for a more fulfilling later life.

    The purpose of communication for DWP is to ensure that more people save for their retirement. The account has three strands : (1) Workplace Pensions where our task is to reinforce the value of a workplace pension and encourage employees to keep contributing towards theirs (2) Pension Wise our task is to drive demand for Pension Wise, which is a free service, offered to people aged 50+, that offers free and impartial advice to people about pensions and their retirement (3) State Pension Our task it to encourage people to check their State Pension and the amount and timing of their entitlement.

    The account combines big budgets (c.£8m for WPP) and smaller discrete briefs. It also encompasses econometrics projects and well as creatively-driven media partnership activity.

    They invest across multiple channels as well as keen investment in partnerships and engaging content opportunities. There are 3 campaigns that we plan across : Workplace Pension (communicating the benefits of workplace pension and normalising the behaviour), State Pension (directing people to a pensions calculator to demonstrate the need for additional saving) and Pensionwise (a pension spending guidance service for the over 50’s).

    The role of the Strategy Director is to set communication strategy across the three strands, working closely with the client as well as creative, research and media buying agencies.

    The right candidate for this role needs to have experience and passion in behaviour change planning, to be able to think outside the box when communicating to older or hard to reach audiences and to strong strategic and implementation planning skills with the ability to guide and advise clients on longer term thinking.

    Core Responsibilities :

    Designing the most effective purchase journey for your client :

  • Use WM’s planning approach across all client work, utilising a broad set of internal WM tools (inc. m Insight and WM Benchmarks) and external tools to build a deep understanding of the consumer, the client’s business and its specific Purchase Journey opportunities.
  • Brief the Journey Activation team in a clear, concise and inspiring way to get the best responses possible from the teams.
  • Define the tasks for media, tech and content investment, develop channel roles and investment priorities based around tasks.
  • Responsible for working with the Account Management (Journey Delivery) and Journey Activation teams to keep abreast of how the journey is evolving, including consumer, competitor, and category insights.
  • Leading macro course correction if required.

  • Responsible for always challenging and provoking the client, bringing new thinking, approaches and creativity powered by insights and data.
  • Partner with Wavemaker’s analytics and insight teams, as well as third party research companies to ensure industry leading measurement across each planning response
  • Create strong productive working relationships with the planning and strategy teams of external agencies and media owners.
  • Ensuring implementation and ideas answer the strategy :

  • Ultimately accountable for the Purchase Journey(s) on your clients’ business, up until the approval stage. Working with your team (and consulting with and informing Account Management) to create and control the process.
  • Ensure the plan reflects the strategy, by writing and sharing inspiring, actionable briefs which allow Journey Activation, WM Content and A&I to create industry-leading solutions.
  • Ensure investment decisions point to the precise moments in the purchase journey where it can deliver the greatest impact.
  • Managing and developing the team :

  • Ensure the team are equally comfortable in Data, Digital, Brand, Performance.
  • Be responsible for the to do’ list for timely work and effective output from the team.
  • Support excellent career development and support, including reviews, training programmes and career mapping for the team
  • GroupM is an equal opportunity employer. We view everyone as an individual and we understand that inclusion is more than just diversity it’s about belonging.

    We celebrate the fact that everyone is unique and that’s what makes us so good at what we do. We pride ourselves on being a company that embraces difference and truly represents the global clients we work with.

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