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Group Planning Director

At Saatchi LA we believe in creating ideas that can live anywhere. We believe that everyone matters. And, we believe that when we work as a team, nothing is impossible. We strive to bring out the best in each other and in ourselves, and expect applicants to understand the value of close collaboration.

As a Group Planning Director, you work closely with the Connection & Insight Strategy team of planners in developing and implementing a culture that inspires creative strategies.

Success for this position is measured in the ability to work with your team to develop strategies that inspire creative teams to develop communications that are contextually relevant across all media, from mobile, to social, to broadcast, to print, as well as highly targeted, data-informed content. And, you must bring our clients along on this ride.

The candidate must be a change agent who not only embraces but fuels the culture in our planning department…


Be agents of culture. Be curious about all of the beliefs, passions, activities and places where people and our clients’ brands live and intersect. Discover what matters most. The challenges we need to solve and the human truths that will help us do that. Interrogate the data and listen to your heart. Be audacious enough to be original. Then turn all of that into something so simple, so true and so clear that it will inspire teams to be even more audacious.

Success for this position is measured by the ability to provide clarity of vision for the department and organization, long-term strategic plans, alignment of process to strategic direction, develop synergy with other departments, and assess the impact of wider commercial and political issues on strategic direction.

An ideal candidate will lead the planning process on the account, acting as the “conscience” of the brand and have 10+ years of strategic marketing experience, with 3+ years serving in a planning director role.

Leadership Responsibilities:

  • Ability to influence, find and lead others around a great idea
  • Creates magic and elicits magic from others
  • Knows which battles to fight, and how to fight them, in order to win the war
  • Sets clear expectations; holds self and others accountable for meeting/exceeding those expectations
  • Understands that ultimate accountability for team’s success lies with them
  • Communicates vision for client’s brand, agency and planning team
  • Lead the relationship with partner agencies though the development and execution of strategic documents
  • Build a strong working relationship with key clients that leads to successful campaign development

Roles and Responsibilities include:

  • Work with their team to develop inspiring strategic briefs that connect the people to the product by leveraging the most relevant triggers and tensions from people (aka targets) and culture to inspire the best and most relevant creative ideas across all channels including broadcast, online including all social platforms, offline (as in, events) and highly targeted, data-informed content.
  • Work with their team to partner with digital strategists to make ensure great engagement and distribution of ideas. Get in the trenches and ensure that these different teams collaborate, give and take, and work as a team. Less about who owns the idea, more about making it work hard.
  • Help their team and the agency develop our data-informed marketing practice and make it part of our go to market plans, which will include a combination of mass marketing and targeted marketing working seamlessly together.
  • As a strategic thought-leader, the Director must build and maintain trust with creatives and throughout the agency
  • Manages and mentors a brilliant and talented team of Connection & Insights Planners.
  • Maintains positive, proactive, and influential relationship with clients, leading them with transformational strategies, solving communications challenges, and exploring new communications opportunities
  • · Strategic management of all creative projects, from brief to execution
  • · Manages all research projects related to client’s business
  • · Ability and willingness to travel as required
  • · Is a thought-leader in the agency, focusing on cultural, consumer and industry trends affecting client and agency business

Candidate experience should include:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Experience leading and mentoring a team of strategists
  • Proven thought-leadership on high profile brands
  • Be associated with groundbreaking and award winning work
  • A track record of innovative and provocative thinking
  • Well versed in qual/quant research methods (tracking studies, focus groups, in-depth interviews, ethnographic research – any type of interviewing skills) and have ability to see and adapt insights
  • Strategy development and brief writing to inspire creative content across all channels ranging from broadcast to online including social strategy development.
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and presentation skills should be best in class
  • Must be able to present briefs to creatives in a clear and concise way through compelling story and unique, multi-sensory presentation methods
  • Innate curiosity to want to understand people, culture and the world, overall, and, most importantly, a burning desire to dig into what makes them tick
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