The key priority is to work with the Chief of WHY and the Managing Partner in the LA office to effectively integrate the Horizon Communication Planning Process into the everyday workings of the Horizon LA office. This person is both a leader and constant shepherd of this strategic process from start to end, on all key brands as well as new business. This role requires high level conceptual thinking as well as the ability and desire to personally dig for and in data.
Day-to-day responsibilities will span leading and collaborating with teams on communications plan development, consumer research and insight generation, talent development and heading the LA office’s account planning function.
- New Business/Strategic Leadership
Play a leadership role in new business efforts, ensuring that the right story is told in the most compelling way possible. Work collaboratively with other members of The WHY Group, The WHERE Group, the Horizon brand and activation teams and partner with creative agencies to ensure an aligned view on recommended direction—whether on new business or existing client assignments.
- Communication Platform Briefs/Activation Brief Development
Write briefs for every key brand planning activity/new business assignment. Ensure that resulting ideas are inspiring and actionable for the team, and that the activation idea and connections strategy infuse the final plan and provide a springboard for maximum creativity that fits within the defined strategic parameters. Explain rationale for and use of brief to both clients and other agency partners.
- Develop a Deep and Holistic View of our Target: who/what when/where/why/how
Ensure the team is armed with an intimate understanding of the consumer, his/her behavior, emotional make-up, approach to life, and how and why he/she chooses and comes into contact with potential communications channels. Identify who this person is and create evocative profiles to bring him/her/them to life.
- Insight Generation/Data Mining
Seek insights from primary, secondary and syndicated research, to understand attitudinal, emotional and behavioral aspects of the consumers’ relationship with both the brand and the potential communications channels. Proactively mine all available resources, including but not limited to client research, social listening, Horizon proprietary research, trends data, MRI/Simmons/Mendelsohn/Nielsen, and publicly available relevant studies for any information that can lead to a better understanding of the consumer, the brand or the communication challenges at hand.
- Commission Proprietary Research
This could be on behalf of Horizon or for our clients, both quantitative and qualitative, to inform targeting, insight development, and connection strategies. Oversee project from start to finish, including identifying the right research partners, and synthesize and distill results into smart, strategic recommendations. Organize and run qualitative research when required—whether in-person or on-line. More than commissioning work is the ability to identify the type of work required and proving The WHY Group’s credentials to lead it. Write POV papers on specific methodologies, as required.
- Ideation Leadership
Lead internal as well as client/inter-agency ideation sessions to drive new thinking as it relates to activation briefs, brand strategy, brand positioning/DNA, strategic and tactical communications approaches.
- Tool Development
Work with the Chief of WHY to continue to evolve and enhance The WHY Group’s offerings, which will include new consumer insight tools with revenue-generating potential as well as re-imagining existing approaches. Work closely with The WHERE Group to identify opportunities for shared tools and approaches.
- Team Development
Create a learning environment for direct report (Consumer Insight Strategist) to ensure this person’s professional advancement whether through external or internal training programs, hands-on learning, etc.
- Min 15 yrs experience as an account planner
- Strong quantitative/syndicated research expertise (e.g., Brand Health Tracking, Brand Equity, Segmentation Studies, Simmons, MRI, Mendelsohn, IRI)
- Proficient with qualitative research techniques (e.g., focus groups, IDIs, ethnography) and solid experience moderating groups
- Client presentation history/Shaping arguments to sell agency POV
- Proven success either in new business pitches or on existing business
- Demonstrated leadership through influence
- Proactive and can think on feet
- Can dig through data and see the forest for the trees
- Phenomenal listening and communications skills (written and verbal)
- Intellectually curious and inquisitive
- Committed to truth and objectivity
- High-level of personal accountability
- Commercial orientation
- Strong work ethic