Digital Planning Associate Director - Mars

Media Planning London, England


Position at MediaCom


Job Description


Operating Company


Job Title

Digital Associate Director

Department / Team


Reporting To

Nicole Elliot and Will Brook Smith





Objective of the role


Working on one of the biggest accounts within MediaCom, your job will be to manage the strategic digital planning output across all Mars segments, managing and optimising the digital UK business partnerships including Facebook, Google and Amazon and importantly the digital development across the Mars MediaCom and client team. You will also have a direct relationship with senior clients across all Mars segments.


We are looking for a strong digital focussed candidate with experience across all aspects of the digital landscape from brand to direct communications. We also expect the candidate to have excellent planning experience and is motivated by creating smart and forward thinking connected digital communications plans, that can also align with more traditional channels to drive success and help solve problems.


The successful candidate’s responsibility will be split accordingly; 35% Mars Chocolate, 25% Mars Petcare, 20% Mars Food and 20% Mars Wrigley.


As a Digital Associate Director, you will be responsible alongside the business directors for the ongoing implementation of the digital transformation programme and ensuring Mars are getting the most value out of their digital business partnerships.


Background information on the client


Mars is one of the worlds and MediaCom’s biggest advertisers and spans chocolate, gum, pet and human food. We provide planning services globally only, with the buying function performed through Publicis (Zenith in the UK)


Like most FMCG business’ Mars is a highly process and data driven organisation. These processes’ filter down to the marketing and comms planning functions and mean that the MediaCom team are required to respond in line with these guidelines.


The backbone of all Mars communications has always been TV, they have historically been reticent to evolve and innovate, however they now appreciate the need to update their approach and philosophy to one that fits with the modern media landscape.


Mars Chocolate and Food are well positioned as key segments to aid the acceleration of their ambitions around innovation and digital transformation.


Mars Chocolate brands are increasingly exploring exciting and more digital focussed platforms as it becomes increasingly harder to reach large younger audiences on TV. Across the portfolio in the past year we have intentionally doubled our investment into digital activities.







Mars Food being the smaller segment within the portfolio (Food, Confectionary and Petcare) means there is a real emphasis to test and learn and trial alternative media support models. Recent work includes; a content partnership with Joe Wicks, the Tasty platform and a variety of test and learn campaigns across Facebook and Amazon. 2018 will see us further evolve the digital transformation project across the Food brands.


This is a hugely exciting step change for the business across these key segments and one in which they are taking very seriously.


You will be responsible alongside the Business Directors in bringing this digital marketing and communications ambition to life and thus are very influential in this process.





The Role and key responsibilities


  • Responsible for the ongoing digital transformation strategy and how best to implement across each individual Mars segment.
  • Own the key Joint Business Partnership relationships (facebook, Google and Amazon), ensure we are utilising their platforms appropriately, bringing new thinking insights and ideas into brand strategy and comms development.
  • Help clients navigate the complex e-commerce space and identify and design the most effective plan for Mars to maximise their presence and success in this space for the future.
  • Deliver digital innovation through test and learn within each segment brief.
  • Create and implement the digital measurement and learning framework. Maps and navigates the consumer decision journey.
  • Locate and share digital best practise examples across the Mars team.
  • Digital development of junior team members
  • Running digital workshops internally for team members but also client partners.
  • Forming strong working relationships with our agency partners BBDO and importantly Zenith from a media buying perspective.




Skills, Behaviours and Experience Required


The successful candidate will be a highly ambitious, collaborative and thought provoking. They will want to embrace the culture at MediaCom and likewise on Mars and strive to create exciting and business changing communications plans.

Mars clients generally require two qualities above all else: collaboration and attention to detail. As an AD on the Mars team your weekly responsibilities will include working not only with the UK marketing team but also with the European research teams, the commercial and corporate affairs teams and also the wider agency teams.


A key challenge of this is that the buying for this account is run via Zenith, so close collaborative ties are an essential attribute in the eyes of the clients.


Additionally, the clients keep very close to the detail of all campaigns and are highly media literate meaning that they expect everyone from exec to BD on the account to know the detail of the plans, the data and the campaign status.





Summary of requirements;


  • Positive and passionate approach that motivates the team & champions team successes
  • It is essential that the candidate has a strong understanding of the digital landscape and can harness the opportunities for brand growth
  • Excellent communications planning skills and knowledge across all media
  • Excellent presentation skills (writing and delivery)
  • Strong communication and ability to hold a room in all situations
  • Excellent client servicing skills
  • The ability to challenge clients in a structured and well thought through way
  • Previous experience of successfully working with smart and driven marketing decision makers at all levels is a must
  • Previous experience of building and delivering the case for change for your clients in the new media landscape



About MediaCom: People First, Better Results


Here at MediaCom, we know that our people are our greatest asset in making us the UK’s leading agency and so we make sure our employees are rewarded and looked after in terms of career growth, social life and personal welfare. 


We’re also part of GroupM, WPP’s leading global media investment management operation and our parent company who help us to maximise our performance on behalf of our clients, our shareholders and our people.


Despite our growth over the years, we work hard at retaining our creative and inclusive approach by acting an agency of “Pirates” who aspire to our five pillars in every aspect of their work: Creativity, New Business, Citizenship, Bravery and Loving our Clients.

You will benefit from our ‘People First Development Programme’, and every employee attends our creativity training - “Upping Your Elvis”, which focusses on new methods of brainstorming, problem solving and ensuring productivity in creative sessions.


We have our very own on-site bar, an events programme including BBQs and drinks on the rooftop terrace, sports and social clubs, a range of staff discounts and on-site services including health screenings, financial management workshops, manicures and massages.


We believe that by putting our People First, we deliver Better Results for our clients. Find out more about our award winning work here:


Want to know more? Follow us on twitter: @MediaComUK




We are an equal opportunities employer. All GroupM agencies are equal opportunities employers and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, gender identity, disability, culture/religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.