EssenceMediacom | Strategy Director

Auckland, New Zealand


We are EssenceMediacom

A truly global network with 120 offices and over 10,000 people operating in 96 markets, we are a new type of agency that creates breakthroughs for brands.  We discover the breakthroughs that brands need to win; the discoveries, experiences, invention, integration and impact that will make a difference to their business.  We are built to keep pace with change, built on data and technology, built for people and algorithms, built around diverse capability, built to test and learn at scale and, crucially, built to evolve.

Through the delivery of this breakthrough thinking, we will deliver our NZ agency purpose, to Demand Attention, and achieve our ultimate ambition, which is to be the most recommended agency amongst the world’s most influential brands.

These core beliefs are fundamental to our culture and how we work.  We’re firm believers in building high performance teams (which is why you’re reading this!) that work fantastically well together to achieve to the highest levels.  To do this, we have a set of values that underpin our culture: 

  • Curious: We are brilliant, creative, insightful thinkers who seek out fresh ideas, to get better every day.
  • United: We are better together, and we value each and every member of our MediaCom tribe.
  • Driven: Through our collective energy, desire and determination, we make things happen.

Keeping the above in mind is how we can produce great work that we all take pride in, but that most importantly delivers breakthroughs for the brands we represent. 


Purpose of the role

The Strategy Director (SD) is jointly responsible for the quality of the agency's work output, directly and in partnership with our internal teams - Client Leadership, Analytics & Insight(A&I), Creative Futures, Media Solutions and Data & Technology(D&T).  The relentless pursuit of breakthroughs demands the alignment of the agency around a singular philosophy and process (Breakthrough Thinking / Planning) that evolves briefs into recommendations for budgeting, audience selection, channel/platform ecosystem selection, creative design recommendation, cross channel media planning and measurement frameworks, and this role serves as a guardian of this philosophy and process.  We firmly believe that ideas are essential to demand the attention of consumers, and leaning heavily on the innovation and improvement strands of Breakthrough planning throughout the marketing, campaign and optimisation cycles, the SD will help deliver this creativity.

Your responsibilities

We expect you to play a direct role in creating the breakthrough culture we want to build at EssenceMediacom, which will be demonstrated in the following areas of the business. 



  • Develops and delivers training/capability around Breakthrough Planning
  • Supports Client Leadership personnel to deliver Breakthrough planning, both internally and externally to clients
  • Develops resources and training to build this capability as an integrated part of advanced BAU
  • Actively stimulates innovative thinking within the agency and our clients
  • Collaborates across functions and specialisms to create integrated and end-to-end strategies, ensuring that the strategy is followed through into planning and activation



  • Delivers integrated strategic guidance and presence on client accounts, as required by individual Scopes of Work (SOW)
  • Builds and fosters strong and trusted client relationships where appropriate
  • Builds and fosters strong relationship with EssenceMediacom Australia and APAC, and GroupM NZ strategic personnel



  • Delivers integrated ‘breakthrough’ strategic guidance on client accounts, featuring both art (creative ideation) and science (rigorous data-driven thinking)
  • Defines advanced BAU approach to the discovery and exploration of audiences for planning in partnership with Analytics and Insight / Planning Lead
  • Focuses on identifying/codifying/predicting changes in people’s behaviour (with special focus on evolving comms behaviour, shopping behaviour) to create new strategy/planning opportunities to exploit
  • Integrates emergent and non-advertising opportunities within comms plans, and promotes innovative partnerships with media owners/publishers/tech
  • Leverages proprietary EssenceMediacom tools in the development of strategies for all clients
  • Delivers thought leadership/trends, budget recommendations, portfolio approaches, source of growth, audience discovery/analysis, addressable reco/messaging, measurement framework, and creative/asset requirement
  • Elevates EssenceMediacom’s external reputation by showcasing our work through award submissions (and wins!)



  • Delivers strategy support for new business projects, as directed by Managing Director
  • Identifies new strategic/planning product opportunities that may attract incremental net sales growth



Key Performance Indicators

Your individual KPIs may change from time to time (according to business requirements, and in consultation with your line manager), however the broad areas for measuring performance in your role are as follows:



  • Inspired, educated and motivated team around ‘breakthrough’



  • Strong key client relationships and perception of/advocacy for EssenceMediacom’s strategic capability
  • Strong and productive relationships with EssenceMediacom Australia and APAC and GroupM NZ strategic personnel, to the demonstrable benefit of EssenceMediacom NZ



  • Delivery and development of Breakthrough planning
  • External awards and other work recognition



  • Incremental revenue delivery via strategic planning projects
  • Key contribution to successful new business development


Knowledge & skillset requirements


Qualifications and experience

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent
  • Extensive knowledge of the NZ media market, and a healthy interest in major Global markets
  • Strong track record of proactive and progressive client leadership experience
  • Extensive knowledge of modern communication theories (marketing science, attention, etc) and how they influence our work
  • Strong track record of innovative work delivery
  • Significant knowledge of the digital environment and the changing communications landscape


Personal qualities and behavioural traits

  • Continually challenges received wisdom and questions convention
  • Looks beyond the obvious and outside of comfort zones
  • Experiments widely, accepting that not everything will work
  • Creates an environment where ideas come from anywhere
  • Works closely with others, regardless of team or seniority
  • Builds bonds across teams to make collaboration easier
  • Offers and appreciates precise and future-focused feedback
  • Follows through on commitments to others
  • Respectfully says what needs to be said, even if it's hard
  • Is driven by team success, not individual glory
  • Takes pride in continuously developing both core craft and wider knowledge
  • Intentionally seeks out diverse views and experiences to broaden worldview
  • Creates an environment where people feel safe to speak up and be heard
  • Is kind, positive, curious and considerate with others

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