EMX | Media Planning Business Director

Strategy & Planning
London, England


Media Planning Business Director (ITV/RHS)

About Essence

Essence, part of GroupM, is a global data and measurement-driven media agency whose mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world. Clients include Google, Flipkart, NBCUniversal, L'Oreal and the Financial Times. The agency is more than 1,800 people strong, manages $4B in annualized media spend and deploys campaigns in 106 markets via 20 offices in APAC, EMEA and North America.

Visit essenceglobal.com for more information and follow us on Twitter at @essenceglobal

About the team 

Media Planning are experts on the paid media landscape and how consumers interact with it. We architect and steward holistic media plans throughout their lifecycle, owning the creation of overall plans, cross-channel budget allocation, in flight cross-channel optimisation & reporting and post-campaign analysis. We are our clients’ key contacts for a unified view across all aspects of their campaigns, narrating the story of the campaign from planning recommendation through to PCA.

About the role


ITV are about to enter one of the biggest moments in 10 years. The release of ITVX is a huge step forward in the way the UK population will consume TV content. It is a free service much like ITVHub but much bigger, more premium and with huge potential. The client/agency relationship is collaborative, and we feel like partners in this new journey.

There is a strong focus on Brand building activations, driving “ Fresh” innovation in media, changing perceptions and category defining thinking in media which is something the marketing team encourages and supports. We have done some amazing work with out of home experiential, partnerships with Deliveroo and key publishers plus melting posters for a Year on Planet Earth.

The shorter burst, single show content campaigns are entering a new dawn of measurement and this has not stopped ITV from wanting to push the scales on bravery in media and still have the engine drivers in Love Island, IACGMOOH and many more big iconic shows coming up for 2023.  

Performance-led campaigns are similarly pivotal in the success of ITVX. With an always on digital strategy, continuous optimisations and reporting check ins ensuring performance through strong data strategy. 

Across the funnel, ITV is an exciting and boundary pushing company that exposes planners of all levels to new experiences that challenges and dictated the inspired activation plans.


The RHS is a 200 years old British institution and the largest gardening charity in the UK. Their mission is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. They are at the forefront of environmental and horticultural research and active in the local community with a huge number of gardening and social initiatives.

Across their 5 gardens, they give access to open spaces for many people of all ages and put on various events, shows and experiences throughout the year, including the world famous Chelsea Flower show

Essence won the RHS business at the beginning of 2022 and the year has set us up for success in 2023. Our remit is fully integrated media planning and buying as well as taking them on a digital transformation journey to becoming a more forward looking organisation. They’ve tasked up with growing their memberships base from 600,000 to 1m over 3 years.

About Quorum/Pulse

As part of the ITV and RHS planning team, you would sit in a pod of expert planners and buyers that are called Pulse. This client pod includes ITV, RHS, Sainsbury’s Bank, NBCUniversal and Bulldog. 

Quorum teams lead on the other ‘non-Google, BT, L’Oréal’ clients that include, TheFT, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Sainsbury’s/Argos. 

We work collaboratively and through social events and online chats we are a strong and supportive team. 


Media Planning Business Directors lead a team of planners, inspiring innovation and great thinking in media planning across multi-practice client teams. The ultimate owner of the media plan recommendation, weekly reporting reviews and campaign PCA, they work with the team to ensure communication to the client is clear, compelling and of a high standard. The Media Planning Business Director holds close client relationships and is the primary face of Essence’s Media Planning product for those clients. They are ultimately responsible for campaign performance and the delivery of business-enhancing insights. They foster strong external relationships and keep a close eye on the market to ensure new opportunities and research are reviewed and implemented for the benefit of their clients.

The Media Planning Business Director will manage a team of media planners, inspiring innovation and great thinking. 

Some of the things we’d like you to do:

  • Oversee and quality assure all deliverables produced by junior team members, particularly ensuring the high quality delivery of tactical response presentations, in-flight reporting, insightful post campaign analyses and clear and considered briefings to Activation.
  • Take a lead role in client presentations, orchestrating the team as appropriate.
  • Take responsibility for campaign performance against intended outcomes.
  • Collaborate closely with the Strategy team, where applicable, on responses to brief.
  • Collaborate with the Analytics team to develop client Learning Agendas.
  • Work with Data Strategy to tie first party data in to planning.
  • Be the point of escalation for team issues (within and outside of the team).
  • Drive internal thought leadership and team process/workflow enhancement, increasing work quality, making us more efficient, and improving Essential satisfaction.
  • Set the quality standard for one or more planning deliverables per year, improving them over time via team/client feedback and incorporation of evolving external context.
  • When appropriate, play a key role in new business pitches.
  • When required, drive the success of new client onboarding, alongside Client Services.
  • Identify and build out two case studies per year suitable for external recognition and award submissions.
  • Line manage 2-4 direct reports and support a wider team with career development and Essential satisfaction.
  • Support the regional practice lead with development of the media planning product.


Competencies (specific knowledge, skills and abilities):

  • Ability to translate business and marketing KPIs to appropriate media KPIs.
  • Superior presentation design skills, in slides or document format.
  • Ability to represent and advocate for Essence, internally and externally.
  • Strong public speaking skills and excellent written ability.
  • Expertise in industry standard media research tools (Comscore, GWI, TGI, YouGov).
  • Excellent organizational skills, close attention to detail and ability to quality control work.
  • Ability to adhere to deadlines and project manage multiple campaigns.
  • Superb client relationship and management skills.
  • Development and maintenance of productive relationships with vendor partners.
  • Proven Brand and Dem Gen Planning expertise
  • Proven problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Ability to work independently and to collaborate in a team environment.
  • Skilled in quantitative reasoning.


Management Responsibility

  • Inspire and motivate a team, leading by example while coaching juniors.
  • Provide timely and actionable feedback to drive team development and work improvement.
  • Monitor and support Essential satisfaction across client teams, identifying and implementing ways to maintain or increase satisfaction.
  • Foster excellent working relationships across the client team to facilitate smooth processes and flawless execution of plans.
  • Communicate effectively across all levels of the team.
  • Understand when to escalate issues to senior management
  • Calculate the workload implication of new campaigns and feed in to resource management. 
  • Provide awareness and recognition for jobs well done.
  • Participate in the Essence mentorship programme.

Required Education and Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience may be substituted for the education.
  • Proven experience in media at Director level, gaining solid understanding of the principles of marketing and advertising and running and motivating teams.


What you can expect from Essence

Essence’s mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world.  We do this by employing the world’s very best talent to solve some of the toughest challenges of today’s digital marketing landscape.  It’s important that we hire people whose values reflect those of our own: genuine, results-focused, daring and insightful.  As an Essence employee, we promise you a workplace that invests in your career, cares for you and is fun and engaging.  We believe these factors create a workplace where you can be yourself and do amazing work.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or marital status.


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