Essence | Head of Media Strategy

Digital/ Mobile Gurgaon, India


About Essence

Essence, part of GroupM, is a global data and measurement-driven agency that blends data science, objective media and captivating experiences to build valuable connections between brands and consumers. Clients include Google, FrieslandCampina, and the Financial Times. The agency is more than 1,100 people strong, manages over $3.2B in media spend and deploys campaigns in 71 markets via its global offices throughout North America, EMEA and APAC.

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

About the role

The Strategy group at Essence is focused on moving the discipline forward into a new era of insights and business solutions. You’ll find all of the usual Strategy responsibilities apply: inspiring and applying audience, market and product insights to our clients objectives; creating robust comms strategies and tactics; and working with our internal teams and partner agencies to present the best and most interesting ideas.

On top of all of that, we push for more.

We puzzle over new data sets, new signals from social platforms, new ways to design creative assets, new testing structures, and new ad products for our clients. It’s all new, unknown and just waiting for us to figure it out.

Day to day? You’re responsible for developing the strategic vision, driving thought leadership and ensuring the quality of strategic output of the agency for India across a few clients - in partnership with the Managing Director of India and the SVP, Strategy APAC.

Reporting of the role

This role reports to Managing Director, India and SVP, Strategy APAC

3 best things about the job:

  • Get to work with one of the largest tech companies in the world
  • Learn and apply the cutting edge ad technologies
  • Opportunity to work on a diverse portfolio of clients, from tech to CPG to e-commerce

Measures of success -
In three months:

  • Develop a good grasp of what our key clients’ business challenges are and start to be their strategic partner
  • Establish the Strategy practice in India and lead change for both the company and clients through thought leadership

In six months:

  • Champion the vision and roadmap for the Strategy practice for India

In twelve months:

  • Become an indispensable partner to CMOs and senior Marketing Directors on the client side

Some of the things we’d like you to do:
We’d like you to be a trusted resource and partner to our most senior clients, especially CMOs, their strategy and innovation leads. You should enjoy working at the edge of what is known in our industry and fueled by trying to figure it out. Ideally you’re passionate about your career, and are still a good time if we’re stuck at an airport for a few hours.

We emphasize behaviours. We value emotional intelligence, curiosity, collaboration above all else.

We are looking for a person that is comfortable doing their own research, as well as pulling out and presenting the key insights and ideas. Some days you will be presenting your ideas to clients, and some days you will be providing others with ideas to present. You will feel supported and support others in return.

You will also be a partner to our Managing Director of India, in driving thought leadership for the agency, as well as being an active member of the industry, taking part in key industry events and identifying talent for future growth of the Strategy team in India.

  • Evangelize the practice and its value proposition internally and externally
  • Lead in telling the integrated media story between online/ offline
  • Take the lead in developing/ co-authoring briefs for key clients
  • Provide key strategic inputs such as:
    • Identify key audiences - sizing and profile using data points, to determine whether given audience can achieve the client’s business objective
    • Within the aligned audience(s), identify key human truth (insight) that leads to a communication platform (one-liner) that demonstrates what a brand should be saying and how it should be behaving in media to drive the change in perception/ behavior (from/ to)
    • Set budget allocation - topline between online/ offline & key channels identified for each in order to hit the objective
  • Be the guardian of consumer journeys focusing on not just performance, but also for building emotional connection with our audience through media
  • Build and grow senior client relationships - become the client’s consultant (not limited to campaigns and briefs, but business, communication including content and media), in particular Marketing Directors and CMOs
  • Build and nurture constructive relationships with the creative agencies where there are strong opportunities
  • Ability to identify client’s challenges and provide smart solutions
    • Work on non-campaign projects such as brand portfolio, brand positioning, GTM strategy as necessary
  • A great collaborator - work with, just to name a few:
    • Analytics: to consult on measurement/ learning agenda, consult on learning & implications, and take the learning and apply to the next project
    • Client Service: day to day counterpart from insights into the client’s needs and upcoming projects
    • Planning: most collaboration happens here. Work together to develop budget scenarios from which Planning can develop tactical media plans, ensure strategy stays a “common thread” throughout tactical planning and idea presentations
  • Be the in-agency/ external expert of category and consumer trends (especially media related but not limited to), and apply that knowledge to strategy
  • Be a great story-teller and make media more “idea” and “insight” driven in addition to data-driven
  • Contribute to India-led thought leadership initiatives, e.g. white papers, publications, public speaking events
  • Be a part of key new business pitches for India

A bit about yourself:

  • At least 12 years of relevant experience (marketing, media, strategy, research, insight)
  • Proven strong senior client relationships in past roles
  • Strong understanding of  media planning (possible past life). Offline understanding a big plus.
  • Strong understanding of the Indian market - media, audiences and culture.
  • Ability to drive market and audience research tools, feed insights into the planning process
  • Ability to drive the integrated communication process for India, driving integration of offline and online as well as emerging digital/ social platforms and technologies
  • Adapt and implement Strategy/ Planning tools for India by collaborating with the global and regional counterpart
  • Solid pov on where the wider marketing industry is going
  • Experience in managing teams, including training, individual growth and development plans

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, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or marital status.