Strategic Planning Director

Comms & Strategic Planning London, England



Future Makers

GroupM merged two of its leading global networks, MEC and Maxus, to form a brand new media, content and technology agency – one of the largest in the world. WAVEMAKER exists to be Future Makers: to build brands that pioneer the future, inspire society and move customers to action. What started with a blank page and a fresh perspective has resulted in building an agency of the future.

Bound together by our Purchase Journey approach, we help clients translate audience behaviours and insights into smart decisions today, for a prosperous tomorrow. Our organizational capabilities and specialisms, along with the talents of our 8,500 people are united through our focus on understanding, accelerating and optimizing purchase journeys. Our obsession with purchase journeys is apparent in the solutions we create for clients, in how we structure ourselves and in the job roles our people perform. So a job a WAVEMAKER may not sound like a job at any other agency, and that’s because it isn’t.

Our people are encouraged to become the best versions of themselves and share the values and behaviours of what we refer to as PACED -  passionate, agile, collaborative, entrepreneurial, and diverse. With our combined global heritage coming together to create something new; our people are the brains, the data experts and the thinkers of the GroupM family.

WAVEMAKER is a leader in its field.  We’re in front of transformation, making waves by making bold choices. It means the impact of our choices today creates momentum into the future.

Our vision is simple: To become the most distinctive and admired media, content and technology agency in the world.

The future is not only coming, it’s now.


Job Specification

Job Title:                           Strategic Planning Director

Reporting to:                    Strategy Lead  

Client:                               Transport for London & Greater London Authority 

Role context:

The Strategic Planning Director is a design role within an integrated client team. It sits within our Journey Design function and is responsible for ensuring that we design industry leading solutions using media, tech and content to solve client problems across the purchase journey. With an excellent grasp of Rapid Growth Planning techniques, Strategic Planning Directors ensure that the voice of the consumer is heard, understood and reflected in the Journey Designs created for clients. Strategic Planning Directors will be expert users of all WAVEMAKER tools which will allow them to create data-driven solutions to client briefs and quantifiable recommendations on their investment decisions.

The Strategic Planning Directors role can broadly be split into three key areas of responsibility:

Firstly, you will be responsible for designing the most effective purchase journey for your client. On major briefs this will be in the form of supporting the Strategy Lead, for day to day briefs, you will take the lead, designing the entire solution end to end, from customer journey insights, to tasks, to ideas, to role of channels and finally implementational plans across media, content and tech. You will be passionate about uncovering new insights that unlock new approaches and challenge existing thinking. Every single penny invested will be justified through your analysis of data. You will have the ability to write a story which pulls together the entire proposal from objectives to ideas to solution into one simple, easily understandable and buyable narrative.

Secondly, you will ensure that implementation and ideas answer the strategy. You will ensure that Journey Designs do not lose focus as they progress. You (with your team) will work within the Rapid Growth Planning stages of Diagnose and Decide to regularly audit your clients specific audience Journey. You will be responsible for the Journey Design from the point of brief until implementation plans have had initial sign off. The role of Journey Design is to brief Activation, WM Content and other specialist parties in an inspiring and motivating way. Journey Delivery will sit alongside you in the briefing and will then conduct Journey Activation, WM Content and other internal stakeholders (and clients) around them to make it happen. A key part of the role will be ensuring all implementation and solutions reflect the latest understanding and learnings from previous activity, you will ensure that the entire team are all aware of what works and why.

Thirdly, you will have line management responsibility for Managers and Executives within your team. You will manage and support them day-to-day, assisting them with workload management, delegating where appropriate, provide ongoing pastoral care and train / develop them to ensure that they are developing quickly and successfully.  


The Client: Team London (Transport for London & Greater London Authority)

This role is to work within Team London which covers the London government business (TfL, GLA, Met Police, London Fire Brigade, National Counter Terrorism). This role will focus primarily on TfL, with a percentage of time spent working on elements of the GLA.

This team represents a unique and meaningful opportunity to make a difference to London and the UK. This is a prefect role for someone who wants to make a difference to our capital through delivering award winning and measurable behaviour change solutions.

Relevant experience includes motor (as drivers are our key strategic audience for TfL) and government (as stake holder management is critical). This is a rewarding and important role perfect for an experienced strategic planner who would be inspired by a fresh challenge.


Transport for London

Our over-arching challenge is to encourage Londoners to switch car journeys to sustainable modes (Public Transport, Walking or Cycling). As part of that we have objectives around improving London’s air quality and reducing the number of accidents on our roads.  TfL’s media activity is made up of a complex portfolio of interrelated campaigns and we often have 10 campaigns live at any one time. Media spend: £12m

  • Within TfL there are five divisions we work across including BAU, Rev Gen (inc. Brand), Road Danger Reduction, Active Travel and Air Quality, and it will be your responsivity to manage and plan campaigns across the portfolio.
  • The breadth of the portfolio means we work across a plethora of campaigns from saving lives through reducing those killed or seriously injured on the roads, to building brand affinity through brand activations
  • It will be your responsibility to take and manage the briefs we receive for each brand and develop a compelling “behaviour change strategy” in response to these briefs aligning to relevant behavioural biases, and to instill a behavior change approach in everything we do
  • Developing strong working relationships with the brand teams and creative agencies is key to the success of the role and you will be required to spend Tuesdays at the creative agency in Victoria for our weekly project planning session for TfL with both agency and clients.
  • Beyond planning campaign briefs, you will be expected to work with your Delivery colleagues to run client learning sessions including innovation, best practice, media partners, and inspiration.
  • Working closely with your Delivery colleague you will ensure that all work undertaken is within scope of the assignment.
  • From time to time you may be asked to work on special projects from TfL around behaviour change activities. These are great opportunities to demonstrate fresh thinking and where we can push our thinking further.
  • Developing rich audience profiles that really bring the consumers of their brands to life is an essential and ongoing responsibility.
  • Being a tools champion, ensuring all our responses are founded in insight and rigour from audience insight, including TGI, Touchpoints, YouGov, Mintel etc. and proprietary tools
  • We love to celebrate to great work we do on TfL and what better way to do it than by winning awards, so having the end to end view on campaigns from strategy through to activation means you will be best placed to identify and develop potential award-winning campaign entries.


Greater London Authority (GLA)

The GLA, also known as City Hall, was created after a referendum in 1998, when Londoners voted in favour of a directly elected Mayor to represent London's interests. The GLA has a role in many areas of London life, and therefore our campaigns are broad reaching, from tackling issues of Knife Crime to Rough Sleepers on the streets of London- campaigns that make a difference to every part of our daily London life.

You will be responsible for working across the sub sections from the GLA including:

  • The London Assembly (who were voted to scrutinise the Mayors work and act as a watchdog for London to hold the Mayor and his advisers to public account)
  • London Power (a new London only, green energy company announced by the Mayor aiming to deliver affordable energy for Londoners whilst profits will be reinvested into community projects to help tackle fuel poverty and make London a zero-carbon city
  • London Electoral (for the 2020 Mayoral elections)

The media budget across the GLA and subsections is circa £1.5m. The budgets may not always be large, but they invest across multiple channels as well as hold a keen investment in partnerships and engaging content opportunities to create award winning activations.


Core Responsibilities:

The role of the Strategic Planning Director is to set communication strategy across the three strands, working closely with the client as well as creative, research and media buying agencies.

The right candidate for this role needs to have experience and passion in behaviour change planning, to be able to think outside the box when communicating multiple, complex messaging to a difficult to penetrate audience and to have strong strategic and implementation planning skills with the ability to guide and advise clients on longer term thinking.

Designing the most effective behaviour change journey for your client:

  • Use WM’s planning approach across all client work, utilising a broad set of internal WM tools (inc. [m]Insight and WM Crossmedia) and external tools to build a deep understanding of the consumer, the client’s business and its specific Behaviour Change Journey opportunities.
  • Brief the Journey Activation team in a clear, concise and inspiring way to get the best responses possible from the teams.
  • Define the tasks for media, tech and content investment, develop channel roles and investment priorities based around tasks.
  • Responsible for working with the Account Management (Journey Delivery) and Journey Activation teams to keep abreast of how the journey is evolving, including consumer, competitor, and category insights. Leading macro course correction if required.
  • Responsible for always challenging and provoking the client, bringing new thinking, approaches and creativity powered by insights and data.
  • Partner with Wavemaker’s analytics and insight teams, as well as third party research companies to ensure industry leading measurement across each planning response
  • Create strong productive working relationships with the planning and strategy teams of external agencies and media owners.

Ensuring implementation and ideas answer the strategy:

  • Ultimately accountable for the Behaviour Change Journey(s) on your clients’ business, up until the approval stage. Working with your team (and consulting with and informing Account Management) to create and control the process.
  • Ensure the plan reflects the strategy, by writing and sharing inspiring, actionable briefs which allow Journey Activation, WM Content and A&I to create industry-leading solutions.
  • Ensure investment decisions point to the precise moments in the behaviour change journey where it can deliver the greatest impact.

Managing and developing the team:

  • Ensure the team are equally comfortable in Data, Digital, Brand, Performance
  • Be responsible for the ‘to do’ list for timely work and effective output from the team
  • Support excellent career development and support, including reviews, training programmes and career mapping for the team


GroupM is an equal opportunity employer. We view everyone as an individual and we understand that inclusion is more than just diversity – it’s about belonging. We celebrate the fact that everyone is unique and that’s what makes us so good at what we do. We pride ourselves on being a company that embraces difference and truly represents the global clients we work with.

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