Associate Director, Planning

Media Planning, Implementation & Activation New York, New York


Position at Wavemaker


You’ll be responsible for identifying consumer insights and cultivating them to form the basis for strategic planning. By focusing on why people think, feel, and act the way that they do, the Integrated Planning Associate Director helps create connection strategies and ideas that influence perceptions and encourage engagement with client’s brands.



Identifying Insights

  • Maintain a deep understanding of business, target audiences and wider communications environment
  • Listen, identify, and articulate compelling drivers, barriers and channel relationship insights
  • Propose, execute, and report primary and secondary research
  • Partner with insights and analytics department as necessary
  • Understand, embrace, and integrate client and creative agency research into plans

Strategic Development

  • A key contributor to Navigator strategic development process
  • Assist in the development of objectives and situational audits
  • Craft strategic frameworks
  • Consumer goal, barriers, drivers, tasks
  • Identify contextual frameworks
  • Collaborate in the development of engagement ideas
  • Design and facilitate/participate in Generator ideation sessions
  • Design expression of the idea in collaboration with the account team, implementation team, and media partners
  • Write and evaluate RFPs


  • Package strategic frameworks, contextual frameworks and engagement ideas for clarity and client presentation
  • Assist in crafting compelling selling strategies
  • Consult on development of support materials
  • Act as provocateur to the planning team


  • Develop effective and inspiring working relationships with team members, including insights and analytics, planning, implementation, digital, and entertainment
  • Drive thought leadership within the team
  • Work to build respectful, collaborative working relationships with outside agency partners and senior clients


  • Where applicable, lead Associate(s) and/or Manager(s) in setting brand strategies and developing
  • recommendations
  • Delegate work effectively so as to not only teach direct reports but to also deliver seamless work to client
  • Where applicable, guide and counsel Associate(s) and/or Managers(s) on day-to-day activities
  • Assist in the development and execution of agency training initiatives
  • Encourage and support staff attendance in various media training programs
  • Assist in the development of case studies and award submissions
  • Manage group dynamics between Associate(s) and/or Manager(s)
  • Accurately, objectively and constructively evaluate the performance of Associate(s) and/or Manager(s) via the talent development process
  • Foster an environment which encourages intelligent risk taking, innovation, and creativity
  • Advise and direct planning staff regarding strategic points-of-view
  • Monitor quality control on daily workflow
  • Keep abreast of current events, media trends and any target market industry trends that impact client business
  • Demonstrate a desire to create improvement and better outcomes through innovation / approaching things in new ways
  • Think of new solutions to your work / client challenges
  • Create and contribute to an environment where ‘Innovation as usual’ thrives in everyday work


  • 5-8 years of account planning or related media/communications planning experience, with a focus on team leadership and management
  • Experience and comfort facilitating ideation sessions
  • An enthusiastic consumer of, and curiosity about pop culture and media
  • Independent, efficient and prospers in a fast paced environment
  • Excellent strategic thinking
  • Great written and oral communication skills
  • Good client relationship skills, including experience interacting and presenting to senior-level clients
  • Experience of working in and across multiple communications disciplines, including digital
  • Fully conversant with all major desktop research tools and qualitative research techniques
  • Excellent quantitative skills, including analytical abilities and math proficiency
  • Demonstrate sharp, critical thinking and effective problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work within and effectively manage a team, prioritizing and organizing multiple assignments for both self and team direct reports, where applicable
  • Adherence to tight deadlines while delivering flawless work
  • Extremely detail-oriented, with clear and proven organizational skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Show ability in training and leadership capability
  • Exhibit passion through appropriate participation in team, agency, and industry initiatives
  • Demonstrate genuine curiosity and interest in our clients & their business
  • Digitally savvy, with specific proficiency at MS Suite: Excel, Word, PowerPoint


We believe there always is a better way to grow. We positively provoke growth for our clients by reshaping consumer decision-making and experiences through media, content and technology. The Wavemaker way is globally consistent. Fueled by the world’s most powerful consumer data, we understand where and how marketing can intervene decisively to help brands win more sales.

Our name is our mission and our method. To make waves, you need to be provocative, even fearless. We do our best work for brave brands and people who want to be challenged to go further and faster. We know it’s not easy, but if it’s in you, we will get it out of you. 

Our 7,600 people across 90 markets provoke growth for some of the world’s leading brands and businesses. Our attitude of Positive Provocation is enabled by:

deep knowledge we have of our clients’ business

confidence to challenge what’s gone before

the support to go further than we thought possible

We are a part of GroupM, WPP’s global media investment management company. Discover more on, Twitter and LinkedIn 

GroupM and all of its affiliates embrace and celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We are a worldwide media agency network that represents global clients. The more inclusive we are, the more great work we can create together.