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Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
JOB #1700003505

Strategy Director

Who we are:

ICF Olson is a collective of world-class agencies delivering across the spectrum of customer experience: creative expression (Olson), public engagement (Olson Engage), customer relationships/loyalty (Olson 1to1) and digital experiences (Olson Digital). Though experts in different areas, we are united in our common POV: Think like people. ® This means everything we do is made from empathy – the key to brand success in a world of ever-shrinking attention and ever-growing choice. Learn more at icfolson.com

Who we’re looking for:

We’re looking for a Strategy Director ready to take their career to the next level. This hire will be the most senior member of the brand strategy team, reporting directly to the SVP, Strategy. For the right candidate, there will be a path to becoming the Director of Brand Strategy. To get there, you’ll start out leading and developing brand strategy on two to three accounts and lead strategy on select new business efforts—continually ensuring that the agency is delivering a leading-edge strategic product for its clients, grounded in relevant data, trends and insights. You’ll also have the immediate support of (and responsibility for the growth and development of) a new-to-brand-strategy strategist.

Direct Reports: 1–3 Strategists, Senior Strategists, and/or Associate Strategy Directors

What you’ll get to do:

• Lead strategy on key agency accounts, partnering with your peers in Account Service, Creative and Media to build and maintain great client relationships, leading to growth for our clients and the agency.

• Serve as the lead strategist on various new business efforts, collaborating with agency and team leaders to respond to RFIs, RFPs and pitch assignments, including playing a leading role in pitch presentations.

• Partner with the SVP, Strategy to shape, evolve and articulate the overarching approach to brand strategy for the agency.

• Collaborate with Olson’s broader strategic capabilities like Analytics, Experience Strategy and Connections Strategy to craft stories that inspire clients and internal teams to solve marketing and business challenges in new and better ways.

• Develop and contribute to thought leadership initiatives for the agency, including but not limited to writing posts/articles and speaking at conferences and events.

• Partner with discipline leaders across the ICF Olson collective as needed on new business efforts, client projects and special requests where brand strategy expertise is required.

• Support Olson leadership in building an inspiring and energizing culture where creativity and smart thinking flourish.

What you’ll need to succeed:

• 10+ years of experience working in marketing, brand consulting or a creative agency roles with 7+ years as a brand strategist, account planner or client-side equivalent

• Proven success leading brand strategy across multiple accounts in a variety of industries and categories

• Experience managing, mentoring and developing entry-level and mid-level strategists—helping them master core strategy/planning skills

• Energy and passion for pitching new business with experience leading pitches from a strategic perspective

• Fluency and comfort with a wide range of marketing research tools and methodologies—from overseeing the design, execution and analysis of primary research projects (both quant and qual), to sourcing and blending 3rd party research, secondary and social listening, in order to shine a bright light on deeply buried truths

• Deep experience in leading foundational brand strategy/brand architecture/brand purpose work

• A proactive, collaborative, team-first work style—you’re willing to take on any level of task to meet deadlines, surpass expectations and ultimately, make the work better

• An engaging approach to storytelling and experience pulling from different story formats to craft inspiring creative briefs, give clear, compelling strategic direction and deliver informed, persuasive client POVs on a range of strategic challenges and opportunities

• Experience designing and facilitating workshops, both client facing and internal

• Current knowledge of and opinions on industry, consumer, cultural, creative and technology trends

• An insatiable appetite for finding better ways to do things and the ability to inspire those around you to do the same

ICF Olson is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. (EOE – Minorities/Females/ Protected Veterans Status/Disability Status/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity)

ICF Olson Brand

Who is ICF?

A consulting services company of over 5,000 experts across 67 countries, but not your typical consultants

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