Associate Strategy Director

San Francisco, California /
Strategy /
Who We Are
We are Mekanism.  Mekanism is an award-winning, independent, full-service advertising agency made up of creative entrepreneurs. With offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Seattle, we serve as collaborative business partners with some of the world’s best brands, including Ben & Jerry’s, HBO, Peloton, Amazon, Weber, Charles Schwab and Alaska Airlines. Our creative approach to brand building is best described as “The Soul & Science of Storytelling”: Communicating a brand’s purpose with ideas informed by data and rooted in human truths.

Mekanism has been named to Ad Age’s “Agency A List” and twice to their “Best Places to Work”. We have also been listed on Creativity’s “The Creative 50” and have been recognized by Effie as one of the “Most Effective Independent Agencies”. We have been profiled by The New York Times, Fast Company and ABC’s Nightline. Mekanism’s campaigns have been covered and studied by Harvard Business School. 

We take great pride in making unconventional campaigns for brands in conventional categories.  Our patented blend of storytelling for emerging media takes a small army of Mekanistas to pull off.  What is a Mekanista you ask? Being a Mekanista requires a rare combination of being a strange, wonderful and talented person who enjoys coffee, Ping-Pong and impromptu rooftop jam and workout sessions.  We are smart, strange, wonderful folks that brave our spirited brainstorming sessions to make advertising magic.

Role
Mekanism’s Strategy Department is made up of creative-minded brand leaders who understand people as much as we understand business. We are part anthropologist, part business thinker, part planner, part new business insights creator and part trend watcher. It is our job to connect the dots between human behavior, creative development and business strategy.
 
The Associate Strategy Director  is a collaborative, fact-driven, creative thinker with great human and business instincts. They are able to lead and drive strategy end to end, through from insight to strategy, from idea and executions to measurement & optimization on projects and brands. They develop trust & partnerships with clients and agency teams through a focus on driving kick ass creative work that is also effective.

Our goal in the Brand Strategy department is to be the starting point for groundbreaking creative work and to become the go-to resource for our clients regarding deep, analytical business thinking and strong perspectives on their industry, consumer, marketing and business strategies.  

The Associate Strategy Director  is responsible for managing multiple internal, new business and client projects and is expected to effectively collaborate with Mekanism’s Creative, Platforms, Performance and Brand Management teams. The Associate Strategy Director  will run projects independently, run projects in conjunction with Brand Strategy/Brand Management department leaders, and play a critical support role on New Business pitches. 

Key Areas of Responsibility
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Mastery of the fundamentals
Define business problems and dissect them into clear and specific communications tasks.
Uncover and articulate behavioral and cultural insights.
Shape brand and activation strategies. Inspire great creative ideas with briefs that bring together culture, human behaviour and data. As we put the “science” in Soul & Science of storytelling, help champion this approach internally and with clients to ensure creative has thoughtful and strategic rigor behind every idea. 

Lead and own projects
Understand what is needed and identify the right next steps.
Collaborate with creatives at Mek and partner agencies.
Mind meld with our Platforms team and Performance team to bring brand strategies and creative platforms to life through smart channel thinking with clear performance objectives. 

Lead & drive brand strategies
Have a birds eye view of the overall business on their brands and campaigns. 
Lead the strategic charge on brands, represent the strategy function and provide thought leadership to clients, through owning the day to day client relationship. 
Consult and connect with Platform & Performance teams on brand/social/sales analytics conversations, ensuring our work is always aligned with the metrics of our clients.
Use their tingly sixth sense to  identify opportunities for pushing brands out of comfort zones and into greatness while growing business. 
Support Strategy Director and Chief Strategy Officer on thought leadership and work in partnership with brand management to identify opportunities to grow the strategy offering for their clients

Be a team player-
Partner with the stratpack and strategic leadership in the development of a strategic and creative vision on brands and across clients. 
Be a visionary- Concept studies, manage 3rd vendors and partner with them to shape unexpected insights and unique perspectives. 
Be a thinker- Run research and strategy projects in partnership with Strategy Director including (but not limited to): competitive analysis, Brand DNA creation, positioning pyramids, brand tone of voice/ verbal identity and Brand Book creation. 
Be a mole- Keep an eye on the pulse, by looking in expected and unexpected places like Quora, Reddit, Tiktok to develop a Mek specific point of view on brands and consumers in the context of a changing world.

Communicate to inspire
Synthesize the above into simple, actionable, inspirational strategies that our creative team “push off” of and our clients can clearly understand.
Craft simple and inspiring narratives around ideas.
Present confidently to clients and internal team members in order to inspire great work that drives results. 

Help Make Amazing Work
Stay involved in and help guide creative ideation and concepting throughout the process, ensuring that we produce breakthrough work that drives our clients businesses forward.
Help grow the Mekanism’s client arsenal by working on new business development
Help guide junior team members to develop strategies and support their growth.
 
Qualifications
You must be curious, confident, and articulate, as well as have excellent instincts with regard to human behavior, business strategy and general marketing theory. And you should be able to do this quickly, with minimal supervision. 
You should have a passion for creativity, culture, understanding how people think/interact, brands, and problem solving. 
You should have, but not be constricted by, a process for building brands and finding insights.
You must have excellent instincts both broadly across industries and deeply within any given capability or function. 
You should have led teams of junior strategists and interns
You should have 6-8 years of relevant advertising/marketing experience. Graduate degree in communications, advertising, brand planning or business a plus.