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Senior Production Manager

Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS.
Company Description:

Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency's heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 5,500 employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 24 additional offices in the US and 25 offices in Europe and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.

Job Description:

As a Senior Production Manager, you have experience in a wide variety of print (direct mail, collateral, point-of-sale, ads, catalogs, etc.), although your primary responsibility will be the management and production of direct mail campaigns.  A very strong knowledge of lettershop, mailing and the postal service is required.  Experience in an agency environment is a major plus.  We service a wide variety of marketing verticals (pharmaceutical, financial and banking, retail, travel, non-profit and entertainment), Production management experience within one or more of these verticals is a high priority.  In addition to Production management, this position will require someone with strong Account and Client management skills.

Key Responsibilities

  • Continuously research and communicate innovative production and industry-related ideas and technologies with key contacts throughout Merkle.
  • Share updated USPS information and regulations (rate increases, promotions) with internal Operating Groups.
  • Develop expanded industry knowledge within assigned verticals.
  • Bring leadership to your accounts through proactive strategy development, process improvement, alternative formats and cost savings ideas.
  • Execute assigned ad hoc projects with little to no assistance/guidance.
  • Participate in Operating Group level meetings as required.
  • Participate in the execution of Thought Leadership ideas.
  • Participate in future RFP or RFQ pricing exercises and responses.
  • Assist in preparing and presenting client presentations as needed.
  • Manage and oversee more complex projects and accounts with higher company-wide visibility.
  • Manage the on-boarding process of new clients.
  • Prepare for and participate in higher level Operating Group meetings.
  • Be available and willing to mentor co-workers and others as needed, even if not a direct report.
  • Mange the vendor relationship with skill, diplomacy, an eye for detail and a sense of urgency as you schedule and manage the outsourced production to vendors.  Research and select vendors who can provide the best-in-class capabilities and creative options.
  • Be relied on to resolve difficult situations, even those not pertaining to your particular client or account.
    • Work with Account Managers and CEL’s to resolve any client related issues.
    • Summarize and communicate Incident Report up through the VP level, as needed.
  • Daily responsibilities include but not limited :
    • All responsibilities of Production Manager at an increased complexity level.
    • Manage production activities on assigned accounts, collaborating with internal teams, from concept development through completion.
    • Involvement in campaign planning, creative review, and package analysis.
    • Cost savings initiatives.
    • Development of program management tools and processes.
    • Maintain open line of communication with internal teams.
    • Obtain, negotiate and purchase production services from outside suppliers.
    • Develop production schedules which include key dates for meeting requested mail date.

•Bachelor Degree strongly preferred (Marketing/Communications/English/Graphic Design/Business Admin)

• Good project management skills:

         o Organization/Prioritization

         o Time Management

• Strong problem solving skills with the ability to implement the solutions

• Effectively manage the day to day operational functions of multiple clients, across multiple verticals (financial, retail, non-profit, and insurance and wealth management).

• Ability to work under tight deadlines while successfully executing multiple campaigns.

• Ability to represent Production as a skilled, senior level subject matter expert; experience in presenting an informed point-of-view and technical expertise to a project team.

• Effectively manage production budgets for multiple campaigns.

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

• Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Power Point)

• Minimum of 10 years of print production and / or direct mail experience

• Experience working with internal account teams along with ability to be client-facing as needed.

• Ability to manage client account responsibilities, including resolving difficult situations, with little to no supervision.

• Ability to function as a visible production contact and production team leader for specific portions of the client business.

• Demonstrate ability to be a strong team leader

• Ability to interact with multiple client teams while displaying a strong sense of diplomacy

Ability to work in a deadline-driven environment, while keeping a good sense of humor.

• Proactively identify, discuss and document ideas that will increase department growth and profitability




This job description is a summary of the essential functions of the job, not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks, and duties. The responsibilities, tasks, and duties of the jobholder might differ from those outlined in the job description. Other duties, as assigned by the supervisor, might be part of the job.


Additional Information:

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

More Information:

Our Culture: Merkle’s energy and personality lives through everything we say and do. Learn all about what defines our people and our vibe.

Students & Recent Graduates: Start your career at Merkle and get on the path to success.

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