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Project Manager

Location: Chicago, IL.
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 4,400+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with additional offices in the US, Europe, and Asia. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.

Job Description:

The Project Manager plays a pivotal role in maintaining client, and internal team, satisfaction and loyalty by providing exceptional service and value. The Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day execution of client programs, acting as a direct liaison between the internal departments and, possibly the client. The Project Manager also supports the organization’s strategic, tactical and support functions (creative, print production, studio, technology, analytics) in order to achieve the client and company objectives. These objectives include creating and maintaining a professional and respectful work environment, achieving individual and team oriented goals, and delivering accurate and timely projects that exceed client's expectations.

Key Responsibilities

  • Create, maintain and lead daily hotsheet meeting for team:
    • Ensure content to be accurate and up to date
    • Ensure content to be reviewed by team during 15 minute huddle
    • Ensure content to include 1-2 weeks of immediate deliverables, deliverable status and next steps
    • Distribute hotsheet by 9:00 am every morning for that day's meeting
    • Identify opportunities within this meeting to proactively assist and support the internal teams
  • Create and maintain schedules: 
    • Ensure content to be accurate and up to date, on all views of internal and client schedules
    • - Consult with appropriate team members to gather information needed to keep schedules accurate and up to date 
    • - Collaborate directly with Creative and Studio teams to hold them accountable for their scheduled deliverables 
    • - Distribute client ready schedules each Friday by Noon. If out of office, provide updated schedules before leaving
    • - Provide a weekly snapshot of Studio deliverables (i.e.: potential comps, when files will flip from Creative to Studio, translation file schedules, release dates for all projects, etc)
  • Initiate: 
    • Follow up with internal teams on deliverables 
    • Keeping all internal teams updated on any information that is applicable to them 
    • Collaboration with the internal Production team to provide support (tracking deliverables- both internal and with vendor as needed; QCing internal documents, vendor proofs, etc., for accuracy; assisting with meetings, communications and documentation as needed)
    • Collaboration with Account and Creative teams to support as needed to ensure success on client deliverables
    • Studio handover meetings with the Creative team to determine which components are ready for Studio to move forward with
  • Coordinate with internal teams to:
    • Assist and ensure that the team meet all deliverable dates
    • Schedule pre-production meetings with SG360, Production and Studio to understand specs/file builds prior to files flipping to Studio
    • Support all internal teams in an effort to troubleshoot issues, anticpate and solve for challenges, track down information where needed, adopting an 'all hands on deck' mentality
    • Schedule all check-in and kickoff meetings 
    • Keep updated and accurate records of all client approvals 
    • Keep track of all components of the PQK and know where they stand at all times
    • Be forward looking to help identify problems before they happen 
    • Identify solutions and share those proposed solutions with the team
    • Effectively pivot when challenges arise or priorities shift
Qualifications:
  • Bachelor Degree strongly referred (Marketing/Communications/English/Graphic Design/Business Admin)
  • Good project management skills: 
    • Organization/Prioritization
    • Time Management
    • Strong ability to prioritize tasks
  • Strong project management, interpersonal and negotiation skills
  • Exhibits proactive traits – does not wait  for issues to surface but rather heads them off
  • Proven experience managing client relationships; especially sensitive issues, and effectively problem solve; ability to analyze problems and produce a viable solution 
  • Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to implement desired solution
  • Ability to communicate effectively, especially when facing deadline pressures 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Adherence to Merkle's Acceptable Workplace Conduct Policy
  • Working knowledge of the Direct Mail and Online environments
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point) 
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of project management experience
  • Experience coordinating deliverables of third party suppliers (i.e. printers, lettershops).
  • Well-organized, detail-oriented multi-tasker who proactively manages his/her time while juggling multiple deadlines-driven projects.
  • Proven ability to prioritize work and meet deadlines.
  • Comfortable being client facing and handling daily communication with key members of the client team.  This includes difficult situations.
  • Accustom to working with campaign budgets and timelines
  • Desire to learn all aspects of Project Management
  • Ability to work in a deadline-driven environment, while keeping a good sense of humor.
Additional Information:

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

More Information:

Graduate Opportunities: Whether you're still studying, recently graduated or are already working and fancy a career hop, we could have a perfect opportunity for you.
Experienced Hires: Leverage your expertise, challenge the status quo and grow your career at Merkle.

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