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Senior Director, Strategy

Location: Pittsburgh, PA.
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 9,600+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 50+ additional offices throughout the US, EMEA, and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit www.merkleinc.com.

Job Description:

The Customer Strategy Senior Director will join a team of talented and experienced marketers that focus on helping Merkle clients achieve their business goals through deep understanding of their market and customers, Merkle’s capabilities for online and offline marketing and our approach to people-based communications.

The Senior Director operates as a key member of our client account team helping to ensure that the programs we execute are based on our deep understanding of our client’s business and strategic objectives.  You must also show the ability to build strong relationships in order to become a trusted advisor to the client and Merkle account team.  This role requires you to be analytical as well as creative in your thought process and have the ability to be nimble in your thinking about client problems.  As a key leader inside of an account team you must also demonstrate the capability to get others to believe in the ideas that you present and follow that belief through to execution.

At Merkle “Strategy” means a key idea that is informed, executable and provides results.  Those ideas need to be applicable to a variety of client scenarios and must cross any service that is necessary to achieve the client objective. 

  • Program Strategy:  Engaging with a client’s marketing team to help diagnose fundamental opportunities within their customer portfolio, review industry and competitive research, and guide development of direct and digital acquisition, conversion, adherence and advocacy marketing programs and strategies to inform media planning and creative execution.  Guiding marketing use cases using advanced cloud marketing apps, personalization and AI capabilities derived from an integrated marketing-ad-tech stack
  • Client Leadership: As a trusted advisor to senior pharma marketing clients, you will serve as an extension of the client Customer Experience and multi-channel marketing team.  You will champion the vision of customer-centric marketing, provide leadership & advocacy in running a disciplined planning process across numerous stakeholders.  This role requires attention to detail, passion for data and marketing evidence, and the ability to connect strategic initiatives quickly to stay several steps ahead of a diverse, cross functional agency and client team.
  • Client solutioning and business development.  Support business development initiatives working in partnership with a Merkle client partner to solve client challenges, and meet with prospective healthcare clients to present Merkle fully integrated solutions.


This position requires a deep understanding of our clients in order to lead:

  • Business Context and Objectives:  Works with the client to understand and define both the future and current state of business objectives and key success metrics and KPIs.
  • Strategy Solution Development:  Developing marketing and strategic planning solutions communicated both in writing and in person through presentations.
  • Data, Analytics, Segmentation:  Working knowledge of digital and database marketing strategies including the use of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data and how this data can be used to drive targeted and personalized programs.
  • Marketing Research: Understanding how to use both quantitative and qualitative research to better understand customer needs – and how to extend that knowledge into targeting and messaging.
  • Portfolio Optimization:  Using segmentation to understand customer value and needs, to inform investment strategies and planning.
  • Customer Engagement Planning:  Designing a messaging architecture, positioning prisms, providing insights into media and channel usage and customer journey mapping.
  • Measurement, Testing and Optimization Analytics:  Working with the analytics team to develop a measurement framework to measure program and campaign effectiveness, as well as designing testing strategies to prioritize testing investments to support marketing optimization.

The ideal candidate for this position must have a strong passion for problem solving, and a deep understanding of how businesses, brands and customers interact, with an advanced understanding of the rapidly evolving role that data and technology play in this relationship. Candidates must possess the ability to identify business growth opportunities and develop strategic recommendations to support the growth of client relationships.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead the building, development, and delivery of strategic omni-channel marketing plans.
  • Act as a subject matter expert, particularly in the areas of digital marketing and CRM.
  • Continually monitor current marketing trends, new technology solutions, and competitive strategies – and then translate them into new marketing ideas for clients.
  • Show a strong understanding of differences in marketing to customers in different verticals and environments.
  • Develop trusted, long-term relationships with key client contacts and executives.
  • Ensure meaningful client value is delivered through a mix of best-practice solutions, skills, capabilities, and original thinking.
  • Manage team members to deliver strategy projects correctly and on-time.
  • Collaborate and develop relationships with internal Merkle teams (account management, operations, creative, analytics etc.), and partner agencies to understand the feasibility of cross-channel recommendations/ plans.
  • Identify key data points and measurements to show the impact of our approach and strategy on the client’s business.
  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • 10-15 years’ experience in data driven marketing – specifically CRM/ email / Online media / Offline media.
  • 3- 5+ years working in an agency or consulting firm.
  • 5+ years experience in both Healthcare Professional and Direct to Patient marketing.
  • Proven experience in developing solutions to support the sale of new services to clients.
  • Hands-on skills using data and research to drive decisions –proficiency in Excel and research tools a plus.
  • Strong writing, presentation and client facing communication skills. Experience translating data analysis into actionable marketing recommendations and presentations – proficiency in PowerPoint a plus.
  • Attention to detail and the ability to incorporate internal and external feedback on an iterative basis.
  • Ability to leverage business experience / acumen to identify new business and marketing opportunities.
  • Strong listening skills to understand clients visible and invisible needs.
  • Must have superior multi-tasking, networking, time management and inter-personal skills.
  • Self-starter high intellectual curiosity, drive, determination, and persuasion skills.
  • Comfort and experience working within a highly matrixed organization in roles with a wide degree of latitude.
  • 20-50% travel required
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.