Senior Director, Operations
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 24 additional offices in the US and 29 offices in Europe and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.
The purpose of the role of Senior Director, Operations is to continually challenge, evolve and strengthen the Merkle Media Practice Area’s operational and commercial effectiveness. The role owner will provide the infrastructure and platform for our client facing teams to cement the agency’s status as long-term strategic partners for transformation and growth for our clients.
The main objective is to deliver commercial performance KPIs for Merkle Media, including a competitive cost to serve, whilst also representing the people, client and operational interests of Merkle’s Media Practice Area in the integration with the Media Service Line.
The Managing Partner Operations for Merkle Media will ensure a streamlined, clear and considerate process for our people, a seamless transition experience for our clients, and the continuation of on target performance for the Practice Area, feeding into the Media Service Line performance targets.
The role focuses can be broadly categorised into the following four key topics:
- Operational Effectiveness
- Business Performance Management
- Media Service Line Integration
- Change Management
Life as a Senior Director, Operations at Merkle
Maximise the performance of the human, technical, and process side of the business; resulting in an efficient and effective operating model.
- Drive operational consistency across Merkle Media. Ensure forecasting, budgeting, and team planning & resourcing are geared towards delivering the best experience for our people (existing and new) and focused on the delivery of target performance measures for the Practice Area (GM, cost to serve, offshore expansion etc)
- Support Capability leads in developing the optimum mix of onshore, nearshore & offshore resource, ensuring standards of client output remain high whilst meeting margin objectives.
- Drive timesheet compliance to improve accuracy and reliability of client profitability information, and subsequent action planning by client owners.
- Represent Merkle Media in cashflow processes (debtors and unbilled), working with Finance to provide framework for action planning and owning plan, where appropriate.
- Lead process to ensure company and HR related news and policies are discussed and considered with appropriate stakeholders, before roll out, in order to anticipate questions and formulate appropriate comms for different audiences.
- Work with specialist teams to support roll out any new tools and technology, ensuring data security and privacy compliance processes are adhered to.
Business Performance Management
Support business decision making by collecting, assessing and modelling commercial/business performance data. Present in easily digestible format leading to data driven decision making.
- Alongside Finance Director, constantly develop and evolve Management Information at frequency required to deliver the appropriate commercial and business updates to each level of management within the Media Practice Area, and to ensure connection with the Media Service Line reporting.
- Monitor performance against business KPIs and manage flagging process to highlight successes and potential watch outs in performance, in measures ranging from Capability GM to specific client profitability.
- Monitor resource effectiveness using timesheet, revenue, and cost data. Provide information to Capability leads in order to address aspects such as low margin clients, and support teams with delivery of operational solutions.
- Own commercial deal process, ensuring pricing for new logo and renegotiations meets both Merkle Media and Media Service Line margin objectives.
Media Service Line Integration
Represent the people, client and operational interests of the Merkle Media Practice Area in the integration planning with the Media Service Line.
- Work with colleagues in the Media Service Line to align on operational aspects such as bookings, billings, forecasting, budgeting and team planning.
- Utilise experience of Salesforce revenue forecasting to support adoption of tool within Media Service Line.
- Play pivotal role in the technical project team to migrate Merkle Media onto dentsu technology platforms, ensuring all operational considerations are identified for the transition plan, and the implementation is managed with a focus on delivering a seamless transition for the team.
- Key part of project team to managing the migration to the Media Service Line business platforms.
- Influence evolution/improvement of Media Service Line processes by proactively highlighting successful elements of Merkle operational tool kit.
- Ensure client leaders/owners are kept informed and updated on any integration initiative that may impact the client engagement including legal, commercial and personnel changes.
- Own deployment of change management process within Merkle Media for any aspects of process, operations or ways-of-working evolution as a result of the integration with the Media Service Line.
Lead the change management process for Merkle Media and support team members in embracing and adopting new ways of working.
- Represent Merkle Media in setting the change management vision and maintain sense of urgency within the Practice Area and Service Line.
- Ensure updates, procedures and processes are discussed, debated, and considered by the relevant stakeholders before roll out to anticipate questions and formulate appropriate comms to different audiences.
- Drive follow up communication process to ensure regular and relevant updates are received by specific groups and audiences throughout the different stages of the change process.
What Success Looks Like
The role will be measured on the following:
- Achieve annual target profit margin
- Offshore mix of resource to grow in line with global targets
- Team pyramids align with Service Line guidance
- Efficiencies in operational process demonstrated by time saving, cost saving, increased output or additional client engagement.
- Staff attrition rate below 25%
- Reduction in debtors as proportion of income (measure to be guided by Finance)
- Full Integration of Merkle’s Media Practice Area into the Media Service Line community, systems, and tech.
- Demonstrable experience leading change programmes in a complex organisation
- Excellent commercial acumen with an ability to effectively interact with all teams across the business
- Track record of improving efficiencies across people, process and technology
- Data driven mindset
At Merkle, we believe that a diverse environment improves us as a community and as a business. We want to foster an environment of growth, where all ideas and contributions are encouraged. We need this culture of courage to continue to thrive in our fast-paced industry. We embrace differences of opinion. We value diversity of experience and thought, which help us to challenge and define industry-leading solutions, and support our goal of being a great place to work.
Merkle fosters a diverse environment that encourages original thinking about our business and empowers us to communicate with a global world of customers. We embrace differences of opinion and diversity of thought as they help us challenge and refine our solutions. Merkle, as a best-in-class marketing agency, welcomes big ideas, and believes they can come from anywhere.
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