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Operations Director

Location: London, England.
Company Description:

About Merkle

Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specialises in the delivery of unique, personalised customer experiences across platforms and devices. We call it ‘people-based’ marketing, and with over 25 years’ experience, we are proud to be recognised as a global leader.

Merkle’s heritage in data, technology and analytics is the foundation for our understanding of consumer insights that drives our people-based marketing strategies. Combined with our expertise in performance creative and media, we can then offer our clients content-driven, contextual and compelling customer experiences that drive business growth.

In 2016, the agency joined dentsu, one of the world’s biggest media companies to form the Customer Experience Management (CXM) Line of Business.

Job Description:

The Role

We are looking for an experienced, motivated, and self-driven Director of Operations to join our team at Merkle Analytics. You will ensure the smooth running of the business by creating insight from business information, identifying, developing, and implementing processes to maximise efficiency, and working closely on delivering strategic goals with all capability leads, finance, and HR.

You will manage a centralized team focused on operations across our Analytics practice that supports capability teams’ ability to focus on client work. In addition, you will identify areas for development and growth within the business, creating long-term strategies and successfully implementing them on a daily basis.

This role can be broadly categorised into the following areas:

·       Business and Management Intelligence and Initiatives

·       Operational Effectiveness

·       Continued Integration and Change Management

·       Team performance and development

Life as Operations Director at Merkle Analytics

You will work closely with the Head of Merkle Analytics and each of the capability leads to provide key information, presented effectively, for decision making.

Business and Management Intelligence and Initiatives

Support business strategic initiatives and decision-making by collecting, assessing, and distilling people/commercial/business performance data related to effectively running the business.

·       Alongside Department Heads and Finance, develop and evolve Management Information portfolios at the frequency required to deliver the appropriate commercial and business updates to each level of management.

·       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.

·       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.

·       Drive (where required) cultural and strategic initiatives including collating monthly all hands information, creating agendas for board meetings, and help facilitate the day to day running of the department

Operational Effectiveness

Maximise the performance of the people, technical, and process side of the business, resulting in an efficient and effective operating model. Ensure the day-to-day running of the business is efficient and transparent with clear processes and decision-making responsibilities.

·       Alongside Department Heads, manage business tools for teams to accurately forecast income and cost to feed into budgeting, planning, recruitment, and team development processes. Set strategic goals for operational efficiency and increased productivity and demonstrate delivery.

·       Represent the operational considerations of the Merkle Analytics entity within the CXM Line of Business to ensure consistency across Merkle entities, where appropriate, and alignment with wider Dentsu process.

·       Drive operational consistency across Merkle Analytics. 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, profitability, 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.

·       Lead process to ensure company and HR related news and policies are discussed and considered with appropriate stakeholders, before rolling out, in order to anticipate questions and formulate appropriate comms for different audiences.

·       Develop, implement, and monitor day-to-day operational systems and processes that provide visibility into goals, progress, and obstacles for our key initiatives

Continued Integration and Change Management

Drive the evolution of processes to ensure alignment across the Practice and within the greater Merkle and Dentsu businesses.

·       Consistently interrogate and evolve current business processes, resulting in time efficiencies and work effectiveness for all stakeholders.

·       Work with specialist teams to support roll-out of any new tools and technology (such as resource management systems), ensuring adherence to data security and privacy compliance processes.

·       Own deployment of change management process for any aspects of process, operations, or ways-of-working evolution as a result of the integration with Dentsu.

·       Ensure all departments are following the same way of operating and adhering to new processes you implement

People Development

Ensure the strength of our people is the major factor in establishing Merkle’s position with

clients as a strategic partner for growth. Work alongside HR and capability leads to:

·       Ensure objectives and development planning is implemented for every individual, alongside salary reviews against market benchmarks.

·       Drive processes, along with HR, to ensure a fair remuneration process for both current and new employees, aligned with relevant external benchmarks

·       Identify and develop a plan for retaining top performers and support HR and team leads with succession planning for all line manager levels.

·       Ensure learning opportunities and development paths are available and adopted by our people.

·       Collaborate with executive-level management in the development of performance goals and long-term operational plans



What Success Looks Like:

The role will be measured on the following:

·       Senior management team has information they need to make decisions (people, profit, processes)

·       Achieve annual target gross margin across the practice

·       Distribution of job levels (team pyramids) align with service line guidance, including an onshore and offshore mix

·       Efficiencies in operational process demonstrated by time-saving, cost-saving, increased output, or additional client engagement.

·       Staff attrition rate below 25%

·       Full Integration of Merkle Analytics into CXM and Dentsu community, systems, and tech

·       Improve our glint (internal measure of staff satisfaction) scores by 10%+

What we are looking for in you:

Key Skills

•       Proven ability to analyse numerical data and pull out reasonable and rational conclusions to underpin strategic plans.

•       Proven day-to-day experience in building and nurturing senior stakeholder relationships; navigating difficult conversations to mutual benefit, knowing when to challenge and when to go the extra mile to deliver, and prioritising efforts.

•       Strong understanding of marketing analytics and communications concepts, models, skills, practices, tools, and frameworks.

•       Clear influencing skills and an ability to manage change effectively.

•       Strong team leadership ability; providing mentorship, influencing internal leadership for mutual benefit, recruiting and retaining key talent.

•       Ability to understand cultural nuances; respects differences in culture, approach, and skillset.

•       Proven ability to plan and manage the operational process for maximum efficiency and productivity.

•       Ability to streamline and implement new structures and roles that create speed, efficiency, and support rapidly shifting business demands.

Additional Information:

At the point of application, the candidate must have the legal right to work in the UK as we are unable to sponsor visas as this time.

Merkle does not discriminate against job applicants on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Experience stipulated in this job description serves as a guide only and all applications will be considered on their merits, irrespective of experience.

As part of our Diversity and Inclusion agenda, and as an Equal Opportunities employer, if you require reasonable adjustments during the selection process please engage directly with your Recruiter.

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.