New Business Manager

Chicago, Illinois, United States Full-time

Who We Are

Mekanism is an award-winning, independent, full-service advertising agency made up of creative entrepreneurs. With offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Seattle, we serve as collaborative business partners with some of the world’s best brands, including Ben & Jerry’s, HBO, MillerCoors, Peloton, Facebook, Charles Schwab and Alaska Airlines. Our creative approach to brand building is best described as “The Soul & Science of Storytelling”: Communicating a brand’s purpose with ideas informed by data and rooted in human truths.

Mekanism has been named to Ad Age’s “Agency A List” and twice to their “Best Places to Work”. We have also been listed on Creativity’s “The Creative 50” and have been recognized by Effie as one of the “Most Effective Independent Agencies”. We have been profiled by The New York Times, Fast Company and ABC’s Nightline. Mekanism’s campaigns have been covered and studied by Harvard Business School.


The Mekanism New Business Manager is a self-assured, collaborative, proactive, problem-solver.

He/she helps drive and manage Chicago New Business, working directly with the agency’s leaders to expand Mekanism’s client portfolio and revenue through inbound management, outbound prospecting, and pitches.

He/she also supports the New Business Department as a whole – keeping the machine well oiled and consistently working to optimize it.

Key Areas of Responsibility

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Be the Go-To Person on all things Chicago New Business


    • Oversee the Chicago New Business Pipeline, maintaining organization of timelines, status updates, materials, etc.
    • Be the main information artery for both senior leadership and other departments. Manage up and outwards to foster communication and alignment.
    • Act as the main point of contact for clients interested in working with the Chicago office
    • Drive and manage the creation of all Chicago RFI/RFP responses
    • Coordinate and attend all Chicago new business meetings/calls (schedule, organize materials, prepare other attendees, take notes, and facilitate follow-up).
    • Understand what it takes to sell Mekanism – knowing the agency’s capabilities and divisions inside and out, and being able to speak fluently and charismatically about them.
  • Manage the New Biz Machine


    • Manage all inbounds to - making sure they get filtered to the right office/person and are being properly addressed and tracked.
    • Own and manage all of the overarching New Business systems (master pitch calendar, RFI bank, contact tracker, etc.).
    • Become the credentials master – consistently updating and managing Mekanism capabilities decks.
    • Always be thinking about new ways to improve the Mek new biz process and department.
  • Chicago Pitch Guru
    • Act as the pitch ringleader – externally coordinating and internally rallying all key players to develop pitch work.
    • Facilitate alignment on what we need to do to win and ensure the work stays on brief.
    • Understand our process and be able to manage and drive all the moving pieces from qualifying and resourcing to presenting and running a post mortem.
    • Effectively work within a team and across departments – fostering teamwork and productivity in every meeting.
    • Do fast-paced, down and dirty research on prospective clients to ensure we are smart and have a strategic edge.
    • Sweat the small stuff. Make sure we have every detail covered for pitches from booking travel and managing printouts to providing AV and presentation support.
  • Support Chicago Growth
    • Work closely with the Managing Director of the Chicago office on client prospecting: identifying potential clients, brainstorming ways to connect, and executing outreach
    • Work closely with Mekanism’s Marketing Director to identify local marketing events/opportunities and how to get Mekanism involved
    • Provide internal and external event support on an as needed basis
    • Stay on top of and provide strong points of view on local Chicago media opportunities, industry events, the competitive landscape, and reputational development
  • Help Support Financial Organization and Performance


    • Coordinate with our CFO and Head of Brand Management to create agency fee proposals for new business as neede
    • Open jobs and scope each new business pitch so we can manage and track our internal performance.
    • Manage and keep pitches within approved internal budgets.


  • You must be awesome. Like totally awesome.
  • You have 2-4 years of relevant experience in advertising, marketing or PR, ideally in business development or brand/account management.
  • You have an entrepreneurial spirit – you’re hungry to learn and have a strong desire to solve problems and make things happen.
  • You are a proactive self-starter, able to take the reins and drive, but you are also a team player with a deep love for collaboration.
  • You are comfortable working with and managing up to senior leadership across a range of departments.
  • You have impeccable attention to detail and an itch to keep things organized.
  • You thrive in a fast-paced, nimble environment where no day is the same and can sometimes be ambiguous.
  • You have the ability to change direction on a dime – staying calm, cool, and collected.
  • You have fire in the belly to do whatever it takes in growing our Chicago office.
  • You have a passion for creativity and strategy, and are eager to dive into the advertising industry and world of branding.
  • You have client-facing experience and enthusiasm to be a Mekanism ambassador to the ad community, consultants and potential clients – representing the company knowledgeably and charismatically.  
  • You are proficient in Google Docs/Sheets/Slides/Calendar systems.

REPORTS TO: Senior New Business Manager

Apply for this opening at