Strategy Director

Chicago, Illinois, United States Full-time

Who We Are

We are Mekanism.  

We solve real business problems using a strategic blend of storytelling, high design and/or clever, bust-a-gut humor.  It’s basically just advertising.  We do it for brands your Mom’s heard of – HBO, Red Nose Day, MillerCoors, Talenti Ice Cream, Alaska Airlines, Charles Schwab, Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, Muscle Milk, Peloton and a few others.

Our innovative approach to get asses in seats and move product from shelves has earned Agency of the Year Awards the past two years, numerous Effies, two Harvard case studies and all sorts of industry hardware. And most recently…drum roll please…we were voted Best Place to Work by AdAge in 2016.

We take great pride in making unconventional campaigns for brands in conventional categories.  Our patented blend of storytelling for emerging media takes a small army of Mekanistas to pull off.  What is a Mekanista you ask? Being a Mekanista requires a rare combination of being a strange, wonderful and talented person who enjoys coffee, ping-pong and impromptu rooftop jam and workout sessions.  We are smart, strange, wonderful folks that brave our contentious and often violent brainstorming sessions to make advertising magic.



Mekanism’s Brand Strategy Department is made up of creative-minded brand leaders who understand people as much as we understand business. We are part anthropologist, part business thinker, part planner, part new business insights creator and part trend watcher. It is our job to connect the dots between human behavior, creative development and business strategy.

The Senior Strategic Planner is a curious, collaborative and creative thinker with great human and business instincts. He or she must be able to use both sides of their brain, and know when to dig into the data and when best to ignore it. This position is built to help grow the Strategy department and support the agency’s growth by uncovering information, distilling insights and synthesizing them to create inspiration for our creative teams and business partners. Our goal in the Strategy department is to be the starting point for groundbreaking creative work and to become the go-to resource for our clients regarding deep, analytical business thinking and strong perspectives on their industry, consumer, marketing and business strategies.  

This position within Mekanism is a key member of our Chicago office.   Core to the role is leading MillerCoors accounts. The Senior Strategic Planner is responsible for managing multiple internal, new business and client projects and is expected to effectively collaborate with Mekanism’s Creative, Brand Management, Digital Innovation and Social teams.  The Senior Strategic Planner will run consulting and strategy projects independently, run businesses in conjunction with Brand Management leaders, and jump in on multiple New Business pitches.

Key Areas of Responsibility

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Be a Face of Strategy in Chicago

    • Work with leadership in Chicago and in NYC and SF to be the client-facing and internal go-to person for business, consumer and communications planning insights and inspiration.

  • Communications Planning, Insights and Brand Strategy Leadership

    • Lead all high-level, long-term brand strategy and evolution, medium-term communications and campaign planning and shorter-term engagement strategies to accomplish communication objectives.

    • Develop opportunities for proactive brand and communication strategy workshops to evolve client thinking, brand positioning/purpose and align on business/campaign goals.

    • Participate and consult in all consumer research and brand/social/sales analytics conversations, ensuring our work is always aligned with the metrics of our clients.

  • Help to Grow Strategy Offering

    • Proactively work with Brand Management and key clients to analyze our client’s businesses and recommend revenue-driving opportunities for strategic projects; develop proposals (with Brand Management) for the work, including processes, tools, deliverables and timeframes.

    • Run research and strategy projects for clients including (but not limited to): competitive analysis, Brand DNA creation, positioning pyramids, brand tone of voice/ verbal identity and Brand Book creation.

  • Creative Brief Development

    • Partner with Creative and Brand Management to transform client briefs into strong and inspiring creative briefs, taking research, information and insights and distilling them down into a singular strategic idea for everyone to operate from.

  • Research and Insights

    • Primary Research: concept, write discussion guides and facilitate focus groups, man-on-the-street interviews, surveys, customer segmentation studies, etc. as necessary; manage 3rd party vendors for the above.

    • Secondary Research: Be resourceful. Find unique, unexpected insights and stories about our clients, our consumers and the way the world is changing around them.

  • Help Make Amazing Creative

    • Stay involved in and help guide creative ideation and concepting throughout the process, ensuring that we produce breakthrough work that drives our clients businesses forward.

    • Contribute to the Overall Company Growth Strategy

      • Help grow the Mekanism’s client arsenal by working on new business development, and assisting in prospecting, contacting and pitching new business opportunities.

  • Develop industry analyses and thinking across innovative platforms, agency models and client needs to keep Mekanism on the leading edge of the agency world.



  • You must be confident, articulate and have excellent instincts with regard to human behavior, business strategy and general marketing theory. And you should be able to do this quickly, with minimal supervision.

  • You should be excited about the prospect of working directly with (and balancing the workload for) multiple clients (4+) and new business pitches at any given time.

  • You should have a passion for creativity, culture, understanding how people think/interact, brands, and problem solving.

  • You should have, but not be constricted by, a toolbox of resources to help build brands, plan campaigns and find insights.

  • You must have excellent instincts both broadly across industries and deeply within any given capability or function.

  • You should, at any given time, be able to articulate a confident point of view on any industry, brand, consumer segment or communication platform.

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