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Direction and Development Manager

Location: London, England.
Company Description:

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. With our expertise, we can offer our clients content-driven, contextual and compelling customer journeys and experiences that drive business growth.

With our Head Office in Columbia, Maryland and offices US wide, we continue to grow at a rapid rate across Europe and Asia. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network, one of the world’s biggest Global media companies.

Job Description:

This is an exciting opportunity to join a fast-paced, industry-leading, growing analytics team, working alongside award winning teams of consultants, project managers, statistical analysts, BI specialists, data scientists, digital analysts, and data engineers. We are looking for exceptional candidates to join our Consultancy practice in the role of Direction and Development Consultant (DDC); working with some of the biggest global brands, helping our clients solve their data challenges. The types of projects you will lead will be varied – from traditional analytics delivery (such as development and deployment of propensity models, segmentations, and LTV) to BI implementations (KPI frameworks through to platforming engagements), and you will also be required on more complex engagements such as cloud enablement projects and ML ops implementations. This will be across a wide range of sectors - from retail, to financial services, to automotive - predominantly involved with data and analytical projects that support marketing but sometimes can also be projects that support operations (HR, logistics, planning)  You will have broad and generalist knowledge of how analytics works in organisations and will undertake analytical maturity reviews with the strategy teams to inform clients on how to use their analytical assets better.     

Leading multi-skilled teams and projects, you will be the trusted advisor and analytical translator for both client and delivery teams, steering the ship through strong governance, bringing clarity and guidance for all. Building good working relationships with everyone you meet, gaining trust and loyalty from the delivery teams and clients, ensuring success for all. A background in marketing analytics or delivering marketing analytics projects is a must. Analytics engagements are complex and multi-faceted. And only ever a small part of our clients’ data-driven journey. DDCs needs to be able to anticipate and identify further opportunities and next steps for their clients to bring their data, analytics and engineering capabilities into the heart of their business. You will work with the client and the internal teams to advance these capabilities on the account.                   


Life as a Direction & Development Consultant at Merkle          

You will typically work on one or more clients across different industries. Your projects may vary from weeks to months and can vary in range of complexity.  You will be forging a relationship with stakeholders while helping the team deliver a solution that meets the client’s expectations. You may have to be hands on with helping to pull together presentations of findings, but ultimately you will be responsible for delivering on time and on budget.


·      Lead a multi-discipline team to develop and implement solutions by providing clear and precise briefing of activities, ensuring interpreting of results, and driving a compelling story to present back to key stakeholders.

·      Scope and launch priority projects making sure responsibilities in the team are clear and the right expectations are set with the client ​i.e., kick off meetings, setting up infrastructure internally and within client as necessary, and create the project plan / roadmap            

·      Represent the project team with the client, leading on translation and comms, prioritisation, and overall project progress (resource burn reporting, meeting management and monitoring of progress against milestones and deadlines for any potential delivery issues). ​                 

·      Anticipating project risk and constraints and proactively working towards resolving them    

·      Ensuring the quality of analysis is in line with QA and governance guidelines.           

·      Ensure project at all stages is delivering on time and on budget   

·      Create final review for the project, including projects wash ups to ensure best practice is kept fresh

·      Champion innovation and find opportunities to improve ways of working across the account. ​             

·      Build and maintain good relationships with both client, delivery teams and agency stakeholders, gathering feedback to ensure needs are being met​            

·      Work with client to identify and support any new proposals for future work             

·      Identify opportunities to up-sell new products or services.​            

·      Monitor wider industry changes and developments relating to the client’s challenges and objective

·      Stay up to speed with analytical developments and topics​             


An ideal candidate for this role will have a background in digital or customer analytics or delivering customer analytics projects.  They will have a good grounding in and experience of managing project teams to ensure clients expectations are met and the work is delivered to a high standard.  Managing client stakeholders, learning and adapting fast, safeguarding timely delivery and ensuring strong project governance is vital to the role (including meeting cadence, highlighting and resolving blockers, and managing profitability). A desire to develop the clients and guide them along a data-driven path is essential. You will ultimately provide recommendations and/or roadmaps of projects (through the support of our Strategy team) that should be deployed to drive successful business outcomes.            

Essential Skills and Experience          

·      Professionally qualified / relevant numerate degree (i.e Maths, Data Science, Engineering, Business)

·      A good grounding in one or more of customer, digital, or media analytics with 2-3 years leadership or consultancy experience 

·      Understanding of the full analytics project lifecycle from requirements gathering, analytical environment set up, analytics and data engineering project management, and handover and wrap up.  

·      Demonstrable project governance understanding, related to deliverables alignment and quality control; timelines, risk assessment, blocker identification and escalations; profitability, scope creep and resource allocation      

·      Strong presentation skills, with the ability to present complex concepts to a wide range of audiences 

·      Able to set a forward-looking vision, to lead and inspire at all levels            

·      Build strong relationships with key stakeholders, working cross-functionally across the organisation

·      Managing priorities across a complex stakeholder matrix               

·      Managing highly engaged teams of top talent, including hiring, retaining, developing and engaging employees, across all levels of the organisation              

·      Clear demonstration of identifying opportunities for further work, projects and developments is a must.

·      Client portfolio experience including the client strategy, tactics, forecasts, budget, projections, and performance metrics            

Identify new opportunities with the business and pitch involvement

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.