Strategy Director, Japan

Agency Essence Global
Created 06/09/2021
Reference 7208H
Category Strategy
Country Japan
City Japan
About Essence

Essence, part of GroupM, is a global data and measurement-driven media agency whose mission is to make brands more valuable to the world. Clients include Google, Flipkart, NBCUniversal, L'Oréal and the Financial Times. The agency is more than 2,000 people strong, manages $4.5B in annualized media spend, and deploys campaigns in 121 markets via 22 offices in APAC, EMEA and the Americas. Visit for more information and follow us on Twitter at @essenceglobal.

About the role

The Strategy group at Essence is focused on moving the discipline forward into a new era of insights and business solutions. You'll find all of the usual Strategy responsibilities apply: inspiring and applying cultural, audience, market and product insights to answer our clients objectives; creating robust comms strategies and tactics; and working with our internal teams and partner agencies to present the best and most interesting ideas.

On top of all of that, we push for more.

We puzzle over new data sets, new signals from social platforms, new ways to design creative assets, new testing structures, and new ad products for our clients. It's all new, unknown and just waiting for us to figure it out.

Day to day? You're operating as the main strategic point of contact across a few product, brands and many campaigns - under the leadership of VP Strategy APAC, all while doing research, formulating insights, brainstorming new ideas and reviewing data with serious rigor.

Some of the things we'd like you to do:

We'd like you to be a trusted resource and partner to our clients, especially their strategy and innovation leads, not afraid to have the tough conversations when necessary, but also willing to adapt to their needs. You should enjoy working at the edge of what is known in our industry and fueled by trying to figure it out. Ideally you're passionate about your career, and are still a good time if we're stuck at an airport for a few hours.

We emphasize behaviours. We value emotional intelligence, curiosity, collaboration above all else.

We are looking for a person that is comfortable doing their own research, as well as pulling out and presenting the key insights and ideas. Some days you will be presenting your ideas to clients, and some days you will be providing others with ideas to present. You will feel supported and support others in return.
  • Evangelize the practice and its value proposition in Japan
  • Take the lead in developing/ co-authoring briefs for key clients
  • Identify key audiences - sizing and profile using data points, to determine whether given audience can achieve the client's business objective
  • Within the aligned audience(s), identify key human truth (insight) using data (quantitative/ qualitative) that leads to a communication platform that demonstrates what a brand should be saying to them and how it should be behaving in media to drive the change in perception/ behavior (from/ to)
  • Build and grow senior client relationships - become the client's consultant (not limited to campaigns and briefs, but business, communication including content and media), in particular Marketing Directors and CMOs
  • Ability to identify client's challenges and provide smart solutions
  • Work on non-campaign projects such as brand portfolio, brand positioning, GTM strategy as necessary (not necessarily need to have skill sets to do all)
  • A great collaborator - work with, just to name a few:
    • Analytics: to consult on measurement/ learning agenda, consult on learning & implications, and take the learning and apply to the next project
    • Client Services: day to day counterpart from insights into the client's needs and upcoming projects
    • Planning: most collaboration happens here. Work together to develop communication strategy from which Planning can develop tactical media plans, ensure strategy stays a "common thread" throughout tactical planning and idea presentations
  • Be the in-agency/ external expert of category and consumer trends (especially media related but not limited to), and apply that knowledge to strategy

A bit about yourself:
  • At least 12 years of relevant experience (strategy, research, insight)
  • Prior experience working on global brands and presenting strategies to senior stakeholders
  • Above average understanding of media (possible past life).
  • Strong understanding of the Japanese market - media, audiences and culture.
  • Working knowledge of market and audience research tools
  • Basic understanding of Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn etc and how we can use data from these platforms for insights.
  • Vision for where communications strategy and the wider marketing industry is going
  • More analytical than creative, yet strong in both.

What you can expect from Essence

Essence's mission is to make advertising more valuable to the world. We do this by employing the world's very best talent to solve some of the toughest challenges of today's digital marketing landscape. It's important that we hire people whose values reflect those of our own: genuine, results-focused, daring and insightful. As an Essence employee, we promise you a workplace that invests in your career, cares for you and is fun and engaging. We believe these factors create a workplace where you can be yourself and do amazing work.

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