Director, Strategy and Planning in support of IBM

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Position Title: Director, Strategy and Planning

Location: Southwark, SE1

Reports to: Executive Director, S+P Europe

Date: February 2019

George P. Johnson is an independent, creatively driven full service experience marketing agency. For over a century we’ve been partnering with the world’s top brands to deliver creative solutions that make a real difference. Our ideas create impact, inspire audiences and grow business.

To maintain our position and be at the forefront of change requires strategic thinking that pushes us to imagine, create and manage the most innovative, successful and award-winning experiential marketing programs world-wide. Great strategy is the springboard to game changing creativity.

The IBM Strategy and Planning team is responsible for guiding the strategic experience for IBM’s largest proprietary events, international 3rd party trade shows & conferences & pro-actively initiating new marketing & experiential concepts including social campaigns, digital activations, festival environments & branded pop-ups.

About the Role

The senior-level role of Director S+P, is charged with providing support to IBM UK (and sometimes Europe) Clients on their regional event program. This includes advising on their overall approach to events and leading their events portfolio selection initiative to meet performance and effectiveness targets. The role has three UK-based direct reports on the IBM account who you will be responsible for managing and developing.

You will work closely with senior IBM clients (for example IBM UK Marketing Leader, Events leader) to develop event strategies, propose event campaigns and new ways to engage customers, in order to achieve marketing objectives. Being able to analyse audience data and provide evidence-based insights on the people who attend IBM experiences to guide our approach is paramount. Our mission: to create exceptional attendee experiences, which meet IBM ROI and effectiveness targets.

As Director S+P you’ll report to Executive Director Strategy & Planning (based in Stuttgart) on IBM business and have an indirect line to the VP, Chief Strategy Officer, London. You will support several IBM client sets and will partner with the relevant Account Director on those clients. You will be responsible for the team of IBM strategists in the London office and be part of an extensive team of strategists, working on the IBM account across Europe and around the world.

IBM UK Event Program Planning

  1. A trusted advisor to senior clients advising on how best to engage with customers at all stages along the buying cycle, which event investments will generate the greatest return on investment

  2. Analysing ongoing performance of IBM’s event portfolio and recommending adjustments to the portfolio and event programs for continuous improvement in meeting objectives

  3. Researching and assessing 3rd party sponsorship opportunities, providing a point of view (POV) to client & helping to develop a business case

  4. Working with the IBM account team to develop proposals for new event marketing concepts/programs

  5. Building in depth knowledge of the clients’ business and marketing objectives, as well as industry and country knowledge

  6. Advising on best practices, event and industry trends and other relevant insights e.g. competitive insights, experiential trends, design thinking workshops etc. Researching and evaluating event marketing strategies/tactics of client’s competitors upon request

  7. Ensure all key projects establish clear metrics to evaluate success including onsite attendee surveys, experience assessments and performance analysis.

  8. Work alongside Account Directors and other strategists in putting forward future event portfolio strategy & planning recommendations

UK IBM Strategy & Planning Team Lead

  1. Line management responsibility of three team members: 2 Experience Strategists & 1 Marketing Strategist

  2. Coaching & quality assurance reviewing other strategist's work prior to client presentations, provide input to improve quality & outcome, help guide and coach less experienced team members and encourage sharing of work

  3. Leadership: Lead team meetings to share best practices, encourage regular brainstorming and improve cross-sharing of ideas and materials

  4. Support Executive Director S+P Europe in developing insights, skills and best practice within the team across Europe


  1. You will have proven experience in a marketing, communications, strategy or planning role within a recognised marketing communications agency, or other consultancy. Leading B2B client relationships at a senior level

  2. Able to understand the clients' business and marketing objectives and apply your expertise and experience to influence them on how to solve their marketing challenges

  3. You have strong client services skills, are able to manage several senior clients in parallel

  4. Able to apply data-driven proof points, previous experience, and deep industry insights and knowledge

  5. You are able to present new and innovative ideas to clients from a strategic marketing perspective, considering client's business objectives. Proficient document preparation and writing skills

  6. You keep yourself updated with the latest marketing, digital and experiential trends and pro-actively bring forward ideas to Account Directors and Executive Director, Strategy and Planning

  7. You have worked in the experience marketing industry and understand the variety and relevance of live interactions

  8. You have experience of, or interest in, the technology industry in the UK and across Europe and understand the dynamics of marketing in the B2B environment

About us

Company benefits include:

• 25 days holiday each year

• GPJ Birthday Day – a day off to celebrate your birthday

• Contributory pension scheme

• Life assurance• Season ticket loan

• Comprehensive healthcare insurance

• Healthy nutrition - fresh fruit in the office

When nothing less than extraordinary will do—we're your team.

Let's do this