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Manager, Strategy & Planning (SEM and/or Paid Social Buying Experience Preferred!)



Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Monday, June 24, 2024

Company Description

About Spark Foundry:

Spark Foundry is a global media agency that exists to bring HEAT – Higher Engagement, Affinity, and Transactions – to brands. By combining flawless media fundamentals with aggressive innovation, Spark inspires consumers to pay more attention, to care more about our clients’ brands, and to buy more products and services from them.

Balancing the nimble spirit of a startup with the powerhouse soul of Publicis Media, Spark Foundry delivers the best of both worlds to a client roster that spans some of the world’s best and most beloved brands and companies. We combine boutique-caliber insights and service with the buying clout and first-look access of a global leader, bringing the heat to challenger brands that want to act like giants, and to giant brands that want to act like challengers.

With a bottom-up culture that celebrates diversity and aims for all voices to be heard, Spark has become a magnet for the industry’s best talent, with one of the best retention rates in the industry. And by applying a whole-person approach to professional and personal development, Spark develops a workforce that is well prepared for today’s challenges, and also poised to create meaningful careers in the years to come.

Because we know that heat arises the intersection of complementary forces, our professionals come from myriad disciplines and backgrounds: data, analytics, and insights, content and creative production, communications and strategy, finance and marketing, and sociology, psychology, and other liberal arts disciplines.

Job Description


The Manager, Planning is the primary, day-to-day lead for end-to-end communications planning. They are responsible for translating marketing/digital media objectives into communication plan development action steps and managing the Associate(s) through various projects. The Manager is the primary point of contact for clients on stewardship requests and is responsible for having a firm grasp of both strategic and functional media knowledge. They should be ready/able to step in and handle situations when the Associate Director is not available.

This role offers frequent client contact, ownership of the integrated plan, and the opportunity to lead project management and cross-media integration.

Role Objectives:

  • Assists Associate Director with all aspects of digital media plan development/recommendations

  • Interprets communications/digital media strategy and translates into communication planning action steps

  • Oversees/manages Associate(s) and day-to-day operation of all media activity

  • Demonstrate initiative by researching and identifying valuable information/insights to improve media product

  • Fully embraces Connections that Captivate and uses as guiding principles for all media/communication recommendations

  • Determines and supervises the best possible implementation of all approved communication plans and projects

  • Acts as primary point of contact for client stewardship requests

  • Learns and understands all phases of the clients’ marketing objectives and provides media recommendations to deliver against these objectives

  • Understands all proprietary research tools/processes and applies learning during communication planning

  • Prepares and presents communication plans, as needed, including objectives, strategy, rationale, and all backup materials

  • Establishes strong working relationship with partner agencies (where/when applicable), delivering a seamless communications process

  • Demonstrates agility via multitasking multiple brands, strategic development and plan stewardship, management of Associate(s)

  • Develops collaborative working relationship with all implementation teams, ensuring they fully understand brand communication objectives/strategies

  • Trains and develops Associate(s), including:

  • Effective level of delegation

  • Managing group dynamics/relationships between Associate(s)

  • Establishes and demonstrates strong leadership skills

  • Evaluates performance of Associate(s) via PMP process, including assisting in the establishment of the cascading goals

  • Checks work of Associate(s) to ensure accuracy

  • Identifies opportunities for Associate(s) career development

  • Participates in MDS Training offerings


  • A minimum of 3 years of digital media planning experience

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to prioritize and organize projects for self and Associate(s)

  • Excellent understanding of media fundamentals

  • Demonstrates ability in training and leadership capability

  • Provides an energy level that brings new and exciting ideas to the planning function

Additional Information

This is a hybrid role, requiring three days in-office each week. If you are contacted for an interview, your recruiter will discuss specifics with you, inclusive of any necessary reasonable accommodations.

If you require accommodation or assistance with the application or onboarding process specifically, please contact [email protected].

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.