Ingenia Talent Solutions is hiring an

Associate Director of Planning - Connelly Partners

Boston, United States

iNGENIA | Talent Solutions has been retained to assist Connelly Partners on the search & selection of an Associate Director  of Planning based in Waltham, MA.


Empathy is, on human level, understanding and embracing how other people feel. Empathy is the art of seeing the world not from your perspective, but from someone else’s. Simple enough. Yet in our world and culture dominated by self-interest and narcissism, empathy is a pause not practiced by many.
At Connelly Partners, empathy is a mandated starting point for marketing that differentiates our company and perspective. Our mission is to understand how people feel and determine their values. And then, position the brands we work for as having shared values with the customers they sell to. What’s important to you is important to us. That’s Affective Empathy. That’s also marketing gold. It is not enough to create marketing that is disruptive to be disruptive, or entertaining to be entertaining. We aspire for something deeper and more lasting. A connection between client and customer based on shared values. And the ability to do that is what our clients value about us.
Our strategic planning approach focuses singularly on creating audience empathy. Our process dives deep into the emotional intelligence of the target customer to identify emotional drivers of desired behaviors: such as brand affinity engagement KPIs, and purchase decisions. We leverage a variety of qualitative & quantitative methods led by our highly-skilled planners & moderators that deliver actionable insights and dimensional intelligence of the optimal audience segment(s) while identifying the resonant emotional territory where brand and consumer naturally align.
Based on Boston, MA, we are looking for an Associate Director of Planning with 7+ years of agency-side planning experience to join our Strategic Planning department, managing the research and strategy development for all deliverables.

How is a day in the life of a STRATEGIC PLANNER at Connelly Partners

8:30 am: You have “music day”. This is a Connelly Partners tradition. You are in charge of music for the agency speakers for the day. An 8 hour playlist with some thought is required. Go nuts, no pressure but show us what you’ve got.
8:35am: Meet with the one of the many brand teams at Connelly to discuss some of the intelligence gaps that they have with their target audiences and explore creative methodology approaches that would net us some of that intelligence.
9:30am: Begin to draft an outline of that proposed methodology that you think works best based on the brand team’s receptivity to your ideas in the early morning meeting. Stop by another planner’s desk to bounce some of your thoughts on the approach with a like-minded, creative individual who, like you, lives for this stuff.
10:30am: You start to determine what man power you’d need to execute the research study you’ve outlined. You think through who within your department will handle which tasks , what the story-telling deliverables would be that could turn your intelligence into a creative, visual translation that helps crystallize the actionable insights you will uncover. You talk to the creative team who will help you translate your data into that visual articulation and get them fired up about the prospect of ‘what could be’ at the end of this exercise.
12:00pm: You meet quickly with the Sal, CP’s CFO to review the estimated fees and out of pocket costs needed to fulfill this project and after he tells you the fee is too low, you make upward adjustments that put a big smile on your new best friend.
12:30pm: Your stomach can’t take it anymore, so you take the 7 minute walk to the brand new 10,000 sq foot Whole Foods to enjoy something delicious, or make a one-block jaunt turn to any of the local and oft-talked-about South End sandwich shops and restaurants.
1:30pm: You jump into another scheduled brand team meeting to discuss some new trends that you and a junior planner of yours had been monitoring in the casino gaming/casino resorts category and convey some of the possible implications to messaging and content programming for one of our larger casino clients. Brand team wants to get you in front of the client ASAP to present these trends, tell the story of what it can mean for a brand like theirs who jump fast onto this trend and help define real action steps for the brand team to implement within the next campaign project.
3:00pm: You get pulled into an internal briefing for an entirely new job and new space. This time travel. An app for a new hotel that the Four Seasons is opening. You’re in the conversation to shed some light on behaviors related to mobile apps in the travel space. You have 30 minutes before the meeting to do some homework in gathering app usage and behaviors related to hotel bookings. You jump into MRI, eMarketer and Mintel to quickly see what’s new in the way of usage behaviors, audience types that index really high for these types of apps and any other audience intel you can muster up in order to talk the high-level findings with your colleagues in this briefing. In the meeting you offer up ideas on how we could quickly run some different queries using our proprietary audience modeling tool, Motive Metrics, and suggest a qualitative approach to query our very own travel community, partnering with our sister company Daily Break Media, to quickly capture some behavioral data from Daily Break’s various online audience communities.
The high expectations and intellectual pace of jumping from one project to another, problem solving and creative thinking on the fly and drafting well-written and persuasive proposals on a consistent and efficient basis will either freak you out or make you feel like you just landed the coolest gig on the planet. If the latter, read on. If the former, we totally understand, but this job isn’t for you.
4:30-5.30pm: You touch base with the brand planners who you supervise and mentor, to discuss some ideas around how we might develop a quick study to inform an intelligent perspective piece on the emotional influences of the “Fakebook” effect from friends and family who constantly post Utopian-like inferences of their ‘perfect happy world’ on their Facebook wall. So many ways to come at this exercise and you’re excited about how colorful the insights are going to be. You text our CMO to give him a heads up that a position paper or infographic is going to fall out of this effort and make for a great, thought-leading piece for the Agency.
5:30 – 6:00pm: You can’t believe it’s already end of day and you have barely been at your desk today. You go through you in box and respond to those emails that warrant a thoughtful response before wrapping up and heading home.  You debate whether your soul could use a quick stop at the CP bar to have a cold draft or a glass of pinot with a few of your colleagues to let the rush hour traffic die down a bit before jumping into it.
11:00pm: You’re still thinking about ideas on some of the projects you discussed earlier in the day. You can’t help it. It’s too cool.
We are looking for a seasoned, passionate advertising strategic planner; someone like you, passionate about emerging digital strategy disciplines, comfortable at an emotional level, who can patiently observe behaviors and see the world from the consumer lens. Those who have the capacity to make the right questions and read between the lines. And then, translate all relevant data into vision-setting descriptors of audience types for the purposes of communicating –through colorful stories- emotional attributes that drive consumer behaviors. 


7+ years of agency-side planning experience
o    Development of comprehensive research proposals
o    Strategic analysis of data
o    Development of recommended strategies at both brand & message level
o    Prior management experience to lead and develop junior planning staff

Bachelors’ degree from an accredited college or university in a related discipline (Marketing, Communications, English/Journalism or Psychology)
Master’s degree


Research tools – fluency in MRI, eMarketer, Mintel, Iconoculture and/or Scarborough interfaces is ideal but not required.
Significant experience as a group and one-on-one moderator.
Detailed familiarity with tried and true research methodologies as well as newer, online-based methodologies..

Very strong qualitative & quantitative research
o    Presentation of insights and strategic recommendations to clients and new business prospects
o    Write compelling creative briefs and media briefs
o    Write research reports, presentations and white papers
o    Storytelling

Behavioral Preferences
Communicative – communicates openly with others; can maintain relationships, prefers working in a team, disseminating research knowledge across all agency teams   
Conscientious - follows rules set down for their work, honors any promises, deadline or commitments made; believes in ethics and values.
Creative - Curious and inquisitive, always seeking and generating new ideas to find new insights, with an active imagination; readily embraces radical ideas and approaches
Conceptual - develops strategies; a "visionary" who understands different perspectives on complex issues, and relevant theoretical models
Decisive & Action Oriented - Has a high level of energy and stamina; gets things done; makes rapid decisions even when short of information; enjoys risk and a fast pace of work in multiple projects

Future – Potential Trait
Seeking & Embracing Change - Seeks ways to challenge the status quo; willingness to embrace changes positively and openly
Developing strategies – Resourceful. Develops creative, winning strategies by generating and seeking multiple ideas and models to support this
Collaborating with Others - Orientation towards collaborating effectively and consulting with others, harnessing the views of the wider team

Cultural Traits
Team Player
Highly accountable and self motivated.
Empathy for others
Employees take initiative and are held accountable