Planning Director

HLK - St. Louis, MO4.0

Full-timeEstimated: $90,000 - $120,000 a year
HLK, a full-service agency with offices in St. Louis and Denver, is seeking a Planning Director to lead clients in major brand, marketing, and communication initiatives and projects. These high-profile challenges require skills in defining problems, extracting relevant findings from multiple sources, developing audience insights and creating platforms that lead to transformational ideas that achieve client business objectives.

The successful candidate will have a passion for digital advertising and an insatiable desire to learn and explore emerging trends; as well as align with our core values: Be Curious, Be Thoughtful and Be Brave.

Planning Directors have a deep understanding of all these areas, but excel in unifying and translating each into clear, rational and thoughtful solutions. As a result, this individual engages many internal and external groups to consistently align strategic and tactical output to an audience-driven insight and single main idea.

If you are driven by a good challenge and see opportunities others often miss, this role might be for you. If you have the unique balance of a creative approach, a process-oriented mind and the ability to lead varying personalities and disciplines, this role and HLK are definitely for you.
Deeply understand target audience behavior, using research to assist in the development of transformational and actionable insights. This includes, but is not limited to, qualitative and quantitative research, experience mapping, personas, ethnographies, leveraging secondary information sources, and assisting in the formulation of research objectives and extraction of key findings.
Guide brands through the implementation of the HLK brand process. This includes, but is not limited to, discovery, insight development, brand positioning, narrative, platform, architecture, identity, messaging and naming.
Lead current HLK clients in their annual planning process, collaborating with HLK Account Strategists to translate planning output into strategies to be executed in one-, three- and five- year planning cycles.
Lead and moderate executive sessions, employing the use of client diagnostic planning tools. Create written output reports, complete with recommended alternative courses of action and next steps.
Partner with Account Directors on major clients to serve as the senior consultants on behalf of HLK while supporting Account Strategists in major projects and initiatives.
Lead the HLK planning process and procedures, facilitating the use of the tools, techniques and overall discipline across the agency.
Assist HLK Partners and leadership in the development and presentation of new business responses.

A curious mind, a hunger to solve problems and a desire learn new things
Exceptional leadership, communication and group facilitation skills
Confidence to challenge conventional thinking, following research and insights that lead to potentially unorthodox recommendations
Creative problem-solving approaches and techniques
Versatile and flexible, with the ability to work on disparate projects and challenges
Minimum of 2 years in a planning or strategic role
Brand positioning, platform and message development
Executive brand, ideation and exploratory session moderation
Brand management and/or product development
Audience research, report writing and insight development
Root cause analysis and issue diagnostic methods and tools

HLK is a full-service digital agency that creates an environment where passionate problem solvers can thrive every day. Our core values — be curious, be thoughtful and be brave — define and connect our agency, our people and our work. Active clients include Marriott, Ascension, Monsanto, World Wide Technology, Pratt & Whitney, Biogen and Build-A-Bear. For more information, visit