What Is An Interactive Strategist?

The title "Interactive Strategist" is used far too generously and there are approximately 849,000 job descriptions on the Web that have thousands of different iterations in terms of the role of the position and the responsibilities that come along with it. While I recognize the role and responsibilities of an Interactive Strategist may change from agency to agency, the core of what's expected from someone in this position remains the same. I'll explain what I mean by offering some context in terms of what inspired me to make this post in the first place.

Back in February 2010, Colle+McVoy announced interactive leadership changes at the agency and I was fortunate enough to get promoted to head up the new Interactive Strategy group. To make this work, I needed to make sure the individuals coming into this group were clear on what was expected from them in their new roles. Only fair, right? To do this, I leveraged multiple sources of information. I had my thoughts about how this role could be defined at our agency, but I was just as curious to see how others were talking about the role. First, I asked those I considered to be the Interactive Strategists what they thought it meant. Their responses were both very similar and extremely different at the same time. I also spent many hours reading blog posts that discussed how the people-oriented interactive world continues to force companies to reevaluate their marketing mix and overall brand strategies. Lastly, I read through Interactive Strategist job descriptions from the agencies I admire and looked at how they positioned interactive strategy within their agency. In short, I had plenty of inspiration to get me started. The job description you see below is the end result of this process. I'd love to hear what you think. What doesn't belong here and what have I missed?

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Senior Interactive Strategist

Position Summary

The Senior Interactive Strategist will work closely with the Account Management and Account Planning teams to assist in developing game-changing interactive experiences for our clients. Considering the unpredictability of consumer behavior and technology in the interactive world, there’s never a pre-defined approach to fall back on. The Senior Interactive Strategist must welcome this notion, be comfortable with the unknown and keep their minds on the pulse of the latest developments in emerging media. The Interactive Strategist is the key catalyst for driving insight, integration and activation of interactive solutions for the agency and its clients.

Primary Responsibilities

In partnership with the Account Planning team, the Senior Interactive Strategist will surface the non-obvious and unexpected relationships between people, products and technology. The Senior Interactive Strategist will also work with the Account Management team to understand the client’s brand, how it lives online and offline, the business model and their products and services. The Senior Interactive Strategist is responsible for bridging the gap between consumer insights and the clients’ business objectives, resulting in a well-defined interactive strategy with defined metrics of success. In partnership with the Interactive Producer, the Senior Interactive Strategist is also responsible for guiding all interactive executions in collaboration with Account Planning, Account Management, Creative, Contact Planning, Public Relations, Technology and to ensure all tactics measure up against the client’s business objectives. The Senior Interactive Strategist is equally a generalist, capable of framing the Big Picture, and a specialist, with extensive expertise and passionate about trends and innovation in the interactive space.

Broader Responsibilities

  • Proactively identify interactive opportunities for clients
  • Facilitate brainstorming and enable meaningful discussions
  • Author interactive strategy documentation and presentation decks
  • Champion savvy user experience design across all interactive solutions
  • Help define the role of online advertising with Contact Planning
  • Manage and report on client Web analytics and social media monitoring
  • Educate clients and colleagues on interactive marketing best practices
  • Lead the development of interactive strategies for new business opportunities

Must-Haves

  • BA/BS in Communications, Marketing or Advertising
  • 7-10 years interactive marketing experience
  • Passion to do the best
  • Strong interactive curiosity
  • Collaborative approach to problem solving
  • Exceptional writing and presentation skills
  • Strong “on the spot” cognitive thinking sills
  • Translate technical jargon into layman’s terms
  • Ability to multi-task and juggle multiple projects at once
  • Expertise in social media, mobile, online advertising and analytics
  • Demonstration of experience by walking the walk vs. talking the talk
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint … Keynote even better