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Matt Wallaert
Matt Wallaert
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UM- Director, Strategy



Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2024

Position Summary

The UM Strategy team is a core driver of our agency’s success. We’re looking for a creative, data-savvy leader with a passion for communications and a love for building great work with others to be part of our award-winning team as Director Strategy.

Join us as we continue to shine as one of the industry’s most vibrant and exciting places to work, grow and create. We are winning new business, creating innovative new products, and are expanding our talented team to welcome fresh thinkers and collaborative leaders.

The Director Strategy helps lead the delivery of world class planning and strategic communications solutions for our industry leading clients.

Reporting to EVP Strategy, this key role is equal parts creating sharp media strategies for plans, championing our culture of innovation and creativity, propelling agency expertise by leveraging your digital/data/insights chops, and delivering agency thought leadership through actionable POVs and consulting support to clients to help grow their brands.

As an agency thought leader, you will champion our leading-edge agency products, lead capability-building across agency and client teams, work with planners to craft powerful connection strategies and consumer journey frameworks. Importantly, you will also lead ideation workshops, showcase emerging tech/commerce/AI trends, and collaborate with other agencies and media partners to help spark fresh thinking to raise the bar for our work.

The Strategy Director will act as a valuable coach and mentor across the broad agency team, and work closely with other agency fire-starters to identify new areas of growth. If you are motivated by the idea of exposure to an exciting breadth of brands, this role provides an excellent opportunity to touch a diverse array of categories and unique business challenges (CPG, entertainment, financial, retail, QSR, digital pure play, B2B).

You will also leverage your sharp writing and presentation chops to provide new business pitch support and help us continue to build compelling, award-winning work (UM was Canada’s most awarded media agency at the MIAs, 3 years running; ranked #1 in Canada, #2 in North America, #5 in the world on last year’s WARC Effectiveness 100 list; and Canada’s top shop at the 2022 Festival of Media North America and CMAs, with 60+ industry awards in the last year alone).

Key Responsibilities

  • Champion UM’s mission to deliver strategically driven, innovative communications solutions that drive business impact for our clients, today and tomorrow
  • Work with agency senior leadership to foster a culture of innovation and creativity
  • Work with business leads and planning teams to develop actionable insights (consumer, digital, tech, cultural) and connection strategies to fuel plans
  • Spark creativity and innovative thinking across agency, client, partner agency teams
  • Facilitate teams’ deep understanding of audience behaviours and attitudes, and the development of consumer focused, data driven, tech led solutions and consumer experiences
  • Champion the expansion of knowledge and skills throughout agency and client teams by tapping into UM’s powerful global strategy community, including IPG Media Labs, Collective Intelligence, and other proprietary resources
  • Drive the development of our agency’s core digital, AI, shopper, and ecommerce knowledge base and planning skills proficiency
  • Lead ideation and development of media product - including strategic territories and media/creative tactics/partnerships - and ensure linkage to brand objectives
  • Support with other agency growth initiatives (research, investments, new business development, etc.)
  • Leverage leadership capabilities to motivate agency team and sustain a positive and productive work environment

Desired Skills & Experience

  • 8+ years of related media, advertising, brand or planning/creative strategy experience
  • Excellent communicator with experience writing and presenting
  • Strong collaborative spirit and experience fostering positive working relationships with partners, clients, agency peers
  • Experience facilitating workshops and team discussions
  • Consumer and emerging tech trends junkie
  • A deep passion and interest in innovative, award-winning advertising work
  • Strong understanding of marketing and communications processes, with exposure to IMC practice
  • Knowledge of evolving dynamics of advertising and media communications
  • Experience synthesizing info from different sources to identify actionable consumer insights and stories
  • Experience working with marketing briefs and building connection strategies
  • A natural leader and coach, passionate about creating growth and development opportunities for others
  • Post-secondary education - University or college grad in a relevant discipline (Marketing, Advertising, Media, Communications, or equivalent)

UM is a global media agency committed to Futureproofing our clients’ businesses for the now and the next. We leverage the transformational power of rich business analytics and real-time intelligence to maximize growth and activate the full consumer journey across content and connections. Our consultative approach and agile model, rooted in diversity, equity and belonging, drive better business outcomes for brands. As the leading global media network in Mediabrands, UM operates in over 100 countries, with more than 3,000 people innovating on a roster of clients including the following in Canada: BMO, Sobeys, Heart & Stroke, FanDuel, Johnson & Johnson, SkipTheDishes, Sony, Spotify, Hershey, and more. In recognition of our client support and performance, UM Canada has been rated the #1 media agency in the country for the past three years, based on industry ranking authority, RECMA. For more information, please visit

What's in it for you?
• Generous paid time off with a minimum of 37 paid days off including vacation and monthly wellness days. We also have four-day long weekends, half-day summer Fridays, and meeting-free Friday afternoons year-round.
• A flexible hybrid work model that works for you.
• A focus on personal development with formal training opportunities, including mental health training and inclusion education for everyone.
• A chance to be part of and grow within a global network of agencies.
• The opportunity to contribute to our company culture by joining one of our many community-based employee groups, such as Black Employee Network, Girls on Fire, Hispanic or Latinx Alliance, Neuro Network, Pan-Asian Network, and Rainbow Lounge.

UM is an equal opportunity employer, committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants without regard to race, colour, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, disability, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, provincial, or municipal law.