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Strategic Planning Lead (London, United Kingdom)

ZS is a professional services firm that works side by side with companies to help develop and deliver products that drive customer value and company results. From R&D to portfolio strategy, customer insights, marketing and sales strategy, operations and technology, we leverage our deep industry expertise and leading-edge analytics to create solutions that work in the real world. Our most valuable asset is our people—a fact that’s reflected in our values-driven organization in which new perspectives are integral and new ideas are celebrated. ZSers are passionately committed to helping companies and their customers thrive in industries ranging from healthcare and life sciences, to high-tech, financial services, travel and transportation, and beyond.


The ZS Creative & Design team was created four years ago to enrich and evolve our consulting approaches and offerings. Our clients look to us to express ideas, concepts and emotions in ways that engage, excite, and drive them to action. This action comes from our strategic planners having a deeper insight into people, culture and brands. This deeper understanding brings information to life through storytelling and immersive experiences. We help make information more accessible and immediately understandable for all those involved. As a result, the information is more actionable, memorable and is shared more consistently and easily both internally and with client partners. By being the engineers and architects that bring information to life, C&D creates impact where it matters for our teams and clients and we do so by expressing insights, strategies and executional ideas through creative platforms.

The C&D Studio is comprised of a diverse team of talented individuals who are on a mission to address the evolving needs of our clients using a human-centered design approach. The C&D studio has three areas of focus: Design, Strategic Planning and Creative Expression. As a strategic planner on the team, you’ll be collaborating with various members of C&D, as well as a broader team of consultants.



We seek an effective, experienced Strategic Planner to join our London, UK office who can work with our clients to join the dots between their business and a diverse range of creative outputs, for example developing a creative strategy, roadmapping the activation of marketing strategies or synthesising complex information into a compelling narrative or script. The Strategic Planner will partner with internal teams and clients to conceive innovative methods to connect business and strategy to execution. You will synthesize insights, strategies and executional ideas for clients, and work with our visual and experience designers to bring them to life.


  • Develop and articulate relevant marketing implications from strategic consulting engagements across multiple projects simultaneously;
  • Design, facilitate and structure a variety of projects, including brand identity, brand positioning, creative prototypes, segmentation, customer journey, and customer experience;
  • Work with other consulting team members and design team to bring strategic and tactical recommendations to life for clients;
  • Orchestrate the design process with visual designers and experience designers;
  • Bring specific knowledge, skills and processes in strategic planning and train others on strategic planning best practices, including:
      • Crafting customer personas from segmentation data and analysis,
      • Mapping customer journey and ecosystem,
      • Developing communication platforms aligned to segments and journey stages,
      • Drafting creative and experience briefs;
  • Demonstrate thought leadership on new and innovative programs, tactics and customer experiences in the marketing world, both within and outside pharmaceuticals;
  • Partner with Managers and Principals to drive business development and client relationships;
  • Serve as an active leader in the Creative & Design Expertise Center;
  • Cultivate the marketing expertise of our people.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree welcomed;
  • The ideal candidate would have worked for both an advertising agency and digital agency, so they have a solid understanding of brand building and digital strategy / journey work;
  • 7-10 years of relevant work experience in strategic planning for a branding firm, advertising agency or digital agency, pharmaceutical industry experience is preferred;
  • Understanding of account, creative, and operational agency processes;
  • Ability to effectively partner with end clients, consultants and agency personnel across disciplines (i.e., marketing, sales, account and creative) to orchestrate effective pull-through strategies in the development of customer engagements/experiences; 
  • Deep understanding of strategic brand segmentation, targeting, positioning, customer journey and customer experience;
  • Adept at distilling complex concepts and communicating a big idea;
  • Ability to take business insights and strategies and conceive of innovative, relevant, and tangible activation ideas;
  • Eagerness to build a new capability within a consulting organization;
  • Strong analytic and problem-solving skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to guide construction of compelling visuals for presentations across a variety of contexts;
  • Willingness to support project and client stakeholders remotely and in-person as required and in line with ZS’ latest travel policies
  • Supervisory experience preferred.

ZS is a global consulting firm; fluency in English and the local language of the office is required, additional fluency in European or Asian languages is desirable. Candidates must possess work authorization for their intended country of employment. An on-line application and full transcript/set of marks (official or unofficial), is required to be considered. ZS offers a competitive compensation package with salary and bonus incentives, plus an attractive benefits package.  We are an Equality Directives employer and a Equality Act employer.


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