Career Insight: The Digital Strategist

The Digital Strategist

As media channels continue to increase, so does the importance of the Strategist. Often a client-facing role, the Strategist works across accounts to find insights that can drive business. 

Brandon Solis, Senior Digital Strategist at McCann New York, describes the job: 

These jobs require big-picture thinking. You need to be able to think ahead and recommend a course of action for the creatives, client, and brand that will work for the long term. You must be interested in following trends and uncovering insights. Patience and attention to detail is important since you'll be analyzing data. And, this job requires collaboration, so the ability to work with a team is essential. Much of a typical day will be spent thinking, writing, and presenting.

With one foot firmly in the planning department he is able to still participate on the creative side:

A big idea is key, which must be followed up with the right social and digital media channels. It is about listening to the conversation around the brand as well as guiding and starting new conversations. If you pay attention, you can provide content that is of real value to your audience.

Brandon served as Social Strategist on this Axe campaign: 

Agency: Barton F Graf 9000 - Client: Axe - Product: Axe Matte Effect - Project: Social Effort Scale

Daily Tasks

Although job requirements vary depending on the organization, here are some typical responsibilities. You'll: 

  • Build briefs that inspire creatives while paying particular attention to the audience that the client needs to reach.
  • Determine digital and social strategy for a campaign, provide a creative vision on how each idea comes to life, and follow the analytics as a campaign evolves.
  • Assist with the creation of case studies and decks for business development.

The Strategists Portfolio

Aspiring strategists showcase work on websites, write blogs, and utilize social media. Here's some important tips to consider as you build your portfolio:

  • Show campaigns or projects that roll-out across diverse media and around a central idea.
  • Make sure that all media platforms fit the big idea, will inspire conversation, and add value to the campaign. 
  • Explain the challenge of a project along with any anticipated results to demonstrate your long-term thinking abilities.
  • A campaign infographic or project GPS that presents a birds-eye view of a large campaign is a great conversation starter.    

Brandon Solis is a Senior Digital Strategist at McCann in New York and won a 2015 One Show Social Media Gold Pencil award. He leads our upcoming online course: Digital Strategy: Creative and Social Media at Portfolio Studio, where we connect ambitious students with industry professionals for training and portfolio building.

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