IN THE MIDDLE | beyond the job description

Going Beyond the Job Description: Strategy Professionals

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published April 15, 2021

Through the eyes of a headhunter, Strategy Professionals have been one of the hardest positions to define and fill as the role requires a certain level of balance between rationality and creativity.

To clarify and discuss what their role truly entails, Manny Gonzales, the Consulting Head and Strategy Director of award-winning advertising icon, Ogilvy, goes one-on-one with Patt Soyao in the second episode of “Job Defined” to let the brains and the people behind the scenes of compelling commercials and advertisements be in the spotlight.

The Definition

There are common myths about Strategy Professionals, among which is that these individuals are all brains and data. However, Gonzales explains that being successful in the ad industry with the same position as him requires being human and having the perfect balance of logical and creative thinking.

“Strategy, in general, is your halfway point from logic to magic.” - Manny Gonzales, Consulting Head and Strategy Director Ogilvy

According to him, more than the ability to determine the weight of any data, a strategist must know how to connect with the audience, pique their interest, and deliver an unexpected ‘aha’ moment by either using their pain points or answering the unusual hows of our everyday life that no one has yet dared to question.

The Duties

The responsibilities of a strategist involve all the complexities of making sense of tons of available information and data to shape the brand’s strategy and develop measures that realize the objectives. To help you understand further, here are our takeaways from Gonzales’ interview with “Job Defined” on the realities of his profession beyond the job description.

According to Gonzales, strategists act as the lighthouse that points the creative and support team in the right direction amid waves of uncertainties or confusion. To accomplish this, professionals like Gonzales work on identifying the project objective and the brand’s strengths and weaknesses. They also deepen their understanding of the needs and the pain points of the consumer, the brand, the whole team, and the business by curating information and conducting intricate research and study on people. In addition to that, strategists identify patterns from past and present market behaviors to gather more insights, gain an idea about future trends and even stir the course of current and recurring events.

Aside from data collection, strategists are the ones to decide what data will be needed for the project. Being the ‘relentless reductionists’ that they are, they pinpoint the important data and eliminate unnecessary elements from the project by asking the right questions to properly gauge how things can be used to the advantage of the company or the client. With this, strategists can simplify the situation and find the right direction to successfully fulfill the project objective.

After all the planning and the necessary insights, strategists oversee how the team will turn their strategies and briefs to life with creative and innovative ideas. They make sure that it reaches the objectives once the project is up and running.

The Perfect Balance

The journey to creating your very first marketing strategy will take a while, and Gonzales warned that a career as a professional strategist also comes with mundane days. After all, strategists don’t have the answers all the time. What they have is curiosity, strong empathy, and the ability to combine logic with creativity to hit just the right spot for your target audience to react.

Want to learn more? Check out the "Job Defined" interview HERE and listen to Manny Gonzales as he talks about a strategist’s must-have skills and debunks common misconceptions about his profession.

“Job Defined” is hosted by Mr. Patt Soyao, Icon Executive Asia’s managing director, and powered by Podcast Network Asia, Southeast Asia’s first and biggest podcast network agency. For more information, visit the series’ official Facebook page: