Creative Director - Marketing Agency

"My job is to drive results for our clients through persuasive creativity. Our agency clients often come to us with a tangible business goal, for example: “We’re launching a new product and we need to sell 1 million units within 10 months.” Then it becomes my job to build a vision for bringing this product to market in the most creative, distinct and effective way possible. To bring my vision to life in a marketing program, I draw upon the talents of designers, copywriters, art directors, videographers, content producers, and so forth. You’ll see my work everywhere: digital ads, TV, Instagram campaigns, packaging, media festivals, etc."

Salary Range:

$105,500 - $230,000

The Tip

Find your professional community and engage in it actively while in school. Every professional has been where you are and wants to help. Book a coffee with one person a week and ask them this single question: “What is the one thing you’d tell your 18-year-old self?”

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Strategic Marketing
  • Develop & execute a positioning strategy

  • Develop & execute a brand strategy

  • Conduct a competitive analysis

  • Conduct an environmental scan

  • Develop & apply a segmentation strategy

 

Research & Insight
  • Demonstrate empathy & curiosity

  • Leverage contextual knowledge

  • Ability to analyze data

  • Leverage research to support consumer insights

  • Presentation & report-writing skills

  • Use analytics tools

 

Product management
  • Measure return on investment (ROI)

  • Manage a budget

  • Manage projects

Sales & Channel Management
  • Conduct sales presentations

  • Develop merchandising strategy

 
Communications & Branding
  • Develop & execute a media plan

  • Sponsorship & community investment

  • Leverage earned media

  • Leverage event & experiential marketing

  • Leverage influencer marketing

  • Develop a promotional strategy

  • Knowledge of media psychology

  • Apply marketing within a CSR framework

 

Content Curation & Design
  • Apply visual design fundamentals

  • Conduct content research & curation

  • Develop original content

  • Apply creative production processes

  • Develop content schedule & plan

  • Use design tools

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (design)

  • MBA/MFA – York University program

  • Design/digital media technical certificate

  • Complete Lynda.com courses via LinkedIn

  • Continuing education at college of art and design, and private design and art courses

 

"I found great creative directors are great strategists. Great strategists know that design is a means to an end, not an end by itself. My education straddles both design and strategy. I won a Cannes Lion award and a Retail Industry of Canada award for the fastest-growing retailer campaign."

Employment Experiences:
  • Freelance designer while in school

  • Co-op term at agency as production intern

  • Co-op term at agency as junior graphic designer

  • Content marketing coordinator with a large corporation

  • Creative strategist with a small agency, account manager on small client

  • Creative director in a small agency

  • Creative director for boutique digital agency

  • Boutique firm was acquired by a multi-national agency and role is now co-creative director

 

"To be a creative director is about understanding the business of design. For me, this includes working across different media and in different agency contexts. I soon realized that the goal of great design is not just beautiful design—it’s making a difference. This difference requires influencing attitudes and changing the behaviour of others. I keep myself and my staff laser-focused on this fact because great design and great business are mutually reinforcing."

Community Experiences:
  • On student marketing club executive in school

  • Do pro bono design for non-profit groups

  • Mentor students at local design school

 

"I am highly engaged in the design community and this has led to being a sought-after mentor for emerging designers, including teaching design and copywriting courses at the local design school."

Contextual Experiences:
  • Semester abroad at MONA in Tasmania

  • Passionate about all things art. Seeks this same passion when recruiting staff.

 

"I always push creative boundaries to be exposed to emerging art and media. My semester at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) reframed my definition of what’s possible."

Relationships:
  • My network is diverse—art directors, designers, copywriters, project managers

 

"I seek people who push boundaries in their field. I view the status quo as a creativity killer and need to be inspired by others."