UK Senior Cultural Insight Director

United Kingdom Research & Insights

The role

We Are Social. We’re a global agency, with more than 1000 people in 15 offices around the world, 200 here in our London HQ. We deliver world-class creative campaigns and strategies based on social insights, for best-in-class brands.

The Cultural Insight team is a specialist unit within We Are Social’s Research and Insight Department dedicated to helping brands increase their cultural impact on social media. We are a group of trend spotters, qualitative researchers, semioticians and strategic thinkers who use a range of methods to understand culture around us and how it’s changing.

Cultural Insight at We Are Social is growing rapidly as we deliver impactful and transformative insight to a growing roster of forward-thinking brands including Adidas, Dr Martens, Meta and the Royal Opera House.

We’re looking to hire an exceptional Senior Director to lead the UK Cultural Insight team of five day-to-day, reporting into the UK Head of Research and Insight, and working closely with and supporting the Global Head of Cultural Insight.

Who we’re looking for

A talented qualitative researcher, strategic thinker and team leader with 7-10 years’ experience in a mixed-method qualitative insight or cultural strategy role. They should have a passion for all things social and digital culture and a strong sense of how to leverage qualitative insights to help shape truly impactful brand strategy and creative. They will have an established record as an exceptional thinker, communicator and methodologist, and have experience as a trusted source of credible insight, analysis and consultancy for consumer-facing brands and clients.

The ideal candidate will also be an inspiring leader and capable manager; one who is passionate about getting the best out of people and leading from the front in delivering top quality insight and thinking. They should be skilled in the delegation, feedback, coaching and project management skills required to oversee a small team delivering against multiple deadlines. They should also have a strong understanding of how to socialise insights within a creative agency or other organisation and a vision for how great leadership and innovative thinking can help shape this.

For the successful candidate, this role offers the opportunity to lead and develop a hugely talented and supportive team to deliver insights that directly inform award-winning creative work; work that has recently been recognised by Cannes Lions, Webbys, Lovies, Creative Circle, and many more.

Additionally, the role offers significant growth opportunities, both in terms of personal and skills development and the opportunity to advance your career at We Are Social as a foundational member of an expanding, innovative discipline.

What skills are we looking for?

  • Expertise and experience in delivering cultural analysis and cultural insights in a commercial research setting (can be trends-led, theory-led, expert-led or semiotic in approach)
  • A working knowledge of broader qualitative research methodologies including ethnographic approaches, focus groups, expert interviews, desk research and IDIs (specialist knowledge in all of these is not required)
  • Strong method-design skills across all the above and an ability to draw on a range of qualitative approaches to build effective responses to briefs that turn insights into action
  • Management experience, including experience of individual line management and leading small teams
  • A sharp strategic mindset and a knack for drilling down broad brand challenges to core business problems and research questions
  • Experience managing and overseeing qualitative research projects from end to end, with a focus on shaping method, briefing juniors and ensuring quality control
  • Experience in project management – either directly managing timelines and budgets or working closely with project managers, resource teams, and client services
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; equal ability to craft a beautiful deck and deliver a compelling presentation

Requirements

Responsibilities:

  • Leading and overseeing a team of 5 cultural analysts (from Senior Analyst to Director level) to provide overall direction, guidance and inspiration to the growing department
  • Interrogating incoming client briefs to identify the role of cultural insight and advising on method, costing and approach
  • Reviewing and signing off on proposed cultural insight project plans and methodologies
  • Delivering support, feedback and quality control on live work, ensuring it aligns with our goals, standards and remit as a department
  • Working with the Global Head of Cultural Insight and other department leads to identify opportunities for new Cultural Insight work streams within our growing client base – thus building our pipeline and optimising utilisation of the team
  • Liaising regularly between team members and the resource team to ensure all team members are appropriately resourced to confidently deliver project work
  • Working with department leads across the agency and to continually evolve and optimise ways of working and approaches for maximum impact
  • Delivering end-to-end oversight of cultural insight projects including writing briefs for supporting team members and freelancers
  • Line-managing some team members individually; conducting regular performance reviews and shaping constructive, achievable goals to help them progress and develop
  • Delivering smaller cultural insight projects independently
  • Leveraging cultural insights in pitches to increase impact and win accounts

Benefits

Why should you join our team?

  • 25 days holiday, increasing by one day for each year of service
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Company pension scheme
  • Group Income Protection
  • Optional Dental Insurance
  • Corporate Social Responsibility – time given to volunteer for a charity of your choice
  • Cycle-to-work scheme
  • Optional sabbaticals after 5 years
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Summer hours
  • Work From Anywhere
  • We Are Social Passport
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