Freelance Strategist


Chicago, IL
Posted January 30
If you are interested in this opportunity, please email your resume to anna@thesmartdept.com.

smartdept. inc. has an agency client based in the city who has the need for a freelance strategist to support upcoming projects and pitches on an as-needed basis. Candidates with CPG experience or potentially pharma are desired. Hours will be on-going, candidate can be engaged elsewhere as there is less than 40 hours of work per week at this time. Could ramp up.

Strategists own and drive strategy work streams on pitches and client work. The strategist is responsible for making sure issues are framed and defined, that the insight-gathering activities are carried out and defined for the development of creative ideas, and that the narrative throughout our work reflects creative and business strategy. Strategists are involved from inception to execution to ensure the integrity of the strategy and idea throughout execution.

Key Accountabilities

  • Drives Revenue
    • Build strategic platforms that provide creative guidance and form the basis for creative ideas for new and existing opportunities
    • Owns strategy throughout pitches or client work to deliver compelling strategic stories that sell
    • Remain involved throughout execution to ensure our work is on-strategy, on-idea, and does the job we designed it to do
    • Develop sought-after expertise in one or more of our delivery platforms: launch, align, engage and build with understanding and competence in all
  • Extract Fresh Insights
    • Manage, as well as do stellar research and analysis, to develop fresh insights and strong POVs that establish a solid foundation for pitches and client work
    • Understand the client’s business and brand throughout the project life cycle to ensure proposals match client needs
    • Identify new sources of information that provide teams with trends, market analysis and relevant points of view that will enhance our ability to meet client needs
    • Contribute to [client's] thought capital by participating in the agency blog, assisting in POV’s for client work, and assisting with [clients] own marketing efforts
  • Communicate Ideas
    • Participate in developing the creative brief, articulating key insights and a clear point of view, and ensuring that our strategic/ideas narrative is represented in all deliverables.
    • Command a presence with senior clients, successfully influencing them to think big
  • Build Effective Relationships
    • Collaborate with creative and account teams to ensure effective connections through all agency disciplines relative to client work
    • Successfully build client relationships at senior levels internally and externally


  • Bachelor’s degree across various liberal arts disciplines; applicable Master’s degree a plus
  • 4-7 years in a strategic role in a creative agency or management consulting environment
  • Passion for brands and for creating brand experiences
  • Conversant in a broad range of research methodologies
  • Ability to collect, read, analyze, interpret and synthesis information from a variety of sources and develop strategic insights and points of view
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstration of key competencies: accountability for results, client focus, team effectiveness, developing others, creative thinking

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email your resume to anna@thesmartdept.com.