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Darren McLeod

Head of Strategy and Planning

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About me

I am currently Head of Strategy and Planning for a full service integrated marketing agency with bases in Liverpool, and London. I’m a strategic all-rounder, adept at delivering strategic projects ranging from product diversification, penetration, corporate visioning and brand story development through to media planning, market research and change management. I pride myself on having both an imaginative and inquisitive nature, married with a passion for analytical rigour, an appreciation the complexities of human behaviour and worldly common sense. I’m an open, direct, friendly, engaging, witty and fun individual who is always focussed on the work the impacts I create.


  • Teaching
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Digital Agency
  • Market Research
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Client Management
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Creative Thinking
  • Excel
  • Powerpoint
  • Leadership
  • Insights Strategy
  • Data Visaulization

Work history


Head of Strategy & Planning

Agent Marketing

Aug 2013 - Jul 2016
  • Provide high-level strategic support, acting as the primary point of contact for all client communications. Lead the entire strategy development process – from inception to implementation. Design research briefs, delegate the data collection activities, collate information and analyse results. Interpret insight into actionable recommendations, aligning them with clients’ aims and objectives. Ensure all works are consistent and compliant with any and all regulatory requirements. Provide guidance and advice to senior leaders during decision making processes. Manage a wide variety of stakeholders and strategic partners – both for the agency and on behalf of clients. Chair and facilitate all workshop sessions, as well as report directly to client SLTs and executive boards. Oversee the effective delivery of marketing campaigns and track performance against agreed ROI.


Strategy & Planning Consultant

Agent Marketing

Jun 2011 - Sep 2013
  • Support the Head of Strategy in formulating strategic approaches to projects, as well as acting as a sounding board for recommendations. Support internal workshop facilitation and gather all information, ideas and creative / campaign directions. Deliver the research briefs ensuring all data (qualitative and quantitative) was collected accurately and objectively. Help develop the findings into insights and help develop the ways in which these would be presented Act as secondary point of contact in the department head’s absence for all strategic matters and enquiries. Test marketing approaches and tactics in readiness for developing into client specific recommendations. Manage time effectiveness of multiple projects, ensuring the hours billed are to budget. Mentor new members of the team during their induction phase.


Communications Consultant

Agent Marketing

Apr 2010 - Jul 2011
  • Develop and implement integrated external communications strategies in support of the client’s business aims and objectives. Deliver communications plans whilst working in partnership with the agency’s wider supply chain and associates to deliver the required outcomes of the communications plan. Work with senior stakeholders across matrixed organisations, with the ability to inspire trust and influence decision making processes. Think and operate strategically, identifying and managing key stakeholder relationships and manage these at all levels to support excellence in tactical implementation. Develop and embed integrated communications strategies and plans across complex networks of stakeholders. Programme management of integrated communications plans and online media buying (Google Adwords, Social Media Ads etc.). Support the development and delivery of the external communications strategy and plan of the agency, supporting lead generation for new business. Manage the development of supporting communications materials to engage external audiences for both clients and the agency. Create, implement and improve effective processes and collaborative networks to embed into the communications frameworks of both Agent Marketing and its clients.




Liverpool John Moores University

Aug 2009 - May 2012
  • Antecedents of Marketing Marketing Ethics International Marketing Strategy Integrated Marketing Communications Consumer Behaviour


Business Management

Liverpool John Moores University

Aug 2005 - Jun 2008
  • Year One Topics: Fundamentals of Management Introduction to Accounting and Finance Business Economic Decision Making Contemporary Issues in Business and Society Academic Skills for Business and Management Marketing Marketing and Sales Year Two Topics: Business Intelligence Small Business and Entrepreneurship Organisational Behaviour Quality and Operations Management Research Methods for Business Investment and Finance Analysis Business Law Year Three Topics: Strategic Management Researching and Developing a Business Plan for a New Venture Innovation and Creativity for Business Project Management Global Business Environment Social Enterprise Environmental Management Final Year Dissertation



Jaguar Land Rover Corporate Social Responsibility Award

  • Awarded at the Liverpool Echo Regional Business Awards, this award recognised the work done by Agent's sister social enterprise, Agent Academy CIC. I'm the Chair of Agent Academy and was responsible for the developing the initial feasibility study, business plan and marketing strategy; right through to supporting the set up of the business. To date, we've worked with over 50 young people to develop their commercial skills experiences and networks: 44 of them are now in full time employment in a marketing-led role.


Sustainable Business Leader of the Year

  • Awarded to company MD, Paul Corcoran, the award was in recognition for the initiatives and workplace wellbeing develops I and the Strategy team had spear headed. Part of the award submission focussed on the commercial management mechanisms I and the team had implemented, trialled and rolled out across the organisation; allowing for greater agency-wide measurement of project and client impacts on the sustained growth of the company.