Innovation Planning Manager, Africa (9 month secondment), Open to flexible working

London (Central), London (Greater)
22 Nov 2021
22 Dec 2021

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks company with an outstanding collection of brands, such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness. Our purpose – Celebrating life, every day, everywhere – has an important role in our company, for our people, our diversity, our brands, in how we perform and how we create shared value


After several strong years of Innovation growth, we are looking for a talented Innovation (particularly early stage innovation) Planning specialist, who will guide the business into the next generation of growth opportunities.  This individual will have responsibility for seeking out innovation start points based on deep consumer, cultural and category insight.  They will be able to shape the insight into concepts and influence the business in understanding the opportunity areas and also the ways in to leverage it better than the competition.

About the role:

In this role you will support the creation of the Innovation pipeline and ensure it is grounded in a deep understanding of trends, both cultural and consumption across total beverage alcohol (TBA), both where Diageo already operates and where it does not.  Important markets are Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa.  Additionally, you will understand deeply the nuances and complexities of consumer behaviour across Africa and the on and off trade and bring a simplicity and priority to these. 

You will use ground breaking ways of identifying trends, verifying with consumers (either directly or through data) and creating concepts based on these.  You will then hold the tension in an innovation process that the subsequent innovation is true to the original insight.  Intuitively, you will know when to tell the business to slow down in order to truly understand an opportunity, at other times, you will need to find the quickest, the lightest touch consumer understanding to move an idea forward. 

The successful individual will pair strong functional experience in Innovation Planning with developing leadership skills in influencing senior business partners to make the right consumer and commercial decisions. Working with the Head of Innovation Planning, Africa, you will be highly resilient and able to prioritise and re-prioritise in a fast moving and dynamic environment.  

Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities

The Innovation Planning Manager, Africa, will take accountability for enabling Africa Innovation to deliver its growth targets by:

  • Proactively defining and communicating opportunities for growth to enable the creation and/or execution of a robust innovation pipeline by unleashing deep consumer and cultural insight in combination with applying findings from measurement and evaluation.
  • Creating breakthrough insight using cutting edge consumer and cultural understanding techniques (with equal comfort in the ever growing data space as well as qualitative techniques such as semiotics) combined with clear direction on the balance between necessary rigour and speed.
  • Creating a sustainable and vibrant innovation culture across the Brand/Innovation/ Planning teams by leading by example in having a deep immersion and expertise the African cultural and market context, consumer and shopper
  • Further develop and apply a world class Innovation Planning toolkit including all stages of primary and secondary research ad hoc and continuous best practice, from methodology selection to vendor management to maintaining high standards of reporting to ensure learning is presented in an actionable, inspiring way. Importantly, ensure all research is compliant with our Responsible Research Policy. 

Key business partners

  • The Innovation Planning Manager, Africa, reports into the Disrupt Innovation Director, Europe and Africa
  • Key internal business partners are the Innovation and Brand Directors, Global Planning Community, Africa Planning Community, External Research and Planning partners.

About You:

  • Consistent track record in research/ consumer planning roles with a significant focus on Innovation and Ideation.
  • Insatiable curiosity for understanding consumers and shoppers and the world they exist in, with evidence in applying this to drive brand and business growth
  • Experience in Africa markets or a passion for Africa is advantageous
  • An ability to bring the future to today’s world and roadmap actions to make it happen (within a commercial context)
  • Strong functional skills to include quantitative and qualitative methodologies, both ad hoc and continuous, along with an innovative approach to find ever better ways of getting cultural, consumer and shopper input.
  • An individual who has the ability to influence senior partners and create alignment within cross-functional teams.
  • Resilience combined with emotional intelligence to build collaborative and powerful relationships
  • 20% Travel required

Diversity statement

Celebrating our inclusive and diverse culture is core to Diageo’s purpose of “celebrating life every day everywhere”. This purpose is, in itself, inclusive in nature, as it values everybody irrespective of background, disability, religion, gender identity, sexuality or ethnicity.

We know that for our business to thrive and for Diageo to realize its ambition, we depend on having diverse talent with a range of backgrounds, skills and capabilities in each of the 180 countries in which we operate and to reflect our broad consumer base. We view diversity as one of the key enablers that helps our business to grow and our values, purpose and standards set the conditions for us to respect the unique contribution each person brings.

Flexibility is key to success in our business and many of our staff work flexibly in many different ways, including part-time, compressed hours, flexible location. Please talk to us about what flexibility means to you and don’t let anything stop you from applying.

Character Is Everything


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