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September 13, 2023

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  • Full Time
  • London


With over 200 brands sold in more than 180 countries, we’re the world’s leading premium drinks company. Every day, over 27,000people come together at Diageo to create the magic behind our much-loved brands. From iconic names to innovative newcomers – the brands we’re building are rooted in culture and local communities. Our ambition is to be one of the best performing, most trusted and most respected consumer products companies in the world.

What you’ll be doing:

As Innovation Planning Manager, Africa, 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 be able to bring a simplicity and priority to these.

You will use innovative 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 force the business to slow down in order to truly understand an opportunity, at other times, you will need to find the quickest and 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 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.

Your main responsibilities will be:

Taking 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 brand-new consumer & 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.
  • 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 a concrete, inspiring way. Importantly, ensure all research is aligned with our Responsible Research Policy.

What you’ll have:

  • Proven track record in research/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
  • 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, along with an innovative approach to find ever better ways of getting cultural, consumer and shopper input.
  • Data analytic experience would be highly advantageous
  • An individual who has the ability to influence senior stakeholders and create alignment within cross-functional teams.
  • Resilience combined with emotional intelligence to build collaborative and powerful relationships
  • Experience in Africa markets or a passion for Africa is advantageous
  • 20% Travel required

About us

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.

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