Best Trends: High inflation rates, consumer restraint, declining investment by customers – all of this is putting an immense strain on the industry. How was the Serviceplan Group able to grow so substantially despite these trends?
Florian Haller: The fact that we were able to hold our own so well in the current difficult environment and close out our fiscal year with an increase of 19% makes me incredibly proud. From my perspective, our growth was possible thanks to three key success factors. We continued to considerably push ahead with digitisation – across all agency brands. Secondly, by establishing our House of Communication in the USA, we significantly expanded our global footprint and thus increased our international visibility. And thirdly, we are growing because we are able to offer complete end-to-end solutions for our customers. The very special interplay between creative and content, media and data, and digital experience and technology in our Houses of Communication makes us competitive and unique – and, at the end of the day, successful too.
Best Trends: When you look at the industry today, what is your impression?
Florian Haller: I see the ongoing high complexity of the issues, the rapid pace at which everything around us is developing and the resulting uncertainty amongst customers and consumers. It’s important to me that we, as an agency partner, react with agility, innovation and pure curiosity. This could mean, for example, curiosity about the opportunities that generative AI can offer us. With that approach, I believe we will also be well positioned for future challenges.
Best Trends: What will the Serviceplan Group focus on in the future?
Florian Haller: We will have three focal points in the coming year that will make our business ready for the future. We want to use new tools and processes to further expand what we offer in creative asset production and further strengthen and exploit our capabilities for producing creative assets and deploying them using AI. Furthermore, a central component will be establishing integrated data-based real-time processes, dashboards and asset production for our customers. Our aim is to be able to display data-based individual profiles in the media and adapt them in real time – with the support of AI. And in line with the term ‘international collaboration’, the Group’s goal is to further develop and establish services and capacities in the area of technology at an international level. On the one hand, this enables us to meet our customers’ increasing demand for digital experience and technology services, while at the same time addressing the serious shortage of skilled workers in this segment. This makes our services from the Houses of Communication even more attractive for our customers.
Europe’s largest owner-operated agency group posted a fee turnover of 739 million euros in the 22/23 fiscal year that ended at the end of June, an increase of 19% compared to the previous year (623 million euros) – and this in recessionary times.
Further details can be found here.