Florian, the marketing and agency world hasn’t escaped the global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Serviceplan Group always closes its financial year at the end of June: what is your view of the past year, which was completely dominated by Covid-19?
Florian Haller: I’ll be honest – it’s been the hardest year for us in business terms. Against this backdrop, I’m incredibly proud of the whole team: this financial year has gone down in our company’s history as a record year. For me, there are three main reasons for this: we managed to stay in close contact with our clients during the constantly changing pandemic situation. In addition, we have been able to continuously develop and concentrate on digitalization and internationalization. We’ve also managed to stick together as a team and not lose our cohesion.
What is the lesson you personally have taken away from this time?
Florian Haller: Stay flexible, challenge yourself, your processes and structures and keep moving forward. Being paralysed with shock is a very understandable reaction to a world of uncertainties, but it doesn’t move us on: we have to act incisively and proactively, moving fast and creating space for innovation. I’d really like to maintain this flexibility even in less troubled times.
In your opinion, which mega-trend has gained the most impetus from the pandemic and what is the next step?
Florian Haller: It’s obvious, but no less exciting: digitalization has gained enormous impetus from the pandemic and it must now take that forward. We can’t let up. In my opinion, another trend will certainly reappear: during the pandemic unfortunately we saw a major withdrawal into national preoccupations – whether politically or economically – but afterwards I’m sure that globalization will pick up speed again. We are therefore consistently pursuing our internationalisation strategy, and the integrated, cross-border support of our international clients will continue to be top of our agenda.