The Plan.Net Group recorded sales totalling €109.1 million at the end of 2017, its 20th financial year. Consequently, the company can reflect on another record result for the year, with an 8.2% increase in sales. The advertising budgets handled by the company also increased to €630 million for the first time.
With sales of €109.1 million, the Plan.Net Group successfully increased its business by 8.2% during 2017 (the 2016 figure was €100.9 million). In Germany, the digital agency recorded sales of €96.5 million, representing an increase of seven percent (the 2016 figure was €90.2 million). In 2017 Plan.Net Group presided over advertising budgets worth a total of €630 million, up by 7.9% on 2016 (€584 million), €584 million of which is attributable to Germany (an increase of 8.6%). Plan.Net employs more than 1,070 people around the world, with more than 930 in Germany.
Manfred Klaus, spokesperson for the Executive Board of Plan.Net Group, explained: “Our growth in media, business intelligence, content marketing, programmatic advertising, digital platforms and e-commerce, was a key factor in this positive development. We also successfully boosted our consulting projects business in the field of digital transformation.”
Klaus Schwab, Managing Director and partner of the Plan.Net Group, added: “This growth confirms our position as a partner for success and future-proof solutions in the digital age. We have consistently advanced this position over the past year by expanding our service portfolio.”
Plan.Net Group launched Plan.Net UX, a dedicated agency for the development of user interfaces. Furthermore, the recently opened Plan.Net Innovation Studio in Munich provides the ideal environment for customers, employees and external partners to develop readily deployable solutions for digital communication, products and services, by applying contemporary ways of thinking and working, such as design thinking. The company also founded a new unit, Neverest | Social Media, to expand its range of services for moving-image content destined for social media.
All of these areas have already acquired customers and implemented projects. For example, Plan.Net UX is working for DZ Bank, Hamburg airport and Metro. At the Plan.Net Innovation Studio, workshops have been held and prototypes designed for BMW and MINI, amongst others. Neverest | Social Media is serving customers including Eurowings and Westlotto. The acquisition of new accounts such as Bahlsen, Beck’s and HolidayCheck, and new developments in the existing customer base also contributed to the positive results.
Innovation projects were realised for data-driven marketing in particular. For example, in its work for Audible, Plan.Net Hamburg optimally integrated all traditional and digital communication channels using business intelligence analyses, modelling and intelligent targeting. As a result, the agency not only met the targets for brand awareness, selling intention, concluded subscriptions and sales figures, it surpassed them by a significant margin. Another prime example of data-driven marketing is the addressable TV campaign which PREX ran for MINI together with SevenOne Media. The campaign combines two TV innovations: programmatic advertising and the new TV retargeting. Based on the TV campaign for the MINI Clubman, the addressable TV advertising is programmatic, and features a corresponding motif depending on whether it concerns an initial or second contact. In terms of services, a milestone was achieved with the development of the very first Alexa skill for Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Show, for reserving rental cars using a voice-controlled assistant. The application was developed by hmmh and enables business customers to easily rent their vehicles using voice interfaces.
Top positions in the sales and creative ranking
The ability of the agency to deliver was confirmed by its position at the top of the rankings published by the German Federal Association of Digital Commerce (Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft – BVDW). The Plan.Net Group was the second-highest earning Internet agency in Germany in the 2017 ranking, and together with Serviceplan, Plan.Net retained first place in the ranking for digital creation for the fourth time in a row.
“The campaigns which boosted us to these top positions all have one thing in common: a strategy of thinking outside the box in terms of communication and working to develop products and services,” comments Markus Maczey, CCO of the Plan.Net Group. “This is precisely what we’re aiming to do more of in the future: creating excellent solutions that add real value for users thanks to creative solutions and technology.”
Progress in internationalisation
Internationalisation also played a key role over the past year. The sales from all the locations outside of Germany grew steadily from €10.7 million in 2016 to €12.7 million (an increase of 18.5%). The Plan.Net Group also continued to expand its international presence. For example, a site was opened in Belgium through the merger with another agency, Tott. The Managing Director and Founder of Tott is Johan Sevenants. The company also expanded into the Ukraine, with Managing Director Yulia Svintozelskaya handling the local business there. Moreover, the international sites recorded successes in their pitches over the past year. The BMW account was won in Switzerland, the Motorola account was the biggest win in Austria, and Plan.Net France has been handling the digital marketing needs of e-payment provider Ingenico since last year.
So what is the Group focusing on this year? “We’re placing the spotlight on maximising customer value from a single source across all disciplines,” explains Manfred Klaus. “Media, content, technology and data insights are the raw materials required to ensure success in the digital age.” Klaus Schwab adds: “Working hand in hand with our customers, we’ll continue to drive forward data-based communication, marketing automation and end-to-end marketing solutions. In doing so, we’ll not only ensure that our customers are successful today, we’ll also make sure they are well-equipped for the coming years.”
About the Plan.Net Group
Founded in 1997 as a Serviceplan subsidiary, the Plan.Net Group today is one of the leading digital agencies in Germany. It is one of the largest independent digital agencies in Europe, with more than 25 locations around the world. The locations in addition to Munich include; Cologne, Hamburg, Bremen, Milan, Paris, Vienna, Seoul and Zurich. Plan.Net is the business partner for success and future viability in the digital age – with competitive teams of specialists in all relevant areas. Specialist areas include; consulting, business intelligence and marketing automation; the conception and implementation of digital platforms; products and integrated marketing campaigns; content marketing solutions; search engines and performance marketing; media strategies, planning and purchasing. With the agency hmmh, the Plan.Net Group also has a centre of competence for “Connected Commerce”.
Following the philosophy of “Creating Relevance", which is exercised on a daily basis, around 1,070 employees worldwide are working for clients such as BSH Hausgeräte, BMW, IKEA, Media Markt, Consorsbank, Reckitt Benckiser and the German TV station ZDF.
The competencies and communication solutions that the Plan.Net Group offers are characterised by creativity and innovation, as well as media and technical excellence. These communication solutions are used with innovative and effective tools and systems, for example those for optimal targeting, personalised newsletter marketing and marketing automation.
Our growth in media, business intelligence, content marketing, programmatic advertising, digital platforms and e-commerce, was a key factor in this positive development. We also successfully boosted our consulting projects business in the field of digital transformation.
Manfred Klaus, Managing Director Plan.net Group