© Serviceplan Group 2024
ServiceplanGroup records impressive 19% growth
ServiceplanGroup records impressive 19% growth
Europe's largest independent agency network and winner of the Cannes Lions 2022 "Independent Network of the Year"(1) has reported a substantial increase in revenue for the 2022/2023 fiscal year. Despite global economic downturns, the group continues to grow, fueled by its commitment to internationalization, digitalization, and its unique, integrated House of Communication approach.
Brussels, September 25, 2023 - The Serviceplan Group, incorporating agency brands such as Serviceplan, Mediaplus, and Plan.Net, and operating across 17 global markets, reported a fee revenue of 739 million euros for the fiscal year 2022/2023 ending in June. This marks a significant 19% increase from the previous year's 623 million euros.
Notably, this growth occurred in what was predicted to be a “high-risk year” for the advertising industry, with high inflation rates, consumer restraint, and reduced client budgets amidst ongoing political and economic uncertainties.
In Brussels, the Serviceplan Group Belux achieved another remarkable feat this year, with a 7% increase in top-line growth. The industrial sector in Belgium, including the Serviceplan Group Belux, grappled with the impact of automatic employee salary indexation, which led to a decrease in bottom-line profits. However, such narrower profit margins were not uncommon within the communication and media industry. Despite the less-than-ideal economic environment, the Serviceplan Group Belux remained resilient, expanding its market share, and reinforcing its position as the 7th-ranked integrated agency, boasting an agency income of 13 million euros and a workforce of 120 dedicated colleagues.
Serviceplan Group Belux Managing Partner Peter Vande Graveele: “Despite the macroeconomic challenges faced during the most recent financial year ending June 30, 2023, the Serviceplan Group Belux managed to navigate the adverse conditions and confimed a yet significant growth of 7%.”
BUCKING THE TREND: SERVICEPLAN GROUP CONTINUES TO GROW
Serviceplan Group CEO Florian Haller puts the current numbers into perspective: “The fact that we were able to hold our own so well in the current difficult environment and close our financial year with a definitive growth in revenue, clear plus fills me with immense pride.”
Haller sees three decisive success factors for growth: “We were able to make significant progress with digitalization across all agency brands. By taking important steps in the internationalization of the agency group, we have also significantly expanded our global footprint, and consequently raised our international profile. Awards such as ‘Independent Network of the Year’ at Cannes Lions in 2022 and ‘Global Independent Network of the Year’ at LIA prove this.”
¹ 2022: Cannes Lions, Cresta Awards, New York Festivals Advertising Award, The One Show, LIA
In addition to Serviceplan Group’s continued internationalization, which was driven further in the 2022/2023 financial year by the opening of the House of Communication in New York in particular, Haller cites the “Houses of Communication” concept as the third contributing factor to success and growth in the fiscal year: “We are growing because we are able to offer complete end-to-end solutions for our clients. Thanks to the interplay of Creative & Content, Media & Data, and Digital Experience & Technology at our Houses of Communication, we are competitive, unique, and ultimately successful.”
IN BELUX, NEW BUSINESS TRIUMPHS FUELING GROWTH
Once again, this year, we achieved noteworthy wins from esteemed brands. Mediaplus Belux, specializing in media and data, secured the Decathlon account for Belgium and Luxembourg, along with the local Belgian C&A client, as part of a pan-European pitch for offline media. This allowed Mediaplus to augment its expertise in the retail sector. Meanwhile, Serviceplan Belux, focusing on creativity and content, clinched the MARS account and was appointed lead agency for the BEACH region (Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland) by the FMCG giant, spearheading Customer Promotion and Shopper Marketing across all business units, including pet food, food, and snacks.
THE GOOD LINE
Another key milestone was the group’s new holistic sustainability program “The Good Line,” which can be tailored to individual needs along the entire sustainability journey of every company. The program, which covers all consulting and communication services in the fields of data, campaigning, brand, media, and digital across all agencies, is set to be expanded even further.
House of Communication Brussels emerges as an outstanding workplace! As with other leading agencies in the industry, Serviceplan Belux adapted to the evolving demands and preferences of colleagues during the post-Covid era. Remote work became the norm, and hybrid meetings emerged as a prevalent practice, mirroring the changing times. Given our innovative nature and strong entrepreneurial foundation, we aimed to offer our colleagues maximum flexibility to strike the right balance between work and personal life, while fostering a stimulating work environment conducive to professional growth. Our House of Communication, a cornerstone of our partnership culture in every Serviceplan market, serves as a hub for interactions with colleagues, current and potential clients, as well as a space to celebrate successes.
Attaining the "Great Place to Work" label and certification came as no surprise, reflecting our commitment to a fulfilling work atmosphere.
OUTLOOK FOR 2023/2024: CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC
Florian Haller believes that Serviceplan Group is well positioned for the challenges of the future: “We are noticing the continuing high complexity of the issues involved, the rapid pace, and the uncertainties of many people. We confront all of these challenges this with our agility, innovative strength, and genuine curiosity for new things.”
Three future topics are high on the agenda of the Serviceplan Group:
1. Creative Production
Standards were set in the past financial year with the establishment and expansion of the global production unit Serviceplan MAKE, which is deeply integrated within the Group’s creative, digital, and media services. “Our ability to produce creative assets and use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in creation and execution, makes our services in the area of Creative Asset Production fit for the future.” explains Haller.
One focus is on establishing Make.OS, a platform developed in-house that uses AI to ensure efficient communication, real-time feedback, and automated approval processes.
2. Data-based approach
A key component of the Serviceplan Group over the next few years will be the establishment of integrated, data-based, real-time processes, dashboards, and asset production for clients. All data along the client journey, and from all areas of the agency group, is incorporated: creation, media, UX, CRM. “Our aim here is to utilize data-based individual profiles in media with the help of AI and adapt them in real-time.” explains CEO Florian Haller.
3. International Collaboration
Under the umbrella term “International Collaboration,” the Group’s aim is to further scale and establish services and capacities in the area of technology at an international level. Under the banner of “Plan.Net TechNest,” teams are already active in Germany, India, Poland, and Romania, offering customized solutions across locations with a focus on implementation and maintenance.
“On the one hand, we are meeting our clients’ growing demand for digital experience and technology service, whilst at the same time addressing the enormous shortage of skilled workers in this sector. In this way, international collaboration makes the services provided by our Houses of Communication even more attractive for our clients,” says Haller.
BENELUX AS A COMPETITIVE EDGE IN A GLOBALIZING MARKET
Our Houses of Communication in Brussels and Amsterdam remain dedicated to identifying efficiencies that enhance client and colleague experiences. In both the Belgian and Dutch markets, our teams continue to nurture distinct cultures tailored to each locale. Customized responses for local clients in Belgium and the Netherlands remain a priority, even as our Benelux offering transcends theoretical constructs and delivers tangible cross-border efficiencies for clients. This is already evident in the partnerships with L'Oréal Benelux and BMW & MINI in Belgium and the Netherlands.
By harnessing the expertise of our Belgian and Dutch teams, we amplify our operational prowess and unlock fresh vistas of innovation and business efficacy for our clients. In the foreseeable future, our Benelux offering will elevate both Amsterdam and Brussels into international hubs where creativity and innovation flourish, thereby further contributing to the global expansion of the Serviceplan Group.