Creativity and technology, with the client at its center

In an interview with Sara Baroni, Managing Director Plan.Net Italia, talks about creativity and innovation and gives insights into the daily work life of the Italian agency.

Sara Baroni

Sara Baroni

Managing Director Plan.Net Italia

To focus on content and strategy in order to design an ecosystem that is more efficient, and in favour of the client. This is the main task that is Plan.Net assigned itself with. Continuing with the implementation of all projects by channels, digital and offline, most suitable to accomplish the results. Investing in technology to support creativity and innovation.

“Plan.Net is a communication agency in a digital world”, says Sara Baroni, Managing Partner. “This means that of course we do websites, eCommerce, social media management, app and digital campaigns, but our projects start no matter of the channel and from there we implement them for the digital and offline channels; for some clients we get to produce leaflets, POS communication, brochures or billboards. We’re not omniscient, we’ve decided to focus on the essence of today’s communication, which means content and the strategy to develop an approach of ecosystem that is more effi-cient for the client. Then we find within our group all specific competences that are needed to guarantee the quality of the execution.  That is, the approach differentiates us more than the com-petences, that today you can find on a high level in many digital agencies of our competitors. We like to think big picture, client needs centred, and through the digital eyes. That positions us as the division that drives the innovation within our group. For our main clients Auchan Italy, Burger King, BNP Real Estate, Plan.Net is the agency responsible for all aspects of their communication. For others, like Granarolo, Humana, Kimbo we are in charge of the digital communication in close contact with the other agencies of the group. For others again, like F.lli Branca Distillerie, our commitment is on the pure consultation in regards to communication strategy, with a particular focus on the digital ecosystem”.

  • The Serviceplan group was set up by innovation in communication and in media: In which way Plan.Net interprets the concept of innovation?

    Plan.Net interprets innovation as the ability to give the customer communication solutions that are effective to its specific business objective. This, in most cases, means for us to draw the interactions between instruments and channels, that today we take for granted, and focus on the project as a whole. There are many clients who currently see us as the agents of change that must take place within their company, more than in the relationship between agency and client. Our involvement we see more and more focused on the integration of our skills and our know-how in the processes of the client.

  • Mobile, social, performance marketing...the digital world gets morediverse and multifaceted: which opportunities the companies and the brands should understand to use?

    Only those that are functional to their business, so brands need to learn to make the right questions before looking for the magic wand in the detail of the answers. From my point of view, there are no easy solutions or shortcuts. An app can make much sense for a brand in a particular moment of its evolution and no sense for another. It all depends on the objectives, the strategy and the ability of those involved in the company to stay focused on the purpose of communication, in a communication project that is able to go beyond a medium and able to run on the long term. That said, today’s technology has a vital role as an agent of change. A communication agency can’t exist without technological skills because this is what drives the content and its path to the target, which is PLAN.NET four Advertiser Communication Strategies the real corporate asset. Campaigns that are effective are more and more personalized and require a deep knowledge of the markets behavior that can’t be separated from the proper use of technology.

  • What does it mean in these times to develop a winning strategy? Through which steps you build a relevant and effective communication?

    In-depth knowledge of consumer behavior is the starting point for us. The ability to orient the client with intelligent business expertise in big data is the step that immediately follows preparation prior to the creativity of all our campaigns. That’s why we decided to invest in technology, to give a further boost to our strategic and innovative approach. We’ll do it with a partner, Develon, a company with a technological DNA and with high potential in the field of development, with the creation of a new division, Develon Digital. Set to become in three years a technological hub and center of excellence in innovation, who knows how to put technology at the service of people and their interactions with brands, to the mutual satisfaction of the needs of both.

  • Today we have more tools than ever before, but the acceleration involving every dynamic there is a higher likelihood to become out dated quickly. In this context, it is easier or more difficult to create “best brand” able to stand the test of time?

    The grass is always greener on the other side, so for us today it is more difficult … In fact I think every era have lived their difficulties. The privilege we have, to take care of communication today, is not to be able to afford to underestimate the change. It is a privilege because this speed forces us to go to the essence of things, which is always the true value, without getting lost in unnecessary details or pure aesthetic exercises. Only what is relevant wins, there is no room for the rest and in my opinion it is much better that way. I find it more ethical than the world of communication a few years ago. And then we like challenges because they set adrenaline free.
    Best brands that will last over time? It all depends on the ability of companies to last, our role is to get into their reality and give our contribution which is increasingly a topic of business and less and less an issue of advertising. The best brands will be those that are able to understand their consumers and interact with them in a virtuous manner; to us communication with the task and honor to better manage this relationship.

  • Among the services you offer to the market, which are the ones that you are pushing the most?

    Today we work a lot on strategy, on the design of digital ecosystems for brands and digitization. Great focus is required of us on social media, on digital campaigns and sentiment analysis, which means the analysis of conversations on the web, that is the basis of our creative proposals. In the future we’ll be more and more driven by technology and business intelligence, without losing, however, the focus on the essence of communication: the content.

  • What challenges do you see coming in the near future? And how do you intend to cope with them?

    We want to grow with our customers. Being able to be a step ahead of them in order to guide them and make them confident in trusting in us. In the future we see technology and consulting to support the relationship between brand and consumer.