'Twitchy' Planit Rejiggers Its Operating Model

Planit is pivoting to build what it calls a "fast-twitch agency" to deliver more responsive cross-channel solutions to clients.

"Rather than advertising on content, we’re creating content," says Jack Spaulding, ED, strategic planning, Planit. "Rather than sponsoring events, we’re forming events. Rather than finding markets, we’re developing markets."

Under this new leadership team, group directors - Account (Sarah Quackenbush, Bill Ward), Strategy (Ryan Smith, Trish McClean), Creative (Jess Brown, Trevor Villet) - will cut down on traditional silos by collaborating on the best ideas regardless of origin and execution.

"This all makes us a faster, more proactive, more responsive, and more powerful integrated shop," says Spaulding. "By flattening departments and bundling disciplines, we focus on total customer experience rather than a limited view of a specific vehicle or delivery mechanism."



The revamp has led to better brainstorms and greater engagement across all functions in producing client work, he says. "It has given people a rallying point and the license to create rather than wait for orders. We now have social media people driving ad concepts, and video producers contributing copy ideas, and PR teams working hand-in-hand with SEO."

Still, not every part of this shift has been seamless. "We’ve had to be mindful of the people-management aspect of this," says Spaulding. "Sometimes blurring lines between departments can leave an employee feeling rudderless. Who gives me instructions? Who approves my work? What’s my role in this particular project?"

Ultimately, this decision was driven both internally and via clients.  "We started it in order to be more proactive for some of our smaller clients," says Spaulding. "Along the way, some of Planit’s bigger clients like Kimberly-Clark and Marriott International have showed a desire to operate less traditionally with their agencies and helped validate our concept and push it along."

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