We are excited to be recognized last week by the Webby’s and AMA Baltimore.

Planit has been named an official Webby Awards Honoree for our work with Order&Chaos Coffee Shop in the Social – Food & Drink category. As an honoree, our work ranks in the top 17% of all work entered from around the world, totaling more than 13,000 entries. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) and is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet.

We also won Best Social Media Campaign at AMA Baltimore’s 32nd Annual Marketing Excellence Awards for our work with Order&Chaos Coffee Shop. Our approach is a dynamic social push that connects followers to mouthwatering content and a seriously addictive graphic style. To keep appetites healthy, we created a social framework consisting of elements like playful logo versioning, found photography, impromptu offers, and curated playlists. This range of digital treats allows Order&Chaos to consistently bring the artistic and collaborative energy of its shop to every follower.

Additionally, we were proud to join our partner, Maryland Auto, at the Marketing Excellence Awards, where we won Overall Campaign of the Year. Our campaign, inclusive of branding, advertising, and public relations initiatives, has reinvigorated the 42-year-old brand and is helping to decrease the number of uninsured drivers on Maryland’s roadways.

Best People, Not Just Best Creativity, Is the Reason

BALTIMORE (March 10, 2017) — Planit, Baltimore’s top marketing agency, earned top honors last night at the Baltimore American Advertising “00ADDYs” Awards ceremony, including “Best in Show” for its work with Order & Chaos, along with 13 gold and silver awards. The annual awards competition celebrates Baltimore’s most talented marketing communications professionals. Highlights of the 13 gold and silver awards won by Planit include:

“We are thrilled to be awarded the industry’s top honor for thinking big and demonstrating excellence in advertising,” said Matt Doud, president of Planit. “It’s refreshing to see great work for traditionally ‘unexpected’ channels coming out of all corners of our agency—a true testament to the agency’s growth and exceptional young talent. Our creative spirit at Planit has never been brighter.”

This year, the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore received a record number of entries, 371 in total, resulting in 98 ADDY awards being presented to local agencies, production houses, and in-house marketing teams. One student award was also presented for the first time in Baltimore Ad Club history. To ensure fair judging, three creative advertising professionals from outside of the Baltimore market reviewed each entry. The 43rd Annual Baltimore American Advertising Awards event was held at the American Visionary Arts Museum on Thursday, March 9.

For more information on the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore and a complete list of last night’s winners, visit www.baltimoreadvertising.com.

Closings aside, Baltimore’s ad industry isn’t dying
In this Baltimore Business Journal guest column, Planit’s co-founders share what it takes to succeed in this ever-changing industry.

The recent closure of two venerable Baltimore advertising agencies – each after more than 30 years in business — sent shockwaves through the Baltimore ad community and beyond.

The news noted largely economic reasons for the shutdowns, begging questions about the future of advertising in Baltimore and what it takes to succeed in this ever-changing industry. Read the three answers to those challenges in the Baltimore Business

Last week’s closure of two venerable Baltimore advertising agencies, Siquis Ltd. and the Leffler Agency — each after more than 30 years in business — sent shockwaves through the Baltimore ad community and beyond.

The news noted largely economic reasons for the shutdowns, begging questions about the future of advertising in Baltimore and what it takes to succeed in this ever-changing industry. Here are three answers to those challenges.

1. Baltimore’s advertising scene is far from faltering. It just requires a broader definition of “advertising.”

Charm City’s agencies work not only with notable brands headquartered in Baltimore like Under Armour, Stanley Black & Decker, Pandora, and McCormick & Co., but also with out-of-market global brands like Kimberly-Clark/Kleenex, Sprint, Lacoste, Microsoft, and Hershey’s, among others.

Providing more than just tactical support, Baltimore’s firms lead innovative, industry-changing marketing campaigns that drive the bottom line. The most successful agencies have realized the need to connect traditional advertising tactics like print, radio, and TV to the total customer experience. Successful campaigns reach consumers across a much wider and more diverse marketing landscape, tailoring the right story about the right product to the right person at the right time. Rather than interruptive advertising, we now find unique ways to create “branded utility” that provides uncommon value and invites consumers to engage with clients’ offerings on their time, in the ways they prefer.

2. Baltimore’s industrial economy is a sleeping giant.

A thriving port city, Baltimore was one of the early drivers of American commerce. Today, the industries have evolved, but Baltimore is still rich with prosperous companies and economic opportunity.

According to the Economic Alliance of Baltimore, the Washington-Baltimore region has a larger base and higher concentration of IT professionals than Silicon Valley or Boston, is considered the epicenter of cybersecurity both nationally and internationally, and boasts $1.16 billion in BioHealth venture capital funding.

“That Baltimore is on the rise is evidenced not only by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s $5.5 billion investment in the development of Port Covington — the commitment of major companies like FedEx and Harley Davidson to the creation of an estimated 17,000 jobs in Sparrows Point is a key indication of a city on an upswing.”

Planit recently invested $4 million to keep our office downtown by converting an iconic “old industry” factory, the King Syrup plant, into a “new industry” hub for innovation and collaboration that inspires our 100 employees. There’s a reason companies seeking to leverage the growing creative class stay in Baltimore.

3. We have to help businesses realize it’s time to disrupt themselves.

Most industries and businesses in need of a paradigm shift don’t even realize they’ve lost their edge. That’s where smart marketing firms come in. In order to solve business problems like a consultant instead of just executing ads, the modern marketer looks for data that yields rich insights about customer sentiment and brand stagnation. At Planit, we help turn time-tested, successful, sometimes tired organizations that can be slow to evolve — what we call “battleship brands” — into spaces where they can ride a new wave.

For example, Kleenex selected Planit to more nimbly, expediently, and cost-effectively drive leads through the purchase funnel. The catch? The product is available exclusively online. So the workhorses of the conventional media mix have been replaced with a steady diet of digital connection points: curated social channel content, segmented email marketing, innovatively targeted display ads, and the like.

Many of the world’s most successful companies, and in turn the most successful ad strategies, are truly disruptive. Today’s agencies need to embrace the notion that marketing and advertising is not linear; it’s a multi-faceted, total customer lifecycle approach, and it requires a readiness to boldly integrate a wider variety of channels than ever before. Nothing should be done without first considering how it will be measured, add value, and strengthen the brand. When we keep those ideals intact, we become an indispensable embodiment of Baltimore’s culture and restless innovative spirit.

Matt Doud and Ed Callahan are co-founders of Planit, a Baltimore-based advertising and marketing agency established in 1994.

Planit is a strategic, digitally minded agency that leads revolutions for national and global clients. Whether that's through digital media, non-digital media, PR, social or the "next big thing" - if it isn't bold, creative and smart, we're not doing our job. That's why clients including DeWALT, Marriott International, DICKS's Sporting Goods, Universal Music Group and Royal Building Products continue to trust Planit. And that's why we continue to receive stellar industry recognition, from the EY Entrepreneur Of the Year® Award to Advertising Age's Small Agencies of the Year and Best Places to Work.