Joint winners: Computer Reseller News and TTG Media
The judges found it impossible to split the top two entrants in this highly competitive category and took the rare step of choosing two joint winners as well as awarding a high commendation.
Computer Reseller News
Computer Reseller news is well established as the leading media player in this vertical, and the brand’s investment in technology and specialist staff was a major factor in its 2019 commercial success.
The brand had to deliver on the double whammy of increasing existing business and new business growth. Its strategy was to invest in its content, both editorially and commercially.
CRN launched a premium report product, CRN Essential, and charged £2,500 per subscription, which delivered £250,000 of revenue from nine sector analysis reports.
It also launched www.ChannelPartnerInsight.com to provide news and deep-dive analysis for both its European and North American channels.
Events were another key focus and CRN expanded its portfolio from 14 to 20 in 2019. This contributed to an 11% growth in event revenue, to £2.6m.
Among other initiatives, CRN spearheaded recognition of diversity in the sector by delivering the inaugural Women in the Channel Awards and Women in Technology Festival events.
The commercial team was reorganised so that it worked across product sets instead of client sets. Overall, CRN delivered 10% of year-on-year revenue growth.
TTG Media celebrated the 65th birthday of Travel Trade Gazette in 2018. It used the opportunity to embark on a big research project with its advertisers and readers, which culminated in the 2019 relaunch for flagship magazine TTG and ttgmedia.com and a major new brand for TTG Media.
Working with design agency Oliver & Graimes in early 2019, TTG Media radically changed TTG, choosing a modern font in response to feedback that the magazine should feel younger, and reduced it to Stylist size.
Now printed on 100% recycled paper and distributed in compostable potato starch bags, the magazine also now uses an aspirational destination image on the cover.
The research also directly informed the launch of two innovative events: the New To Cruise and New To Touring & Adventure festivals. These were highly profitable, part conference/part trade fair/part speed-networking events, which took place in June and December 2019.
Other initiatives included the launch of the first Diversity & Inclusion in Travel conference, a new podcast and more regular video and Facebook Live content.
The effect of this activity has been TTG Media's strongest year of commercial success since it was formed in 2013, with overall revenue up 8% to £4.3m.
2019 was a record-breaking year for the FT, with strong growth in paying readership, and growth in digital advertising, conferences and executive education. It launched The New Agenda, the FT’s most substantial brand platform since the 2008 financial crisis; FT Strategies, a boutique consulting firm; the FT-Peterson Economic Monitor to measure how voters perceive financial and economic issues in the lead-up to the US election; and took a focus on verticals such as global trade. The FT reached the important milestone of one million paying readers, a full year ahead of schedule.