Winner: Hearst UK
Hearst has built its transformation strategy on three key pillars: innovate, elevate and resonate. In 2019, it focused this strategy on accelerating digital growth and delivering diversified marketing services, as well as ensuring print growth.
The company empowered its commercial division, Hearst Solutions, to develop deeper relationships with clients beyond advertising by exposing them to the breadth of its portfolio in a bid to forge long-term partnerships.
The strategy delivered real results, with its licensing business of brand collaborations growing by 8%. For example, it created Good Housekeeping, Red, Women’s Health and Prima-branded holidays, which sent 3,000 readers away for a break.
Previously the company was 80% reliant on print revenue but the shift has meant that Hearst now has a more balanced 60% print, 40% new and diversified services revenue split.
Its "elevate" pillar was brought to life through research that showed that positivity delivers brand favourability, and that its audience has the most positive audience and media environments meaning it offers higher campaign-instigated action. Positivity also played a role in its "resonate" pillar, with the launch of a new proposition, Hearst Purpose, which acknowledges that personal or societal barriers can hold people back from getting the most out of life.
Important editorial around mental health, sustainability and body confidence also delivered commercial success during the judging period.
In 2019 the Evening Standard launched Future London, building on the newspaper's campaigning heritage, and fighting for the causes of London’s communities, resulting in less plastic, more water fountains, a roadmap for a more sustainable future and an impressive year-on-year commercial revenue increase.
The brand launched a series of two-year projects with partners Babylon, Bee Midtown, Edwardian Hotels, Google, Source London and Uber. Topics highlighted included clean air, health, digital skills and sustainability – real-life issues for Londoners. The project resonated with readers, too.
Bustle Digital Group