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Digital Publisher of the Year: B2B 2016

Congratulations to Incisive Media, winners of this year’s Digital Publisher of the Year: B2B

Digital Publisher of the Year: B2B 2016

The Elevator Pitch


Transformational is the only way to describe Incisive Media’s progress in 2015.


Substantial investment in audience research led to a revenue acceleration plan that has delivered 20% yoy growth in digital revenues.


A diverse brand portfolio was transferred to dynamic, responsive templates and issue-based apps were superseded by live apps, putting Incisive at the forefront of B2B publishers delivering mobile content.


Engagement and revenues have increased across all the major brands, against a background of difficult issues such as
ad blocking, on which Incisive has taken the lead.


Incisive Media isn’t just a market leader: it is an industry leader.



Set The Scene

The 10 IT and financial markets Incisive serves were demanding more mobile content with 30% of traffic coming from mobile devices. Advertisers wanted a greater engagement with core audiences, with declining CPM. We were challenged by how to grow our significant revenues from digital subscriptions as print revenues declined.

The existing digital platforms had become tired and ill-suited to these challenges. A new generation of sites was needed.

The business was restructured to meet these challenges, with four new people brought into key digital product development roles and a six-figure sum was invested in audience research. As a result, all brands were migrated to a new generation of responsive sites backed by a development budget of £1.5m.


The dynamism generated by the digital team engaged all key internal stakeholders and, working in partnership, they ensured that 21 sites were developed and launched in breathtakingly short timescales. This meant frontline teams in editorial and sales had to be restructured too to embrace the truly digital-first world, with all content published online first and then curated into apps or print editions in those markets where print still has a future. Where necessary tough decisions were taken about previously successful print products.



Tell Us The Story

2015 strategic objectives were to: propel Incisive to the forefront of digital information provision, unlock new revenues and build increased engagement.

Extensive internal restructuring was carried out. The Digital Ad Operations Team was re-positioned in the business, upskilled and expanded from three to five heads to support brands in delivering new levels of engagement with audiences for their clients. Basic trafficking was outsourced.


Other structural changes included:

  • Hired three product-management specialists to lead digital development.
  • Investment in UX and development staff to deliver site rebuild programme.
  • Bigger campaign management team (eight heads) to deliver more sophisticated native programmes.
  • More expertise in sales, editorial and marketing to exploit new opportunities.

Sales teams moved away from selling ads, CPM or sponsorship to selling marketing solutions to targeted audiences. This required significant investment in new staff (e.g. four people were hired to deliver a year-long six-figure campaign for HP Intel).

All editorial teams were restructured. The reader-centric approach has helped drive an uplift in subscription revenues on the major brand of £2.4m – 52% yoy.


All brands moved to user-friendly responsive sites, launching live apps and Hootsuite was used to deliver better social engagement.


The key features of this programme were:

  • Agile development approach with offshore partners.
  • Investment in CRM platform to increase transparency of customer behaviour.
  • Implementation of tailored content and commercial solutions.
  • Adoption of new lead-enrichment and delivery process for lead-generation to grow revenue.

Incisive Media has transformed itself over the past 12 months by delivering an ambitious digital product development strategy. This approach has allowed us to achieve spectacular commercial and reader engagement results:

  • Digital revenue growth: 20% yoy, up £4m (DPRI B2B pool was 6.3%)
  • Digital subscription revenue growth: 48% yoy, up £2.9m (versus DPRI B2B pool of 5%) • Digital event revenue growth of 5% (up £1M)
  • Additional 470,000 users (25% yoy)
  • Email database increased by 13%
  • 15 websites made responsive

This has positioned us for further growth in 2016 and beyond as we embrace the many changes in the media sector and the commercial opportunities it presents. Most importantly, we have built a team of incredibly talented and hardworking people who enjoy what they do and
relish the opportunity to reshape the B2B media sector in a vibrant company culture that encourages experimentation and innovation.


John Barnes
Cezary Walas
Jeremy Simmons
Robin Shute
Rebecca Brown
Mark Goddard
John Holt
Debbie Oliver


In Partnership with


In Partnership with

AOP - Association of Publishers