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Leading business-to-business media company, Penton Media Europe, has acquired four leading customer-focused titles from the independent publisher Wilson Publications.

Over the coming months, Penton plans substantial development for its newly-formed “Business Customer” group.

Three of the titles, CRM, Customer Service News and Business and IT Support (BITS), will become part of the Penton Media “Business Customer ” portfolio under the responsibility of publishing director Russell Goater. The fourth title, Field Service Management, will be merged with Penton’s market-leading title Service Management and its online exhibition www.servicemanagement365.com (SM365.com). Wilson Publications’ former editorial director, Mark Turner, has joined Penton Media as managing editor of the “Business Customer” group and will be responsible for all editorial content.

“We have exciting plans for all of these markets,” said Goater. “The customer service market is actually a series of overlapping niches with distinct differences, but a shared core. Our strategy is simple: to strengthen each of the individual brands and then aggregate them strategically to create a ‘whole that is greater than the sum of the parts’.”

According to Andy Center, MD of Penton Media Europe, the acquisition of the Wilson titles is part of a wider strategy: “B2B markets in general, and the tech sector in particular, are changing. Vendors increasingly seek market-centred solutions and are more concerned about whether they produce measurable ROI than how they are
delivered. For us, this means the creation of market ‘tripods’ – integrating ‘in person, in print and online’ vehicles to deliver bespoke solutions to our clients and their customers.”

The Penton ‘tripod’ in the field service market consists of Service Management Magazine, SM365.com (one of the family of online events from Penton, www.penton365.com) and the Service Management Europe exhibition, held 28–30 September 2004 @ NEC in Birmingham.
All of the newly-acquired titles have a customer service base, but are tightly focused on specific business niches or job functions.

* CRM (Customer Relationship Management) was created five years ago and is the only UK title to focus on the philosophy of putting the customer at the heart of a business strategy. It will work alongside the CRM show organised by Penton and the online exhibition CRM 24x7 organised by Penton Media’s partner, Webevents.

* Customer Service News (CSN) focuses on the needs of the contact centre manager, the delivery of customer interaction management and execution of service business strategy. It aims to help the service director target and develop their strategic role, as well as aid managers improve tactical operations.

* Business and IT Support was launched earlier this year and serves the IT service management and business support function, with a particular emphasis on the helpdesk and the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) – a UK-led initiative to promote best practice in IT service management. A major commitment by computing giant HP, through acquisition, recently underlined the importance of this market.


Penton is planning to invest in all of the brands and, through an appropriate combination of traditional print media, live exhibitions and online activity, help them create compelling propositions in each of their markets for vendors and readers alike. By exploiting the customer-focused synergy, Penton will create a powerful information portal for the entire customer service community.

END


About Penton Media
Penton Media (www.penton.com) is a diversified business-to-business media company that provides high-quality content and integrated marketing solutions to the following industries: aviation; design/engineering; electronics; food/retail; government/compliance; business technology/enterprise IT; leisure/hospitality; manufacturing; mechanical systems/construction; health/nutrition and natural organic products; and supply chain. Founded in 1892, Penton produces market-focused magazines, tradeshows, conferences and online media, and provides a broad range of custom media and direct marketing solutions for business-to-business customers worldwide.



For further information please contact:

Russell Goater on +44 (0) 20 8232 1600 ext 266 or email Russell.goater@pentoneurope.com

Mark Turner on +44 (0) 20 8232 2484 or email mark.turner@pentoneurope.com

Andy Center on +44 (0) 20 8232 1606 or email andy.center@pentoneurope.com





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