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Building A Business Information Brand in 2013, the Skift story

Building A Business Information Brand in 2013, the Skift story

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Skift is exactly nine months old today. Since we started the company last year, we have believed we are building a new kind of business information brand — a travel information brand in the largest sense of that phrase — a startup built to scale out of the vertical ghettos.

What are the lessons we have learned from the last nine months? How do you build a brand that will transcend industry-defined historical boundaries? What are the lessons of being a thin/lean/insert-your-buzzy-phrase media+data startup and how do you break through in a seemingly mature and crowded space? Can it be replicated in other sectors, by other startups?

Skift's founder and CEO Rafat Ali gave a presentation earlier this week at the ABM annual conference, on “Building a Business Information Brand in 2013” which attempted to answer some of those questions.

Skift is exactly nine months old today. Since we started the company last year, we have believed we are building a new kind of business information brand — a travel information brand in the largest sense of that phrase — a startup built to scale out of the vertical ghettos.

What are the lessons we have learned from the last nine months? How do you build a brand that will transcend industry-defined historical boundaries? What are the lessons of being a thin/lean/insert-your-buzzy-phrase media+data startup and how do you break through in a seemingly mature and crowded space? Can it be replicated in other sectors, by other startups?

Skift's founder and CEO Rafat Ali gave a presentation earlier this week at the ABM annual conference, on “Building a Business Information Brand in 2013” which attempted to answer some of those questions.

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Building A Business Information Brand in 2013, the Skift story

  1. Building a business information brand in 2013 travel intelligence. global smartness. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  2. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews With a $6.5 trillion contribution to GDP & 260 million jobs, travel -- made up of tourism, hospitality, transport & leisure -- is the world's largest industry. While digital has disrupted distribution & information systems, no information and intelligence brand has emerged that matches the industry's size with its digital potential. Skift is that brand.
  3. Skift is now among the largest travel news and information sites in the travel industry, 9 months after launch. The brand is well on its way to becoming the lingo in the travel industry. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  4. On the way to becoming the most pervasive travel information brand We're creating a next-generation data & info-heavy crossover media company that's built to break out of the vertical media ghetto and scale to its true potential. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  5. This is our story so far, of scaling so quickly with a very small team of 5 people. And our vision for growing up. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  6. Business media and information: least sexy sectors in the larger tech economy, and among the least innovative in digital. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  7. But in the era where business media & enterprise software have merged, where Salesforce & LinkedIn are becoming gold standards in business information: B2B media & information sector needs wholesale redefining. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  8. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews Source: CEO.com & Domo Survey 2013, Decade of media consumption pattern changes among CEOs. What a difference a decade makes
  9. paidContent.org, exactly a decade ago. April 25, 2003. ›› The template for all blog media companies to come after.
  10. Skift, today. April 25, 2013 ›› Visual ›› Social ›› Brand-led
  11. What a difference a decade makes: paidContent vs Skift ›› blogs vs platform agnostic ›› content-centric vs data-led ›› post-thinking vs product thinking ›› freshness vs immediacy ›› linking vs sharing ›› using content vs using design to punch above your weight skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  12. What hasn't changed ›› B2B doesn't have to be boring ›› The nativeness ›› Connecting the dots across silos collapsing ›› Being smart, sharp, surgical & strategic with all content, the 4S's of content ›› User centric: Vendor vs the User skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  13. Your expansive worldview defines how big your vision is. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  14. Size matters ›› Travel, world's largest industry Definition matters ›› Travel begins when you leave home Ambition matters ›› We're defining the future of travel skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  15. Hybrid business-consumer, crossover information and data brand is the way to: ›› scale on users+revenues ›› break out of vertical ghettos ›› scale to the full potential of the brand skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  16. Are you aware of macro-trends you're riding? ›› travel silos collapsing, like other industries ›› blurring of business & leisure travel ›› locus of travel is moving eastward ›› tech & design is eating the world skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  17. Figure out the whitespace, or create it B2B: Backwards. Boxed-In. Boring. Consumer: Cluttered. Confusing. Casual. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  18. You don't need to own the content, you need to own the voice ›› three legged stool of content: curation + licensed+original ›› expertise, not just exclusivity ›› licensed content from lot of sources globally that don't typically slot them in travel, but under our filter they are; helps build the brand ›› Skift Take: Our tweet-length take on every story has become our signature voice & brand skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  19. Role of original content: Build franchises that can be productized down the line ›› SkiftSeedlings ›› SkiftAds ›› SkiftDesign ›› SkiftStats skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  20. Don't underestimate building the consumer hooks ›› accessible writing ›› attractive design ›› wide syndication ›› ubiquity matters skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  21. Building users in concentric circles ›› Lowest hanging fruit you'll quickly get ›› Early adopters in tech and enthusiast community ›› Be cognizant of which user-pockets will spend money skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  22. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews Think prosumer, not consumer ›› One concentric circle outside the business users ›› From professionals in travel to professional travelers ›› From news to news-you-can-use ›› Curating and integrating best-of- breed tools & services for business travelers.
  23. skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews Think pervasive, not exclusive ›› Syndicate as widely as you can, be wherever your users could be, even outside of business environments. ›› Example: Our deals with CNN, NBC News, Flipboard, Quartz, AdAge, BusinessInsider and others to come
  24. Creating a social business brand ›› B2B doesn't have to be boring ›› The daily blocking and tackling happens here ›› Worry about your Klout score ›› Analytics-driven social ›› Twitter vs Facebook vs LinkedIn ›› Become a media influencer through social skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  25. Mobile means ubiquity ›› Are you near industry-norms in userbase? ›› Ubiquitous sharing in mobile ›› Mobile web vs apps and why focus skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  26. Data-based, data-led, data-focused ›› Focus on competitive intelligence ›› Build and manage a suite of meta-services ›› Layers on top of existing publicly-available and open- web data ›› Delivered any way the users want it: online, apps, alerts skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  27. SkiftSocial dashboard: to discover the latest patterns and trends, and gain insight into how companies work and compete in the new social- driven world.
  28. Building data tools If you had Visualization of Google Analytics + Real Time charting of Chartbeat + Activity feed addictiveness of Facebook What would you build? skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  29. Can media and data coexist? ›› Data informs media strategy; Media is an insight layer on top of data. ›› Competitive intelligence as streams ›› News & media is just another stream skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  30. Thanks, keep on Skifting. Rafat Ali @rafat skift.com T: @skift F: /skiftnews

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