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Building A Business Information Brand in 2013, the Skift story

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.

Building A Business Information Brand in 2013, the Skift story

  1. Building a business information brand in 2013travel intelligence. global T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  2. T: @skift F: /skiftnewsWith a $6.5 trillion contribution to GDP & 260 million jobs,travel -- made up of tourism, hospitality, transport & leisure --is the worlds largest industry.While digital has disrupted distribution & information systems,no information and intelligence brand has emerged thatmatches the industrys size with its digital potential.Skift is that brand.
  3. Skift is now among the largest travel news andinformation sites in the travel industry, 9months after launch.The brand is well on its way to becoming thelingo in the travel T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  4. On the way to becoming the most pervasivetravel information brandWere creating a next-generation data & info-heavycrossover media company thats built to break out of thevertical media ghetto and scale to its true T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  5. This is our story so far, of scaling so quicklywith a very small team of 5 people.And our vision for growing T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  6. Business media and information: least sexysectors in the larger tech economy, and amongthe least innovative in T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  7. But in the era where business media & enterprisesoftware have merged, where Salesforce & LinkedIn arebecoming gold standards in business information:B2B media & information sector needs T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  8. T: @skift F: /skiftnewsSource: & Domo Survey 2013, Decade of media consumptionpattern changes among CEOs.What a difference a decade makes
  9.,exactly a decadeago.April 25, 2003.›› The template forall blog mediacompanies to comeafter.
  10. Skift, today.April 25, 2013›› Visual›› Social›› Brand-led
  11. What a difference a decade makes: paidContentvs 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 T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  12. What hasnt changed›› B2B doesnt have to be boring›› The nativeness›› Connecting the dots across silos collapsing›› Being smart, sharp, surgical & strategic with allcontent, the 4Ss of content›› User centric: Vendor vs the T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  13. Your expansive worldview defineshow big your vision T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  14. Size matters›› Travel, worlds largest industryDefinition matters›› Travel begins when you leave homeAmbition matters›› Were defining the future of T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  15. Hybrid business-consumer, crossoverinformation and data brand is the way to:›› scale on users+revenues›› break out of vertical ghettos›› scale to the full potential of the T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  16. Are you aware of macro-trends youre riding?›› travel silos collapsing, like other industries›› blurring of business & leisure travel›› locus of travel is moving eastward›› tech & design is eating the T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  17. Figure out the whitespace, or create itB2B: Backwards. Boxed-In. Boring.Consumer: Cluttered. Confusing. T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  18. You dont need to own the content, you need toown the voice›› three legged stool of content: curation + licensed+original›› expertise, not just exclusivity›› licensed content from lot of sources globally that dont typically slotthem in travel, but under our filter they are; helps build the brand›› Skift Take: Our tweet-length take on every story has become oursignature voice & T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  19. Role of original content: Build franchises thatcan be productized down the line›› SkiftSeedlings›› SkiftAds›› SkiftDesign›› T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  20. Dont underestimate building the consumerhooks›› accessible writing›› attractive design›› wide syndication›› ubiquity T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  21. Building users in concentric circles›› Lowest hanging fruit youll quickly get›› Early adopters in tech and enthusiast community›› Be cognizant of which user-pockets will spend T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  22. T: @skift F: /skiftnewsThink 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 forbusiness travelers.
  23. T: @skift F: /skiftnewsThink pervasive, not exclusive›› Syndicate as widely as you can, be wherever your users couldbe, 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 doesnt 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 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 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, T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  27. SkiftSocial dashboard: todiscover the latest patternsand trends, and gaininsight into howcompanies work andcompete in the new social-driven world.
  28. Building data toolsIf you hadVisualization of Google Analytics + Real Time charting ofChartbeat + Activity feed addictiveness of FacebookWhat would you build? T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  29. Can media and data coexist?›› Data informs media strategy; Media is an insight layeron top of data.›› Competitive intelligence as streams›› News & media is just another T: @skift F: /skiftnews
  30. Thanks, keep on Skifting.Rafat T: @skift F: /skiftnews