Digital Arts – Business Interview: Jesse Case, Skygate Media

General Business Information

Name: Jesse Case

Title: Creative Director


Company Address/Location: 315 Madison Avenue NY NY 10017


Number of Years in Business: 6

Contact Phone: 212 807 4155

Digital Arts Magazine: Describe your business.

Jesse Case: Marketing implementation and strategy from Skygate Media provides effective sell-through solutions leaving lasting impressions from high impact rich media landscapes.

DAM: How did you find your niche?

JC: Our niche found us… we started Skygate Media as an animation company. As the technology world spins, there was a higher demand of animation on the web. Therefore, we started the web side of business. When you combine 3D and web, many manufacturing companies are thrilled to see the two to be their online presence. However, this combination service is rare out there. You are either a web firm, or a 3D firm. The applications are just way too complicated to work with. Luckily, with the veterans from Ford Motor and a few very talented designers, we are able to pull it off and attract the interests of some very successful manufacturing companies in the United States.

DAM: What is your biggest challenge in running your own business?

JC: The biggest challenge is to encourage someone to be motivated, because there is just simply no way to do it. If a person is not self-motivated, there is no light for productivity, trust and success. That’s basically our primary objective when dealing with new hires and unfortunately technology has made some of us lazy and dependent. We occasionally have new hires with great talents, but because they are not self-starters we have to part ways. That is always difficult. Without motivation, you simply can’t get anything done, no matter how smart of a person you are. It doesn’t matter how energized a manager is and tries to motivate his staff, motivation needs to come from the heart, can’t be forced. Unfortunately, as a manager you won’t know until you two work together for a certain period of time.

DAM: What was the biggest surprise?

JC: The biggest surprise is the high “first round mock up” approval rate that we are getting. I know my guys are good, but am very surprised that we don’t go through as many revision rounds with our clients as the other firms do. I think it’s because of philosophy we carry for our projects. We go through competitive and industry analysis for every project we touch. We don’t design a website in blue because of the client likes blue and thinks they should be presented by the color blue. I am indeed happy that our clients trust us and that they are happy with us too because they can measure ROI.

DAM: What is the most frustrating part?

JC: I must say the most frustrating part is having to deal with Google. Google is a great company however their monopoly in the industry in terms of search marketing goes has made many a billionaire overnight and a “no-one” the following day. We have experts that handle this type of problems to ensure our company and our clients don’t fall too behind on each algorithm change Google makes. However, having to watch the process of one website controlling the commerce of the United States (or the World!!) is pretty sad to me. I wish there is more government involvement, but that’s an entirely different topic which I don’t think we should get into at the meantime 😉

DAM: How do you market your business?

JC: When we first started, we ran some local SEO campaigns. They weren’t as successful so we had to always “follow up” with phone calls. As we grew our portfolio, we gained a larger share with local businesses and it became much easier to market ourselves in different industries. I would say we mainly market our business via online marketing.

DAM: Do you have employees? If so, what is your management style?

JC: We are a team of 22, we have very flexible hours because websites are a 24-hour type business. Because of that reason, you might think that our management style ought to be strict. In reality, everyone is very transparent with one another. We do what we can and we don’t overcommit in case of disappointments.

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