Dagens Næringsliv’s Christian Aubell relies on constant evolution to stay relevant

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


Editor’s note: In an ongoing series, INMA is profiling our most engaged members — our super fans — to give members a chance to learn more about each other. Today we profile Christian Aubell, leader of strategy and insight for Dagens Næringsliv (The Norwegian Business Daily) in Oslo, Norway.

Christian Aubell had an interesting start to his career at Dagens Næringsliv: “I started in June 2021, during one of several lockdowns in Norway during the pandemic. During that time, I have been lucky to meet and learn about the organisation with many of its fantastic people,” said the leader of target group insight for DN in Oslo, Norway.

What Aubell is most proud of is the company’s ability to deliver some of Norway’s best journalism every day, week after week.

“What I’m especially proud of is the way we are always staying relevant. I get proud when people tell me what they just read from us and their reactions from reading it.”

INMA recently caught up with him to find out what else is on his mind.

As leader of target group insight for Dagens Næringsliv in Oslo, Christian Aubell has learned the importance of prioritising the people around him.
As leader of target group insight for Dagens Næringsliv in Oslo, Christian Aubell has learned the importance of prioritising the people around him.

INMA: What big lesson have you learned over the past couple of years that helped shape your plans moving forward?

Aubell: What I have especially learned during the pandemic is that we as humans are highly flexible and adaptive to changes in our environment. It might hurt at the beginning, but suddenly we are all sitting at home having conference calls with each other day in and day out. I strive to keep evolving, only if it’s a little bit, so we don’t go back to our old patterns. We need to keep evolving to stay relevant for our users.

INMA: If you had your career to do over again, what would you want to know in the beginning?

Aubell: Don’t let mistakes keep you up at night. It’s just a part of trial and error to become better at something.

INMA: What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?

Aubell: Firstly, my 30-minute walk to the office. Secondly, a cup of coffee. Finally, to know that I can work closely with my colleagues in developing Dagens Næringsliv. We do a lot of exciting stuff, like talking to our users. Investigating new business opportunities. Designing new services. Understanding our data. Trying to create unique user experiences every day. So, what’s making me the most excited is the opportunity to do something new and different every day with people I enjoy working with.

INMA: What is the craziest job or project you’ve ever done in media — and what did you learn from it?

Aubell: I’m pretty new to media, so I guess I haven’t had much time to get crazy yet. But I really like the crazy idea my colleagues had back in 2020 about gamifying the stock market, with our award-winning Fantasy Fund.

From my previous experience, I think it must be when I worked at a start-up trying to build a business within the Norwegian road tunnel market. It was hard work and we knew nothing about the market, but I learned that you get a long way by staying curious and learning from the people around you.

INMA: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Aubell: Early in my career, I learned the importance of placing the people around me first and myself second. I try to live up to that every day.

INMA: What do you do to relax?

Aubell: I think the best way to relax is to first get some exercise, eat some good food after that, and then sit on my couch doing some reading, watching a show, or maybe trying out a new beer.

INMA: If you hadn’t gone into news media, what was your backup plan?

Aubell: I did management consulting for many years, and I might have continued with that. Or maybe working with innovation and business development at a start-up. But now I am lucky to work with innovation at the Dagens Næringsliv.

INMA: What is your favourite thing to read?

Aubell: It changes over time, but now I’m really into literature about beer and wine. This could be about breweries or winemakers, history and culture, or brewing. I get inspired by people who spend their lives perfecting something. DN has amazing coverage of wine and food, and we have recently launched Norway’s best wine search. You can read more about our wine content universe here.

INMA: What do you find the most challenging/interesting about the news media industry right now?

Aubell: I think the most interesting (and challenging) thing about the news media industry right now is how we compete against a fast-growing number of companies and persons providing more news, information, and entertainment than ever before.

We are competing against new disruptions taking large shares of our users’ attention — for example, the podcast revolution, which is highly fragmented and marked with low barriers to entry. But this is an opportunity for us, and we must win our users’ attention by providing unique user experiences to always stay relevant.

About Paula Felps

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