How to Know Everything You Need Just in Time With Zignal Labs


Welcome back to Marketing Marvels, where I’m pleased to welcome my friend Tim Hayden, Vice President of Marketing at Zignal Labs. Zignal provides an incredibly powerful suite of social listening tools to social media marketers. Forget surface-level data and broad-strokes reporting—Zignal is social listening on steroids. Thanks to features like customizable dashboards, hour-by-hour trending data, and easy report building, you […]

Full Episode Details

ZignalWelcome back to Marketing Marvels, where I’m pleased to welcome my friend Tim Hayden, Vice President of Marketing at Zignal Labs.

Zignal provides an incredibly powerful suite of social listening tools to social media marketers. Forget surface-level data and broad-strokes reporting—Zignal is social listening on steroids. Thanks to features like customizable dashboards, hour-by-hour trending data, and easy report building, you can easily visualize and act upon all the social data at your fingertips.

Watch the video for a guided demo, and learn how to sign up for your own free trial (and even some Zignal swag!).

Jay: Hey, everybody. It is Jay Baer from Convince & Convert and welcome to Marketing Marvels, the show where I recommend to you marvels of marketing, unbelievable software, unbelievable technology that I personally endorse and support. Nothing on this show is something that I don’t actually really, really love and cherish.

We’re going to give you a little demo to see how this technology works, also going to have a very special offer towards the end of the show where if you like what we show you today on Marketing Marvels, you can figure out how to get a very special offer on that particular piece of technology.

Today, I could not be more excited to have on the Marketing Marvels program a dear friend of mine. He is the Vice President of Marketing of Zignal Labs. Coming in from San Francisco, it is the one, the only Mr. Tim Hayden. Tim, thanks so much for being on Marketing Marvels.

Tim: You got it, Jay. Thanks so much for having me on Marketing Marvels, my first time. It’s always a pleasure to be with you, especially here hanging out.

Jay: Hanging out on the Google. Look, I love what you guys are doing at Zignal Labs. I think anybody who’s listening to Marketing Marvels either live or recorded has a sense for what social media listening is. Probably many people here have some sort of social media listening software or certainly have a concept, have seen it in the past. But Zignal Labs kind of takes that whole concept of listening and blows it up. It’s sort of listening on steroids for a number of reasons.

One, Zignal Labs has true real time listening, true in the moment, complete fire hose access to Twitter and everything else. So, you’re going to get everything, not just kind of intermittent bits and pieces of what’s being said about your brand. But the other thing I think is really extraordinary and we’ll see it in the demo, is that you can really customize how you look at your data. You can really cross cut everything in a very intuitive way.

Now, look, there are a lot of social listening platforms out there that allow you to customize your dashboards, but I’ve got to tell you, it’s not very intuitive to do so. It’s actually really hard. Zignal Labs, as you’ll see in a second, is super easy to use, especially considering how powerful it really is.

The third thing that I think sets Zignal Labs apart and why I really love it is that you know what? A lot of the chatter about your business, about your brand isn’t actually in social media. I say that as a social media guy. A lot of the chatter about your brand takes place in traditional media in other venues. In fact, the research from Keller Fay group says that 90% of word of mouth takes place offline. I certainly believe that to be true.

So, Zignal Labs combines in a very important and real way, online listening with offline listening. That is really hard to come by. There are not many companies who can do that and there are none that are as powerful and as easy to use as Zignal Labs, which is why I’m so delighted to bring it to you on Marketing Marvels. Tim, what did I leave out. What did I neglect to mention in terms of my explanation of Zignal Labs?

Tim: Well, I don’t think that you really left anything at all, Jay. To be a little more specific, there are things that happen on television. There are things that happen in print media. There are things that happen on any number of the vast number of video networks, not just Vimeo and YouTube that are out there today—Instagram, as we’ve seen over the past three to five years just being such a powerful voice across all demographics. But public Facebook pages, there are things… you don’t need the anonymous insight. You need to know what actual people are saying on a public Facebook page.

So, you’ve got that ability to bring it all in and to process it the second you get your hands on it, visualize it and use it for the reporting, the decision making, whatever the case may be. That’s what we do here at Zignal Labs and we’re really excited to get into a demo and show you what we’re doing.

Jay: Let’s do it. Robert Flek is here also from Zignal Labs. He’s going to walk us all through a little demo. Now, look, this is not going to be everything that Zignal Labs does. That would be impossible. For that, you would need to actual get a real demo, an official demo from Robert and his team. But we’re going to hit some of the highlights so you can get a feel for just how powerful it is and why Zignal Labs is in fact a marketing marvel. Robert, are you ready to take it away?

Robert: Sure am, Jay. Thank you.

Jay: Let’s do it.

Robert: So, what we’re looking at here is the platform itself. So, going back to Tim’s point, we’re not just ingesting data in real time. We’re actually computing it and then visualizing it within the platform in real time. So, you’ll notice everything is changing based on what the conversation is going, where things are headed.

So, I’m going to start here at the bottom on the real time trending topics. As the conversation is being pulled in, we’re going to be able to visualize it and show you what’s going on. So, certain words are going to change and become larger and just based on where the conversation is headed.

Everything is really intuitive within the platform in the sense that you can drill in further and start understanding what’s behind certain topics and what’s actually driving the conversation and who it is. So, if I wanted to drill into ao particular word here, like one, for example, I can click into that and it’s going to give me another window that’s going to actually show me the content behind that particular topic or word.

To the right of that, we have what we refer to here internally as the Spidey Chart, but I think a better name for it would be the evolutionary chart. So, what it’s showing you is literally the evolution of the conversation and where it’s coming from and how it’s progressing. So, the blue nodes are going to be the publication from where the particular story is coming from. The red nodes are the stories themselves. So, if you notice, some of these blue nodes have multiple red nodes coming out of them. So, those are multiple stories coming from a publication.

The purple or pink nodes there, that’s the syndication of the story of the original tweet of that story and then the green nodes are the retweets of that story. So, you can literally stay on the pulse of that conversation and follow how it’s evolving, where it’s coming from, what publications. We can actually see those stories here on the left side. So, you can see the top stories coming out. The larger the node is, the more the impact that particular story has or that publication has.

Going up to the top right here, we see real time trending hashtags. We can uncover real time trending hashtags, stories and images, but I just have hashtags up here right now. What it’s showing you is the momentum of the conversation. So, imagine this being not 12 but 50 hashtags or 50 stories or 50 images. We see a story going from number 2 to number 8 to 15 and so on down. We also see another one that’s moving up from 48 to 32 to 25 and so on.

What’s the more important hashtag or story for you to pay attention to? Is it the one gaining traction or losing traction? The beauty behind our platform is that, again, because we’re able to compute all this data in real time and then visualize it, you’re able to see what to pay attention to and what you need to focus on as it’s happening.

Real time is fantastic and it’s great to have and it’s important, especially in the day and age we live, but also it’s important to be able to kind of look historically at what’s going on. So, what we’re looking at right now is an overview of AT&T over the last five days. We can see the total mentions, the media breakdowns to where the conversation is coming from — is it traditional? Is it social? We also see impression count or potential impression count by sources as well.

We uncover a lot of trending information. So, on the right-hand side, you see trending hashtags and emojis. Emojis is becoming such a popular way for people to communicate, it was really a huge step for our development team to be able to assert some of this information. On the left-hand side, you see more of a traditional sense, so trending stories and trending topics from a traditional outlet. We’re able to surface up a lot of that trending information for you quickly.

I’m going to scroll down a little bit beyond the popular tweets and sentiment analysis, which I think are more or less self-explanatory and focus in on some of this top author information that we divvy up here. So, we focus in on top authors in two lights, so first by mention count on the left here. So, who’s the loudest in the room? Who’s contributing the most amount of content?

And then to the right of that, you see by influencer. They’re not necessarily pushing out the most content, but when they speak, people are paying attention, people are listening to them. Jay, I’ve seen you at the top of the list a number of times when we’re monitoring different conferences. So, always good to see you up there.

Jay: Thank you.

Robert: I’m going to jump ahead a little bit to another dashboard. This dashboard here, what we’re looking at is a competitive breakdown of the four brands in the telecommunications space, so AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. As I pointed out, everything is very intuitive and drillable within our platform. So, you’re noticing some of these annotations here that correlate with the numbers on these spikes. What that is is I can take a deeper dive in a particular moment in time. I’m going to blow this up a little bit so you can see it a little bit better here.

What I can see now is for T-Mobile between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m., here are the trending stories that were moving the needle. Who were the individuals that were driving that conversation now and what topics were emerging within that spike in time? Many popular tweets and analytics along with another trending topic cloud here.

Just for the sake of the demo, I’m going to copy this here. The beauty behind our platform is that we’re actually able to annotate or save ourselves a note. This does two things for me. I’m going to zoom back out here. So, first of all, next time I jump into the platform, I don’t have to take that deep dive into that spike, I know exactly what that’s for because it’s going to correlate with that number.

Also, any of these dashboards — these are fully customizable dashboards, you can put them in whatever order you want just by drag and drop and then clicking into adding widgets on the right-hand side, choosing the widget that you want to put in place and again, dragging and dropping into whatever order.

But the beauty here is you can take any one of these dashboards. What we can do is create another report with that. So, here’s a report that I created earlier. What you’re noticing here is — I’ll blow this up so you can see a little bit easier — what you’re noticing is that the same annotations I put in earlier are on this report, along with any summary that I wanted and whatever widgets that I wanted to add in whatever order.

I can send this off to anybody who needs to see this report, regardless of whether they have a login for Zignal or not. They’re going to receive a PDF version here and here’s an example of that. The PDF version with whatever widgets I added in, that summary report, the annotation — so, you’re not going to get a phone call later saying, “Great, we’ve got a spike. What does it mean?” You can actually add that right into the report for them. Again, just to take you through that report of whatever I needed to add in for this particular report can be added in.

The beauty is that we can take this even further and start automating some of this reporting capability. What we refer to as several briefings and reportings, they can start going out at whatever time with whatever timeframe you need to go out in, i.e., “Monday morning, give me a recap of what happened over the weekend,” or, “During my lunch break, I want to see what happened in the last 24 hours and quickly be able to see that while I’m eating my food.” Or, let’s say, “Friday afternoon, show me what happened throughout the week.”

So, being able to not only automate that reporting capability, but also alerting functionality, where we can setup different thresholds within the platform and say, “If this situation happens, alert me. If it happens more than once, alert me. If it happens ten times in a certain period of time, alert me.”

Jay: What kind of a situation might that be, like a dramatic change in sentiment or an increase in negative tweets — what would be something that might trigger that kind of alerting functionality?

Robert: Yeah. Great question. So, we can set it up in any way the client or customer feels they want to, so whether that’s a drop in sentiment analysis or a spike in a piece of the conversation. So, for example, if we’re monitoring for AT&T and then all of a sudden there’s a spike in dropped calls or bad service in that conversation, we can alert them and say, “There’s something going on. Jump on the platform and see what it is.”

Jay: I love how easy it is to make those reports. You just drag and drop, press a button, boom, here’s your PDF report. A lot of these tools, you’ve got the data in some form or fashion, but then taking the data out of the tool and putting it in a report that you can give your boss or other people in the organization takes hours. That’s not really high value time. You’re basically making reports and you’re not learning anything. You’re basically just doing Excel formatting, etc. This is really, really a time saver.

Robert: Yeah. That’s a great point. We actually spoke with all of our clients about 18 months ago and asked them, “What’s one thing you spend the most time doing?” That’s exactly to your point. They’re spending hours creating reports and going from multiple platforms, three, four, five different platforms to get this information and then exporting into Excel and then manipulating it to create one report where you can quickly do that within our platform within five or six clicks.

Jay: You talked about that you’ve got real time trending hashtags in the top right-hand corner. But you can also pull in real time trending images, I think you said. Would those be images that people have shared in social media or images that they’ve linked to? Where do those come from?

Robert: Yeah. Great question. Those are images that people have been sharing on social media. So, we’re looking at those and then we’re able to service up your top trending ones and how they’re trending — are they gaining momentum? Are they losing momentum? Is it something you need to know about and quickly? That’s what we’re able to show you here.

Jay: That’s great. We talked a little bit in the intro about one of Zignal Labs true better mousetrap features is the ability to pull in online and offline kind of traditional media mentions. How would you get at that in the tool? If we said, “Hey, what’s being said about me in the newspaper or on TV?” how would you get into that?

Robert: Great question. Multiple places you can go for that. As I kind of pointed out here on the right-hand side, you have the social end. On the left-hand side, you have more of a traditional side from a trending perspective. Here you can see the actual trending stories from a traditional side of things and what’s actually moving the needle. Or if I wanted to take a deeper dive into actual print content, this is all where our print content lives.

Beyond that, what I can do is I can go into our newsroom. What the newsroom does is gives me the ability to sift through all the data. This is where all the data lives and breathes and now I can filter it down however I see fit. So, I can say, “Just show me traditional content.” So, here’s all the news and here’s all the blogs all the way down to the television and broadcast here at the bottom.

Or I can, like I said, sift through this and I can say, “Slice up the whole conversation around AT&T by the iPhone.” Now I’m only looking at a conversation that’s specific to AT&T and the iPhone or whatever other set of filters that I want to setup here on the left-hand side. This way it will take 40,000 pieces of content and bring it down to a manageable 100, 120, whatever the number might be. This way you get into that important piece of the conversation that you needed to focus on at any given moment.

Jay: Awesome. I love it. Thanks very much. That was a terrific demo. I hope people take advantage of the opportunity to go do the full demo and see all the stuff it can do. This is just a tiny tip of the iceberg look at it. It is so easy to use. It’s so intuitive for such a lot of data sets. So, great job by the engineering team.

Robert: They thank you for that.

Jay: Awesome. I love those guys. Okay. So, Tim, tell me, who is this for? If somebody was like, “Okay, I need some listening,” who’s the right customer for Zignal Labs?

Tim: Well, most often we serve folks that are in digital analytics, that are in corporate communications, that are in marketing or public relations. It doesn’t always have to be a Fortune 500 company. We have small agencies that use us to be able to craft up new ideas just by looking at the data, to be able to look at customer insights or competitive insights and then be able to transfer that into what’s next from a planning standpoint.

So, I think anyone who’s in a volatile market. If you’re publicly traded, if you know you are innovating at a speed that you’re going to have bugs in your software or recalls in your products, it’s just natural, you’re going to fail fast, you want to be able to gauge how people love it and what people do to critique it. This is a fantastic way to do it and do it every split second. I don’t think it’s relegated to people that have many different locations or tens of thousands of customers, but certainly those are the folks who are probably using the largest breadth of the solution.

Jay: Sure. If you’re really serious about listening, there’s no better tool out there. You price it, to some degree, based on that volume. So, it’s how much chatter there is, how many things you were analyzing about that particular company as well as how many people are allowed to login to the tool inside the organization and then how many different things you’re looking at.

So, in the example that Robert showed us, you had AT&T and Sprint and Verizon and T-Mobile. So, that would be four profiles, right, each of those current ones is a profile. You might want to analyze your competitors or maybe you’re a conglomerate that has multiple brands, like Yum Brands, for example, they have KFC and Taco Bell and maybe some others. So, you’d want to maybe be able to look at those side by side, etc.

Tim: That’s right. You may want to analyze an event. You want to see everyone who’s attending a sports entertainment event or a tradeshow or a conference. So, you may have a profile specific to that and you create issues within that and the more you’re doing and creating that view, the more data obviously that you’re more than likely to use. It depends on actually how popular it is that dictates that, ultimately.

But setting up those profiles, a lot of what Robert showed you from a competitive comparison standpoint, that’s what you have to have to be able to frame what is all is being said about one thing versus another. So, no doubt about it. It’s a simple way that we price it. Again, as I said earlier, no two customers are using it the same way. So, there is a bit of a customization with it.

Jay: And you come in and help people setup those profiles, right? And you say, “Okay, look, in our experience, here are the things you should be listening for. Here’s how you should configure these dashboards initially.” Obviously it’s massively customizable as we’ve seen, but your team is pretty hands on in terms of getting people off the launching pad with Zignal Labs.

Tim: That’s right. Every single one of our customers is assigned a dedicated customer success rep. That customer success rep is somebody who is looking ambiently at best practices, but also looking at that specific vertical or companies like it and how can they leverage it. I think it’s always that way and as you and I both know, change is the only constant right now in the technology world and in the changing behavioral world that technology is forcing. So, I think week in and week out, it’s a constant internal conversation that we’re having here to better serve our customers and show them the best way to use the tool, get the most out of it.

Jay: Yeah. If they’re not using the insights that Zignal Labs provides to make their business better, eventually we’d be like, “We don’t need to know this,” but that’s why it’s so important to sort of merchandise those insights inside the organization. We promised at the very beginning of the show that there would be a special offer for Marketing Marvels viewers. That’s you, whether it’s live or on demand. Tim, what should people do if they want to kick the tires on this sucker?

Tim: Well, they need to go to, Go there and there’s a form to fill out. What that’s going to do is going to connect you with someone who will be able to have that quick consultation with you and determine whether or not we can set you up with a free trial, that is a free trial for Marvels viewers today that we’re going to be putting together. A bonus on top of that, the first 20 people who click on that and fill out that form are going to get a t-shirt from Zignal Labs.

Jay: And I have one of those t-shirts. I should have worn it to the show.

Tim: You should have.

Jay: But I didn’t. I forgot. They’re pretty sweet. T-shirts are t-shirts, but they’re pretty nice. Nicely done. It is above the level of the typical t-shirt you get. That’s very kind of you, Tim. Thanks very much. Go to, fill out the form, see if it makes sense for them to give you a free trial because they don’t hand them out very often, trust me, because it’s pretty powerful stuff. And the first 20 folks get a free t-shirt — Thanks very much for that offer, Mr. Hayden.

Let me ask you a question. You’ve been around. People have known you for a while. You’ve worked in agencies. You’re an author. You’re an entrepreneur. How did you get to Zignal Labs? You could have done a lot of things. Why did you choose to go be VP of Marketing of this company?

Tim: Great question. I’ve known of the company for quite some time. Adam Beaugh, who’s the President and Co-founder, he was a client of mine. He was a client of mine when I had my consultancy, when I owned an agency, when I started another software company, 44Doors, years ago. So, I’ve known Adam for years and over time got to know him, got to know Josh, the CEO and others on the team. They put me on the advisory board and a little more than a year ago, they asked me to come out and consult a little bit.

A month later, they convinced my family to move here from Austin, Texas and be the VP of Marketing. That’s how that went down. You knew me when I was a mobile strategist, somebody who was telling people whether to build an app or a mobile website. Honestly, everything Zignal Labs is doing is a byproduct of how fast the world is moving because of mobility. So, it was a natural fit.

Jay: I love it. And I’m a big, big fan of the company and the technology as you know, which is why you’re on a Marketing Marvels. But let me ask you a last question. Again, you’ve been in this space for a long time. What’s a marketing marvel to you? What solution should I have on this show that you’re like, “That’s my favorite thing out there other than Zignal Labs?” What do you love? What’s a marketing marvel for Tim Hayden?

Tim: You know, that’s a tough one. I think there’s a number of tools that we use here. I’m a big fan of Vidyard right now. We’ve been using Vidyard instead of just posting videos to YouTube. We still do that, but now we use Vidyard to provide us with the analytics that then talks back to Pardot, which is our marketing automation system and is letting us know as we send a video out in an email or we post it to social media if people we already know or people we want to know are actually the folks that are watching those videos, likewise letting us know what parts of the video are they watching, if they’re watching it over and over again or what part did they stop viewing the video?

I think you and I have talked about it before, with everything that’s happened with Instagram and now Snapchat, Google Hangouts as we’re doing right now, Facebook Live, that visual experience is critical. It works for us when we demo our product. It works for us when we want to tell our story. Vidyard has been one heck of a tool to help us better understand how that’s performing.

Jay: Yeah. That’s a great recommendation. I love the guys at Vidyard, did a webinar with them not too long ago. I actually used their personalized customized video solution when I launched my new book, Hug Your Haters. That’s a great suggestion. I need to get them on Marketing Marvels. They are definitely a marketing marvel. They are a superior mousetrap when it comes to video. Great suggestion.

Tim, thank you so much for being on the show. Thanks to Robert, thanks to everybody at Zignal Labs for building such a spectacular toolset that really is a marketing marvel. I hope everybody takes advantage of the offer. Go to Check that out. See if you can get the free demo. Try and angle for a t-shirt. You will be glad that you did.

Make sure you tune in for the next episode of Marketing Marvels. I do this about every three weeks. You can find them, of course, on the YouTube channel. We also have them as blog posts at But the best way to make sure that you see every episode is to just subscribe. So, go to That’s Marvels. You’ll be able to subscribe and get notified each time we rollout a new episode. Tim, any closing thoughts?

Tim: No. I’d say just stay split second, my friend. Know what’s around you at all times because you don’t know when the good is going to happen and you certainly don’t want to get surprised by the bad.

Jay: Situationally aware, Mr. Tim Hayden is, and the folks at Zignal Labs can help you do that as well. Marketing Marvels is a production of Convince & Convert Media. We have lots of amazing podcasts and other content, including Social Pros, Content Pros, the new show that we’re working on now called Influence Pros, which is all about the influencer marketing business and the Business of Story, our show all about Hollywood storytelling principles incorporated into your business and your marketing.

So, we’ve got lots of shows every single week for you. Go to for all of the stuff that we bring every single week or you can find them on iTunes. Until next week or the next episode, I should say, of Marketing Marvels, I am Jay Baer from Convince & Convert. He’s Tim Hayden from Zignal Labs. Thanks for watching.

Tim: Adios.

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