How Realtime Branding Is Possible with Insights from Zignal Labs

zignal labs

“Today brands need to surgically remove and filter insights.” How can we make sense of it all? This week on the On Brand podcast I was joined by two old friends, Tim Hayden and DJ Waldow. These two innovative marketers have joined forces as part of the team at Zignal Labs, a realtime digital story-tracking platform. I couldn’t wait to learn about the realtime branding possibilities, politics, and everything in between from Tim and DJ.

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About Tim Hayden and DJ Waldow

With more than 20 years of marketing and business leadership experience, Tim Hayden has been a founder of new ventures such as NION Interactive, GamePlan, and 44Doors and a catalyst for innovative change within some of the world’s largest brands. Along with past guest Tom Webster, he’s the co-author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution.

DJ Waldow is an alumnus of the University of Michigan, a knowledge craver, a sponge, and a lover of beer, coffee and people. He’s also a seasoned digital marketing pro with a career that’s taken him from Bronto to Blue Sky Factory to Marketo. With Jason Falls he’s also co-author of The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing. DJ was also my co-host on my first podcasting venture, The Work Talk Show. Tim and DJ have recently joined forces to lead marketing and brand building at Zignal Labs, serving as VP of Marketing and Director of Marketing respectively.

Zignal Labs is a realtime, cross media story-tracking platform that enables brands to quickly spot trends, see relevant stories unfold, and take action. Brands who use the Zignal Labs platform include Bacardi, Citrix, and HP. Those interested in Zignal can learn first hand at the Social Brand Forum this October in Iowa City, Iowa, where Zignal joins us as a sponsor. Tim and DJ will be on hand to share real-time insights from the event.

Episode Highlights

“You have to run your business like a political campaign.” Zignal Labs has garnered publicity recently for their work tracking and analyzing the conversations and intelligence around the presidentially primaries. Check out their blog post about the GOP debate. We all agreed that political campaigns — with their focus on strong calls to action and realtime audience needs — offer great lessons for businesses and brands.

Echo and Resonance. It’s all about getting through. Or, rather, knowing if your brand’s message resonates. “We’ve gone past the shiny social listening and engagement platforms.” We have to look at the actionable insights we can get from these conversations and stories. And for that we need better tools. “We are out front on this.”

As the author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution, Zignal is a natural evolution for Tim. “In many ways, mobile caused this. We’re all interwired, interconnected.” Zignal is a system for making sense of it all.

The more you know, the more you can target. “Insights are only good if you can weave them into your workflow.” You have to be able to use them to make better, more-informed decisions.

What brands have made Tim and DJ smile? DJ loves the very human emails he gets from Eat24 while Tim loves the brand experience he has on the Golden Gate Ferry Company everyday on his way to work.

To learn more about Zignal labs, you can check out their website. Listeners of the podcast can also try a free demo at

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our listeners … Recently Kogan Page Marketing gave us a shout on Twitter about our recent episode focused on luxury branding featuring JP Kuehlwein. Thanks for listening!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!