"Aligning Sales and Marketing Ft. Jimmy Daly of Animalz" (Inbound Success Ep. 97)

"Aligning Sales and Marketing Ft. Jimmy Daly of Animalz" (Inbound Success Ep. 97) Blog Feature

Published on July 1st, 2019

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Animalz is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the top content marketing shops in the B2B SaaS world. Here's how they approach content creation...

Adam Sand headshotJimmy Daly
Jimmy Daly

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Animalz marketing director Jimmy Daly dives into his process for creating content for Animalz. As the guy in charge of both marketing AND sales for Animalz, he splits his time between marketing/lead generation and closing deals.

When he's on sales calls, Jimmy pays close attention to the questions he gets from prospects and turns each of those questions into an article on the Animalz blog. This process has netted strong sales results that the company can track directly back to the individual articles Jimmy creates.

This week's episode of The Inbound Success Podcast is brought to you by our sponsor, IMPACT Live,  the most immersive and high energy learning experience for marketers and business leaders. IMPACT Live takes place August 6-7, 2019 in Hartford, Connecticut, and is headlined by Marcus Sheridan along with special guests including world-renowned Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith and Drift CEO and Co-Founder David Cancel.

Inbound Success Podcast listeners can save 10% off the price of tickets with the code "SUCCESS."  

Click here to learn more or purchase tickets for IMPACT Live

Some highlights from my conversation with Jimmy include:

  • Jimmy is responsible for marketing and sales at Animalz, which is a B2B content marketing agency.
  • Because Jimmy is involved in both sales and marketing, he is constantly listening on sales calls for the questions prospects are asking and turning them into articles on the Animalz blog.
  • Jimmy thinks that a lot of marketers do buyer personas wrong and focus too much on creating fictional characters. In his case, he thinks of his audience on a spectrum from tactical to strategic. If he's writing to a tactical audience, that person needs instructions on how to do something. If he's writing to a strategic audience, they need a framework for how to make a big decision. 
  • By focusing on creating content about the questions he gets in the sales process, Jimmy can in some cases attribute three or four deals worth $50,000 to $75,000 to an individual blog article.
  • When new articles are published, Animalz emails them out to its newsletter distribution list, but Jimmy is also a fan of using Tweet storms to gain traction and visibility online.
  • Another form of content that Animalz has seen get strong results for its clients is thought leadership articles. They define thought leadership as essays that express a strong, original point of view.
  • The average new article on the Animalz website gets 3,000 to 5,000 views in the first two months after publication. 

Resources from this episode:

Listen to the podcast to learn more about how Jimmy leverages the conversations he's having with sales prospects to build a more effective marketing strategy for Animalz.



Transcript

Kathleen Booth (Host): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast.

I'm Kathleen Booth and I'm your host. And today my guest is Jimmy Daley, who's the marketing director at Animalz. Welcome, Jimmy.

Jimmy Daly (Guest): Thanks so much, Kathleen. I'm happy to be here.

Jimmy Daly and Kathleen Booth
Jimmy and Kathleen recording this episode together .

Kathleen: Yeah, I'm excited to have you here because your agency has come up twice on this podcast before. As my loyal listeners know, I always ask my guests who is doing inbound marketing really well, company or individual, and two times now I've had one of my guests say Animalz. I think most recently it was Barron Caster at rev.com. So whenever I hear that sort of pattern happen, I think I need to talk to that person.

Jimmy: That's awesome. That makes my day.

Kathleen: Yeah, so I'm glad you're here. And for the listeners, can you just talk a little bit about who you are, your background, as well as what Animalz does?

About Jimmy Daly and Animalz

Jimmy: Yeah, absolutely. So I'm a longtime B2B content marketer. I've been working in some capacity in content marketing for almost 10 years. I started as a writer, evolved to kind of managing freelancers and other writers, and now as a marketing director at Animalz, I'm responsible for new business. So I'm in charge of marketing the company and then also doing our sales, which has been a very interesting evolution, as I think we'll probably get into a little bit.

Jimmy: Animalz is a content marketing agency. Primarily, we work with B2B SaaS companies. We've been around for about four years. We're a distributed team, a fantastic team too, we have some really great people. We work with awesome customers. I feel we've built a model that allows us to hire great people, pay them good salaries, that allows us to create really, really high quality work, which helps us attract fantastic clients. So it's a great system and a really fun place to work.

Kathleen: That's great, and obviously, it's contributing to you guys producing great work, because the word on the street is that you're a good agency to work with.

Aligning Sales and Marketing

Kathleen: One of the things I was fascinated by when you and I first connected is how you talked about, I asked you what was really moving the needle and you talked about some of the ways that you're kind of aligning sales and marketing. Because you kind of are like a one-man sales and marketing team, correct?

Jimmy: That is correct, yes.

Kathleen: Yeah, and it's funny we talked about-

Jimmy: To caveat by saying... Sorry, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. It feels unfair to take too much credit for all the amazing business that we get because so much of it is driven by word of mouth. I feel fortunate that in my first role doing sales that we have very low volume requirements, right? We're not like a SaaS company that needs hundreds or thousands of new customers a month. We only need two or three or four for a really fantastic month.

Kathleen: Yeah, but it's interesting to me because I think there's a lot of conversations that happen amongst people that work at really large companies about what is the best way to achieve sales and marketing alignment. I think that sometimes the fact that there are just a lot of people involved kind of serves as a barrier to seeing what could be a much simpler and more elegant solution. I liked when you talked about how you address this issue that you could be a larger team doing what you're doing, you just happen to be one guy. It shows how when you're one person and you have to do it all, how you align with yourself. So I want to talk about that a little bit.

Jimmy: Yeah, definitely. Well, certainly, it's easier with just one person, right? I'm a writer at heart and so I'm constantly looking for ideas to spark what will be the next blog post for the Animalz blog. Luckily, I get so much of that through our sales process, right? So I spend a lot of time on the phone, meeting potential customers, trying to close deals, onboarding new customers, and that provides me with a lot of fodder for blog posts.

Jimmy: We have a very, very lean process where basically I am just constantly observing the things that I'm hearing in those sales calls, and then documenting them on the blog in one form or another. So if I hear two or three different people on a sales call mention a similar thing, then that gets jotted down. That goes in the editorial calendar. There's probably two dozen of those in the editorial calendar right now that have not even been written yet. Actually, one thing I've learned very related to this is that most B2B SaaS companies have very, very similar problems. Because we're so specialized in that niche, it allows us to by speaking to one company, we can speak to almost all of them.

Kathleen: Yeah, that's a great point, and it really hits home, because one of the owners of IMPACT is a man named Marcus Sheridan, who has literally written a book called, They Ask You Answer. He wasn't a marketer by trade, he was a pool guy. He had a pool company, and he just started listening to the questions he was getting from customers because he was out on sales calls all the time, and then answering them. The answers that he wrote in the form of blog posts generated a tremendous amount of traffic, leads, and then eventually sales for the company. Now of course he's a marketing speaker and an author. But what I love about that approach and what I so appreciate is it's so elegant in its simplicity. I often say, at least in the case of Marcus, it took a non-marketer to figure out that that was a thing.

Jimmy: Yeah, that's so interesting.

Kathleen: It's common sense, right? It's solving for the people. If one person has a question, odds are there's like hundreds, if not thousands of them, out there with the same question. They just haven't happened to reach out to you directly to ask it yet.

Jimmy: Absolutely. Now that I've had this experience of experiencing the full circle of someone finding a blog post, reaching out, talking through problems, realizing there's another blog post to be written that sparked someone else to reach out, et cetera, et cetera, I, thinking back on previous jobs, realized that I hadn't spent hardly any time talking to customers. I was just so focused on optimizing a piece of content for search or doing keyword research or trying to build links to a piece of content that I overlooked this very, very obvious fact that you have to actually talk to the people that you're trying to reach so that you can have a very nuanced understanding of their problems.

Do You Really Need Buyer Personas?

Kathleen: Yeah, and it's funny that you say this because I also have had long conversations with Marcus about the concept of buyer personas, because he actually says you don't need buyer personas in marketing, which is somewhat controversial because I feel like go to any marketing conference, read any marketing book, talk to any marketing expert, and then I'll be like start with buyer personas, right?

Jimmy: Right, right.

Kathleen: His point is, it's kind of related to what you're saying, which is that instead of spending a month doing all this research and interviews and this and that, and then creating this like fictional profile, if you spend that same month and just sit down and catalog 50 questions and write 50 answers out in the form of blogs, you'll be so much further ahead than you would have been had you done a month's worth of audience persona research, which I think is true.

Jimmy: Fascinating.

Kathleen: That's sort of what you're saying. Like, no staged interview can substitute for an actual live sales conversation.

Jimmy: No, it's so true, and I would agree with Marcus that I'm personally not a huge believer in buyer personas. I'm sure in some cases they're executed in a way that's really useful. Typically, the way that we see them executed is like, Software Sally is a mid-career manager and she has this problem. It's so fictional that it's hard to take this fake demographic and turn it into a marketing campaign.

Jimmy: We actually think about that in a very different way, which is so like when I'm writing a post for the Animalz blog, I'm thinking of the reader on a spectrum from tactical to strategic. If we're writing to a tactical audience, that person needs instructions on how to do something. If we're writing to a strategic audience, they need a framework for how to make a big decision. And a lot of little steps is actually not very helpful. They need more of an overarching principle. There's kind of a mix of those different things, but I found that to be a much more effective way to think through, okay, we have this topic, there's this tactical way we could go about it, but if we want to reach this more decision maker level person, we have to kind of take a step back and try to understand the higher level problem and address it from that angle instead.

Kathleen: No, I always say we get caught up in this term buyer persona, and as you say, people tend to create these somewhat useless but entertaining profiles of people who don't exist. What we really need is buyer persona, it's good audience research, which essentially is what you're doing when you have these conversations with people and catalog what they're saying.

Jimmy's Process For Capturing Content Ideas

Kathleen: So let's talk through an actual example. You're having these sales calls, you're getting these questions. Walk me through your process. Is it simply you just make a note and you say, "Oh, I better go write a blog on this?" Or do you have a structured process around it?

Jimmy: I wish I could say I had a very structured process. I don't though. I think over years of doing content marketing, I'm tuned in, right? I'm observing very carefully what people are saying, how they're saying it. Are they frustrated? Are they excited? I sort of pull those threads as I uncover that we're onto something.

Jimmy: A very good example of this happened, I don't know, probably almost a year ago now, where I got on three sales calls in a week and three different people told me they had this exact same problem, which was that their organic traffic was actually declining over the last three months or so. I thought that was very interesting, and in each case it had prompted them to do some research about why their traffic was declining, reach out to some friends to try to help them figure out what was going on, and then that prompted them to reach out to an agency to potentially help them.

Jimmy: To me, that was like the most obvious example because it happened in such a short period of time. But we wrote a blog post about that, about why organic traffic declines and things you might do to reverse that trend. That post has been hugely successful for us. It turns out a lot of people have that problem. Just through our very, very lean process, we made sure that it was documented, published, distributed, and I could attribute probably three to four more deals that were closed, at least in part, as a result of that exact article, and those deals are good for, $50,000 to $75,000 a year each.

Kathleen: Wow.

Jimmy: So, it's a easy, simple process with a big payoff.

Kathleen: I love hearing that kind of data because you always have people who say, "I don't have time to blog," but I don't know anybody who's billable rate is as high as $50,000 an hour, or let's say it took you four hours, $10,000 an hour. Even some of the best attorneys I know don't charge that much. So, there's a good case there for spending the time.

Jimmy: Absolutely.

Animalz Content Promotion Strategy

Kathleen: Now you've mentioned you write it, you edit it, you optimize it, and then you distribute it. Can you just talk through a little bit, I mean, is this a case of you write these blogs, you put them on your site, and it's, if you build it, they will come? Or is your content distribution or promotion strategy somewhat responsible for the results you're getting?

Jimmy: That's a good question. So a few things happen. I should again caveat this by saying, as an agency, we have very low volume requirements. Our blog frankly doesn't get all that much traffic, doesn't need a ton of traffic in order to really help the business. Two to three new deals in a month is a fantastic month. So I actually don't go crazy distributing content.

Jimmy: We have an email list with a few thousand people on it. They get everything. I have a personal email newsletter with about 5,000 people on it. I include our stuff in that. We have a really strong network of customers that we will sometimes ask to help us amplify content. Then other than that, I'm a fan of tweet storms. Whenever I publish something new, tweet storms have been a really useful way for us to get stuff out. Then I ask our team to help re-tweeting or sharing stuff. So again, it's simple. The reach is not enormous, by any means, but it's big enough that it works.

Kathleen: That's great. Have you done this with clients or have you advised clients on doing this and have they seen similar results?

Jimmy: Hmm, that's a great question. In a few cases, yes. In some cases, it just doesn't quite work. So like for example, many of our customers are B2B SaaS. Their primary objective is growing organic search traffic. So we're doing the things you would probably expect. We do a lot of keyword research, we write really long informative posts, we optimize them for search, et cetera, et cetera. That provides a certain amount of leverage in their distribution, because over time they can get a lot more traffic out of organic search than we'll ever be able to get for them doing one-off promotional things.

Jimmy: For some of our other customers though, there's this bucket of customers that we work with, and we produce thought leadership content for them. That type of content also works very well using the same very simple mechanisms that we use for our own content, because it's more about making an impact, sharing an idea, and less about the more traditional content distribution where it's about basically page views.

Kathleen: Now can you define what you mean by thought leadership content? Because I know people use that term in different ways.

Jimmy: It's funny you ask that. I have a half-written blog posts about this exact topic, because you're right, people do think of it in very different ways. The way that it typically manifested Animalz, a thought leadership content strategy is built around sort of this idea that we internally call movement first, where the emphasis is really on sharing strong original ideas and that is like the core of the strategy for that type of content. It often looks more like an essay than it does regular content marketing. It often lives on Medium or a different part of the site than the rest of your blog content. Those things don't all have to be true.

Jimmy: We do have a couple of cases with customers where we're doing SEO-driven content with thought leadership characteristics. Simply meaning that we've started with a keyword, but then we've taken a very different approach to the style and the tone of that article. I guess ultimately it means different things. To me the thing that it really means is this piece of content is born from a great idea and it is hopefully encapsulated in that article in a very concise way.

Kathleen: That's interesting, and I love that you mentioned not all of this content lives on your site. You mentioned Medium, which I'm always curious about Medium. I think it has so much potential, but you can also, if you don't do it right, spend a lot of time with no results.

Jimmy: No, totally. I'm actually personally not a huge fan for the problem that you just stated. We have encouraged a couple customers recently to launch personal blogs that are affiliated with the company that they work for, which is a strategy that I'm liking so far. Obviously, there are institutional hurdles to jump over when you do that kind of thing.

Kathleen: Right.

Jimmy: But owning the platform provides a bunch of advantages that tend to make it worth it.

How To Approach Bottom of the Funnel Content

Kathleen: Yeah. Going back to this notion of sales and marketing alignment, at a very, very simplistic level, what you're talking about is being very mindful of the questions you're getting in the sales process, and then answering those questions in your articles. I feel like this has the potential to be incredibly powerful, but it also has the potential to be insanely misused by content creators who venture into the territory of being overly self-promotional. In other words, using a sales question as an excuse to write a blog that is all about the company and their products as opposed to bigger picture questions that a prospect has. Can you talk me through, like do you have any personal guardrails around how you handle that type of content, what topics you'll cover, what you won't, and how often you venture into that very, very bottom of the funnel kind of topic area?

Jimmy: Wow, that's a really interesting question. I don't know that I have come across a situation yet where the only answer to the question is you should hire Animalz. I mean, certainly I drop mentions in there occasionally, but just as a company we think about this so differently.

Jimmy: I'll give you an example. You know our core business is content marketing services. Through this process of closely observing the problems that come up on sales calls and then also the problems that come up with customers, because there's plenty of those too, we're in the very early stages of building out some software solutions to address those problems. I anticipate that in the future, this problem that you bring up will become more top of mind because we're going to have more things to promote, right? There's just so few companies that are interested, willing, and ready to hire an expensive content marketing agency, that hopefully there will be many, many more that would be interested in paying $10 or $50 or $100 a month to use a piece of software that would solve some of these same things. So yeah, that's interesting. I imagine that's something that we'll have to be asking ourselves more closely over the next six to nine months.

Kathleen: Yeah, I think a good example is a question that everybody gets at some point in a sales process is how much does it cost, right? That's a very different question than what do I do if my organic traffic is declining? How much does it cost in the wrong hands could be answered in the form of an article. That's basically like a substitute for your pricing page. In the right hands, it's an opening point for discussion around the factors that impact cost.

Jimmy: Got it, okay. I think I better understand your question now, so that's a great point. In general, I would like for us to be as transparent as absolutely possible. Interestingly, we find that many of our customers do not have strong Google Analytic skills. So as I write the post about how to diagnose problems with the organic traffic, I just explain exactly the steps I would take in Google Analytics to start doing the research. We're happy to tell you exactly what those steps would be. Then the hope is, and often the reality as well, is that that's just the tip of the iceberg. It's one of so many possible things going on that they ultimately possibly could need help with. It sounds Cliche, but we established that little bit of trust early on, so hopefully they'll think of us when the time actually does come.

Kathleen: Yeah, it sounds like your focus is much more on educational topics than it is on, I would call them sort of sales topics, but it's really that bottom of the funnel, those types of questions, which I like. So you're answering questions that are educating the audience and making them smarter, not so much answering questions that help them choose to pull the trigger and purchase from you.

Jimmy: That is correct, yes.

Kathleen: Yeah, there's an important distinction there.

Jimmy: Definitely.

The Results

Kathleen: Can you tell me a little bit about, do you have any sort of data around like the traction? Do these posts tend to get, percentage-wise, more traffic than some of your other articles? You mentioned that some of them have led to deals. What have the results been from using this approach?

Jimmy: That's an interesting question. I can tell you, as I mentioned, none of the posts on our blog are what I call whales. None of them are just like outliers getting tons and tons of traffic. For the most part, they all are, I don't know, they probably 3,000 to 5,000 visits in their first two or three months of publication, which is just okay, but it's not-

Kathleen: Which is great, if that's the right 3,000 to 5,000 people, that's all that matters.

Jimmy: Totally, yes.

Kathleen: You could have 300 to 500 people, and if they were the 300 to 500 people that are looking for an agency, then that's all you would need.

Jimmy: Yes, totally. The reason I'm having a little trouble giving you a really specific quantitative answer on how effective they are is because something I've noticed in our sales process is that almost no one reaches out as the result of one interaction or mention of Animalz. It's always two. So they might say, "I heard about you guys at a conference, or a friend mentioned they liked a blog post by you guys, or I'm in this Slack group and someone shared an article that you guys had written." Then sometime later on, they were on Twitter or they were searching for something, and they came across a second piece. It seems to be the power of those two things together that prompts people to reach out, but it's very difficult to track what what those two things are, because usually one of them, or in many cases, one of those things has happened offline and we're not going to be able to get data on it.

Kathleen: It's funny that you mentioned that because as I mentioned at the beginning, I reached out to you after hearing your name twice.

Jimmy: Yes.

Kathleen: I think I'm proof in the pudding.

Jimmy: Totally, yes. I think this is probably a little different than the way that most SaaS companies operate. So agencies are able to grow by word of mouth in a way that SaaS companies simply are not. I know I keep throwing out caveats, but we are writing about SaaS content marketing all the time, but we are not a SaaS company. Therefore a lot of it is like do as we say, not necessarily as we do.

Kathleen: Interesting. Well, I love that. I love the process. Any other guidelines for somebody listening around how to write those articles or how to make them especially useful?

Jimmy: Get feedback on them from people that don't work at the same company that you do. So that's something that I do. I don't do it as often now, but I did it quite a bit when we were initially getting the Animalz blog rolling. I just reached out to friends in the content marketing world and asked them to review drafts of our posts, and I got a lot of really good feedback on that.

Kathleen: I love that. That is so simple. It's so simple and something that so few people do.

Jimmy: Yes, totally. You can just get better feedback if you don't talk to the person you're asking to review it on a daily basis. I'm part of a couple of Slack groups full of content marketers, a Facebook group full of content marketers. Those have been really amazing resources for getting good feedback on work. I discover things in those feedback sessions that I can't imagine I ever would have figured out any other way.

Kathleen: Oh, can you share any of those Slack or Facebook groups, the names of them?

Jimmy: Yeah, so there are a couple. So there's a Facebook group I'm in that I believe is just called Content Marketers with an exclamation point. Very good group. I started a Slack group of my own called Content Marketing Career Growth. There is another one I'm in. It is called Content in UX, which is also very good. It's a huge one. There's a ton of people in there, a really, really good community. I'm sure there are others. If you'd like, I can send you links.

Kathleen: Yes, please do, and I will include them in the show notes. That would be great.

Jimmy: Cool.

Kathleen: Yeah, I found similarly some of those groups to be incredibly helpful. I mean, we have our own group which has IMPACT Elite, that's a Facebook group, and then I am a member of Online Geniuses, which is huge. It's all different marketing disciplines. Then I think I might be a member of Content in UX. Sometimes there's so many groups I lose track.

Jimmy: Yes, it is easy to lose track.

Kathleen: But that's a great tip, to just go outside. If you were talking to a company that had a larger sales and marketing team, any thoughts or advice or insights for bigger company teams on how to operationalize a process like this?

Jimmy: Yes, so the first thing, in a perfect world, this would be easy to do, I would have content marketers get on sales calls and I would have sales people write blog posts. Not as a way to test them, but just to have them operate in the other person's world every now and then. I feel like it's trendy, especially for SaaS companies to say every one of the company does customer support twice a year or something like that. I think that if you are going to be doing marketing to support a sales team or you're doing sales that is hopefully the result of high quality marketing, you have to be in the other person's shoes at least every now and then. I would definitely recommend that.

Jimmy: Also, there was a thing, I spent a year working at QuickBooks doing content marketing for them, and they had a program set up where once a week they would have a real live QuickBooks customer in the office. They were there for the day and people from around the company could book time with them and ask them questions. So you knew that every Thursday from 9:00 to 4:00 a customer would be there and you could schedule time with them and you could ask them whatever questions you want about how they found QuickBooks, what did they find useful, what do they not, et cetera, et cetera.

Jimmy: I think for companies of a certain size, assuming you have enough customers to support a program like that, it's a great idea because we would find that in our weekly content meetings, our team would get together and questions would come up that we just didn't have answers to. Then somebody would say, "Oh, well, why don't we just ask the customer on Thursday?" So we'd book time and we would do that.

Kathleen: That is so nice to be able to do that.

Jimmy: Yeah, it was fantastic. Maybe it's once a quarter, maybe it's twice a year for smaller companies, but formalizing the process is important.

Kathleen: I love that. I wish that I could have a customer in the office every week, but alas, we are not in that position at this point. But no, that is a great point about switching roles and sitting in the other seat, because I do think sometimes there's this very natural tension that builds up between sales and marketing, I think you and I talked about this, I used to be on our sales team. Now I'm on our marketing team and I have much more empathy for our salespeople than I think I would have otherwise.

Jimmy: Yes.

Kathleen's Two Questions

Kathleen: Yeah, it helps a lot. Well, shifting gears, I'm curious to hear now that I told you several people have mentioned Animalz name when I've asked this question, I'm curious to know who you're going to talk about. So company or individual, who do you think is doing inbound marketing really well right now?

Jimmy: Such a good question. So there's a few that come to mind. Am I allowed to offer more than one?

Kathleen: Yeah, go for it.

Jimmy: I tend to find that companies that do inbound marketing really well build steam and build a strong reputation over time. So I'm a big fan of not just people who are kind of off my radar today, but who have been there for a couple of years and a few that stand out. One company that I think has just done an incredible job over the past five or six years is Wistia. One, because their branding has evolved from, well, it's still friendly and kind of playful, but it's so refined now. It's tangible. The good vibes are tangible when you visit their site. They write really high quality stuff. Their videos are excellent. I mean, I'm not really a video person, but I find myself on their site all the time because I'm just curious what their marketing team is up to, because there's always something new and a little different going on. So that's one that I would call out.

Kathleen: That's a good one.

Jimmy: You mentioned Barron Caster from Rev at the beginning of this podcast, and it's funny, I was actually just on a call with him this morning. As I've been exposed to what he and the team over there are doing, I am increasingly impressed. One thing that I like about what they do is that their product marketing is straightforward, obvious, but not overly promotional at all.

Jimmy: A good example is they have their product marketing team, and they've tied this into their content strategy as well, their product marketing team has come up with solutions for all the possible entry points to a transcription service, and I find that they've just done it in such a perfect little way. So for example, they built iPhone apps for phone call recording, right? That creates this very easy transcription workflow for journalists or anyone who has to do research or interviews for their job. They did the same thing with a voice recording app. They have a Zoom integration. They've just figured out all the little ways that people might work transcription into their day-to-day, and they've addressed that.

Jimmy: I find that type of subtle, very useful product marketing to be inspiring, right? Because they're not hammering you with ads and obnoxious copy. They're just kind of offering you a dozen different ways to build their really, really good product into the work you're already doing. So I love that.

Kathleen: Yeah, I would agree. They do a nice job of really tightly aligning marketing and product.

Jimmy: Yes, yes, definitely.

Kathleen: Well, a second question, digital marketing is changing so quickly, and the number one gripe I hear from marketers is that they have a really hard time keeping up with everything. So how do you personally keep up and stay up to date and educate yourself?

Jimmy: I do most of that offline, to be honest. There's a couple of blogs that I keep track of, like Tomasz Tunguz blog I really like, especially now that I work in sales. He talks about sales quite a bit. He also talks about just the SaaS industry, which I find to be increasingly useful information as I spend less time on the ground doing the marketing and more time talking to customers. So that's one.

Jimmy: I'm a very loyal reader of Ben Thompson's Stratechery blog. Similar thing, like his really deep dives on business strategy I find to be useful. I feel like that has provided me with a lot of context for conversations that I have with customers.

Jimmy: But like I said, I try to do quite a bit offline too. So one really fantastic resource that I read recently was Jim Collins, Good to Great.

Kathleen: Yeah, that's a great book. It's such a classic.

Jimmy: It's so good. You know, the examples that he uses in there are just timeless. They've stood up so well.

Kathleen: Absolutely.

Jimmy: So that's one. I have a book on my desk that I keep keep with me all the time, called On Writing Well by William Zinsser, which helps me with the day-to-day writing of blog posts and emails, but also sales proposals now. Whenever I find myself getting stuck on something, I'll open up that book and the answer is always in there.

Kathleen: And it's called Unwriting.

Jimmy: It's called On Writing Well.

Kathleen: Oh, On Writing, got it.

Jimmy: Yes. William Zinsser is the author.

Kathleen: Great. Oh, lots of new good ones here. I always like when I hear new ones, because this is how I stay up to date is I just ask other people and then follow their lead in my podcast.

Jimmy: That's a great idea.

How To Connect With Jimmy

Kathleen: Well, Jimmy, if somebody wants to learn more about Animalz or wants to reach out and connect with you online, what's the best way for them to do that?

Jimmy: Yeah, animalz.co, we have a kind of outdated, not very fancy website, but hopefully the content there is helpful to you. We also have a podcast and you can find all that stuff on there.

Kathleen: Animalz with a z, important to know.

Jimmy: Yes, Animalz with a z, and then if you'd like to reach out, please do. Probably the best way to do that is Twitter. I spend a lot of time on Twitter, probably too much, but it's just Jimmy_Daly. Yeah, if you ever want to chat content strategy, hit me up. I love chatting about it.

Kathleen: Great, well, thank you so much. And if you're listening and you liked what you heard, you learned something new, I would love it if you would give the podcast a five star review on Apple Podcasts. If you know somebody else doing kick-ass inbound marketing work, tweet me at WorkMommyWork, because I would love to interview them. That's it for this week. Thank you so much, Jimmy.

Jimmy: Thank you, Kathleen. That was fun.

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