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How ZoomInfo Humanized Their Own Data Through a Podcast

You built a product you’re absolutely thrilled about. And if given the opportunity, you could talk about it for hours on end. But let’s face it, some people might not find it all that exciting, at least not on the surface — and definitely not for an outsider who doesn’t share the passion you have.

Maybe it’s a software product that organizes data, streamlines marketing, or enhances productivity. It does an excellent job of delivering results, and you have the data to prove it. However, that alone isn’t enough to entice today’s B2B customers.

More than the what or the why, they care most about the how. Or, more importantly, how it can help them. This is why telling stories should become the forefront of your marketing strategy.

It humanizes your brand by turning potentially boring data into interesting tales your audience can enjoy and relate to. And one of the best ways to deliver these stories is via a podcast. It’s personable and convenient, making it the ultimate medium for sharing experiences.

This is exactly what ZoomInfo chose to do. Let’s take a look at how they humanized their data.

Focusing on the Goal of the Brand (and the Listener’s Experience)

Like many brands, ZoomInfo started out writing blog posts to help connect with prospects. They dug through the data gathered from their platform and saw trends and interesting tidbits they could turn into content. So they steadily built a library of articles around their findings.

Over time, they felt the need to create a show to dive deeper into the data, but with a more passionate human approach. So ZoomInfo launched the Talk Data to Me podcast with the hopes of turning “boring” data trends into compelling stories.

“I understand most people don’t find it super interesting to look at job title trends over time or something like that. But I do, and it’s exciting.

“So basically, what we did is then we started working on the show and really kind of digging into what is that we want this show to do for ZoomInfo, and also what is it we’re trying to accomplish for the listener. What do we want the listener’s experience to be? And how can we add on to the work that we’re already doing in terms of writing articles, pulling data, all this interesting stuff?” said Sam Balter, Director of Editorial Content at ZoomInfo.

Showcasing How Their Data Helped People in the Real World

It’s one thing to make claims about all the great things your product does. But if you’re able to prove it with numbers, alongside stories, then you’ll find it easier to attract an audience (and customers). People love stories — it’s a scientific fact that we’re ingrained with a deep desire to tune in and absorb them.

And if you can do it in a way that’s personable and engaging, then your audience is likely to look forward to another story and another.

This was critical for ZoomInfo, especially since many people viewed the brand as nothing more than a data-toting machine. And while the company did an amazing job of divulging all sorts of great insightful data, numbers alone aren’t always compelling by themselves.

ZoomInfo set out to change this by finding ways to show their human side. Their podcast was the perfect place to demonstrate the how behind their data and tools, something that might be best understood by hearing a conversation between passionate, knowledgeable experts.

“We provide a lot of data. But I think that people are sort of missing the part where there’s all of these tools that we build on top of that data that lets you do incredible things. So it’s like it makes your email list more effective, your ad campaigns better. You can look up people more effectively. You know what I mean? You can route leads more effectively. There are all these great things you could do with the data.

“So we wanted to really zero in on that part. That transition of just we want to showcase as a brand that we have lots of interesting pieces of data that you can use, but then also sort of emphasize that it’s not just having it, but it’s being able to take action on it and taking action on it and what that leads to, right? It leads to insightful, interesting ideas. It leads to people changing the way their business operates. It leads to people getting money or funding more effectively,” Sam explained.

Zeroing In on the Challenges People Are Having

A lot of people are listening to podcasts. And many of them are tuning in to learn a thing or two to improve their lives. If you can deliver podcast episodes that help your audience to achieve goals, knock down brick walls, and prevent issues, then you’ll become a go-to leader in the industry.

Take the time to learn about the troubles your audience is having and how your solution can be their savior. You can do this via customer stories and case studies.

“I’d say people should really start with a problem they are trying to solve at their company first, and then figure out what the show or how audio will fit in. I think a lot of the time, it doesn’t have to be for reach or for a lot of downloads or for things like that. If you have trouble communicating to employees internally, maybe you should make an internal show that once a month provides all the updates they need.

“Maybe you want to tell kind of case studies of customers onboarding because people are kind of hesitant. Great, maybe you could use a show to do that. Maybe you want to run sales training internally or something. Maybe you could do a show to do that. I think it’s bad to start with the idea that’s like, ‘I’m a funny person’ or like, ‘I’m interesting’ or like, ‘Joe has really great ideas. Joe is super smart. Let’s just have Joe on the mic and talk about stuff.’ Just start recording,” Sam shared.

Building an Overall Good Show

“I want to build a platform that everyone will find boring,” said no one ever. When you set out to build a show, you want it to be entertaining, funny, inspirational, value-packed, and relatable (a.k.a. irresistible).

Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why it’s vital to learn all you can about your audience and their needs. What fields are they in, what problems do they have daily, what are their goals? And how can I be of assistance? As long as you’re delivering value, then listeners will come — and potentially even stick around.

“People have a limited amount of space that they can think about stuff, so it’s better to just relentlessly focus on, ‘Am I making a good show? Am I getting good guests? Are we building a good thing?’” Sam shared.

These are the questions you don’t want to overlook when building a podcast audience. But we understand it can be tough to answer when you don’t have the data to prove it and the tools to enhance your show. Fortunately, you have us to help you with both (wink, wink). If you want to learn how to connect with your audience and humanize your brand, then contact us today.