#Marketing: 5 Lessons You Can Steal From Today's Top B2B Brands (And The Process Behind Writing A New Book)

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This is a podcast episode titled, #Marketing: 5 Lessons You Can Steal From Today's Top B2B Brands (And The Process Behind Writing A New Book). The summary for this episode is: On this #Marketing edition of Seeking Wisdom, DG sits down with Jay Acunzo to unpack 5 lessons he learned from today's top B2B brands while working on season one of #Exceptions. Plus, get a behind-the-scenes look at the writing process for Jay's new book, the art of self-publishing and more.

Dave: Jay what's happening. What's going on, man? Super excited to have you on because this is long overdue for many different reasons. That two of them being, number one, you are now the wildly popular host of a Seeking Wisdom show called Exceptions which we're going to talk about; but you're also a newly, a newly minted author with a book out. Congratulations on that. I've seen a ton of... basically my judge for if anything is successful is do I see a lot of tweets about it? Congratulations. When did the book come out? A couple of weeks ago?

Jay: October 1st. I published, first book, October 1st, it dropped. I was doing a presale before that, which maybe explained some of the tweets because I'm very lucky to have a lot of people that are interested in my work and they were excited before it came out. But it is officially live now and in all formats.

Dave: I want to talk about Seeking Wisdom. I want to talk about what you've learned from these companies, but I also want to talk about the book. But before we get into the book, I want to know about the process of writing a book, because this is something that you see, okay, everybody knows books. There's a big process to it. But I would like as a marketer behind the scenes, what have you been going through the last, well, I guess the last three, four weeks is the fun part now because the book is out and correct me if I'm wrong but rewinding back, when did you decide to do this? What's the whole process been?

Jay: I love that you went right here because I had a phone call, or a video chat rather, I did a zoom call with 25 of my newsletter subscribers because people were so interested in this process that I said," Why don't I just talk about it?" The first moment where I said to myself," Proactively, I'm writing this book before there was a name," was December of 2017. For those interested, the timelines are important. December, 2017, I began to draft what they call a book treatment, which is basically a blurb kind of like the front and back of a book jacket. When you read, what's this all about, we pick it up in a store. You draft a blurb and then you do an outline, and that together is called a book treatment. I started to compile that plus a whole lot of stories and research from my podcast in December of last year. It came out October of this year and that's a fast process. That's the first thing that people need to know.

Dave: Then, you decide to do that. Then, I want to know the process for writing the book. Because to me, I don't know how I would even do it. Is it one hour a day? Is it, you commit time every day or do you break it off in chunks? Where the hell do you even start? I have no idea.

Jay: Right. Because it is not my full- time job. It supports the job. My full- time job breaks into two halves, which is public speaking. I'm on the road several times a month, giving keynotes and then creating documentaries in audio, and now, video for brand clients like Drift. There's a lot of big blocks of deep work I need and it's hard to interrupt that with writing. I did two things or three things, really. The first started long before that December go mark, which was, I was building my own podcast Unthinkable and logging all these stories and working them and air rating them and getting feedback on them for two years.

Dave: I love that process actually. I think there's a bunch of people... I think there's two ways to do that. I mean, there's two ways I've seen that. There's the Tim Ferriss style which, I don't know if you love that or not, which is basically he took a hundred podcasts interviews and it was like," Here's a book." But the other one that, that I'm actually finding right now is Scott Belsky. He has a new book called The Messy Middle. What's interesting is his process for that book was just like, while he was running his company, he was just saving all this personal stuff in Evernote. It's actually something I just picked up from him. It's like, I've always kept a swipe file, but I've kept the dedicated note book about Drift and unique things that are happening here because I want to be able to write a book about this place one day. I've just like, I think that will make the inevitable writing process easier because I have some somewhere to go off of.

Jay: If I could make one observation on that. Well, I think it's endemic to the way I like to write. I'm over a reporter in that I'll like, I'll do some personal storytelling, but this book and my show are not about me or necessarily my advice. It's all about story and then I distill the story into frameworks and juristics and all that good stuff. But because that's how I write, I think, and you might find this too, Dave, like when you log information about Drift, focus on the moments of conflict and frustration because that's the missing piece in so many story or so many business books, really. People are like," I tell a story," and I'm like," No, you don't. You just state the facts as you see them." What's missing is some kind of moment of question that's open- ended that you have to go explore or the protagonist encounters some moment of desperation or conflict. It doesn't have to be huge, but I think those are the most important pieces that make up an actual story and gets people hooked. That's actually really missing in a lot of business books. In this case, it's really heavy up on conflict and story from my book.

Dave: I love that. Because I think a lot of, ultimately, most business books are the same. There's similar story, there's similar facts, similar things that happen. If you can level that up with a story, that's what makes it interesting. You and I can have two different businesses and the five facts are the same but if your business was amazing and mine was rife with struggled, then that would be different. I love that. I love sprinkling it with stories. So, your writing process is some combination of writing and then stitching together lessons that you learned in these conversations over the last couple of years doing your podcasts?

Jay: Yeah. Let me give it to you really in brief so you get all the parts. I had that backlog, I mined that backlog for what I thought would be the right order of stories and the right insights from those stories, put it into my outline. Now I have an outline and a blurb about what the book is about. That's like my north star. Then, I put together, I don't know if there's a real name for this in writing books or creating documentary series, I just call it an extraction. I basically go, and this doesn't matter if it's a book or a show, but I go to something I admire from way outside our echo chamber. In other words, not a marketing book, and I'll extract the underlying format and framework from somebody I admire. A really easy example is with a book, someone turned me on to the work of Charles Duhigg who's a wonderful writer, wrote the book, Power of Habit. What he does, somebody pointed this out, they're like," Jay, you're similar to this guy," in which I later find out is a huge freaking compliment because this guy's amazing. I'm nowhere near him, but he writes stories that intertwined with lessons and questions to ask yourself, instead of what like Gladwell does, where he writes a story and then breaks from it to give you a lesson. That's like more of a staccato or broken up approach that I really didn't want in this book. I went to Duhigg. I read a couple of chapters. I picked one I liked and I tried to document the beats that make up the chapter. Like, block one opening story, and it's like these five parts: introduce the character in vivid detail, move right away to the conflict in two or three paragraphs, here are some questions that come to mind that you want to know about this person. Then, move to block two, which is how this reflects on our work. He's got this real interesting format so I extract that framework, and now I can bring that with me to Google docs and just copy in the structure and then start adding my own content. It's basically guardrails and goalposts. It's not copying the format or even the tone of voice he has because I'm a very different writer, but it's the framework of how to get my ideas onto a piece of paper.

Dave: You're not from inaudible but you almost said idears, which is pretty inaudible.

Jay: I know I almost did. That's what I learned living in Boston for 10 years. The r's don't go away. They move.

Dave: If you're listening to this right now, what Jay just broke down is so important and we don't do it enough as marketers, which is copy other people. You have to copy somebody else. I know that that is like, you're going to read that, if I listened to that advice on the surface and say," Whoa, copy somebody else?" But to me that, we talk a lot about role models and what you did was you found a role model for an author. You found a common pattern. You found somebody who has done this thing that you're going to go try to do before. Then, you created your version of it. It's like a map. This is why I don't think of it as copying. It's like a map because if you were going to go drive from Boston to where you are now in New York or Connecticut. I wouldn't just figure it out along the way. I would find somebody who's gone there. I would find a map and I would find how to get there. That's so important for anything that we do in marketing, where we have the gift of time where most people have done something before. Of course, there's an opportunity to innovate and do something brand new on top of that. But you weren't the first guy to write a book so you were able to go and find somebody whose style that you liked and who's patterns you could learn from. You found Charles, you found his books, and then were able to make your own version of that.

Jay: Right. As part of my process, I like to say, you got to find the framework. But then this is the more important part, you've got to break the framework. This book, I mean, I wouldn't be living up the ideas of the book if I didn't do that. The book is about how to make the best decisions for you regardless of the best practice, which I don't think we really talk about enough. We're always seeking a right and a wrong answer in theory. This is about getting into your specific context and making better decisions for you and your team, your customers. If that's what the book is about, I couldn't just wholesale copies. This is what it comes down to. Stand on the shoulders of giants. Don't lean against them like a crutch. That's really what it's about.

Dave: Love that. What was it before we talk about the stuff you wanted to talk about, I'm just going to give you... Give me a learning from the book process harder than you thought. Something that was harder than you thought and something that went better or was easier than you thought.

Jay: Ooh, that's a great question. Easier than I thought was just writing the actual thing, because it's just about focus and drive and I love to write to boot. I would write every morning, at least two or three times a week at my favorite coffee shop for three hours from open to 11:00 AM. Then, every Thursday was writing day. I blocked off all other work. That's kind of how I compartmentalized the writing. That was easier than I thought. I didn't think it would be that difficult, but it flew, both because of that commitment and because I had all this backlog content and the structure from Duhigg. Harder, honestly, I was writing for Exceptions. I was writing for my own show. I was writing for speeches. Very different styles. When you write for those experiences than when you write a book. The classic advice for when you write is show don't tell. But actually when you write for audio, you got to tell a little bit more because you can't see anything.

Dave: And you know you're going to have the opportunity to articulate the words that you're trying to say. But people reading your book are not hearing you. Well, I mean, if there's an audio version they would, but if you're writing a script for a podcast, you can basically control how you want to dictate that as opposed to letting somebody else do it.

Jay: Oh, my God.

Dave: Which I know for me, the way that I write my notes. Actually when I was at my previous job, I basically produced a podcast with the COO of HubSpot Mike Volpi at the time. I had to prep him for these interviews with some big names, CEOs and execs, whatever. What I realized is I was writing the notes as me and I even do this today, as I work with our CEO, David, and we work on a lot of writing and presentations together. I oftentimes write them as me because I know that it's going to get a chance to be narrated. I totally see that process playing out as a book and you have to think about like," I'm not going to be sitting on somebody's couch reading this to them."

Jay: Well, that's the problem with audio books. They're read, they're reading something that's meant to be read in silence out loud. When I did my audio book, I pulled from my lessons doing podcasts, tried to perform it a little bit more versus when I wrote, I had to get back into my writing voice, not my performing or out loud voice. It's very different. It's a subtle nuance. I found it more difficult, but also more exciting as a maker to try and navigate that. Then, I also self- published it. I worked with a publishing service, but I didn't go through a traditional publishing house because I value the control. The business that I'm in isn't to sell books. It's to sell speeches and shows. I want more creative control. I also want more pricing control because on the backend, I know it costs me four bucks a book to print through Amazon and when I do that in bulk anyway, because those are the author copies and I can order as many as I want, and then I can put a margin on top of that and pass that through to, say, a speaking gig or to somebody who in a corporation wants to buy a bundle, and I get to set that price. I'm not beholden to any other publisher that's like," Well, we have to make our cut, too." There was a lot in that process that's pretty hairy that I navigated for the first time.

Dave: I mean, I'm sure you could do a whole show on the book process and self publishing. Do you think that's going to be the future of more people, even a business like us if we're going to publish a book, do you see more people going the self publishing path?

Jay: I think so, because there are certain things that you shouldn't do alone, and there are certain things that are more expensive if you hire freelancer alone like the interior layout of a book, really does make or break the experience. Like, down to the margin of the page, that's what makes it look premium or not. I didn't want to go through that hassle of finding somebody alone so I did what they call hybrid publishing. This is a service that I hired. They offer all the backend stuff. I brought them a manuscript and a cover design, and also did the audio files myself. They took it the rest of the way and it was great. I think, if you look at the traditional publishing houses, they promise marketing knowledge. Honestly, DG, if you worked with one of these places, you would laugh at how outdated their marketing approaches are. They just don't get it.

Dave: I'm going through this process right now. I can tell you more stories later. There's a lot. I mean, so much has changed. I think of this a lot. I actually think a lot of marketing knowledge in general, separate from the publishing industry, is now outdated. I'm looking at people who have really done great job on YouTube. I feel like I can learn more about marketing by seeing what Casey Neistat has done on YouTube to grow the 10 million subscribers that I can from another B2B company in our industry. There's just a lot to be learned from how people are using the modern channels that people are on today.

Jay: Totally. I mean, really simple example and I'll end here because I know we have more we want to get to, but when I did all the marketing I had planned out, I filmed 50 videos, custom quick hit videos thanking people in my network for providing inspiration. In some cases they were in the book. I know I sent you and DC these videos because you guys are featured in chapter two. I told your story. I got value from you, in this case in a very direct way, I want to say thank you. That's all I did with these videos. I was like," Thank you," I embedded it on a landing page, brand it for the book. A publisher would not recommend doing that because it" doesn't scale." I know how much you hate that phrase but that's the knowledge they have. Run ads, get into the stores, pay for placement in those stores. They don't get why you would send things out pieces of value from the book. They just don't think in terms of modern marketing like a Casey Neistat, in your case. For me, it was about total control end to end, from the creative, to the writing, to the pricing business and marketing side. That to me is what people seek in any creative endeavor. I do think that the big publishers are in trouble and you see that because they reach out to self- published authors like they did with me and asked if they could put me under their label. It's too late. There's no value you bring anymore.

Dave: It's too late. I love it. Tell me about, what did you want to talk about Jay?

Jay: I've been doing Exceptions for almost a full season now and we're coming back with more seasons next year. I can't wait. But I've been seeing these common threads in every B2B company we've profiled and I get a chance to go deep because I talked to an executive, a frontline practitioner, and a customer. I'm seeing it from all angles, but I tried to boil that down into the five things exceptional B2B brands have in common. I thought I would just lay them out for people to have.

Dave: Let's do it. Lay them out and I will talk about them or I'll give some thoughts if you want my thoughts.

Jay: No, let's do it. I love that. We'll go from most obvious... obvious isn't the right word. Let's go from simplest to get on board with, to most complex to execute. Let's do that. All right. Number one is the simple and small things, not the big and flashy things, make or break a great brand. When I talk to, Envision is a good example, amazing company scaling like crazy, over 250 million in VC raised. Tons of customers used by big brands everywhere. Their examples, when I asked them, from the CMO to the practitioner I spoke to, of what makes them a great brand. They point to their weekly newsletter where they do little headlines for each article and little button copy that creates some sort of theme each week. That's what they point to. Or Gusto, in the first episode, sends out a You got paid email which celebrates you getting paid and then breaks down where your money went. It's such a simple thing that competitors don't do and it goes viral.

Dave: It's funny. I just hit my three- year anniversary at Drift and I tweeted out" The way I remembered that was actually from my pay stub from Gusto." I tweeted that out and a bunch of people commented," What pay services is that?" I even tweeted out the amount that I got. But no, I'm just kidding. Look, I think that's a great point because I think what happens is the reason why I think the memorable stuff, a good example is like what we just saw with Wistia. They did this documentary that you talked about and a bunch of other people have talked about where they basically produce three videos at three different price points and then publish this big documentary about it. I think that that was a great campaign, but I don't think that's what people will remember Wistia's brand for, because if you only wait on those big things to let people know what your brand is, you can only do that stuff twice a year. You need the day- to- day reminders. And so I do think it is the little things. It's how you reply to people on Twitter. It's how you respond to your emails. It's the funny thing that you do in the video. It's" Oh, you know that a new episode of Seeking Wisdom comes out every Monday." I think the consistency of publishing and all those channels over time adds up to the bigger stuff. It's not that Gusto does that in their pay stub emails. It's that you get that email twice a month and you're always going to remember that. I think that's such an important piece of it.

Jay: Totally. That's number one. Simple and small actually builds great brands. Don't disassociate from the ones you admire because all you see are the big projects like Wistia's documentary. It's bricks and mortar. So people remember and look at and identify the bricks, but the mortar makes it hold up. It's just that sexy to talk about. But the mortar is what makes your brand this firm wall that people can't penetrate if they're competitors. That's one. Simple and small things. The second is, there's a range of this. I know you've talked publicly about Drift being like a reality show in your marketing and putting faces on blog post imagery, for an example. But faces and people to the point of the employees becoming almost like recurring characters, that is another consistent theme. Envision doesn't have faces, but you see the names and you see them on Instagram. You meet them at their annual or monthly, I should say, customer round tables all across the US. Wistia is another good example. You get recurring characters in their videos so you get to know their quirks and personalities. It's the old adage that people buy from people not logos. We're seeing that come to the front and it's super obvious in all these brands. They put the people at the front and center. They're not overly worried about this idea that like," What if Dave leaves and then we lose a character on the show?" They're not worried about. They put the people out there.

Dave: That's something that has come up so much lately. I'm glad you brought that up. How did you title that? What was that lesson? What was that learning?

Jay: Faces and people to the point that the employees become characters to customers.

Dave: This is obviously like what we've done at Drift. That's not a secret. But there's always one person who asked me," What happens if you leave? What happens if you get hit by a bus?" I hate that question so much not because it involves me leaving or getting hit by a bus, but I just think that's such a limiting mindset that people have, which is, I'd rather worry about what might happen as opposed to doing it being real, being authentic, building an audience, building a brand, and then having that problem. There was somebody the other day on LinkedIn who literally wrote a LinkedIn post about me at Drift and said," I'm wondering if this is the right strategy or not." I'm like," I think it's the right strategy because it seems to be working." Then, I'm not saying that to be arrogant, but this has been how we've grown our brand. It's a key piece of that. I think it's crazy to sit around and have that prevent you from starting. That's kind of like, you talk about this a lot. That's kind of like the idea of," I'm thinking about doing a podcast, but I think podcasts are dumb and I'm not really sure." Okay, so don't do it, right? You have to make the choice to get started. Same thing, make the choice to use faces and be real. Then, if you do have that scenario come up later, figure it out then, and then it'd be a good problem to have because you've already built a brand that people want to care about.

Jay: Let me pull out two lessons from both your words and mine. One is, it's really about finding the version of this that works for you. You might not actually have a DG or the Wistia employees out there. It might just be like," Hey, this person's really funny, and while they're here, let's use that in the copy." There's other ways to deploy this.

Dave: Also, the other thing is people, the medium that I'm comfortable with is video. For example, I do a lot of videos on LinkedIn and other formats, and people often mix that up with the advice of being real. I'm like," Look, if you're not comfortable being on video, then that doesn't have to be your channel for being real and being authentic and being the face. It could be how you write. It could be an email you send out every week. It could be signing off your tweets from your brand as a person. That's just what happens to be natural for us and works for our business.

Jay: Right. Find the version that works for you and then this set, which is a theme of my book. Then, the second is we talk about the person asking," Well, what if you leave?" They're focused on mitigating the downside, but brand is wholly about maximizing the upside. It's this moat around your company. I've seen DC tweet that before. It really is this differentiator and this additive layer to everything you're doing to the point now that it is almost the only tactic that's left that is justifiable because it's differentiating your brand from another, in a world of total choice and infinite choice and commodities. If you're asking," Well, what if this person leaves?" Yeah, but they're not gone, number one. Number two is you want to maximize that effort that they can bring to your brand now. If they leave, okay, there's other people working for your company. Do the same with them. Also that creates this flywheel of people who are really, really good at what they do. Seeing Dgs career taking off, if you ever leave, the people will be like," Well, I want to work there too, because look what it did for him." We had to maximize the upside, not just mitigate the downside.

Dave: I totally agree. For what it's worth, we're adding more people into the mix now. It's not just going to be DC and my face. We got to add more people as the brand evolves. Over time there'll be more.

Jay: Okay, let's go to number three. If one is simple and small things, not big and flashy, despite the perception. Two is faces and people to the employees becoming almost characters for customers. Three and four really go together. Let me give you both at once. Three is, these brands are creating platforms for their customers careers. They're not just addressing the problems and the ideas surrounding the product. They're like product managers in that, even though they're in marketing, they want to own the problem and understand it really well and not just sell them a product that solves the problem, but explore what's going on. I'll give you an example in a second. That's three. Platforms for customers careers. Four is, in doing so they end up marketing to the whole person. They'll talk about tangential topics like culture and health and wellness and career paths and getting promoted. Seeking Wisdom is actually a really great example, by the way, because you have shows that are more sniper shots, which is like the traditional idea of marketing. Like, the show is about marketing, or a show about product, a show about operations. But there are things like exceptions in the feed or things like seeking wisdom that are about story or more of a horizontal idea, like getting better every day. So, you guys are marketing to the whole person. A really good example is Help Scout. Help Scout has this advocacy about their customers which are customer support representatives. Not the bosses, not the suits, in Nick Francis, the CEO's, terms, but the actual users of their end product. They build this platform every year on advocating for higher pay, they do studies on the salaries. All these things reach the people and resonate with them. But they're not just talking about seven tips and tricks for being a better customer support rep. Three and four platforms for your customer's entire careers and market to the whole person.

Dave: I love that. I mean, especially today, you have to market to the whole person. People want to work with people. If I don't feel like I connect with somebody personally, the people whose marketing advice I take to heart the most are the ones who I can relate to, and so even if you are giving me great marketing advice, but I don't feel like I know you as a person, that's going to be tougher.

Jay: Exactly. And again, this is about recognizing that they're not leads. They're people. They're not MQLs. It's Jerry, it's Sally. This is a real problem in B2B because we like these corporate ideas. Like, what is business? It's this monolithic idea. I have this out of school. I don't know about you. I thought to get into the business world was to get rid of your humanity and characteristics and quirks and go become a cog in a wheel. That is profoundly not the case at any of these companies. It's all about the whole person, whether it's an external play, I mentioned Help Scout, or it could be internal too. Buffer does a lot with a culture- based blog and while that attracts talent to their team and attracts customers too, it makes the people that are actually working for Buffer feel better about the business because they're talking so publicly about how much they care about culture. Again, that's a tangent off of their social media marketing products, but it's about reaching the whole person and resonating deeply with them. That's four.

Dave: I'm with you. Hit me with five.

Jay: Cool. Let's go to five. I mentioned we're going from easiest to get on board with to most complex to adopt. This is the most complex to adopt so far. It's sort of a watermark for sophistication in your marketing, but every single brand I've profiled so far has this. They take a portfolio approach to their marketing. Dave, when I say that, what idea comes to mind?

Dave: I think, the idea, it's more of just like something that we've talked about a lot, which is, to me, there's not one channel. If this was 1998, then you could basically bank on word of mouth and email as a way to grow your business because nobody was doing anything digitally other than email. But today, how do you pick? As a consumer, I'm just looking at my phone. I have WhatsApp, Slack, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn podcasts, YouTube, email. How do you choose which channel you're going to reach me on as a company? So, I think you have to have the portfolio approach. Now, it doesn't mean you can't afford to not be very good on one or two of those channels. But I think you just have to be where everybody, where all of your people are and so we invested in audio, we invested in video, we have an email newsletter, we have written content, we have all that stuff. I think, it's less of a finding that silver bullet. I think the silver bullet in marketing doesn't work. You used to hear all these stories about Airbnb did this thing with Craigslist or this other company was amazing at content early on in the early days of Google and so they were able to build a moat around SEO. I think all that stuff is now table stakes, because there's a concept we talked about a lot, which is like, there's just infinite supply in every industry and every market in every channel today that you have to take that portfolio approach to your marketing. I think you can have one central idea and then maybe there's one topic. We would break this, this would be a podcast, it'd be a video, it would be a blog post, it'd be a webinar, it'd be a newsletter. But I think you have to be able to be successful across all those channels.

Jay: Sure. A couple ideas that came to mind from the series, one is zoom, which we haven't aired yet, which is coming up. It's going to be the season finale of season one so get ready. You heard it here. Zoom. When I talked to them about these billboards that they do, and some of their overt branding plays in the traditional sense, again, a billboard, the head of marketing there was like," Those absolutely work. But guess what? We see a lift in our paid search and SEO when we have a billboard in a certain market so one thing makes the other thing work harder. We do a lot of direct response and partnership." Under content, they have multiple things. They do basic SEO friendly stuff, and then they do some big hit flashier content. It's about being balanced and nuanced and holistic. Another example is Buffer, not from the tactic side, but from the strategy side. They have strategies in place to generate just traffic, just get people to them. Then they have a strategy for keeping people around like the audience development from the traffic. Then, they have community plays like behind the scenes Slack channels and meet- up groups, which is taking an audience, which is like an A to B relationship, and making it interconnected with lots of nodes and lots of people. So they have strategies for traffic, audience and community, and they look at those things as different. It's a portfolio approach. I think, and this is just a new idea coming to mind as we speak, but it would be really interesting to see how people did this and decide how to do it. want to offer two ideas for how to do that. One is, this comes from Manav, the new CMO of envision. He said that,"Well, it's a portfolio approach. You have to let one bent win and make sure the team knows which is which." You can be a very direct response block and tackle quant team or you can be very brand and story- led, and you're going to do both, but you have to let one win and identify to the team if that's what matters. But then the other way to do this, which is the new idea that just came to mind is what if instead of letting the channel win or being like," Well, we need to do these things because that's what works in our space." When you hire, which is what good leaders do constantly, when you're hiring and recruiting, what if it was like best talent on the board? I have no idea if this would work, by the way. Best talent on the board, this person, you know what? We didn't think about doing a lot of BD and partnerships for marketing, but this person's unbelievable, and we happened to come across it. I'm DG VP of marketing. And I had coffee with this person and they really want to join Drift. I thought maybe we need to do more paid ads, but this person actually might be better than any paid advertising- based marketer I could find. Let me grab at the best talent on the board and sick that person loose on the world and see what they do. Because if it is a portfolio approach, if everything could ostensibly" work", why not get the best fricking person that you can possibly reach and just set them loose.

Dave: Yep. I love that.

Jay: You learned a lot. This is good that we're...

Dave: There's so much in this series. I'm so excited about what's to come. Man, this has been an amazing season one and there's so many more brands. The sound and style I want to re- engineer, there's just so much meat on this bone so I'm excited for Exceptions. This is just the beginning. I've seen the paperwork. We're signing up to do a couple more seasons together, which I'm excited about because the only thing we're going to run out of is great brands, which I hope we don't. I'm just kidding. There's probably plenty of people out there, which is why you'll go find them. Look, before we wrap up, do the... I feel like I'm a real host right now. Do the thing and plug your book, Break the Wheel, in stores now.

Jay: It's available now. Here's the deal.

Dave: Use my affiliate link.

Jay: Yeah, that's right. I'll give you one statement and you guys can decide if this is the book for you or not. Finding best practices is not the goal. Finding the best approach for you is how do you do that. We don't talk enough about that. We don't explore the difference between best practice and best for us enough. We certainly aren't looking at the history and science of why we decide to do certain things in business. If we can look all this stuff in the eye and we can build our work based on self- awareness and situational awareness instead of what some expert or advices, now we can make better decisions for us which is the goal of our work. It doesn't matter what the trend is. It doesn't matter what the historical idea was. It matters that we're getting results or finding fulfillment in our context. That's what this book is about. Making the Best Decisions. Not on average, not on general, but for you.

Dave: I love it. All right, Jay. Well, thank you man, for doing this. I'm super excited. I'm excited for you. I'm excited for what's to come. Best of luck with the book and everything. Look, go out and get yourself a copy of Jay's book and stop worrying about the best practices and figuring out what's right for your business. Look, go and get the book. But before you get the book, on the way to get the book, make sure you leave a six- star review for this podcast so I can renew my job here for another year at Drift. The way that I get paid is number of reviews that we get on the podcast and I send them all to David and then he determines if they will re- up me for another year here, so thanks for doing it.

Jay: Thanks. Everybody go pick up a copy of Break the Wheel. Appreciate your time.

Dave: All right, Jay. We'll see you, man. Adios.


On this #Marketing edition of Seeking Wisdom, DG sits down with Jay Acunzo to unpack 5 lessons he learned from today's top B2B brands while working on season one of #Exceptions. Plus, get a behind-the-scenes look at the writing process for Jay's new book, the art of self-publishing and more.