Q&A with Jaime Punishill, CMO at Lionbridge

Jaime Punishill, CMO at Lionbridge is an innovative marketing, channel, and product executive with a proven track record for finding blue ocean strategies and delivering scalable business operations.

Jaime is also an expert in operationalizing design thinking, translating new concepts and trends into workable business plans and operations, and delivering pragmatic innovation within a large enterprise.

MEDIA 7: Could you tell us about your role and journey into marketing?
JAIME PUNISHILL:
As Chief Marketing Officer for Lionbridge, I oversee brand, demand gen, corporate communications, marketing, and customer research. Interestingly enough, I’m not a classic marketer by training. I have spent most of my career on the product side and in digital transformation. I’ve been doing that since the mid-1990s. At some point, it became clear that marketing was the next area that universal digital transformation was going to overtake, and areas like user experience and many other digital functions that had been done separately were going to move under the remit of marketing. I slowly moved into the marketing universe and helped with big digital transformation in my previous company. That led me to take on all our brand, advertising, and integrated marketing. In that way, I ended up with a more traditional marketing role, and that led me to Lionbridge.

M7: As a CMO, what are the biggest challenges you face?
JP:
One of the biggest challenges is the unbelievable explosion in the martech space. I get over 300-400 emails and dozens of phone calls every day from different vendors who are trying to push different tools to help optimize the new digital experience. Keeping track of the rapid pace of evolution and trying to integrate all those tools is single-handedly probably one of the biggest challenges for CMOs. It swallows historical challenges, like getting the company to buy into a new understanding of the digital universe, or getting people to appreciate customer research and customer feedback.
These are always challenges, but they are all lower in scale now than just sheer digital transformation and the volume of tools and resources that accompany that transformation. There’s so much noise, and it’s really hard to tell what’s real and what’s not real.


"Keeping track of the rapid pace of evolution and trying to integrate all those tools is single-handedly probably one of the biggest challenges for CMOs."

M7: What was the most successful marketing campaign you have ever worked on? What made it so successful?
JP:
In my previous organization, we led a re-brand of the company in its first-ever national advertising campaign. That meant we weren’t constrained by existing rules and assumptions about how things had to be done, so we were able to quite creatively and innovatively harness several digital channels in a way that many of our competitors hadn’t. In terms of revenue or asset flows, new customers, traffic to the website and just about every other metric, it was a tremendous lift. That’s probably the single-most effective marketing campaign I’ve worked on, and it was completely comprehensive. It had a brand component, a communications component, a community component. It had very specific direct targeting and campaigns along with a goal of raising basic awareness. We were targeting by social media profile and audience. I think it was successful largely because it was multi-faceted and end-to-end.

M7: At Lionbridge, how do you see AI evolving with digital media?
JP:
For AI, we are still really in a hype-cycle. There is absolutely no doubt that AI and everything that falls under its purview will have a profound impact on the scale, data, and decisions we are able to process as marketers. The number of simulations and tests we will be able to run to optimize a campaign or project pre-launch, plus the ability for us to pivot real-time and use new insights, will be absolutely profound. But I think we are still very early in the journey. There’s more hype than substance right now. I’m not skeptical about AI’s eventual impact at all. But right now, the tools are not mature, and we are not mature in our understanding of AI, even regarding some of the most impactful ways to use it. So, I’m super optimistic over a 3-5-7-year period. But, I’m very skeptical over a 6-12-24-months period.


"AI and everything that falls under its purview will have a profound impact on the scale, data, and decisions we are able to process as marketers."

M7: How does the acquisition of Gengo strengthen Lionbridge’s position in machine learning?
JP: We are one of the world leaders in AI training data services. The fuel that makes AI work effectively is incredibly high volumes of high-quality data. And the problem is, as we know, most organizations have not done a good job being stewards of their data. Their data exists in lots of places, their data is not clean, it’s not annotated or mapped, there’s no organizing taxonomy around its structure. CDPs are still relatively early for a lot of folks, and so the catch is that you have lots of data, but that data may be largely unusable. Sort of like, there is a lot of oil in the ground, but just because the oil is in the ground doesn’t mean you have gas that works in your car or in a plane. A lot has to happen to refine it, to get it ready. The same is true with data “fuel.”

The good news is that we are one of the world leaders in helping companies refine their data so it’s usable in training their AI systems. Identifying and collecting data, and giving that data meaning, for example, is it metadata or actual data, is that an important variable or not an important variable, etc., is an integral step in the machine learning process. We help companies collect data, organize it, give it meaning so it can best feed our customers’ AI platforms.

We do this by activating our one million-strong SmartCrowd. The Gengo platform really helps us create a scalable system that will allow more companies to be able to improve the quality of their AI training data and, in turn, the quality of their AI.

M7: How do you stay updated on the latest trends in marketing technology?
JP: 
I read a lot. I get a couple of hundred emails a day. Part of that is because I sign up for lots of different sources of information. I think you have to consume a tremendous amount of information right now to pull in all the weak signals. And I probably dedicate more of my days than I would normally to looking at new capabilities just to keep me informed and up-to-date. This allows me to get a sense of when I think something is at a point where we can use it and harness something early for a strategic advantage.


"Most organizations have not done a good job being stewards of their data. Their data exists in lots of places, their data is not clean, it’s not annotated or mapped, there’s no organizing taxonomy around its structure."

M7: What are the top 3 trends that you foresee for 2019 going into 2020?
JP:
We are going to hear more about AI. We will see more examples of it not working in the next 18 months than we will see examples of it working, but I think that’s a short-term phenomenon, and we will work out the issues.

I think there is absolutely no doubt that we are going to see an increase in the production and consumption of video and its import in the production cycle. People are consuming more and more videos, and even B2B buyers are much more heavily consuming videos as a way to absorb a lot of information in a pretty short period of time. In 2-3 minutes, you can convey a lot more, and frankly people can understand a lot more than if they spend 20 minutes reading a whitepaper or something of that nature.

And clearly, voice search is on a big rise. There are a couple of key reasons for that. If you think about the US workforce, half of it now only knows a universe where Google is the dominant information organizational paradigm. Pair that with the sheer explosion of speech applications and devices, whether in your home, in your car, or in your hand—today, every phone is speech-enabled. It’s clear that all the large players are investing a tremendous amount of effort into proving the quality of voice search, and an increasing number of users are speaking to a device or multiple devices to get information. That’s a real challenge for organizations and marketers, because the way people speak to their device and physically ask for information is not the same as how they type a query into a search engine. So, the whole way in which we optimize and organize for search results in a voice-search world is quite different than in a text-based or type-based universe.  

M7: What is your superpower?
JP:
I’m not really sure I have a superpower. But there’s something I think I do that seems to be more of a struggle for some others. I’m able to assemble a collection of weak signals to predict what is going to happen before it happens. I really believe all the information is there, but I seem to be able to use that information to make some good bets about what the future holds.

ABOUT LIONBRIDGE

Lionbridge partners with brands to break barriers and build bridges all over the world. For more than 20 years, we have helped companies connect with global customers by delivering marketing, testing and globalization services in more than 300 languages. Through our world-class platform, we orchestrate a network of 500,000 passionate experts in 5,000-plus cities, who partner with brands to create culturally rich experiences. Relentless in our love for linguistics, we use the best of human and machine intelligence to forge understanding that resonates with our customers’ customers. Based in Waltham, Mass., Lionbridge maintains solution centers in 27 countries. Learn more at www.lionbridge.com.

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Norwegian Insurer Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring Goes Live with Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

Sapiens International Corporation, a leading global provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, and the leading Norwegian insurance company Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) today announced that GPF has gone live with Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions and Sapiens Cloud Services for their individual savings. GPF is the first Nordic customer to go-live with CoreSuite, which will expand the insurer's digital capabilities and boost its leading market position. Designed to enable greater automation and operational efficiency, Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions provides GPF with an optimised, Norwegian-tailored platform with real-time access to centrally managed data. As a single, unified system on the cloud, CoreSuite provides a cost-efficient, cloud-based IT infrastructure to streamline workflows, accelerate digital transformation and improve customer engagement. The CoreSuite solution is maintained and updated continuously by Sapiens in accordance with the latest technological and regulatory requirements. "Sapiens has now completed the initial phase of our core transformation project to CoreSuite and provided valuable support throughout the journey," said Torstein Ingebretsen, CEO of GPF. A strong core and strategy are essential to GPF's growth in Norway's rapidly changing pensions market." "We are proud to have achieved this important milestone in the Nordics with a regional leader like GPF," added Roni Al-Dor, Sapiens President and CEO. "We will continue to support GPF's journey to drive innovation and set the standard for best-in-class customer service with our transformative, future-oriented, cloud-based IT infrastructure." Sapiens CoreSuite for Life & Pensions is a software solution for end-to-end core operations and processes. An award-winning policy administration system, it supports individual and group products across life, health, wealth & retirement. Sapiens Cloud Services supports business growth with a holistic offering of value-added cloud services that provides all operations and application management services under one roof. About Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) Gjensidige Pensjonsforsikring (GPF) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gjensidige Forsikring. GPF mainly offers defined contribution, investment products, pension plans and risk products for groups and individuals in the Norwegian market. About Sapiens Sapiens International Corporation empowers the financial sector, with a focus on insurance, to transform and become digital, innovative and agile. With more than 40 years of industry expertise, Sapiens' cloud-based SaaS insurance platform offers pre-integrated, low-code capabilities across core, data, and digital domains to accelerate our customers' digital transformation. Serving over 600 customers in more than 30 countries, Sapiens offers insurers across property and casualty, workers' compensation, and life insurance markets the most comprehensive set of solutions, from core to complementary, including Reinsurance, Financial & Compliance, Data & Analytics, Digital, and Decision Management.

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Insurance Technology

AgentSync Launches API to Streamline Insurance Producer Onboarding and Compliance

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

AgentSync today announced the launch of its first commercially available ProducerSync API for carriers, MGAs, and agencies to manage producer and adjuster licensing and appointment validation without the paperwork. The ProducerSync application programming interface (API) acts as a menu, allowing insurance businesses to draw from a selection of National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) data on licensing, appointing, and personal information for producers. AgentSync humanizes and contextualizes the data so end users have actionable information from the industry source of truth without hours of manual research. "ProducerSync API represents a key step in our long-term strategic vision. By streaming accurate and comprehensive data to our customers' existing systems, ProducerSync API drives better business decisions," said Jenn Knight, Co-Founder and CTO of AgentSync. "We're focused on building modern technology that unlocks value for our customers, and highly flexible and adaptable products like ProducerSync API do exactly that by leveraging current data for better all-around business outcomes." The ProducerSync API uses REST API architecture, making it lightweight, scalable, and flexible, and is the first of AgentSync's planned suite of APIs to be available to the wider insurance market. It joins a family of modern business solutions the company uses to connect the industry. "Our first product, Manage, has had strong customer adoption by delivering superior business data with a modern user interface and comprehensive features for compliance and producer management," said Knight. "ProducerSync API builds on this vision, giving customers programmatic access to NIPR data elements in a way that is highly modular and reusable for a variety of use cases." Insurance runs on data, but maintaining the accuracy and quality of producer data across ecosystems is, historically, a challenge for all stripes of insurance organizations. With ProducerSync API, users can have confidence in their data while reducing maintenance, driving down business risks, enabling better-informed decisions, and eliminating inefficiencies with a scaled, secure solution. About AgentSync AgentSync builds modern insurance infrastructure that connects carriers, agencies, MGAs, and producers. With customer-centric design, seamless APIs, automation, and unparalleled service, AgentSync's solutions provide data intelligence and streamlined onboarding and compliance management processes that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and get producers ready to sell in hours instead of weeks. Founded in 2018 by Niranjan "Niji" Sabharwal and Jenn Knight, and headquartered in Denver, CO, AgentSync has been recognized as one of Denver's Best Places to Work, a Forbes Magazine Cloud 100 Rising Star, and as an Insurtech Insights Future 50 winner, and was ranked 65 in Forbes – America's Best Startup Employers 2023.

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