Q&A with Jay Gaines, CMO at Forrester

Q&A with Jay Gaines
Jay Gaines, CMO at Forrester has over 20 years of experience in organizational design and leadership, marketing strategy and planning, marketing budget and operations management, demand creation, sales and marketing alignment, and digital strategy in a variety of b-to-b industries.   

In this Q&A, Jay shares insightful thoughts about the audience-centric approach at SiriusDecisions and what marketing means to him.

MEDIA 7: How old were you when you had your first paying job?
JAY GAINES:
 I was 10 years old! I delivered newspapers in my neighborhood on my bike five days a week after school.

M7: You have been recognized as one of the top 10 CMOs in 2019 by The Silicon Review. What skills have enabled you to become a marketing industry leader?
JG:
In my time at SiriusDecisions, I’ve had the good fortune to work closely with many amazing CMOs. That work provided me great insight into what makes for a highly effective and successful marketing leader. There are three primary skills that I think have helped me the most; first, to be a business leader and then a marketing leader. This means focusing on, being accountable for, and consistently reporting on marketing’s contribution to the same business goals that the CEO, CFO, board of directors and head of sales care about most. It also means always speaking the language of business, and avoiding marketing jargon when communicating with my colleagues outside of marketing. Second, is just being a good leader for my team by providing structure and clear goals, defending their focus, and promoting a culture of experimentation and rigor. Third, is constantly staying curious. Marketing is evolving so rapidly in terms of strategies, approaches, technologies, and measurement that part of any leader's job must be keeping up what’s new without chasing every new shiny object.

"Marketing is evolving so rapidly in terms of strategies, approaches, technologies and measurement that part of any leader's job must be keeping up what’s new without chasing every new shiny object."



M7: How impactful are the leadership summits from a marketing outreach perspective, and how significantly have they enabled SiriusDecisions to push towards the forefront as an industry leader?
JG:
Our summits are a key driver of growth for us. We put a huge amount of effort into them and they have become a primary brand experience for our customers and other audiences. We attract thousands of B2B marketing, sales and product leaders to these events and use them to release our latest research, data and insights. Especially as SiriusDecisions has expanded into new geographies (Europe and Asia) and new verticals (healthcare, financial services, etc.) our events have enabled us to quickly establish presence, acquire audiences and build positive perception.

M7: You have been leading marketing initiatives for SiriusDecisions across various geographies including North America, EMEA and APAC. In your experience, how does the approach to marketing strategy vary based on different regions?
JG:
At SiriusDecisions we take a very audience-centric approach in how we go to market through the use of audience frameworks and personas. We typically create personas centrally and then adapt them for geos and vertical industries. Most of the important differences we see are in persona preferences, in how they want to be contacted and engaged, how they consume information, and what their trusted sources of information are. So, while our campaign and program themes remain largely consistent globally the assets, tactics, and channels we utilize vary widely across geographies. For example, in Asia we’ve had great success and lean more heavily on mobile-specific strategies as well as a higher volume of smaller local events.


"Most of the important differences we see are in persona preferences, in how they want to be contacted and engaged, how they consume information, and what their trusted sources of information are."


M7: From a little cottage in Southport, Connecticut to a global leader in B2B marketing solutions, what has been the main force behind the overwhelming success of SiriusDecisions?
JG: 
By far the main driving force for SiriusDecisions has been our relationships with our clients and our commitment to their success. We have a deep culture of customer-centricity and helpfulness that permeates everything we do. For example, every piece of research we produce must pass the test of being supported by data and evidence, and also must include details about how to actually do whatever it is we’re recommending. Unlike many other firms similar to us, we also consider our work with clients to be collaborative. All of our research is based on our work with our clients and our ability to observe and measure what actually works and what doesn’t. This means we learn as much from them as they do from us and their success is our success.


"All of our research is based on our work with our clients and our ability to observe and measure what actually works and what doesn’t."

M7: What is Marketing to you?
JG:
To me marketing is the art and science of engaging target audiences through the delivery of value in order to achieve specific business outcomes. Value can be delivered in any number of ways including information, entertainment and purpose, and business outcomes can span everything from customer acquisition to retention to advocacy.

ABOUT SIRIUSDECISIONS

SiriusDecisions® is the leading global b-to-b research and advisory firm. We deliver actionable intelligence, strategic and operational frameworks, and personal guidance from experienced practitioners.

Sales, marketing and product executives rely on SiriusDecisions® to contextualize problems and bring to light opportunities to drive sustainable growth. Our holistic solutions are founded on proprietary research, a deep understanding of b-to-b complexities, and the tenet that organizational alignment brings better outcomes.

SiriusDecisions was acquired by Forrester (NASD: FORR) in January of 2019.

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(Home Office Phoenix, AZ) traces its roots to Silicon Valley at the dawn of the tech boom. Reliance Matrix is a member of the Tokio Marine Group. Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., the ultimate holding company of the Tokio Marine Group, is incorporated in Japan and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Tokio Marine Group operates in the property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and life insurance sectors globally. The Group's main operating subsidiary, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire (TMNF), was founded in 1879 and is the oldest and leading property and casualty insurer in Japan. About Lloyd's of London Lloyd's is the world's leading insurance and reinsurance marketplace. Through the collective intelligence and risk-sharing expertise of the market's underwriters and brokers, Lloyd's helps to create a braver world. The Lloyd's market provides the leadership and insight to anticipate and understand risk, and the knowledge to develop relevant, new and innovative forms of insurance for customers globally. It offers the efficiencies of shared resources and services in a marketplace that covers and shares risks from more than 200 territories, in any industry, at any scale. And it promises a trusted, enduring partnership built on the confidence that Lloyd's protects what matters most: helping people, businesses and communities to recover in times of need. Lloyd's began with a few courageous entrepreneurs in a coffee shop. Three centuries later, the Lloyd's market continues that proud tradition, sharing risk in order to protect, build resilience and inspire courage everywhere.

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Ladder and Envestnet | MoneyGuide Announce Integration to Provide More Advisors Digital Access to Term Life Insurance Offerings

PR Newswire | January 29, 2024

Today at the T3 Technology Conference, Ladder, the insurtech offering digital, flexible life insurance in minutes announced an integration with Envestnet | MoneyGuide, a leading financial planning software company serving over 107,000 financial advisors. This will empower more financial advisors with the capabilities to provide clients with term life insurance issued by reputable insurers. With this partnership, financial advisors utilizing Envestnet I MoneyGuide Elite's Advanced Lifetime Protection tool will be able to offer their clients digital, convenient, and affordable term life insurance. Financial advisors will be able to estimate clients' coverage needs, generate a quote, and send clients a link to apply—all from within the Envestnet | MoneyGuide platform. MoneyGuide's Advanced Lifetime Protection tool is designed to illustrate how a clients' protection needs can change over time. This tool may help advisors identify an opportunity to improve a client's probability of successfully achieving the goals in their client's financial plan. "Life insurance is a critical piece of a comprehensive financial plan," says Mike Izakov, Head of Financial Institution Partnerships at Ladder. "We believe MoneyGuide has the most robust planning tool in the industry, and we're excited to make it even easier for advisors to get clients the coverage their plans call for." With Ladder's industry-leading digital capabilities and proprietary flexible coverage (i.e. "laddering"), advisors using Envestnet | MoneyGuide will be able to utilize a visualization showcasing how a strategically laddered Ladder policy may save clients up to 40%* over a 30-year term compared to traditional term coverage. "Envestnet's generational research shows that a surprising 50% of Baby Boomers are not formally organizing their long-term finances," said Rose Palazzo, Group President of Envestnet Financial Planning. "Through our partnership with Ladder, our advisors are better equipped to help their clients take action on organizing their financial plans, including the important step of seeking to secure their financial futures through life insurance coverage. Ladder provides our advisors with digital access to term life insurance products, with an integration built right into our protection planning solution." Ladder offers term life insurance for coverage between $100,000 and $8 million, for terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. There are no medical exams required for coverage up to $3 million, just questions about an applicant's health are asked. The pricing is fully underwritten and backed by reputable carriers. Ladder offers a variety of partnership and compensation models to meet the needs of fee-based and insurance-licensed financial advisors. About Ladder Ladder is the first full-stack, digital life insurance company offering flexible online term coverage in minutes that can save policyholders up to 40%* by adjusting their coverage as their life changes. Ladder uses real-time underwriting to make life insurance as accessible, affordable, and beloved as it should be. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, and offers coverage up to $8M with no hidden fees. ABOUT ENVESTNET Envestnet is transforming the way financial advice is delivered through an ecosystem of technology, solutions, and intelligence. By establishing the connections between people's daily financial decisions and long-term financial goals, Envestnet empowers them to make better sense of their finances and live an Intelligent Financial Life. With more than $5.4 trillion in platform assets—more than 107,000 advisors, 16 of the 20 largest U.S. banks, 48 of the 50 largest wealth management and brokerage firms, more than 500 of the largest RIAs, and thousands of companies, depend on Envestnet technology and services to help drive better outcomes for their businesses and for their clients.

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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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