Q&A with Jay Gaines, CMO at Forrester

MEDIA 7 | July 23, 2019

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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Yahoo Selects AWS as Its Preferred Public Cloud Provider for Its Ad Tech Business

AWS | December 02, 2022

At AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced that Yahoo has selected AWS as its preferred public cloud provider for its advertising technology business Yahoo Ad Tech. Building on its longtime relationship with AWS, Yahoo Ad Tech is migrating all of its advertising technology workloads—including its media-buying and supply-side platforms, analytics, and identity solutions and products—from its on-premises data centers to AWS. The migration is part of the business’s ongoing digital transformation strategy to reduce IT infrastructure costs, transform its advertising business operations, and develop more tailored and immersive solutions to help brands connect with their audiences. Improving Scale, Inventory, and Effectiveness for Advertisers and Agencies Yahoo Ad Tech reaches more than 540 million people worldwide through its advertising software platform that gives advertising publishers, brands, and agencies the ability to upload creative and automate media-buying across an inventory of mobile, web, and TV channels. The Yahoo Ad Tech platform uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) compute-optimized instances, powered by AWS-designed processors, to provide publishers, advertising agencies, and brand customers with insights on real-time advertising performance. This reduces the time it takes to deliver the insights advertisers need to reach the right audiences at the right times and in the right formats. Increasing Advertising Performance and Revenues for Publishers In addition to giving brands a platform to reach audiences, the Yahoo Ad Tech platform offers media owners and publishers an ad-decisioning engine to help attract advertisers and manage their ad business. AWS’s proven global infrastructure and extensive portfolio of cloud capabilities—including analytics, compute, machine learning (ML), serverless, and storage—will enable Yahoo to rapidly innovate new features for its ad tech platform. Yahoo will help its publisher partners add measurement capabilities, optimize real-time ad-bidding, and hone ad inventory and effectiveness to determine the best mix of advertising while also attracting new brands. As part of its migration to the cloud, Yahoo Ad Tech is moving its central data platform to AWS to improve advertising effectiveness, personalization, and engagement for its advertiser and publishing customers. Using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Yahoo Ad Tech will construct a centralized data lake to store hundreds of petabytes of data. The data lake will enable Yahoo Ad Tech to break down data silos and tap into AWS analytics services, including Amazon EMR (AWS’s industry-leading cloud big data service for processing vast amounts of data using open-source tools) and Amazon Athena (an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data). This will support rapid analysis of data from a variety of sources to understand advertising trends, target audiences, and deliver ad performance insights across its operations. Yahoo Ad Tech plans to use Amazon SageMaker (AWS’s service for building, training, and deploying ML models in the cloud and at the edge) to streamline its ML pipeline, which today contains thousands of models, and deepen the company’s ability to predict advertising spends, ad inventory, and the effectiveness of ad formats. Toexpedite cloud adoption for Yahoo Ad Tech and develop new advertising solutions, Yahoo is providing employees with cloud skills training using the AWS Designated Virtual Trainer (DVT) program. Yahoo is on track to conduct more than 50 instructor-led classes in 2022 with a goal of providing 2,000 IT employees with foundational cloud training over the next two years. These classes will help employees develop skills in application development, data management, and security to support Yahoo’s migration goals and drive innovation at scale. “By harnessing the power of AWS, we’ll be able to move faster and give our customers what they value most—advertising solutions that provide the right combination of performance, audiences, and revenue growth,” said Aaron Lake, senior vice president of Platforms Engineering and chief information officer at Yahoo. “By harnessing the power of AWS, we’ll be able to move faster and give our customers what they value most—advertising solutions that provide the right combination of performance, audiences, and revenue growth,” said Aaron Lake, senior vice president of Platforms Engineering and chief information officer at Yahoo. “Running all of Yahoo Ad Tech on AWS provides us with a broad portfolio of world-class services that will allow us to help advertisers achieve the returns they want by providing them with precise audience targeting, while our ad publisher customers are able to scale and monetize their ad space.” “Yahoo is a digital pioneer and a trusted partner for the world’s biggest brands,” said Matt Garman, senior vice president of Sales, Marketing, and Global Services at AWS. “The world’s leading media and digital advertising companies rely on AWS as their cloud provider because we help them deliver performance and drive real growth. We’re excited to help Yahoo accelerate its migration to the cloud and bring innovative solutions that help advertisers serve customers all over the world.” About Amazon Web Services For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 96 Availability Zones within 30 geographic regions, with announced plans for 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and Thailand. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com. About Amazon Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews. About Yahoo Yahoo reaches nearly 900 million people around the world, bringing them closer to finance, sports, shopping, gaming and news—with the trusted products, content and tech that fuel their day. For partners, Yahoo provides a full-stack platform for businesses to amplify growth and drive more meaningful connections across advertising, search and media. To learn more, please visit yahooinc.com.

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