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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Virginia Technical Academy Revolutionizes Skilled Trades Education with Interplay Learning's Virtual Reality Simulations

PRnewswire | May 31, 2023

Virginia Technical Academy, a leading institution for skilled trades education, proudly announces its integration of Interplay Learning's training courses and simulations into its current curriculum. By adopting this innovative technology, the institution aims to enhance hands-on learning experiences for its students to prepare them for careers in the skilled trades. Virginia Technical Academy, which opened its doors during the onset of the pandemic, recognized the need to adapt and evolve to meet the changing demands of students and the skilled trades industry. The integration of Interplay Learning's robust training solution demonstrates their commitment to bridging the gap between theory and practical application. "With the adoption of Interplay Learning's online courses and virtual reality simulations, we are taking a giant leap forward in transforming skilled trades education," said David Gillespie, president of Virginia Technical Academy. "Our students will now have access to a realistic and immersive learning environment that will enhance their technical skills and overall confidence. By adding innovative solutions like these in addition to classroom and lab work, we are equipping our students with the tools they need to succeed in their chosen fields." Interplay Learning's training provides students with interactive and lifelike scenarios to practice hands-on work, such as electrical wiring, HVAC systems troubleshooting, plumbing installations, and more. This cutting-edge technology allows students to gain practical experience and develop critical problem-solving skills in a risk-free environment. The integration of Interplay's expert-led courses and 3D simulations into the existing curriculum will enable students to refine their abilities, boost their efficiency, and accelerate their learning curve. "We are proud to partner with Virginia Technical Academy as they integrate our online training and simulations into their curriculum," said Doug Donovan, CEO of Interplay Learning."By embracing this technology, the institution is taking significant leaps in advancing skilled trades education. We are excited to be part of their journey, empowering students to experience immersive and realistic hands-on learning." In support of this groundbreaking initiative, Interplay Learning will provide Quest 2 VR headsets to Virginia Technical Academy as part of a generous donation made possible through Interplay's partnership with Meta. These state-of-the-art devices will empower students to fully immerse themselves in virtual reality simulations, heightening their engagement and maximizing the benefits of this transformative learning experience. Virginia Technical Academy is committed to delivering the highest quality education to its students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the skilled trades industry. By incorporating Interplay Learning's virtual reality simulations and leveraging the power of Meta Quest headsets, the institution continues to set a new standard for hands-on training in Newport News and beyond. About Interplay Learning: Austin-based Interplay Learning offers scalable and effective training for the essential skilled trades that helps business leaders, educators and their teams build better companies, better careers and better lives. Interplay Learning's immersive online and VR training platform for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, hospitality, multifamily maintenance and facilities maintenance workforces includes expert-led video courses, hands-on 3D simulations, knowledge checks and custom learning paths to upskill advanced technicians and help new technicians be job-ready in weeks, not years. About Virginia Technical Academy: Virginia Technical Academy was founded on the principle that every community needs a skilled and well-educated workforce. Its goal is to provide an environment that will exceed the educational requirements and needs of both future tradespeople and their employers. Virginia Technical Academy is dedicated to keeping our trades strong through education, validation, and professional networking.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Maryvit Education Center Using PowerSchool Personalized Learning Cloud to Support Teaching and Learning Infrastructure at New Campus

PowerSchool | June 02, 2023

PowerSchool today announced Maryvit Education Center (MEC) in Chonburi, Thailand has expanded its use of PowerSchool Schoology Learning, a key component of the PowerSchool Personalized Learning Cloud, to support K-10 students at its new campus, which opened in May 2023. With MEC’s newest campus open for the 2023-24 school year, MEC teachers will have access to intuitive tools to improve student performance, collaboration, parental and family engagement, and standards tracking. “PowerSchool Schoology Learning played a pivotal role in our operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so selecting the platform to support our new campus’ operations only made sense,” said Dr. Steven Kitikiatisak, President, Maryvit Education Center. “Schoology Learning and our PowerSchool support team have proven they can help us create better learning outcomes for our students and staff. We look forward to leveraging Schoology Learning at our newest campus in the upcoming academic year.” Since its integration across the MEC network, Schoology Learning has helped its educators effectively manage course and material distribution. Notably, the platform helped MEC improve its hybrid learning infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers were able to leverage the learning management system to create digital learning curriculums and games that increased students’ participation while remote. More broadly, Schoology also helped MEC increase parent-teacher-student communications and overall visibility into students’ progress and learning. Further, MEC teachers predominantly teach and create all their Schoology Learning content in Thai. They launched custom Schoology Learning user guides in Thai via a YouTube channel, to support students and their fellow educators. Maryvit Education Center is a private Catholic school network located within the Chonburi Province of Thailand. MEC provides more than 10,000 students a Thai-focused learning curriculum with an added emphasis on English and Chinese studies. The school network operates across three different campuses within the cities of Pattaya, Sattahip, and Bowin, and opened a new campus in Nikhom Pattana, Rayong in May 2023. About PowerSchool PowerSchoolis the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America. Its mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential, in their way. PowerSchool connects students, teachers, administrators, and parents, with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. From the office to the classroom to the home, it helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments and analytics in one unified platform. PowerSchool supports over 50 million students globally and more than 15,000 customers, including more than 90 of the top 100 districts by student enrollment in the United States, and sells solutions in more than 90 countries.

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