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31. Jay Gaines, CMO at Large

July 9th, 2020 Cheri Hulse

Hey Webinerds, welcome back to CMO Confessions, our B2B podcast with the top leaders in marketing and sales today. Today’s CMO Confessions features Jay Gaines, former CMO of SiriusDecisions and Forrester.

In this episode, Jay and Cheri Keith, Head of Strategy and Research at ON24, discuss their time at SiriusDecisions and Forrester together, what Jay loves about B2B marketing today and a few marketing pet peeves.

As always, you can find the full episode of CMO Confessions on Podbean here and an edited transcript of our conversation below.

You can learn more about Jay’s career and the projects he’s working on through his LinkedIn page here and his Twitter feed here.

If you’re interested in listening to our growing podcast series, you can find all of our episodes right here in Podbean. Alternatively, you can also find us on both iTunes and Google Play stores.

Without further ado, welcome to another edition of CMO Confessions.

Table of Contents:

Shifting Gears with Different Marketing Roles
The CMO Role Through an Acquisition
What’s to Love about B2B Marketing Today
Marketing Pet Peeves
Marketing Buzzwords
Future Plans

Cheri Keith:

Hello and welcome to CMO confessions, the weekly B2B marketing and sales podcast, where I speak with amazing guests about what it really means to be a marketing leader in today’s business world.

I am Cheri Keith, Head of Strategy and Research at ON24, and on today’s episode, I am so excited to have a long-time coworker of mine, along for the ride with us, Jay Gaines. Jay and I spent time together at both SiriusDecisions and Forrester. So, Jay, thank you so much for coming on.

Jay Gaines:

Well, thanks, Cheri. It’s great to be here and it’s great to see you again.

Cheri Keith:

I know awesome times to reconnect and then also get some great content going.

Jay Gaines:

Exactly.

Shifting Gears with Different Marketing Roles

Cheri Keith:

So, I want to first start because when we were working together, we each held different roles within our organization at SiriusDecisions. And I think your career trajectory is pretty interesting being an analyst, advising CMOs, and then switching back to the practitioner role in being the CMOs. So, can you talk about how you were able to shift gears and what that looked like?

Jay Gaines:

Yeah, sure. So, before I got to SiriusDecisions, I had been the CMO twice. I joined Sirius because I bought into the vision. I love the idea that our founders, John Neeson and Rich Eldh, had. And as you said, I joined as an analyst, but at that time I was, I think I was the 21st employee. So, I was also doing some marketing in those early days because we’d had no marketing leader. I think we had one marketer on the team, but we kind of were all doing everything. I was selling a little bit. I was advising clients as an analyst. I was marketing a little bit. So, that’s how the role was pitched to me. Then I became a full-time analyst because I fell in love with the job and you did it for long enough to know why that is. I think you enjoyed it as well. It’s just so great to work with so many clients and the variety in the work is awesome. It’s a way to kind of earn your Ph.D. in whatever it is you’re an analyst on, because you’re learning from so many great marketing people.

So, I did that for a number of years. And as you pointed out, I spent several of those years advising chief marketing officers and that work was great. So, I think the transition at Sirius was pretty natural for me. I’d been there for a long time. I had spent a lot of time learning from our best and brightest clients, what they did and what really worked and what didn’t work. I think when John and Rich were ready for a real CMO, I was kind of the natural place to look. And you know, the other thing about it though, which made it a little bit more challenging, was by that time I was surrounded by what? Almost a hundred brilliant marketing analysts, yourself included?

So, I think part of the reason why they went with me as opposed to any one of a number of other people was because the time I had been there, I just developed great relationships, not just with people on the research side, the analysts, but really on the sales side too. And I think one of the things I was a little bit known for was spending a lot of time in the field with the sales organization. We had a younger sales team and I needed them to sell the CMOs. So, I kind of had to join them all the time. So, it builds a really strong relationship there too. I think they liked the idea of kind of a selling CMO being there.

But I’ll tell you, moving from an analyst to an actual practitioner, again, wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Because, as you know, as analysts at Sirius, we dug in with our clients. We weren’t just kind of pontificating from on high. We would really dig into what they were doing, what their tech platforms were. Kind of benchmarking what was working and what wasn’t working. So, we went deep with them. So, I never felt very far removed from the actual work of being a marketer and marketing leader as an analyst, so it was a pretty smooth transition. I knew the business pretty well at that point. And, I re-fell in love with being a CMO when I made the transition. Although I got to still be an analyst a little bit.

Cheri Keith:

Yeah. Well, that’s a good thing when you like, or the good and the bad thing. When you move within roles at a company, you never can fully leave behind what you were doing before you reached that other level. Because people will still come to you for things that quote “isn’t in your job description,” but you get that street credit internally for doing something. So, you just keep doing it. Like you don’t want to be a “no” person, but I think…

Jay Gaines:

That’s right.

Cheri Keith:

What you mentioned definitely resonates because if you think about all the transitions that marketers have to make constantly it’s ever-changing. But at the same time, you’re always thinking of new things, but you can’t leave too much of what you were doing previously behind you.

Jay Gaines:

Exactly. And it’s interesting because I kind of insisted when I was asked to take on the CMO role, I said, okay, but as long as I can still work with some of our clients. Part of that was the Sirius culture, as you know, you had no credibility unless you were client-facing on some level or another. So, I wanted to maintain that, but also I love the work so much and I knew it was a way for me to keep learning all the time. So, yeah.

The CMO Role Through an Acquisition

Cheri Keith:

Awesome. But then you also made a leap going from a CMO of a relatively smaller organization where, I will say, the hardest job at Sirius was being on the marketing team. ‘Cause you had, like you mentioned, a hundred marketing experts around you always giving you little tips and tricks that you should be doing. But then moving to a larger, publicly-traded organization was part of the acquisition. And how was that transition going from the CMO of a smaller organization to one that you navigated through a pretty significant acquisition?

Jay Gaines:

Yeah, that was harder. So yeah, as you mentioned sometime after Forrester acquired SiriusDecisions, I became the interim chief marketing officer at Forrester, and I went from a team of about 15 people that I had at Sirius to a team of over 80 people, including the Sirius 15. Actually, more than that. There were 76 on the Forrester side plus my 15 on the Sirius side. So much bigger team, much more complex business as well.

Sirius was pretty complex for the size we were, but Forrester was vastly more complex in terms of the portfolio of offerings, the target markets that they went after. We were global at Sirius, but Forrester was even more global. Right? And you know, we extended across not just B2B sales, marketing and product, but obviously into technology also working with B2C marketing. There was so much more there. So, the first thing for me was a learning curve. And luckily, I had some time to get up to speed on Forrester. So, that wasn’t too bad, but there still was a learning curve there. But then there was really, what I was tasked to do.

The CEO at Forrester gave me a handful of top priorities when I moved into that role. The first was to integrate the marketing teams. That was a big one. The second was to lead the effort to refresh the Forrester brand, to reflect “Hey, we acquired SiriusDecisions,” but also it just needed to be updated and modernized. That included not just visuals, but messaging, as well. The third was to kind of help with the rationalization of the offering portfolio with the acquisition of Sirius, the biggest acquisition in their history. So that was big stuff. And also build a foundation for a revitalized demand engine. Right? So, and then working on a kind of sales and marketing alignment was a big one, as well.

So, those were kind of big, big things. And frankly, the hardest of all of them was the integration of marketing. So, again, what I had to do is tackle a learning curve, both on the kind of the offering and business side, but then on the people side too. So, my top priority was I met with every single person in marketing on the Forrester side to really learn about them. They had been through some change themselves. I wanted to kind of reduce any uncertainty they had, as well, but I also just really wanted to learn about them, understand what they did, their scope of responsibility, what they were focused on and why, where their skills and strengths were, where there might be gaps and weaknesses.

So, moving to a team that big, all of a sudden I was like, yeah, I’ll just meet with everybody.

Cheri Keith:

We used to hug everyone at SiriusDecisions. You’re on hugging terms with every employee, but that’s not the same once you get a publicly-traded company. They’re like, “No, don’t touch me.”

Jay Gaines:

Exactly. And also, I like to be liked, so I really wanted them to like me too. So, you know the bigger picture here though, part of the challenge was at Sirius I got to build a lot of things ’cause they had been there from very early on. But at Forrester, it was about changing some things that were already in place. Not that they were doing anything really bad or anything like that, but there were new ways that things needed to be done with the integration of the teams, the new whole giant portfolio of offerings with the Sirius acquisition. And that was everything from, kind of how we go to market, to how we use existing technologies, new technologies we want to introduce, reporting and measurement.

I really wanted to take that to the next level so that I could communicate more effectively with the leadership team and the board about the contribution marketing was making. And there was a lot of change management came into play as well, both on a kind of a personal level, talking to people, across the business, kind of helping them understand the role of marketing a little bit differently and how we were going to operate, but also within marketing. Some change management there as well, which is always a lot of fun, because I love repeating myself and in change management, you gotta say things over and over and over again.

What’s to Love About B2B Marketing Today

Cheri Keith:

That’s awesome. Well, what I want to do next is actually shift gears and just talk a little bit more about the industry and kind of your view both from that analyst hat that you can wear so well, but also from the CMO hat about what do you love about B2B marketing today?

And I mean, obviously, it’s like these last three months as we were catching up on earlier have been crazy from a personal perspective, but also, it’s really just created upheaval in marketing in general. Nevermind B2B. So, what are you thinking about right now?

Jay Gaines:

Yeah, it’s a good question. So, you asked me what I love about B2B marketing today, and today is the keyword because there are really three things I think I love the most. One is the constant change and variety that appeals to me. I know it doesn’t appeal to everybody, but it is always moving. And the pace of change is really incredible. And I really got picked up on that from being an analyst working with so many CMOs across so many different companies, and GOs and industries, you really saw incredible innovation happening all the time. And I’m not just talking about the rise of new technologies and mapping available to us, but also kind of the rise of new approaches and how things were constantly shifting.

So for example, product marketing is so essential these days and for a while there, it was kind of being overlooked as people were really obsessed with, “Hey, I need kind of marketing, the operations people. I need people who are excellent using marketing automation platforms and measurements” and all that stuff and digital. And now it’s, “I need people who can tell stories.” “I need people who can build deeper audience insights.” “I need people who have a totally different skill set.”

I love those kinds of changes. So that’s one thing that I love about B2B marketing today. The second thing I love about it is that it’s kind of complicated. It’s not just as simple as executing marketing programs and campaigns and generating leads and doing product marketing, right. And all the other things that marketing does, it’s that relationship with a sales organization too, because that’s kind of the big difference between B2C and B2B and the ability to not just build strong relationships with them, but really strong operational alignment, which as is what Sirius was really fundamentally all about, is really challenging and in a lot of ways, but in a way that I found very engaging, very satisfying. And when you could, kind of, really get that engine humming where sales marketing understood each other’s roles, worked well together, especially in kind of the end to end demand work that needed to be done. It was really gratifying because that actually contributed to measurable growth and that feels really good, right?

To make that happen. And then the third thing is that B2B marketing is respected, for the most part, today. When I started in B2B marketing, it was a very different world. It was designed that pretty thing, host these events, any old sales rep could walk up to any marketer and say, “Hey, do this for me.” And they would hop-to and go and do it, right? But now more and more and more marketing is really viewed as a driver of growth and innovation for the business, a lever for increased productivity within the business and efficiency.

It’s got a seat at the table and that’s not universally true across all industries in B2B, but it is so much more true today than it was when I was first starting out. I remember just feeling beat down at the end of every workday. It’s just tough, but today it’s a respected function. And I think also kind of along with that marketing is just one of those things that if it’s done well, everybody looks at it and says, “you know, I could do that” because it’s intuitive. It kind of makes sense to them. But I think people are understanding that there’s real data. There’s a real process. There’s complexity behind what makes for good marketing. So, there isn’t this assumption that like any old layperson could step in and do it. So that adds the respect that I think the function has.

Cheri Keith:

That’s really interesting. I always joke that the worst time to be in marketing is after Thanksgiving and Christmas, where everyone (blip) who isn’t in marketing meets someone at a party or a long-lost uncle who all of a sudden has a marketing agency that you need to hire. And we just found this out and do they have to do that, that

Jay Gaines:

Or they have that random idea. Why aren’t we doing this? And I should do that, which is always nice to hear.

Cheri Keith:

Yeah.

Jay Gaines:

But it’s always very helpful. You know, it’s funny. I just have to tell this little side story, you pointed out that, Hey, I was CMO of a company with a hundred plus really brilliant experienced marketing analysts and consultants in it. And a lot of people would assume that would be a bad thing, but my attitude was, you know what? Any company I’ve ever been at, everybody always assumes that they can do marketing or help it improve or have that one great idea.

But I actually happened to be in a company with people who really knew marketing. So, most of their ideas were really good, so it kind of helped me along. So, it would have happened either way. I was lucky enough to have a bunch of really bright analysts making suggestions rather than a bunch of laypeople who’d never done it before.

Cheri Keith:

You were sharing an anecdote about how most people would not have liked working with a hundred marketing experts at a company.

Jay Gaines:

But I loved it because, as you were pointing out, whenever you’re a marketing leader, you’re getting tips, tricks, ideas, thoughts from everybody anyway. But I had the benefit of getting those from people who actually knew what they were talking about. So, it was super valuable to me which was nice.

Cheri Keith:

You must’ve had a sticky note to remind you, like “They have good ideas, don’t get upset with them.”

Jay Gaines:

Right? I did!

Marketing Pet Peeves

Cheri Keith:

But I think your points about the pace and changes, that’s what’s so exciting. I mean, most of my career was spent working in agencies. I’m addicted to the client’s needs and the need to have multiple people talking to and doing that on an ongoing basis, so I hear you there. And like you said, B2B isn’t easy. And that’s what I really feel like. That’s one thing that unites B2B marketers is this, everyone’s looking for that challenge. I remember my first internship was in PR and B2C PR.

So, I thought I was going to live in Manhattan, have a glamorous lifestyle, you know, Sex and the City, all of the things. I was calling stylists to find out the shoe sizes for celebrities. So, I could mail them like lug the mail out, free shoes when I couldn’t even afford my own shoes. So that celebrities could maybe get photographed wearing those. That would be a win in US Weekly, but that’s when I realized it wasn’t for me. So, now you know that I hate doing shipping and that’s a trigger for me. What are some of your pet peeves in marketing?

Jay Gaines:

Yeah, it’s a good question. So, I have a few. Right now, I think my biggest pet peeve, and it has been for a while, and this comes from my experience working with so many CMOs and, I stay in touch with a lot of the people who were my clients as CMOs. And what drives me crazy is when something like what is happening right now happens, right?

If there is a dip in the economy and there’s way more than a dip going on right now, I mean, businesses lock up in a big way. There are always these complaints from marketers in general and CMOs, especially that, “Hey, why do they always come to marketing first to cut budgets?” And that’s a pet peeve of mine, not the fact that they go to marketing first, but that there’s any complaints about it because it’s for obvious reasons — and the reasons are marketing has a large discretionary budget that is not tied to actual headcount.

So, any company that’s trying to really significantly cut costs without reducing staff are going to turn to marketing first. The second thing is that most CMOs, now there are a lot that are really great at this, but in my experience, a lot of CMOs aren’t prepared to have a good conversation when those cuts come. And by a good conversation, what I mean is, can you explain to the CFO, to the CEO, to the board of directors, the impacts of specific types of cuts and can you guide them and “Hey, here’s what we can do without right now. Here’s what we really need. And here’s why.”

What are those things that are going to affect sales, productivity, or customer acquisition costs? What are those things that are going to negatively impact customer retention, for example, and growth within existing client accounts? Being able to have that conversation when the time comes and, by the way, educating all along really relieves a lot of that stress because those cuts are going to come anyway, but at least you can have an intelligent conversation and direct to the business about where to make those cuts and where not to, and, frankly, how much those cuts should be.

So that’s one pet peeve, and that might not be exactly what you’re talking about because it’s a little bit different from hating shipping, which by the way, I hate.

Jay Gaines:

But, another pet peeve for me is this kind of notion that marketing continues to be a disrespected and misunderstood function within B2B. And we talked about this a little bit before and that’s improved quite a bit, but when I talk to B2B marketers, there’s still kind of this victim mentality that happens, not all the time, but sometimes. And when that exists, I just start asking questions that kind of puts on my analyst hat and start digging in and asking questions.

And frankly, if that’s the state of things in the business that you’re working in, right where marketing is misunderstood, kind of is the island of lost projects, nobody else will do it so marketing will do it kind of scenario. That to me is marketing’s fault ultimately, and I’m not talking about necessarily all the individual team members. People can be doing great work, but typically the leadership’s fault because they’re really not doing a great job of helping the business, understand how marketing should be focused and why they should be focused there. But even bigger than that, they’re not doing a good job of focusing the business itself.

In my experience, great CMOs, great marketing leaders are forcing focus within the business. For example, they’re saying, look, these are the audience segments that we need to double down in. And that should not just extend to marketing, but across sales as well and impact it and product development and product management and being able to have that audience insight is key. So, I always started asking questions. My job for a long time was to work with some CMOs and ultimately point out, listen to them, hear them. And I felt like a therapist a lot, but then sometimes I have to say, well, the problem here may be you. Let’s talk about why that is.

Cheri Keith:

Right! Yeah, very gently So.

Jay Gaines:

Right, exactly. And so that’s a bit of a pet peeve, this little bit of a victim complex that sometimes exists because marketing is the greatest function to work in, in my opinion. I mean the blend of the science, the operational excellence, process, creativity, the impact you can have on the business to leverage. You can create all that stuff. It’s just super exciting for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some company cultures where you just can’t get past it. Marketing is going to be kind of stepped on and beat down. And if you find yourself there, my typical advice would be; start looking to move on. That’s extra hard today. I’m not going to give anybody that advice if you’re in a solid spot, stay there for now, but just know that there are better places to go. And you might be able to change that culture a little bit.

Cheri Keith:

Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, I think that the whole idea of marketing being that victim mentality also feeds behavior that doesn’t gain more respect internally. If you have the mentality that everyone is upset with you, you’re never going to do good enough. You all of a sudden become an order-taker, which isn’t your job generally?

I mean, yes. If you’re in a shared service organization, that’s one thing. But generally, if you just become a “yes” person and fulfill on things that aren’t going to drive the results you as a marketer know you should be driving, that’s not going to help your cause in any way. So it’s almost like once you have that in your head, your behaviors are only going to make it worse for yourself. Like there’s not a lot of people who think that they’re a victim of marketing who the next stage, turn it all around. Like you need a complete mind shift in order to get that done.

Jay Gaines:

That’s right. It’s true. And not to get too, kind of, lofty about the whole thing, but it is a state of mind that kind of permeates entire organizations, I’ve found. And usually, it’s a top-down issue. But if you find it, it’s gotta be addressed. And typically, there’s no reason to feel that way. And one other pet peeve that is interesting to talk about right now is the hatred sometimes for events.

Events are great, in my opinion, and all kinds of events are great. I mean, again, if you want to talk about leverage and a way to make an impact. I think marketers sometimes hate events because they’re like, “Well, we’re viewed as kind of the field events team.” Right? We’re just trying to do that. Now that’s temporarily a thing of the past, obviously. But the fact of the matter is, that there’s great power in bringing groups of people together, right? There are all kinds of things you can do in those scenarios, whether it’s digitally and online or live and in-person.

Live and in-person is on hold indefinitely. But, the point is that it’s what goes into those events, the pre-planning, the actual execution. Then what comes after it and integrating it into a broader campaign and mix is what’s key about it. But everybody loves bashing on events. And I never quite understood that one.

Cheri Keith:

Everyone that was bashing on it, but every salesperson wants to go and bill the really expensive dinners there. So, at the same time, which is it? They want to go, but they don’t want to work in the booth like, “heck no, on that one.”

Jay Gaines:

No, they do want the fancy dinners and the cocktails and all of that, but you’re right.

Cheri Keith:

Right!

Jay Gaines:

And my advice to marketers is to get out there and enjoy those things too. Be in the field, meet clients. That will earn you credibility.

Cheri Keith:

Yeah. And I mean, that’s where so many connections happen and yes, it’s all online right now. And, obviously, I work for a company that does a lot of that. So, it’s been kind of wild to see it. While ON24 is a company that does digital and provides technology to do that. So much of our marketing focus is on in-person events because that’s what marketers want. And that’s what helps our buyers’ journey is having really amazing in-person events.

So, we’ve been in this weird scenario internally where we’re like, we just had to shut off something that drove so much demand for us. But, at the same time, the market has completely shifted when it comes to coming to us now, rather than us going to them. So, it’s like, kind of, it’s very much like Inception. It’s like, “Wait, which level am I on right now?”

Jay Gaines:

Exactly.

Cheri Keith:

Make sure I get back to the top in time.

Jay Gaines:

Right, right. Assuming we get back to something like the old normal, it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a new wave of passion around live events just because people are going to want to connect again and get out of the house and see other humans. It’ll be interesting to see if that happens.

Cheri Keith:

Every webinar I have done in the past six weeks, I will get at least 10 questions. Like, “When are live events coming back?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” Quite honestly, I need a trip to Hawaii before I go to another trade show. So, we’ll put that on hold until we all take some time off and relax for a few minutes without homeschooling, pets, animals, all of it happening at once.

Jay Gaines:

I’m with you.

Marketing Buzzwords

Cheri Keith:

I know one thing that oftentimes gets marketers all riled up is the need to create new buzzwords. And as you sit now, are there any things that are kind of driving you crazy? Any buzzwords about marketing that… I was told to create categories and then disassemble them and create things that drive hype, but kind of outside of that, are there any things that are on your radar?

Jay Gaines:

Yeah, there are a few things. That is another kind of pet peeve of mine is kind of this shiny object syndrome, right? This kind of rabid pursuit of like whatever the new thing is, the new acronym, the new way of doing things. And it’s usually problematic as it creates whiplash and a lack of consistency over time. And sometimes it bogs people’s ability to see what really makes sense and what works, what doesn’t. This propensity to say, “things are dead” or “that’ll never come back.”

So, if, for example, it’s Sirius when we did benchmarking and there was a long period of time where, guess what? Direct mail was the most effective tactic we saw a lot of our clients using. And I remember for years, people were like, “Direct mail is dead and it’s never coming back.” And then of course it became new again. ABM is another example of that account-based marketing. I love it. It’s great. It’s fantastic.

But I had clients, CMO clients, who would come to me and say, I want to learn all about ABM. We have to start incorporating ABM into our business. And these would, some of these businesses were very transactional in nature. They had a very broad base of markets and types of customers they were going after. They didn’t have strategic accounts. And I was like, “ABM is really kind of tangential to what you want to do. I know it sounds cool and everybody’s doing it. And you want to jump on that bandwagon, but you’d be better off focusing on these other areas.”

And they get super-upset hearing that. You know, a new one right now, which I take a little bit personally, is the whole, the MQL is dead and lead generation is dead and it should have never existed. I get the point. Yes, buying groups are wonderful and we need to focus on buying groups. Also, kind of conversational marketing is really key as well. And I’m all for those things. But, the fact of the matter is that actually having a funnel or a waterfall, if you will, and leads and agreement on where those leads were and how to manage them appropriately worked really well, and continues to work really well, for a lot of companies. It made sales more productive. It was measurable. Something you could improve upon over time.

So, this readiness to dismiss things before their time, to be dismissed has actually come, annoys me. But, also the readiness to kind of jump on the next bandwagon before it’s really proven, is also a bit of a pet peeve. Now I’m all for experimentation, but kind of the whiplash effect is something that, I think most of us in B2B marketing has to be careful about.

Cheri Keith:

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I mean, I always talk about it being very clickbaity. I’m giving to people to sound like something you would see in a banner ad. I don’t think that can be the best advice you give someone is to go over the top on something. Even if it is true and like direct mail, I think it is a (blip) like where it wasn’t true, but people were saying it was because what? You’re trying to steal budget from direct mail. So, you need to say that it’s dead.

As a vendor, it just seems like there’s usually enough place in the marketing mix for a lot of things to be supported. And especially if you think about buyer enabled and what it’s like, who knows what that means to a lot of different people.

But if we know that we’re going to have a variety of people who are going to interact with us, they probably have different tactics. You can’t all of a sudden change your entire marketing mix to one thing and expect (blip). It doesn’t stand to reason that that could be effortless. But I think direct mail must, now that people are like, we know you’re wanting swag, can we ship it to you? I say this now, of course, I’m looking outside, and I see a UPS man out front of my house. On a first-name basis.

Jay Gaines:

Getting deliveries and mail is the most exciting thing that happens for a lot of us every day.

Future Plans

Cheri Keith:

It’s like, now we understand why dogs are so happy when the mailman comes. Like, we have become the puppies. So, why shift gears one last time to talk about what you’re working on now? I think you have some exciting projects going on. Like, what’s going to keep you busy over the next few months, aside from dos I’m online shopping like me.

Jay Gaines:

Yeah. So, well, thanks for asking that there’s a number of things going on. So, as I think you know, I resigned from the CMO role at Forrester in January. And since then, I went to Sundance in late January, early February to see a film I was involved in, which got bought by Amazon Studios, which was super exciting. As exciting, but less timely, I also was part of launching a restaurant in Los Angeles in mid-February, which, not the best time to launch a restaurant, but still it was exciting.

It was like a lifelong dream of mine. I love food. I love cooking. I have always been curious about the industry. And we’re okay. We’re hibernating for as long as we have to, but other than that, I continue to stay very close to a lot of my CMO clients. I’m working on a couple of side projects looking at possibly starting a couple of new things with some people and some friends. And also, I am looking at a couple of CMO roles that I’m actively considering. I can’t really name names just yet. Because.

Cheri Keith:

No, no, of course not! We don’t want to jinx anything.

Jay Gaines:

I don’t want to jinx anything. I also have a big decision to make do I want to start a new thing, or do I want to go back to the life of the CMO? Both are really appealing, but for different reasons. So, I feel really fortunate that I have options. But I’m terrible at making decisions. So, I might just ask you once we’re done here to tell me what to do. Yeah.

Cheri Keith:

Awesome. Well, that has been amazing. Thank you so much for your time today, Jay. We appreciate it. And thank you audience for listening.

Jay Gaines:

Cheri, thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun.