Sierra's ASCEND podcast explores excellence at scale. In this episode, Anne talks to Carol Carpenter.

Carol has led an incredible career. Before Unity, she was the CMO at VMware, ClearSlide, and the Global VP of Marketing for Google Cloud. Carol also stepped in and became CEO of ElasticBox, which she helped Lumen acquire.

In this interview, we discuss Carol's career in tech and dive deep into how she builds exceptional teams. 



Top takeaways:


  1. Be a product expert: Marketers need to understand deeply how the product works. This goes far beyond buzzwords. You cannot market the product effectively if you don’t understand it.
  2. Marketing connectivity: Carol emphasizes the importance of a strong end-to-end marketing strategy to make great technology accessible and visible.
  3. Don’t disqualify yourself: Reflecting on a pivotal moment in her career when Carol embarked on her journey to try to become a CEO, she recalls how she had to “remove the blinders” to take that step.
  4. Try new things: To get the right messaging, pitch, or right way to show off a product, it is important to be open to trying different things.
  5. Build your own “kitchen cabinet”: As a first-time CEO it is essential to have a safe place to discuss ideas, problems and bigger visions. Finding a few CEOs on your network and meeting up with them regularly can pay dividends. 
  6. Consult different perspectives: Find someone who thinks differently from you, which is not our natural instinct as humans.
  7. Understand your customers deeply: Gaining a deep understanding of them is crucial, particularly in marketing. Anyone in the tech industry needs to make an effort to know their customers thoroughly and go above and beyond.
  8. Hire talent, not resumes: In building a great team, don't be dazzled by someone who has worked at successful companies. Focus on what they have done in their careers and what they have learned, especially from their failures

Podcast: Listen on Spotify