In this Faces of Unity post, we’re welcoming Unity’s new Chief Marketing Officer, Carol Carpenter. Read on to learn more about Carol’s passion for marketing, introduction to RT3D, love of fried foods, and more.
What does your role as Chief Marketing Officer at Unity entail?
The simple answer is that the job of the marketing function is to provide shortcuts for our customers. Those customers could be creators, developers, CTOs for digital twins, automotive designers – any variety of customer – but our job is to make their lives easier. We do this through simpler positioning, clearer messaging, and leveraging our channels to reach prospects, customers, influencers, and so on. At the end of the day, our job is to lower the cost of customer thinking.
What excites you about Unity’s potential? What does the future of interactive 3D content look like to you?
Funnily enough, I was first exposed to the power of real-time 3D through my son’s love of Beat Saber and Resist. It’s incredible to me how realistic those experiences can feel, even while you’re wearing an Oculus. After speaking with John Riccitiello in more detail about all of the different industries and use cases of Unity, I realized the vast opportunity that lies ahead for the company. The fact that anyone can be a creator really resonates with me. There’s something so magical and inspirational about that – the idea of unleashing the creator in all of us, that we all have the ability to contribute and build. It’s an amazing mission that we should be proud of.
When I think about the future of real-time 3D and where Unity is right now, we’re the perfect size for scaling to meet this incredible need for content. I love this stage. If real-time 3D is a developing city, we’re at the point of deciding where we want to put the streets and parks, how big they should be, where the swimming pools go.
You’ve been a GM, CEO, and marketing exec many times over. What has been your favorite role and why?
I loved being the CEO of a 50-person devOps company. When you’re the CEO, the buck stops with you. I still remember the holiday party when my husband said, “Can you relax and have a good time?” But I felt so responsible for the employees, their partners, their kids. That stress and pressure of having to look after everyone was overwhelming. It was by far the most gratifying and the most terrifying job I’ve had, and helped me realize that what I truly enjoy is the customer-facing role of category creation and scale. Launching Power Macs to millions of customers, creating the first sales engagement solution, scaling Google Cloud’s offering, repositioning VMware as the multi-cloud leader – I relish these challenges.
What aspects of marketing are you passionate about?
What I really love about marketing is that storytelling is at the core of what we do. Marketing should focus on the functional, the economic, and the emotional value we provide to customers. When you have a clear understanding of all three and communicate well based on that understanding, that’s the gravity that brings customers and partners to you.
For example, a pen is functional and economical, but with my laptop, there’s an emotional component. I have an Apple computer and I have an emotional connection to that product. Apple gets it. When people say, “We don’t have product market fit,” it’s because they’re trying to sell a Ferrari as economical, which is not describing the core value of the product appropriately.
Can you share a few fun facts about yourself?
I grew up in Fairmont, West Virginia, a town of 15,000 people. I can tell you firsthand, you can take the girl out of West Virginia but you can’t take West Virginia out of the girl. I love anything deep fried – okra, fries, ice cream.
I’m also more comfortable underwater than on land. Though I grew up in a landlocked state, my nuclear family loves the water, specifically diving, sailing, and fishing.