On this episode of The Marketer’s Journey, I interview Carol Carpenter, CMO of VMware, a cloud computing and virtualization technology company. Carol shares some of the lessons she’s learned during her roles at several different startups, including stints as CEO of ElasticBox and as GM at Trend Micro. During the episode, we discuss strategy, customer segmentation and the learning experiences that have helped her build confidence along the way.
Key takeaways from this episode:
- Sometimes, a new role can mean a major shift in perspective. For Carol, shifting gears from Global VP of Marketing to General Manager at Trend Micro was a massive wake-up call and as she describes it, like “business school on steroids.” In her new role, Carol was responsible for multiple, cross-functional teams, profits and loss, revenue and customer acquisition.
- Ask, and you shall receive. After working under several different CEOs throughout her career, Carol realized she just might have the chops to do it herself. Once she had been struck by the idea, she began spreading the word that she was in the market for a CEO role and lo and behold, the calls started flooding in, which is how she landed the coveted title at ElasticBox.
- Follow the pain. Carol mentioned that an important lesson she learned while working at Google Cloud was that customers aren’t necessarily interested in what you can do, but how you can help them solve their personal pain points. When in doubt, identify the pain points customers are struggling with and help them come up with a “painkiller,” which will ultimately help to drive urgency and immediacy.