Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!
We recently interviewed Carol Carpenter for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with Carol and here’s what we discussed about-
1. Leveraging Generative AI for content creation.
2. Recognition of human input as essential in the final product.
3. Exploring Unity’s Real-Time 3D Engine and its Diverse Applications.
4. Emphasis on transparency and ethics in AI-generated content.
5. Virtual Reality’s Transformative Role in Elevating Customer Engagement.
6. Addressing the Potential Challenges of AI Fatigue.
About our host:
Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at Outgrow.co. He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba, ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.
About our guest:
Carol Carpenter, CMO of Unity and Limited Partner at Operator Collective focuses on simplifying and enhancing the lives of Unity’s diverse customer base, including creators, developers, and CTOs for digital twins. She is driven by the mission to lower the cost of customer thinking through clear messaging and strategic channel utilization. Carol emphasizes the importance of focusing on the functional, economic, and emotional value that a product provides to customers.
EPISODE 168: Virtually Vibrant: Unity CMO Carol Carpenter on Customer Connection through VR
Table of Contents
Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda, and I’m the creative director at Outgrow. co. And for this month we are going to interview Carol Carpenter, who is the CMO at Unity.
Carol Carpenter: Great to be here. Thank you.
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The Rapid Fire Round!
Saksham Sharda: Alright. So we’ve got this, so let’s start with the rapid fire. The first one is, at what age do you want to retire?
Carol Carpenter: Oh my goodness. Never, I love working. I love what I do.
Saksham Sharda: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Carol Carpenter: Anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.
Saksham Sharda: Most embarrassing moment of your life.
Carol Carpenter: Eighth grade, West Virginia fashion show. Only Asian girl in the fashion show. Tripping in front of all my peers.
Saksham Sharda: Favorite color.
Carol Carpenter: Red.
Saksham Sharda: What time of day are you most inspired?
Carol Carpenter: Evening 11 o’clock.
Saksham Sharda: How many hours of sleep can you survive?
Carol Carpenter: I need eight hours. I didn’t get it today.
Saksham Sharda: Fill in the blank. An upcoming marketing trend is ____.
Carol Carpenter: AI-generated content.
Saksham Sharda: The city in which the best kiss of your life happens.
Carol Carpenter: We’re getting personal. San Francisco!
Saksham Sharda: Pick one- Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk?
Carol Carpenter: No question. Elon.
Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career.
Carol Carpenter: So many. An OEM deal with a very large, large PC maker and we were way too optimistic.
Saksham Sharda: How do you relax?
Carol Carpenter: Yoga and running.
Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?
Carol Carpenter: Two.
Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you dislike.
Carol Carpenter: Nagging my husband. But he needs it.
Saksham Sharda: The most valuable skill you’ve learned in life.
Carol Carpenter: Drink better, drink less.
Saksham Sharda: Your favorite Netflix show.
Carol Carpenter: Just finished, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Saksham Sharda: The last film that you saw that had a good impression on you.
Carol Carpenter: Avatar.
Saksham Sharda: The last song you’ve been listening to.
Carol Carpenter: Taylor Swift, anti-hero.
The Big Questions!
Saksham Sharda: Okay. Alright, that’s the end of the rapid-fire round.
Carol Carpenter: You didn’t prepare me for that because I’m going to our concert at the end of July. Got tickets. Long story.
Saksham Sharda: Alright, so the longer form questions or long stories. The first one is, how has the integration of AI impacted your marketing strategies and campaigns, and what specific areas have seen the most significant improvements or change?
Carol Carpenter: Generative AI has made a profound change in what we do in marketing, really in the content creation piece. So think about it every day. What does marketing do as an output? We produce tons of content, whether it’s case studies, landing pages, web pages, email content, or all of that. We first draft, and run it through some gen AI, usually Chat GPT or Jasper.ai. And it’s incredible for a first draft. It’s never perfect. It’s never exactly right, but it’s a great starting point and we have found that to be a huge productivity advancement.
Saksham Sharda: And what are some places where there have been no improvements by using AI?
Carol Carpenter: Well, you know, the final product still requires human input. I mean, we talk about it as a team. It’s not creativity versus AI. It’s creativity plus AI. And that we can boost our creativity and time to get things done with AI. But it’s not the final product. I would just encourage everyone to experiment.
Saksham Sharda: Could you tell us more about what your company does now at this point?
Carol Carpenter: Unity, we have a real-time 3D engine that powers all sorts of real-time 3D experiences. Everything from building a game to building a simulation of your factory to being able to create amazing visual effects for movies and films.
Saksham Sharda: Okay, so what are some specific AI-powered tools or technologies that your marketing team utilizes and how do they contribute to achieving your marketing objectives?
Carol Carpenter: I mentioned earlier that content creation is a big output for marketing. And so we use a lot of different AI tools for that ChatGPT is a very good starting point to get started on first drafts of emails, landing pages, social tweets, etc. We also use a tool called jasper.ai for writing some of our copy for SEO. It’s been great as a first example of the prototype. We haven’t quite gotten to a place where we trust it for the complete final product, but it’s been fantastic for getting started.
Saksham Sharda: How do you envision virtual reality, transforming the marketing landscape and creating new opportunities for customer engagement and brand experience?
Carol Carpenter: I think virtual reality and all sorts of mixed reality are already and will continue to transform the marketing landscape. Think about what we do as marketers. Our whole goal is to create proximity with our target segments. So what does proximity mean? It means having some intimacy with your customers, either getting closer to them or bringing them closer to you, which means immersion engagement, the idea that you can create situations, whether it’s through retail or the web or through other experiences. How do they experience what you’re trying to sell? And we think working with customers like, you know, Cartier or Mercedes-Benz with their human-machine and their dashboard. How do you create a deeper connection with your users? That is what real-time 3D can do. And what virtual reality or what we like to call mixed reality, because virtual reality was a phase, but that’s very closed, we live in the real verse as I like to say. And the real verse means a mix of being here together physically as well as a virtual component. And that mixed reality is how you create intimacy and proximity. So I think it’s game-changing. If you look at what Amazon and others are doing and how they’re testing and experimenting with 3D content. We’ve experimented with it in our display ads and we’ve seen higher engagement and higher clickthroughs. It’s just much more compelling and immersive.
Saksham Sharda: Is there an interesting story about a client or an interesting experience you had with a client who was trying to implement this?
Carol Carpenter: So many. My favorite is a South Korean company called On Mind. And they took the unity, some of our tools. We have some tools for creating digital humans that look very human-like and speak and can react appropriately. And they took our technology and they built a 3D influencer. This influencer is pervasive in ads, TikTok, and other types of social media and has a very large following. And think about the way you could advance a creativity cycle. Today, you have to find a model. You have to train and shoot lots and lots of hours. This is like, we have our influencer ready at the go. And the fact that she has lots of influencers and they’re very open that she is a digital product. It’s not like trying to create a fake avatar of some sort. It’s incredible. It has sparked the imagination of a lot of different companies.
Saksham Sharda: What do you think of the recent proposals made for AI to declare that it is AI in all cases? You know, as you’re saying, a virtual influencer is not real, and they need to declare that they’re real or not. Is that gonna be something you are more prevalent in the future?
Carol Carpenter: Well, I think so, and, you know, part of being a great marketer and great doom and great marketing is authenticity. And you know, we try to engage developers in our business at Unity and they can sniff out any BS very quickly. And that’s, I think true even if you’re marketing regardless to whom you’re marketing, that authenticity matters. And so being upfront about what’s AI-generated versus not, I think is going to be critical for marketing and for other areas as well. We have published our AI ethics. I encourage everyone to think hard and deeply if you are working in the creative space about how you present your work and how you think about what’s real and what’s not. If you think about it, almost everything we do today is a modification of a previous idea, right? And that’s great as a creative community as we’re building on each other’s ideas, but giving appropriate attribution where it’s needed. We have to do that. We’ve gotten to be authentic.
Saksham Sharda: Is there any chance that they’re going to see AI fatigue in the market because there’s been just so much excitement around it recently?
Carol Carpenter: I’ve been working in technology for over 25 years and I would say this is a big sea change. It’s as big as the internet just even starting and being available. Yes, there will be fatigue about the misuse of AI, about labeling everything we do that has any algorithm in it as AI when we want to be careful about not the tech but focus on what are the benefits and how it helps us all to be better at what we do and help our customers to be better.
Saksham Sharda: And what do you think of a lot of OTT platforms like Netflix entering the gaming space themselves?
Carol Carpenter: Great question. We think it’s great. We love to see more content creators, and more folks in the entertainment and gaming space. Gaming is one of the true forms of real-time 3D. It’s not a linear storyline. It’s not pre-planned. The whole idea is that you can have a thousand different outcomes or more based on what the users do. So we welcome it. We think it’s inevitable because all content is going 3D.
Saksham Sharda: And do you think, entering gaming is the solution to the streaming wars that we are seeing between Netflix and Amazon and everybody?
Carol Carpenter: I don’t think it’s the answer. I think it’s a super interesting way to extend their business and create tighter engagement with their customers. I would think that companies like Netflix and others, need to think about, you know, they’re faced with how you increasingly engage your user base in a way that helps their business move forward. So it’s not surprising. I think it’s part of progress, we’ve created this new way to digest content and that’s streaming. Right? And then how do you continue that type of engagement? It’s pretty interesting. I think you’re gonna see it go even further with other types of reality, real-time 3D content.
Saksham Sharda: So, speaking of going further, what are Unity’s plans for the future?
Carol Carpenter: Well, I’m super excited to share. We just announced the ways that we’re bringing generative AI to our customers. We announced two large platforms yesterday. One is Unity Sentis, which is a real-time inference engine so that you can bring any 3D model to over 4 billion devices and you can run them at the device. Which, if you think about it, the computing power that’s required to do that is just mind-boggling. And that’s available now and we’re super excited that customers can start to play with that. The other thing we announced is Unity Muse, which is all about creation. How do you create faster and more effectively? And there’s going to be much more to come there. We’re very excited about that. We think for creators it opens up lots of new possibilities.
Saksham Sharda: What do you think of the use of generative AI in games that you’ve seen recently where non-playable characters are able to make up entire storylines using AI?
Carol Carpenter: I think it’s super exciting. I mean, how many of you have played GTA or even during the Pandemic, which was made with Unity? It was super popular and you know, you’re interacting with these other characters. Imagine if you could have whole conversations like, where did you put the tool? Why are you over there by the space window? And, how do we fix the engine? And if you could have more meaningful conversations, and you think about it, you could become far more immersed in your game or entertainment. And think about it from the creator’s standpoint. Do I have to write thousands of scripts for every NPC? No, you can walk into the bar in GTA and throw some darts and have a deeper conversation that isn’t pre-planned and it’s based upon you. This is the next stage of deeper personalization and engagement.
Saksham Sharda: Could you tell us an interesting story or experience around Unity’s work among us?
Carol Carpenter: Well, you know, we have lots of creators. Like among us, we have others. Here’s the thing, there are so many, and we love this many small studios, one or two people developers or you know, one person in a garage who are building things. And you never know whether this big idea is going to become a big success. And it always matters how you measure big success. But what we’re excited about is that we democratize the tools and make them accessible. We have lots of free tools and paid tools so that anyone can be a creator and we’re pushing hard to make that easier for everyone. Among us is just one example. There are large studios and games like, you know if you play Marvel Snap or V Rising it goes from large studios to the small one or two people. And it’s always exciting when you see, you know the small studios make it big.
Saksham Sharda: So the last question for you is of a personal kind. What would you be doing in your life, if not this right now?
Carol Carpenter: I would probably be playing Zelda’s Tears of Kingdom. Okay. It’s a tough one. I don’t think I’m gonna finish it in my lifetime.
Saksham Sharda: Thanks, everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. That was Carol, who is the CMO at Unity.
Carol: Great to be here. Thank you.
Saksham Sharda: Check out the website for more details and we’ll see you once again next month with another marketer of the month.