“I believe I am here because I did not fear being different”
Carolyn Crandall is the Chief Deception Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Attivo Networks. A technology-marketing executive with over 25 years of experience in building emerging technology markets in security, networking, and storage industries, Carolyn also has a demonstrated track record of successfully taking companies from pre-IPO through to multibillion-dollar sales, and has previously held leadership positions at Cisco, Juniper Networks, Nimble Storage, Riverbed, and Seagate.
In an exclusive interview, she talks about her journey, current role at Attivo, and how a company can build strategies that connect technology with customers to solve difficult information technology challenges.
You have helmed several leadership roles in several companies. Tell us a bit about your journey from the marketing space to starting Marticulate and then becoming a Chief Deception Officer at Attivo. What was the transition like from core marketing to core technology?
I didn’t originally start out thinking I was going to become a sales or marketing professional. If you have ever played Monopoly, think of the stigma they put on that profession, and as such it really wasn’t top of mind. That said, while I was going to Santa Clara University, studying both electrical engineering and computer science, I took a job as an assistant to the VP of Marketing. This was my first introduction to a high-tech workplace. I ended up in sales based on a bet that I could outsell any of the sales reps in the office. I think my boss at the time thought it was never going to happen, but upon my achievement, he did honor the bet. My next two positions were exclusively sales and only after that did I become responsible for marketing programs.
My entrée into marketing was when I moved to Australia to set up an international office for my company, and then again when I took on a channel role, which exposed me to all facets of operations—sales, business development, product marketing, and marketing demand generation, and communications. Channels is a less known role than traditional sales or marketing, but absolutely a fantastic way to learn multiple disciplines quickly. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to wear many hats in marketing, product marketing, channel marketing and sales for top tech brands including Cisco, Juniper, Nimble Storage, Riverbed, Seagate, and others. I started Marticulate as a means to do additional consulting and gain experience in other types of businesses; it also facilitated philanthropic work.
One of the most entertaining projects that I worked on was (early Groupon Days) helping a company start an ecommerce site that connected businesses with consumers. I helped them set up their marketing plans, business model, and launch. A technologist and innovator at heart, I love making markets for startups. I currently play a unique dual role at Attivo Networks serving as Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Deception Officer (think technology evangelist vs. marketing con) since 2014. I have been a leading technical and marketing speaker and educator of deception technology, not only for Attivo Networks, but for the industry at large.