Cover art for podcast The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

The Official SaaStr Podcast: SaaS | Founders | Investors

469 EpisodesProduced by SaaStrWebsite

he Official SaaStr Podcast is the latest and greatest from the world of SaaStr, interviewing the most prominent operators and investors to discover their tips, tactics and strategies to attain success in the fiercely competitive world of SaaS. On the side of the operators, we center around getting f… read more


SaaStr 388: Okta CMO, Ryan Carlson on How To Measure Marketing Attribution Effectively, Why People Think About Category Creation Incorrectly Today & How You Have To Think Through The Product vs The Company Story

Ryan Carlson is the CMO @ Okta, the leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise. Prior to their incredibly successful IPO in April of 2017, they raised funding from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, a16z, Greylock, Khosla and Floodgate to name a few. As for Ryan, he has spent an incredible 9 years at Okta in numerous different roles starting with running the product marketing team before moving to run the marketing team, leading to his promotion to CMO close to 5 years ago now. Before Okta, Ryan was the Co-Founder and CEO @ Sproost, a bootstrapped online expert recommendation system. 

  In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • How Ryan made his way into the world of enterprise SaaS? Why was joining Okta the most challenging interview process he has experienced? How did it impact how he assesses candidates today?
  • How does Ryan distinguish between the company story vs the product story? When do they align and when do they separate? How should your strategy change as they move apart? How does the structure of your marketing team need to change with the evolution?     
  • What should the first marketing hire look like? What experience should they have? Why does Ryan believe you should hire two in marketing to start? How do you want them to work together? How does Ryan ensure cross-function working seamlessly from the very beginning with marketing?     
  • How does Ryan think about measuring success when it comes to product marketing? How does Ryan think about marketing attribution today? How should we think through SAL vs closed revenue as indicator of marketing success? Where does Ryan believe many go wrong with regards to marketing funnels?    

Ryan’s 60 Second SaaStr:

  1. What does Ryan know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning?
  2. What makes Frederic Kerrest the special leader he is?
  3. What is the most challenging element of Ryan’s role with Okta?  

Read the full transcript on our blog:

If you would like to find out more about the show and the guests presented, you can follow us on Twitter here:

Jason Lemkin

Harry Stebbings


Ryan Carlson

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