Interview with Al King

Member interview: Al King

What’s your golden rule?

Segmentation is the most important concept in marketing. You can’t keep a customer until you’ve acquired one. You can't acquire a customer until you’ve identified where they might come from. Get that right and you’re building on solid foundations.

Who has been your biggest influence?

Kent Grayson, when he was Associate Professor at London Business School. He turned me onto the significance of segmentation and gave Marketing the academic element that I was looking for.

What is your most hated business expression?

Any that are used inappropriately by the unqualified. Business terms are fine and useful in context. It’s poor users that demean them.

How can marketers be braver?

Know more about the consumer than anyone else in the room. This links back to segmentation of course. Then use that knowledge assertively. You will win.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?

The launch campaign for a game called The Sims back in February 2000 when I was UK Marketing Director at Electronic Arts UK. The game lacked any defined goals and had multiple positioning options as well as multiple target segments. We had identified a segment of 11-14 year old girl gamers who liked that type of game. So we developed segment specific creative for them (and other segments) and ran single page print ads in Sugar and Bliss magazines. The game went to No.1 and the UK significantly out sold all other countries in EA world. We then applied this segment specific approach to all subsequent releases. The campaign won the BMRA Innovation award.

Which leader do you admire most and why?

Mark Ritson. I met him when he was marketing professor at London Business School. He now writes a weekly column for Marketing Week. He understands marketing fundamentally and uses that to deconstruct fake news and hype in the business press. His informed, no nonsense, sweary style really resonates with me.

What’s your favourite word?

I have two. Crepuscular and sibilance.

Tell us a secret?

If you actively meditate on, and visualise, what you want for your self and your business, it will increase the chances of those things happening. Write a mantra or create a mood board for even better results.

Connect with Al on Linked In

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