Who’s who: Mark Kimber

How did you first get involved with the gaming industry?
My initial involvement in the gaming industry was when I was asked by a chain of Bingo Halls to take the risk on how many existing customers would take up an incentive which was mailed to them to visit the Bingo Halls in the forthcoming month. Everyone who visited received a free cinema ticket. It was an unusual request as I’d never provided this to a gaming company, but as it turns out the take up was much the same as in any other sector.

What attracted you to this sector?
I’ve been on a bit of a mission, taking my 25 years of knowledge and experience of the Sales Promotion and Marketing World of Major Brands and introducing some of those concepts into the gaming world. My theory is that we are dealing with the same person, as in the consumer is the player and they think the same way. This means that although the participation is slightly different, the chance to win a big prize stays the same and I am attracted to this sector because of this.

What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?
I have been heavily involved in providing insurance protection for sales promotion and marketing campaigns for over 25 years now and during this time I have worked with a number of major brands such as Coca Cola. Like any business we don’t want to become staid and feel that working across a number of major sectors provides the perfect balance. There are definitely elements of the promotional marketing industry that cross over in to the gaming sector and we find that our clients appreciate the non-gaming experience.

What have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in your time?
The biggest changes to date have been the huge growth in the mobile and online gaming sectors and this is our main focus at PIMS-SCA. Personally I’m still not convinced about the social gaming sector, regardless of how popular it is. There is a lot of talk, but my question is if brands can’t give free product away using Facebook successfully, then how will asking the player to pay fare?
What are the biggest positive factors for the sector right now?
The biggest positives are the ever increasing use of technology by the player enabling the gaming industry to provide round the clock content via a variety of mobile devices and platforms.

And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?
It’s a copy-cat industry and operators seem to fear trying new ideas and pushing the boundaries. I am a firm believer that bigger jackpots attract more players. Take the National Lottery for example; I’d like to see an operator go large, start at a minimum £10m jackpot and work up from there – let’s see where it takes them. I am confident that my theory is correct.

Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move?
 Selling my Company PIMS to SCA.

And the dumbest one?
Selling my Company PIMS to SCA.

Where do you hope you’ll be, professionally, in ten years’ time?

If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line of work would you have liked to pursue?
I would have been a professional sports coach.