People to Watch 2020: Rob Clark
Title: Global Channel & Retail PC Gaming Strategist and Campaign Manager
Education: Aston Business School (bachelor’s, business & European studies); Oxford Brookes University (masters, business management)
A longtime gamer hailing from the U.K., Rob Clark was not only paid to play but was also featured on a cable network TV show long before being a professional e-sports star was really a thing. His undergraduate degree required a year in the industry, and it was then that he first joined the ranks at Intel, taking on an internship in Swindon, England, in what is now known as the business management group. He worked with customers to help understand their demand, ensuring that Intel’s distribution models were meeting the needs of partners – essentially so the right products turned up at the right places at the right time.
Clark was offered a full-time job upon graduating and spent the next five years in various business analyst roles. He then moved into his first marketing role, ultimately managing all marketing campaigns and communications for customers who were part of the company’s channel partner program. He stayed there for three years before being offered the opportunity to relocate to the U.S. and become the global channel PC gaming strategist and campaign manager. “A year into that role, and after some reshuffling of our organization, my focus expanded to incorporate all of retail as well as channel, with a broader set of responsibilities,” he says.
Today, Clark helps enable Intel’s regional and country teams ensure that their products are at the right stages of the shopper journey – and in the right way – so retail and channel partners have the opportunity to promote and sell the best Intel product that meets every PC gamer’s needs.
“The most important part of this is being in the right places to support each consumer in a real, authentic and credible way as they’re trying to make a purchase,” Clark says, adding that the question often becomes, “What role do we play in trying to educate a consumer or gamer on what makes sense to them whilst also talking to an audience that’s pretty savvy?”
He and his team are focused on taking a complex roadmap of Intel products and helping to craft their positioning across different platforms and brand levels while translating technical features into end user benefits that feel credible for their audience, Clark says. He also oversees the building of campaigns, typically aligned to product launches so Intel’s partners have the ingredients they need to promote and sell, and provides guidance and support for country and regional teams for smaller, more focused or non-launch-related campaigns.
While there have been some tactical activations he’s been involved in or has driven (a global sweepstakes for the release of commemorative limited-edition product, and a campaign launching this month that features some of earth’s mightiest super heroes), he says moving to the U.S. – and to a headquarters role – was always a longer-term goal. “I knew I wanted to be closer to where decisions are made and where I could play a more strategic role,” Clark says.
Clark partners closely with Intel’s marketing strategy lead for gaming. “We’ve worked hard to realign our gaming/marketing priorities as a full-funneled campaign team and reassess our processes to make sure that the journey is consistent,” he says. The effort ultimately results in “campaign content that we develop that can scale to the thousands of different customers we have globally, both online and in store, for all of the products that we support in this segment.”