The 12 days of Christmas: Q&A James King, Martin Audio9 December 2016
James ‘We Three’ King has been director of marketing at Martin Audio for nearly four years but is a relative newbie to the industry, having previously worked for Motorola and Dyson. He’s passionate about the role that marketing can bring to any company and when he’s not banging on about that, he tries his hand at screenplay writing. We’re not sure if he’s bringing gold, frankincense, or myrrh, but we wanted to know what’s on his Christmas list…
Day One: A room full of sound engineers that can agree the sky is blue
(JK): I do love this industry for its passionate views, it’s probably what sustains us all. But by the same token, I’ve yet to come across two sound engineers that can agree on almost anything. The precarious nature and abundant thick skin required to perform such a role clearly aligns them to their own clarity of thought, but can make for very interesting fly on the wall observations. I just think they need a hug and a lot more “thanks” for doing a great job.
Day Two: That we stop being surprised by elections and referendum results; moreover, stop bitching about them months later
Brexit. Yep, get over it. Trump. Well, of course he won. I learned early on in life that shit happens and its far better that after 10 seconds of shouting at the moon, you suck it up and start dealing with what has to come. You’re better for it; my Facebook feed will be less toxic for it too.
Day Three: An auto-responder that says, “No, I’m not interested in a new stand builder”
Yes, I’m sure your website is lovely if you like that sort of thing, and all those images that you’ve just filled my inbox with will showcase that you really are no different to any other stand builder, and yes I have no doubt you can beat the cost of my current provider, but please stop contacting me! Every industry has them, but it appears that stand builders are perhaps my biggest cold caller and spammer. You have been warned!
Day Four: Bring back queuing for gig tickets
Showing my age, I know, but I do miss the fact that if you were prepared to get there at the crack of dawn (or midnight) and queue in the freezing cold, you could actually get front-row-centre tickets to see Bob Dylan (or your hero of choice). Nowadays, you have an online feeding frenzy that half the time you are losing out to some robot that is working for the secondary ticketing market and the whole things spirals so you pay over the odds to get a Row Z seat. It stings also that I entered the industry 10 years too late so now getting free passes is an art form in itself.
Day Five: Lost icons of 2016 are allowed to return to earth for one more concert
What a year?! Bowie, Lemmy, Prince, Cohen, Frey and more. Let’s be allowed to have them back for one more concert. Obviously MLA is the PA, and of course I get front-row-centre tickets.
Day Six: Trump makes it compulsory to install CDD
Who knows what this guy will do, but let’s put this on the list somewhere. Actually, every venue would benefit from CDD with its unique coverage pattern and stellar sound, so it could be a policy that would make him really popular.
Day Seven: That more trade publication websites get digitally savvy
This industry was slower into digital and social media, but based on a recent survey we conducted that has well and truly changed now. Surprising then, that so many trade websites (and some pretty popular ones at that) look like some jumble sale that was thrown together after 17 pints. Equally, media owners need to get real on how they sell their online space and be much more alert on providing metrics (it is not the same as print!).
Day Eight: That sound gets its day in the sun
We don’t go home whistling the lights, and most of us have pretty fancy TVs at home, so when it’s called live music, why does the most important element to that so often get relegated to third place? Discuss amongst yourselves, I could fill pages on this but Dave’s telling me I already have too many words and [Snip! – Ed].
Day Nine: De Niro starts making good films again
You want people to respect you in interviews? Start making good films again. Whatever your need for cash in the last twenty years doesn’t forgive the slew of rubbish that’s been served up. Get back with Scorsese, say hello again to Tarantino, and introduce yourself to Christopher Nolan. There are roles out there!
Day Ten: Dave Martin turns up, alive
How trippy would that be?!
Day Eleven: I get a ‘more for less’ calculator
I don’t think a year goes by that I’m not asked to deliver more for less. I either want to wake up and find it’s the 80s again or I get a special calculator that works it out for me.
Day Twelve: I get a new pack of colouring pencils
Marketing is seen as the colouring in department. Right? Sod off and Merry Christmas!