MARKETING MIX: PROFILE; Putting the focus on growth

Simon jobling * pan European Marketer * Eastman KODAK professional imaging

Simon jobling * pan European Marketer * Eastman KODAK professional


Simon Jobling is perhaps not the most photogenic man in marketing, so

his impending career move to Eastman Kodak may not at first appear an

obvious choice.

But Jobling has never been one to opt for the obvious. Before his

current role as head of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment, he’d

already had eight previous, and brief, lives in the business world,

including new product development at Avon Cosmetics, a sales rep for

Nabisco and manager of a Kall-Kwik Printing outlet.

The CV he sent to Kodak to apply for his new role in pan-European

marketing of professional printing shows that shy, modest and retiring

are not words that sit easily with the name of Simon Jobling. He spent

just eight months heading up marketing for the Sony PlayStation but

confidently states he achieved ‘the most successful hardware launch in

video-games history’.

Irritatingly enough for rivals Sega and Nintendo, Jobling is probably

right. Since moving over in April 1995 from his job as international

marketing manager at Sony Electronic Publishing, Jobling has

revolutionised the marketing of the computer games market.

Previously, the industry followed a set formula of short-term business

plans with marketing led by software launches. Jobling instead

introduced Sony to fmcg principles, segmenting the market into different

consumer target groups and integrating all advertising, road shows and

sponsorship deals around the theme of ‘power’.

He argued that marketing should be long-term. Jobling switched the

strategy to concentrate on brand-building and pushing Sony PlayStation


Though backing right from the top of the company and a large marketing

budget undoubtedly helped, Jobling’s efforts were clearly instrumental

in ensuring PlayStation led the battle in both sales and marketing by

Christmas 1995 (Marketing, January 4). The PlayStation launch week alone

generated pounds 10m revenue for Sony.

With next year’s games-industry battle predicted to be even more cut-

throat and fast paced than 1995’s, it seems a strange time to abandon a

post that guaranteed the chance to prove his name.

His position at Kodak will be lower profile but Jobling argues that it

will also be more challenging. He is to look at the possibility of Kodak

entering the field of professional leisure portraiture across Europe,

the Middle East, Africa and India.

Kodak may also extend its Professional Imaging division beyond just

distributing product in locations such as theme parks and schools into

owning the process by providing a photography service through

acquisitions, partnerships or franchised operations. Jobling will be

involved in investigating the viability of this project too and the best

business format for each territory.

‘Over the next year at Sony, the job will be mainly brand maintenance

and building. What motivates me is growth and development situations,’

says Jobling. ‘At Sony, I came in at the beginning to set up the market.

Kodak is an even broader opportunity because I will be working out the

business format and will have the logical career progression of general


It won’t be an easy one. Kodak has been in transition since it poached

chief executive George Fisher from the same position at Motorola in

December 1993. Fisher has spearheaded the move of the company’s pounds

33m corporate branding account into Ogilvy & Mather and overseen the

reorganisation of the firm as it struggles to fight off competitors. A

worldwide restructure is expected to be announced this week.

Jobling joins Kodak at the end of the month and new colleagues can take

heart from the two most popular memories that come out in talks with

previous workmates.

Most mention marketing skills and bravery, variously describing him as a

‘maverick’, a ‘mould-breaker’ and a ‘forthright marketer with good

strategic knowledge’. All mention his obsession with his receding


He may still be follicly-challenged but if it comes to rising to a

business challenge then if anyone can, Jobling can.


1988-1990 Product development manager Polycell Products

1990-1992 International marketing manager Esselte Melto

1992-1993 Prospective franchise owner Kall-Kwik Printing (UK)

1993-1994 International marketing manager Sony (electronic publishing)

April 1995-Jan 96 Head of UK marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment

From Jan 96 Head of pan-European marketing, Kodak Eastman Professional



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