IntroductionThis month’s TPU interview is with David Makin, Consumer Marketing Manager for Palit Multimedia. For those of you who don’t know, Palit is based in Hong Kong, China and is one of the largest manufacturers of graphics cards and motherboards in the world. While they have been around for 20 years, Palit has just recently pushed into the North American market. It is David’s job to communicate to the end-user who Palit is and what they are all about. It isn’t an easy task breaking into the highly competitive North American market, so I want to thank David for spending his time answering my questions.
Personal BackgroundA self professed computer geek, David has been building computers since 1996, the year he bought his first computer. “It came with some games that didn't run very well,” David remembers. “I started adding parts and upgrading CPUs without a clue about compatibility or standards or anything else. It was definitely an expensive learning experience.” His first job working with computers was at his local repair shop and about a year later he was working for AMD selling CPUs. Eventually, David found himself involved in the marketing activities of several different companies. He credits his ‘geekiness’ for the shift in careers. “My geekiness spread around and for a while I was one of the guys manufacturers would ask about gaming and gamers. After a while I just found myself involved with the marketing activities of several different companies. Back in those days, gaming and overclocking and case mods were all new things and no one really had a plan for dealing with these kinds of consumers.”
How David joined PalitDavid says he became pretty cynical with marketing over the years. People and products would come and go and companies were often making decisions that left him scratching his head. Palit was just beginning to form their U.S. operations and David knew most of the people who were being hired. “I was surprised to find I knew most of them already and they were all telling me how amazing Palit was going to be. I waited around for a bit and kept hearing stories about how they were doing this or doing that.” So he left his job and went unemployed for eight months just to submit his application. When he was finally hired, he was able to communicate to his boss some of his consumer marketing ideas. “I talked about how important it was to support the end-user, do what they do and be where they are and Palit listened,” David recalls. “Everyone agreed they didn’t want to do the same things everyone else is doing and they thought I would be a good way to push us down that road.”
As Palit builds its presence in North America, David wants to ensure that gamers and enthusiasts have an active role in developing new products. He spends an average of four to six hours per day on forums listening to what people say and then brings what he learns back to the factory. He is working on new PCB colors thanks to posts on TPU and understands the need for excellent tech support. He wants to have end user’s technical problems solved in less than 30 minutes over the phone. And while he fervently supports marketing Palit products to end-users he shys away from pushing those products onto potential customers who are still wary of the Palit brand. “I don’t harbor any ideas that Palit is the only manufacturer capable of making a video card nor is there a Palit card that is a perfect match for every user. If you find a card that fits your needs better than a card Palit manufactures, please buy that card instead of ours. That kind of integrity is at the center of everything we do.”