Meet the Mindstreamer – Derek King
He’s part researcher, part data-cruncher, and loves digging into first-party data to find insights and patterns to help inform media plans, especially when they break the mold of what’s been done before. He’s Derek King, Senior Manager, Media Strategy & Insights based in Mindstream Media Group’s Dallas headquarters.
After having studied Advertising in the Journalism school at the University of Kansas, Derek dreamed of becoming a copywriter but ultimately decided that his mathematical abilities were better suited for a career in media planning. When a media opportunity arose, he went for it and has been loving it ever since.
His first agency position was with Valentine Radford in Kansas City in 1997, which was then acquired by Southwest Media Group in 2003. Then, when Southwest merged with Mindstream Media in early 2020, Derek became a part of the Mindstream family.
As an agency veteran of nearly 25 years, Derek believes he started in the industry at a great time—when traditional media was king. Over the years with the surge of technology in digital media, he’s been able to see that growth and learn the ins and outs of the digital realm firsthand. As a result, he has broad media experience, including TV/Radio, Direct Mail, OOH, Digital and Print.
While technology has automated many of those fundamental media planning responsibilities, it’s also been a bit of a double-edged sword. He shares, “The volume and ease-of-accessibility to data has been incredibly helpful, but in addition to improving and streamlining processes, it’s also increased both the amount of work that can be done as well as the number of tasks that (with experience) it is easier to do than delegate, making it much harder to disconnect.”
Even after having been in the media industry for most of his career, he continues to be inspired by the people around him, in how they interpret data and distill meaningful insights. “I’m inspired by a lot of my current (and past) co-workers that use numbers and interesting visuals to express something that is evidence-backed and compelling. There’s an art to that “distillation” process that I really appreciate.”
To someone wanting to pursue a career in this industry, Derek says “learn to love numbers and don’t overlook traditional media — they certainly still have a few more good years.”
In his spare time, Derek enjoys golf, skiing, chess and cooking. Research has also played a huge part in his personal life, noting, “While making a cursory search of a few websites after seeing the movie Secrets & Lies, I actually found my biological parents online in August 2001.” He also stays in touch with family and friends through Facebook, gets news, sports and music news from Twitter and frequents Reddit exclusively for the r/Jokes page.
An enormous part of what makes Mindstream Media Group successful is the collective talent and collaboration of its employees across the country. While we as an agency love to share stories about client successes, industry news and product updates on our MMG Blog, we also want to feature the actual people behind the work we are doing to grow client business.
Our recent video series, Fast-Forward the Conversation, discusses the HOW behind supporting client growth through media strategy, with topics like shopper marketing, franchise work, QSR challenges, agency partnerships and more.
We’re also now featuring a Mindstreamer (as we like to call ourselves) periodically to share their stories and celebrate the diverse people, backgrounds, interests and qualities that make us unique.
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