Integrated Digital Marketing Communication of Seoul

As a finishing touch of the study tour to Seoul, MAIGC’14 cohort was honored to meet Mr. Sungbin Jang and Ms. Lucy Han of Edelman Korea. Being the largest digital agency in the world, they humbly welcomed us and answered all the questions that we had for them. They focused primarily on the digital and technology practice, as ICT is booming in South Korea and it was of primarily interest of our cohort.

Mr. Jang and Ms. Han shared that the Internet society is largely developed and continues to grow in South Korea. Online communities (or ‘cafés’) are the essential means of online communication for consumers in Korea. Thus, digital marketers target these cafés to engage with the public on behalf of a client and win loyalty for their client. With Google owning only 4% market share in Korea, Daum (Korean search engine) owns not only the majority of the market, but the largest women’s café in the country, Lemon Terrace. In the realm of such online café, digital marketers partner with the owners to place advertisements on the website to promote their client’s brand. This is a perfect example of a search engine marketing (SEM) that is rather popular in Korea. It is used as an alternative to search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to a client’s website or its social media accounts.

Visual storytelling is a current trend in Korea as well. Digital marketing communicators collaborate with local filmmakers and celebrities in order to create a story and promote a brand image on behalf of a particular company. Also, more agencies in Seoul are turning to infographics or posts including a picture to engage with consumers and establish an online presence. In fact, 98% of posts include a picture.

Understanding the above mentioned, there's one more thing to acquire in order to succeed in the digital communications agency akin Edelman Korea. Ms. Han strongly recommends to learn Korean, as the majority of work done by the agency is inbound. Besides, speaking the language of a host country is a number one cultural requisite of effective adjustment in any foreign country.

서울을 주셔서 감사합니다!

Technology Matters, Or The First Impressions Of Seoul

Seoul, Korea – one of the major global innovation and technology hubs. Ranked top in Bloomberg's Global Innovation Index, having a variety of developed ICTs and the world’s fastest Internet hotspots throughout the metro area, Seoul can easily be named the city of technology and innovation.

From the first impression of flying into the Incheon International Airport, you can’t but notice the digital adoption by the lives of Koreans. Gigantic television sets throughout the airport and the underground train system broadcast local programs, advertise national or imported goods, and provide citizens or visitors with valuable information regarding the current events or issues. Additionally, wireless transmitters, which are installed in the majority of underground train cars, connect anybody to the World Wide Web for a small fee. Without international roaming charges, you can keep in touch with your friends and family via smartphone applications such as iMessage, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, or, simply, email. Being from different parts of the world matters less in Seoul, a technology cluster in the world of globalization.

When it comes to technology, an integrated global PR and marketing agency, FleishmanHillard of South Korea shared valuable insights into the branding initiatives of one of their largest tech clients, Samsung Electronics. Focusing on mobile and visual display global PR and issue management, Fleishman Hillard pays particular attention to the concept of innovation when creating campaigns for the Samsung brand. The developed brand theme “Innovation For Everyone,” accentuates the technological determinism as a part of consumers’ life. Samsung provides a variety of tools and gadgets for consumers to digitize, connect, and simplify their lives.

“When it comes to technology, bringing exciting, innovative products to market is only half the challenge. Effectively communicating your message to a skeptical a udience is how the battle is won.” ~ FleishmanHillard

Additionally, Vice President of the agency, Sarah Ha emphasized the importance of combining the notions of brand (identity) and reputation (image) in a successful campaign. The gap between people’s expectations (“what you say and how you behave”) and experiences (“what others say about you based on shared perceptions”) drives the development of engaging and authentic campaigns, according to Ms. Ha.

“At least 35% of analyst perceptions are driven by REPUTATION. Good REPUTATION translates to an increase in market value by 5% at a minimum.” ~ Reputation Institute.

By bridging the authenticity gap, FleishmanHillard help companies, such as Samsung, align brand and reputation in order to effectively resolve real-time issues. Continuous monitoring and measurement of the community impact, delivery of credible communications, care of environment, and innovation are utilized simultaneously for an effective brand campaign. As a result, Samsung products are a part of daily life among not only Koreans, but also many other nations. As technology and innovation drive South Korea to the top rank of the most innovative countries in the world, experiencing the city, even for a short time, will make it an unforgettable experience.

This post was originally published here.

Standard Beauty?

In a global society where good looks sell, projected beauty can put too much pressure on females. Worldwide we are surrounded by images of models having similar facial features, which are believed ideally beautiful. Many times these images are photoshopped to the point that a face is formed out of multiple women’s facial ‘parts,’ thus, creating an image of somebody that doesn’t exist. However, this projects a desired look for many young women. Korea is not an exception.

One of the most shocking impressions during the first days of roaming through Seoul was seeing the ads of facial plastic surgery, especially for female consumers. Billboards at subway stations, as well as the signs on every other building easily captivate the attention of young females. Presenting the photographs of before and after, surgeons promise to create an ideal beauty according to global beliefs. By transforming unique facial features into ‘ideal,’ young Korean females give in to the image of their perceived beauty.

Giving the portraits in advertisements, young Koreans ultimately desire big eyes, full lips, small nose, and narrow face. They undergo complicated and painful operations, paying high price for a chance to become superficially beautiful.

At times becoming unrecognizable, females seem to strive looking like characters from anime cartoons. Facial similarity in this case reaches high ranks. However, if the general female population of Korea goes for the same looks, would it be necessary to raise a question of facial standardization? If so, what would instigate it?

This post was originally published here.