Marketing Director, Rainmaking Expand
This week for our Expert Insights series, we welcome Jason Minkee Kim! After Jason’s workshop in the Rainmaking Expand: South Korea program, we have invited him to share his thoughts and advice around localising and marketing for the South Korean market.
Thank you so much for joining us both on the program and for this insights series. In order for everyone reading this to get to know you better, would you be able to give us a self-introduction?
Jason: I am Jason, currently leading Corporate Development and Strategy at Biginsight, the fastest growing MarTech (marketing tech) startup in South Korea. As a former founder myself and now early stage investor, my passion is to make ideas become reality and help companies grow.
That’s great, and I really love the passion and perspective that you have brought to the workshops based on your background in investments etc. Now you have quite a bit of experience, and I am sure thoughts, on startups entering into South Korea, what advice do you have for startups to avoid some of the common mistakes you see?
Jason: Not just in South Korea, but whenever entering a new market, we often only focus on what can be found online and what seems comfortable from our own perspective. Doing a simple PEST analysis for a new market can help assess potential factors that may affect your business. From my experience, I have seen many western companies overlook many cultural aspects in South Korea and the rest of Asia, which delays product launch and localization efforts. One of the best ways to avoid these mistakes is to use the “working backwards” framework from Amazon to understand how the final product will look in a particular market and make a high-level road map of how to get there. (Read more about testing new markets in our interview with Cindy)
That is really interesting and a great perspective, I suspect some readers may not know about the PEST analysis, would you be able to give a very high-level introduction into how they can approach this and why you think it is super important?
Jason: PEST Analysis (political, economic, social and technological) is used to assess these four external factors in relation to your business to a target market. This simple analysis will raise awareness of threats to ongoing business operations and help anticipate future difficulties that can help a business think strategically.
Thank you so much for explaining. Related to this, and to some areas you specialise in, what do you recommend companies consider when they are looking to localise for the South Korean market?
Jason: My advice is to be on the ground at the market and do on-site research. For example, large expos especially in a related industry will “force” you to prepare to localize your marketing strategy to that market, from there you will be able to get preliminary insight of how the local market will react to your product or services.
I completely agree on the expo approach forcing you to localise, I’ve personally had to do that quite a few times in the past, and I think it’s a great start to getting into a new market. What about startups approaching digital marketing, what would you advise the companies to consider here?
Jason: My advice would be:
Thank you, Jason, for joining me in this series, it’s been a pleasure to chat with you and to hear your insights!