Daum Kakao merger

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Yesterday evening I read that two Korean companies were merging: Kakao Corp. and Daum Corp to form Daum Kakao. Kakao Corp. are the makers of KakaoTalk a mobile messaging application with more sophisticated functions than Whatsapp. It has over 90% penetration of the Korean smartphone market and is more popular than Facebook. The application has also built a user base outside Korea in other South East Asian countries. On the back of the popularity of KakaoTalk, Kakao Corp. has build a successful business selling enterprise accounts to businesses like Uniqlo and virtual goods including stickers and in-game purchases.

Daum is an internet company which would be more analogous to Yahoo! and Facebook. It has a mix of services including search, email, social networking, news, online comics. Daum is number two in the Korean marketplace behind Naver – the dominant search engine for Korea.

Ok, but why care about Daum Kakao, when it’s half way around the world, between media companies that aren’t European household names?

This merger is happening because the online world is changing. Mobile is now the driving force, this has been happening faster in Korea because it has the highest penetration of LTE and smartphone adoption in the world. They are living in the future.

Daum already has mobile versions of it’s traditional products, for example above is a screen shot of Daum mobile search as the call-to-action of a TV advertisement.  But mobile is no longer an adjunct to online, it is at the core; Daum needs to inject more mobile DNA into its business and Kakao Corp. needs more money to help it further expand internationally.

What can brands learn from this?

Brands need to change the way they think about mobile marketing by putting it at the centre rather than as another channel. At Racepoint we have experience of working on online campaigns for a range of clients including from and IBM to Reebok. We also have team experience looking at everything from strategy and content, to complex app and web development. Our team spends a large amount of time exploring new technologies and considering how they can provide a better customer journey for our clients. Here are our five recommendations on how you can become a more mobile-centric business, rather than as an adjunct.

  • Consider how mobile integrates into your customer experience. Have trade show attendance planned for next year or opening a new store? Talk to me now about how you can use Beacon and Pointcast localised connection technologies to improve the call-to-action
  • Designing a website? I can explain why you should take a mobile-first approach rather than a responsive design. By assuming a lowest common denominator on the browsing device it means that all users end up with a fast, lean web experience. It has been well-known for the past 20 years; that the longer a page takes to load, the more likely the audience is to surf on to a competitor site
  • Thinking about advertising? I can tell you what formats work better, which platforms work and ensuring that providing a mobile optimised call-to-action is as important as a mobile ad itself
  • Mobile social interactions – I can optimise the content and any clickable call-to-action for mobile users that will improve conversion rates
  • Consider what kind of content would work best on a mobile device. Concise, informative, useful and relevant – consider context. In the case of a real-world business this could be location, it could also be weather. Racepoint can look at your business and think about not only what content to write, but what APIs (application programme interface) could be used to pull in context and provide a customised experience that will improve conversion rates

More on Korean related topics here.

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