Ged Carroll

Daum Kakao merger

Published: (Updated: ) in korea | 韓國 | 한국 | 韓国, marketing | 營銷 | 마케팅 | マーケティング, online | 線上 | 온라인으로 | オンライン, web of no web | 無處不在的技術 | 보급 기술 | 普及したテクノロジー, wireless | 無線 |무선 네트워크 | 無線 by .

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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.

TV advertising integration with Daum mobile search

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.

More on Korean related topics here.


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