Corona Era, Trade Activation Strategies Leveraging New Media Marketing

(Manager PARK SANGHOON, Korea Fisheries Association)

  In June 2021, 6.2% of the world's population completed the coronavirus vaccination, according to the International Statistical Site, ‘Our World in Data’. In particular, Israel has vaccinated more than half of its population, and countries such as the United States and Chile have exceeding 40 % of the vaccination rate, speeding up the spread of the vaccine. In such an environment, the global consumer sentiment is expected to turn to optimism, and various economic factors have repeatedly turned up. However, a survey by AlixPartners, a global consulting firm, found that 48% of global consumers reported a permanent change in their consumption habits due to COVID-19. Many consumers believe that the changed lifestyle after COVID-19 will remain in a changed state even after the end of corona.

  As social distancing became mandatory, the culture of ‘untact’ became an ordinary routine. With the coronavirus outbreak becoming longer, the spread of the culture to face-to-face online beyond the untact, which is a simple meaning of contactless, has become more active. The evolution of technology has allowed us to communicate with consumers online and provide indirect experiences. This change in consumption culture and distribution media can serve as a great opportunity for domestic firms targeting foreign consumers. The digital market, which is rapidly rising amid the chaos of COVID-19, does not have an absolute player and does not require significant capital.

  Even before the COVID-19 spread, the digital market was growing and expected to expand further due to the development of various mobile communication technologies. Euromonitor, a global market research company, predicts that the global e-commerce market, which was 31,999 billion USD in 2014, will grow by about 400% to 129,304 billion USD in 2024. In early 2020, consumer trends began to shift from offline to online, faster and broader than expected, after a global economy has stagnated due to corona pandemic. According to eMarketer, global retail sales prior to 2020 were down 3% year-on-year, while retail e-commerce revenues were 4.28 trillion USD, up 27.6% year-on-year. Since then, the growth rate of e-commerce has slowed, but it is projected to continue to grow to form a five-trillion dollar market that accounts for 20% of total retail sales.

Source : eMarketer

  As e-commerce growth has accelerated, marketing activities through traditional advertising media such as TV, and newspapers continue to decline, however digital marketing using new online media is gaining traction. In accordance with the Statista which is Global Research Company, the global digital marketing market size is forecast to increase by about 11% from about 160 billion USD in 2019 to 177 billion USD in 2022. On the other hand, TV marketing, a leading traditional advertising medium, will continue to decline after reaching its peak in 2014, and the volume of newspaper advertising will remain at 20% of the digital marketing market in 2020.

  In response to these global changes, the Korea Fisheries Association is proposing new media marketing to bring our fishing industry to the hot contact market that will drive foreign consumers' purchasing power. New Media refers to a new concept of communication based on the development of electronic communication technology that allows two-way communication without any restriction in time. In proportion to the increasing consumption of digital content after the COVID-19 spread, new media marketing using non-commercial media such as mobile and online will be established as a major advertising promotion in the future. As an example, the market for live commerce, which has grown rapidly in China since COVID-19, has more than doubled in one year from 2019 to 2020, proving its potential.

  In Association our fish food was sold out through live commerce, which is rapidly emerging in connection with China's famous Wang Hong Li Jiaqi, in 10 minutes of live broadcasting last year. This was part of a three-month additional Chinese live broadcast sales support initiative from September to November to support the export of our fisheries industry, which has been shrinking due to COVID-19. In the third quarter of 2020, there were 7.6 million viewers of our fisheries food live broadcast with nine Chinese Wang Hong, including Li Jiaqi, as a special measure to recover from the rapidly declining trade deal. It was an effective initiative that allowed a large number of Chinese consumers, around 80% of Seoul's population, to share the excellence of our fisheries products and indirectly experience them, thus pioneering export markets.

  * Wang Hong: Chinese influencers that focus on online and SNS and affect to many people

  In addition, we were able to effectively promote our fisheries by running an online showroom dedicated to K-Seafood for Chinese people whose activities have become more constrained in the aftermath of the COVID-19. Non face-to-face media provided panoramic VR content for Chinese buyers and consumers to access at all times and experience indirectly. They also provided one-stop support to purchase the products they experienced through the connection of Showroom and the non face-to-face sales platform. A domestic fishery enterprise (** food) that participated in the ‘Food Studio Online Showroom’ was able to succeed in its first export to China. It was an opportunity to spread fisheries food to Chinese locals along with the rapidly growing new media.

  With the recent expansion of e-commerce worldwide, logistics delivery has become a key competitive advantage for e-commerce companies. In particular, the Fulfillment service is becoming more popular. Coupang is also known for rocket delivery, which is delivered the day after an order is placed in our country, and is expanding its infrastructure investment to elevate its Fulfillment service. In line with this trend, last year, the Korea Fisheries Association proceeded a promotion for our fishery foods in conjunction with Amazon Fulfilment Service, the leading non-face-to-face platform in the United States. We also leveraged the large end of the year consumption seasons, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to promote our fisheries products, helping to expand the U.S. trade deal by around 192% for export start-ups (**** International).

  * Fulfillment: ‘Logistics Agent Service' where the logistics specialist is entrusted with the delivery and storage of the merchant's products, packaging, shipping, inventory management, exchange and refund services, etc.

  The advance of the e-commerce market and marketing using the enlarged New Media to prepare for the COVID-19 era will be a crisis and opportunity. Since entry barriers are not as high as new entry in offline stores, even companies that are export novices or have no experience with e-commerce can start. There will be many cases where you have good quality but have no experience or costly constraints that make marketing your own new media difficult. In that case, it would be a good idea to create digital promotional content with the support of the ‘K-Seafood Media Studio’, which is being prepared for 2022 at the Korea Fisheries Association, and showcase it for international buyers to experience it indirectly.

  The ‘K-Seafood Media Studio’, which will open in 2022, is a space to professionally produce digital promotional content for Korean fisheries food and send it to international platforms. In this studio, domestic fishery products export companies can enter or promote international e-commerce platforms and shoot pictures or videos of products. In addition, the selected fishery companies can be able to participate in live broadcasts linked to popular international platforms or showcase for business meetings with international buyers. And also collaborate with global influencers, we plan to produce promotional content for the fishery foods and broadcast it through various new media platforms. ‘K-Seafood Media Studio’ is planned to be used as a venue to help passionate domestic fishing industries strive to enter non-face-to-face distribution markets abroad.

  In addition to new media marketing, we also encourage you to check out the overseas face-to-face market presence support initiative for our fishery companies that want to enter the global digital market or expand their sales. The Association has been supporting sellers who is selling fishery products at overseas online malls since 2019. With the growth of e-commerce, it is planned to expand and operate in 10 major fisheries exporters, including the United States, China, and Thailand. We will also build a dedicated ‘K-Seafood sales hall’ in a large and recognizable overseas online mall, so that we can enter high-quality fishery products and spread the premium image of ’K-Seafood'.

  In particular, in the second half of this year, the 'K-Seafood online export support platform’ will be opened for a glance at various information related to the export of non-face-to-face fisheries products. You can find and apply for business information from various existing fisheries export support agencies in one place and have easy access to international market trends by country. Most of all, the new online exhibition site will allow the company to provide the information to overseas buyers, to match the information with foreign buyers, to conduct video consultation, and to open the market as an export market for non face-to-face. Companies that participate in these diverse non face-to-face market initiatives plan to provide the necessary step-by-step consulting and personalized support through individual assessments. Please enter the global digital marketplace and feel free to contact us if you need help promoting your product through new media.

  One of the main reasons why COVID-19 is different from past infections is the fact that the powerful transmitted infection has altered the psychology and behavior of consumers. Even after COVID-19 is over, digital will become a vital medium for our lives, and the distribution of the products or new media marketing will serve as an essential element for fishery products. If actively using the changing global distribution market with high-quality, competitive products based on the image of a safe and clean K-Food, it will be a matter of time to attract the tastes of the world's consumers. We hope that will be able to challenge the international market by building a product portfolio based on Meal Kits or HMR easy-to-use products that have become a major dietary trend since COVID-19 and taking advantage of emerging digital platforms. The government and the government agencies will not spare much support to expand the export of our marine products with companies that wish to enter the global market of enlargement.