The face of marketing has changed dramatically in recent years. Marketing is essential for any business that wants to survive and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. The goal of any marketing campaign should be to generate leads that can be converted into customers.With the advent of digital media, the rise of social media, and the ever-changing landscape of the internet, the way that businesses market themselves has had to adapt.
The challenge for businesses today is to find the right marketing solutions that will allow them to reach their target audience in an effective and efficient way. Dong Jin Son, CEO of Dexter Krema is helping business grow by providing global marketing services.
Path to Success
Dong Jin Son majored in foreign literature at university in 2001. He also majored in MBA at a Finnish university before obtaining a domestic doctorate in digital content to better understand the concerns of clients in their broad business activities. He began his career at Cheil Worldwide, Korea’s largest advertising agency, where he was assigned to a department devoted to global marketing business.
While working as a planner at the headquarters, he went on numerous business trips around the world and gained local marketing insights. Soon after, he realized that advertising is more than just a creative video that appears in the media; it is a calling to be a solution provider who addresses various client concerns.
Dong Jin Son notes, “ I voluntarily quit at the time of my eight years of work. I moved to a three-person start up and during the short 10 months there, I learned more than the past 8 years at Cheil Worldwide.”
Dong Jin Son founded his own company, Dexter Krema, in 2009, with headquarters in Seoul, Korea, and a focus on clients who can maximize capabilities while conducting global marketing, as well as specialized services providing a-to-z overseas marketing. As a result, he was able to sustainably grow the company by being recognized by clients who had digital-based data analysis and an efficient production pipeline. After ten years, he was able to grow into a small and medium-sized but well-branded agency with 30 million dollars in sales and more than 100 employees. In addition to his role as CEO, he is a lecturer, a judge at International Advertising Awards, and a start-up consultant.
Overseas Marketing for all Businesses
Dong Jin Son believes that “Planning professionals are the backbone of the company, so they make the most timely and trendy marketing results by learning fast trends. In addition, the keywords of the 4th marketing revolution, such as AI, data, and metaverse, are used to internalize all internal and external resources in the shortest time, and based on them, immediate service is able to be operated.
This business model is ahead of our larger advertising agencies with agility and mobility, and enables reliable management compared to small professional agencies. Rather than trying to get a lot of customers, having a long partnership of more than 10 years with a small number of customers is also the key to a long run without having to be affected by the fluctuation of the economy.”
Dexter Krema has successfully established itself in new trends and has grown rapidly in terms of sales and size every year for 10 years since its establishment. As a result, the Company has been awarded 17 times in the past five years in leading international advertising festivals such as Cannes, New York and One Show and ranked as the top 10 in prominent ad journals such as Ad Age and Campaign, and produced Grand Jury twice in-house. This is proof that Dexter Krema has been recognized worldwide for creativity, which is the core of advertising.
In January 2019, Mr. Dong Jin also expanded the area of ad agencies to an e-commerce business that encompasses all participants in the marketing ecosystem. The goal of this business is to provide A to Z solutions from overseas marketing to sales agents of small and medium-sized companies that have competitive products but lack the ability to expand overseas. The most promising key word of the current marketing industry is digital transformation, and the root of it is open innovation. Dexter Krema has a roadmap to build a strong e-commerce platform by connecting not only clients but also individual sellers, digital media owners, and even financial and trade businesses.
Leader’s way to keep everything in line
Mr. Dong Jin Son asserts, “The set of collective knowledge is not easily created, and creating common knowledge rather than a specific personal talent is a core task of knowledge-based management.”
Breaking down all members’ positions, eliminating hierarchy, and aiming for a horizontal corporate culture is not just a formality, but it’s actually common for executives in their 40s and freshmen in their 20s to exchange work feedback with each other.”
At Dexter Krema, Specific goals that appear to be reachable to members individually are set in mutual agreement, and individuals are encouraged to take time on their own to achieve them.
Dong Jin says, “If there were always a consensus among the members and an organization that everyone follows as the leader says, it is not welcome at all. Just as consumers have different thoughts, it is normal for us to have different thoughts as a nature of consumers.”
If there is a disagreement at the Company, the meeting is dissolved, the thoughts are organized, and then the meeting is made again. In the meantime, someone has to monitor this process and coordinate it until it reaches a conclusion. Unfortunately, the whole process must be done in a very short time. Among the research techniques, there is the Delphi method, which can be said to be the most similar to the process of drawing conclusions of our organization.
Award Winning Agency with Extensive Services and Future Plannings
Dong Jin’s goal is to successfully pivot from the digital content field that he is currently most focused on to the new area of media. Global advertising trend is shifting to non-face-to-face, virtual reality after endemic, enabling agencies to propose the most practical and efficient ad packages the clients need. To this end, the company’s professional staff are working hard on R&D every day and night, and at the same time, continue to challenge through constant internal collaboration.
Recently, they ran M&A with Asia’s top class new media content production company called Dexter Studio. Soon, it is to properly demonstrate the synergy caused by M&A. It is to successfully combine marketing assets based on IPs of ads, movies, and dramas to develop service products for clients that have never existed before. Indeed, the output of this is making progress very quickly. For instance, the Virtual Studio that was made by Dexter, the Virtual Human developed based on AI and the VFX production house – Takeaway. These new technology-based solutions are their unique competitiveness in preparing for the era of marketing 5.0 led by Metaverse.
Mr. Dong notes, “ I expect it’s easier to raise investment funds than it used to be. And I strongly believe when skilled tech resources combined with our planning resources together would greatly increase the chances of achieving the business objectives. We’re not going to stop here, but we’re going to expand our reach further as a group specializing in global digital media and content.”
Standing out in the Market
Since the mid-2000s, digital trends in the industry that integrate digital and legacy have begun to emerge in earnest in 2010, and the competitive structure and ecosystem of the existing advertising industry have changed rapidly.
Consumers are increasingly interested in social networks. They understand how to learn quickly and communicate actively even in non-face-to-face situations. Furthermore, they have a strong interest in entertainment, are very active, and have a high level of acceptance for new technologies. This is especially true in this region, where Metaverse and NFT were among the first to embrace and expand their businesses. As a result of the characteristics of these consumers, we marketers study diligently and move quickly.
“Clients are not what they used to be, and they are evolving smarter and smarter. Many clients are already encouraging their marketers to execute digital ads on their own. Therefore, unlike in the past, it has become difficult for ad agencies to generate profits only with their original work.” he says
Dexter Krema is still the one-of-a-kind agency in Korea that has a business model centered on planners. Their planners focus on marketing solutions that meet the needs of clients, and communicate with external experts very efficiently to produce results together. This is the philosophy of ‘Open Innovation’ that Dong Jin thought was the most important when he started his own company.
Message for aspiring Businesspeople
It should be remembered that what you want to do and what you can do are completely different. Our field is evolving much faster than the speed we are learning. Not to mention, when you want to become a trailblazer in our field, you should make several more efforts than others.
Advertising does not stop even during war, this market must continue to evolve and grow at the same time. Therefore, the only way is to continue to learn faithfully and prove it through practice. There is no shortcut.
Dong Jin Son believes “advertising is the hardest thing in the world, regardless of region.”