Kicking off the launch of the New Cerato in Oman February 12th, 2009
By Soon Nam Lee
Director, Overseas Marketing Group, Kia Motors Corporation
Forecasts point to a sharp drop in automobile demand this year with the continuing worldwide economic slump. Meanwhile, thanks to swift advances in IT, the rapid emergence of new media based on two-way communication has been changing the face of the media environment which had hitherto been dedicated to traditional channels such as TV and newspapers. Kia has selected slim marketing – a strategy of selection and concentration and pursuing cost efficiency in marketing resources – as its key strategy for 2009. Two major tasks will reinforce our strategy: supporting the successful launch of new models and local field marketing activities.
Today, I’d like to talk about the launch of Kia’s ambitious model, New Cerato (known as Forte in some markets), in Oman which was the car’s first introduction to consumers in the Middle East.
Unveiling a new model to the market can evoke emotions similar to those felt by parents marrying off a daughter: a mixture of pride, excitement, anxiety and trepidation.
I worked at the Asia-Pacific HQ office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for three years as marketing head before going to Frankfurt, Germany. After I oversaw the European launch of cee’d, I returned to the global HQ in Seoul. Through my experience with local marketing in diverse markets, I became acutely aware that the objective of all pre-marketing activities, including those related to a new model launch, must be very simple and clear: build a database of potential customers; secure test drive booking; and initiate actual test drives so customers can directly experience the superior quality and value of Kia products and eventually make a purchase.
All launch activities need to be efficiently linked and integrated to focus on the above-mentioned three goals. Another important factor is meticulous schedule management of each phase. To achieve these objectives on a global scale, the culture, lifestyle habits, customer touch points and media environments unique to each region should be reflected on communication activities. While the methods to reaching our final objective may differ, the objective must be the same.
Seeing the differences of the diverse markets around the world is an enjoyable part of the job for the person in charge of global marketing. I’ve attached some pictures of the highlights of the new Cerato launch in Oman. My favorite one is the creative idea of OOH(out of home) media which shows very unique and humorous approach. I’d also like to send my best wishes for a successful launch to my colleagues at Kia Motors Oman and Middle East HQ.
<Festive Showroom Event>
<Cerato ‘Touch & Feel’ Roadshow>
<Shopping mall display>
<Out of home media creative>