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Marketing a Business in South Korea

South Korea

Marketing a Business in South Korea

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Marketing a Business in South Korea

To reflect the fast-paced nature of the South Korean marketplace, and its highly sophisticated media, your marketing strategy will need to be continually reassessed, polished and refined.

Sales literature

Tradeshows and exhibitions are a good way of meeting potential new customers, but you still need to persuade them to buy your product. Sales literature to be the most effective should be in Korean and in English and you need to decide what kind of advertising is appropriate.

Product and service adaptations

You may need to adapt your product or service to meet the needs of the South Korean market. Marketing research can help you to identify any adaptations you need to make.


Koreans are brand-savvy and price-conscious. They associate imported brand names and higher prices with superior quality. Consequently, Koreans will pay close attention to country of origin, particularly when shopping for clothes.

They tend to prefer fashion brands imported from Europe and the US over imports from other Asian countries, such as China. Luxury brands are viewed as a mark of wealth and social status.

Sales promotion

Companies that appoint local partners can usually be guided by them with regards to the type of advertising and sales promotion that would suit the launch of their product/s. UKTI in South Korea can advise on using the residence of the British Embassy in Seoul to announce the launch or presence of UK goods and services in the country.

The media

South Korea is one of the few Asiannations where there is genuine news pluralism. The country has more than 100 national and local daily newspapers and readership is high. There are several terrestrial TV networks and most of the population subscribes to digital, cable and satellite. The country leads the world in high-speed and wireless internet. You may wish to work with local marketing specialists who will understand the most appropriate channels for reaching your target market. UKTI in South Korea can provide contact details.

TV and radio

South Korea has four main broadcasting companies: Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC),Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) and Education Broadcasting System (EBS). Most broadcast in Korean only. There are also many cable and satellite channels, including Arirang TV, Donga TV, On Game Net and MNET. Arirang TV is the main English broadcaster and some foreignnews channels are available, includingthe BBC and CNN. KBS runs six radio networks, including KBS World Radio, while Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation also has its own radio stations. TBS eFM is the Seoul-based English-language network.


Among the main daily newspapers are: Chosun Ilbo; JoongAng Ilbo; Dong-a Ilbo; Hangyore Sinmun; Hankook Ilbo and Munhwa Ilbo. There are three main English-language newspapers: The Korea Herald, The Korea Times andThe JoonAng Daily, which comes bundled with The International Herald Tribune.

News agency

The news agency for South Korea is Yonhap News Agency.


According to Internet World Stats, nearly 37.5 million South Koreans were online in June 2009. The country leads the world in wireless and high-speed internet.


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