Hello! Welcome to International Marketing in Asia. The interviews. I'm going to chat with three managers and students from South America. One from Mexico and two from El Salvador. This interview will cover a wide range of topics but it's all about marketing and consumers in Asia with emphasis on companies coming from South America or Spain. Let's start. Hi Gerardo, how are you? - Good, thanks. - Thank you for your help and can you introduce yourself to our Coursera students? Where are you from and why did you come to Asia, to Korea? - Sure, no problem. My name is Gerardo Sánchez, I'm from Mexico City. I came to Korea to study a master's degree in business, the main reason is because I started to get interested in Asian culture and well, being honest, at that time I did not even know Korea, I didn't know what had happened to this country, I thought it was a part of China, but I found out very quickly how important Korea is on a global level in its market, and then I learned by reading newspapers, watching online courses, that Korea can be an interesting gateway to Asia in general. - Now you are an expert about Korea, right? - [LAUGHTER] Maybe not an expert but I'm improving. - Very good. From a business perspective, what are some of the things we have in common between Korea and South America? You can say marketing is marketing wherever you are but in your experience, is that true? - Maybe in a general framework we are very similar, this is because whether it is in Korea, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, anywhere, in marketing, for example, we will always see the four Ps, we will see how important market segmentation is, how important it is to analyze the competition. However there are small subtle differences between my case Mexico and Korea. - Can you talk more specifically about the differences? - Of course, for example in Mexico we concentrate a lot, once we perform this market analysis, these 4 Ps, we our niche market, then we develop our product. Ready, we have our product and then we assume perhaps in very ambiguous way, that our final client will buy our product because we have a good product, and it's that easy. And we started doing now that mass marketing with commercials, more commercials, magazines, newspapers and so on, and we simply believe that if we have a good product, our users are going to buy our product because it is very good. If we overcome that phase, very well, people are already buying our product, we can already go anywhere in the world because we know that our product worked very well and then there is no reason why it would not work in any other country. And that's something that does not work here in Asia, because Asian culture as opposed to the one in Latin America and in Mexico is very different. The user's expectations are very different, the simple fact of technological advance, the use of SNS, social media, is very different between Mexico and Korea. And it is these small differences that prevent Mexican companies from being able to start a business in Asia in general. - Very interesting. What are the countries from South America and Spain that have achieved much success here in Asia, even in Korea? What do you think are the reasons? - Sure, a company that I'm sure everyone will know is the case of Zara, - and well. - It's not Zara. - [LAUGHTER] It's not Zara, but we know how successful it is and it is certainly just as successful in China, in Vietnam, in Thailand and throughout Asia, in general all over the world. But, maybe if we look at a company maybe not so big or famous, we have a case, well I know a particular case from Mexico that is the company of Bimbo, which makes bread. They really went into Mexico, sorry, Korea, actually it wasn't Korea, they went to China, they entered China around maybe 2005, 2006, and then they thought the same as in Mexico, we have a good product, we have very good distribution chain, we will be able to enter China without any problem. However, once they arrived in China they encountered cultural differences. For example, in Latin America we have a product called Gansito, which is like a bread covered in chocolate with strawberry and it is very popular in Latin America, however in China they did not like it at all. And they found out very quickly that it's because there is a cultural difference between what Chinese consider an attractive flavor against what Latin America consider an attractive flavor, in this case it was the savory against the sweet. They could not think of a sweet bread, they wanted a salty bread. However, Bimbo reacted very quickly and effectively and then hired Chinese managers, experts in the market, and they started to develop products for the Chinese market. Which are products that do not exist in Latin America, for example, and this is something I think Koreans also like, bread stuffed with sweet beans. In Latin America, that simply does not work. And really Bimbo was a very successful case. Another that you may or may not know is Quitzania. It is a Mexican company, however they thought, alright, our model works in Mexico but maybe it will not work the same in other places in the world. So we're going to do this through franchising. Then the market expert simply acquires the franchise and they, already knowing the market, are able to open Quitzania in others places on the planet. - Yes. And companies from Chile are doing very well also, right? - I know a Chilean company named Agrosuper that really is a company that makes meat and they sell meat to Korea, pork, and in fact their strategy was also very different from what they teach us in Latin America, because they realized very quickly that to enter Korea, to really be able to compete with the local market, you must align yourself to their standards. Then they coreanized their name with the Korean alphabet, they created their own slogan in Korean, they used colors that would identify with the Korean society, they were able to... - That's why people do not know what... - Exactly. - It's a Chilean brand. - Exactly, at certain times and for some companies maybe it's important to ignore the certificate of origin, that end customers don't know that it is a foreign company. - Let's chat a little about the brand, what is the images of the brands of South America or Spain in your opinion? - The images that South America or Spain may have. - Except brands like Zara that everyone knows. Are the others are good too? - It depends a lot on the market, because for example in Mexico and this is maybe something new, maybe 5, 10 years ago it was not like that, I'm sure that Asia ignored many things about Latin America, but today, for example, in Mexico, Mexico is being identified as a high quality country in terms of automotive parts, and even automotive manufacturing. For this reason many automotive companies are opening their factories in Mexico. - No, I meant South American brands here in Asia. - What image does Korea have for South America? - Of the brands of your country here in Korea. - Okay. Personally I feel that most people don't know the brands. - What a pity. - They really ignore them, maybe they do not know them or they think they are very low quality or just that are not worth acquiring. - What needs to be done to improve this situation? - Maybe everything can start through good marketing. - Yes - By good marketing I mean to start to understand the needs of the costumers here in Korea and in Asia. If we are able to have these brands from Latin America in Korea but applying the concept of maybe Agrosuper, maybe we can koreanize our brands, begin to align the expectations that this final client expects with our brand, and more than anything, maybe taking a leap in time. - Sure. - Technologically speaking, especially for e-commerce and SNS, if we manage to take this technological leap, then we will be able to align our brand with what customers expect here in Asia, and that way we will be able to maybe start to enter little by little. Mexico did something like that in Korea, but mostly in the food. Maybe it's the easiest way to enter a new country. - Sure. - But at least in food it is already entering little by little, although sadly there is often confusion between mexican food and tex mex, and the most classic case is Taco Bell, which everyone thinks is Mexican food. - It's not Mexican - No, it's not Mexican food, but there are certain restaurants, let's say homemade, that serve Mexican food in Korea, and they just do that, they are meeting customer expectations and at the same they are doing something different from all the other restaurants in the area. - Finally, do you have other suggestions for companies that come to Asia to have more success in marketing here? - Mainly, we have to think about brands as if we were telling a story. - Story telling. - Right, right, story telling. That's what brands are nowadays. Maybe the educational level in Mexico is not enought to teach marketing in this way, but for good schools within Mexico and at the level of Latin America, it seems to me also that they are changing this marketing perspective towards more a story telling. If we are able to tell a story of why you as a client should pay attention to us, then they will gain some confidence, some empathy, and that way we're going to start gaining customers little by little. And this can be thought of as a long-term strategy. It's something that sadly we lack a lot in Latin America, thinking about our long-term goals and it's something very important that we have to take into account for any business in Asia. - Yes in this respect, I really like Corona. [LAUGH] - Exactly. - Thank you very much. - You are welcome. Pleasure.