SK Energy has been the largest provider of petroleum products and LPG in Korea. Its conventional assumption behind marketing was that consumers would choose gas stations based on their locations and gas price. But there was a warning sign that the number of 20 – 30 years old consumers was stagnating. Thus I implemented a project to identify causes and find solutions.
My project team learned that 20 – 30 years old consumers are less sensitive to gas price than older age groups. Therefore it became our project objective to develop new appeal and corresponding services. We also learned that this consumer group shows greater urge for cultural life. This inspired us to develop a new marketing solution that would bring more opportunities for cultural events. The challenge was that this solution would incur higher marketing cost than our existing practice of giving price discount on gas. At the same time, we saw that the pain point of our potential partners, cultural content providers, was the high cost of doing advertisement. Thus we addressed the challenge by facilitating new collaboration with these third-party content providers.
Result and Lesson Learned
Our company’s profit share and brand preference among 2030 consumers increased. While our competitors were cutting corners with price discounts, we pioneered the emotional marketing to change the rules of the game. We shared our assets (channels to advertise to our consumers) with other market players who needed them (cultural content providers), and by doing so, we proved this win-win business model.