vol.41 / October 2020
    innocean life - vol.41 / October 2020

CEO Letter 0 like

raveling around the World of INNOCEAN Worldwide - Ahn, Kun-Hee(Global CEO, INNOCEAN Worldwide)
raveling around the World of INNOCEAN Worldwide - Ahn, Kun-Hee(Global CEO, INNOCEAN Worldwide)

Celebrating the Past, Creating the Future

The Beginning in 2005 & Past 10 Years

May 17 is INNOCEAN Worldwide’s 10th anniversary.

A decade ago, INNOCEAN was established to help Hyundai Motor Company and KIA Motors grow into global brands. INNOCEAN, which has made a dramatic leap forward during the past 10 years, has been alongside Hyundai Motor Group’s global growth and history. The remarkable change of Hyundai Motor Company and KIA Motors caused a paradigm shift in the global automobile industry, and the group has achieved unprecedented growth. Furthermore, Hyundai Motor Company and KIA Motors are considered the youngest and healthiest global brands in the 21st century.

In the end, the remarkable growth of our clients, including Hyundai Motor Company and KIA Motors, is the reason INNOCEAN stands tall today as it represents the most outstanding performance of INNOCEAN’s past decade.

INNOCEAN, which started with 55 employees, currently has approximately 1,500 employees located in 22 cities in 17 countries. Let’s all give a big round of applause for our efforts and hard work for the past 10 years.

To commemorate INNOCEAN’s 10th anniversary, I would like to share our direction for the next 10 years. To be more precise, I would like to talk about problems and challenges that we are most likely to face in the future.

Preparing for the Next 10 Years

To cut to the chase, if INNOCEAN were an advertising company for the past 10 years, it must evolve into a true global marketing communications company in the next 10 years.

What has changed and what has not changed in the last 10 years?

The biggest change could be the emergence of smartphones, and the birth of a new platform called Apps (applications). A new web environment called Social Network Service has surfaced as well. This is a new method by which we can convey our thoughts and images at a small cost to whomever we want all around the world if we set our mind to do so.

How has your work changed in the past 10 years? What has changed, and what has not? I can assure you that those who have faced and led the changes are now walking along the road to success, and those who have feared changes are in a state of decline.

SNS is changing our industry from ‘B to B’ to ‘B to C’. As I had mentioned in the 5th anniversary commemoration speech, the current transition from ‘B to B to C’ is actually happening rapidly and is expected to accelerate in the future.

Such a network between consumers is completely overturning the current marketing routes. Research conducted by the Nielsen company shows that the inconvenient truth where approximately 90% of consumers are relying on other consumers’ ratings and recommendations rather than any other type of advertising is becoming a reality.

The company’s organization, sales method, and going forward, its production method should all change to cope with the rising power of consumers. The advertising industry, which relies on clients’ growth, is no exception.

INNOCEAN’s New Paradigm

Where can we find INNOCEAN’s new paradigm for the next 10 years?

I believe the starting point should be our staff striving for new business opportunities, while the finish line should be found in our corporate culture.

When someone asks me about the key to INNOCEAN’s success, I tell them readily that it is our DNA that strives to face challenges without any hesitation. INNOCEAN’s employees, located in 22 cities in 17 countries, are the most valuable asset and output resulting from our challenging DNA in the past 10 years. With that being said, our future lies in the global market.

If the past 10 years were a decade of establishing the global network, the next 10 years will be a decade of maximizing the global network’s performance. To this end, a healthy local brand has to become a regional brand through INNOCEAN and a healthy regional brand has to grow into a global brand. This is where our future lies. Several CEOs that I have met recently envy INNOCEAN’s global network. This is because it takes enormous cost and time to actually build such a strong global network.

I hope that each INNOCEAN staff member takes account of this aspect when engaging in client service. We are at a time where we need to identify the client’s thoughts, seek opportunities in the global market and actively pursue business expansion. Serving Hankook Tire in the North American market through the cooperation of HQ and INNOCEAN Worldwide Americas is very meaningful in building INNOCEAN into a global brand.

Only our efforts will lead INNOCEAN’s growth into a true global brand. Let us keep in mind that this is our objective for the next 10 years. We will create a new growth momentum by fully utilizing our current global network.

I would like to take this opportunity to share another ambitious challenge that INNOCEAN is promoting from a global aspect. It is INNOCEAN’s global media challenge. As you may well know, our overseas operations are currently based on planning, creative and promotion. Our services are offered in cooperation with local media agencies. Establishing a global media network is an unprecedented challenge that has not been undertaken by any advertising company based in Korea.

INNOCEAN is leveraging headquarters’ powerful media function, and established the Shanghai media center in 2013. We are currently preparing to establish self-functional media operations in Australia and Canada, and in the US by 2016. If we succeed in establishing a global media network by 2020, we will surely transform into a new INNOCEAN. This will be the ultimate fruit of our challenging DNA.

INNOCEAN is, in no small part, a ship with 1,500 crew members. It is not a yacht that accommodates 100 crew members. The steering direction of a large ship does not change by more than 1 to 5 degrees. However, even a slight change can change the destination to the Pacific or to the Atlantic. Please do not compare our company to a small yacht that can easily change steering directions, and where we embark for only about a week. As crew members of INNOCEAN, we must stick together and be ready for a long journey.

I would like to end this speech by making two requests as we move forward towards the next 10 years. First, please actively embrace the waves of change through practice and experiments. This will serve as our competitive edge in the future.

Digital is not a mere, simple trend. It has surpassed culture and become a part of our lives. If we do not change, our trusted business, and going forward, our competitive edge, may suddenly become useless one day.

Second, please take this opportunity to ask yourselves why you chose to work at INNOCEAN. If you think of INNOCEAN as a place to work for a living, your work can only become a “job.” If you are here to build a career, your work can only become “work to build a career,” literally. I would like to ask you to be a member of INNOCEAN and engage your work as a calling and vocation. Sincerity starts from this calling, and if a calling does not precede a sense of duty, it is meaningless.

I will put every effort into building a company where you can work with a sense of calling, for you to build a larger and better INNOCEAN in the upcoming 10 years.

INNOCEAN staff who joined the company in their 20s may have already passed their 30s. Some have met or broken up with their loved ones, some have married and had children as well. Some have their children entering elementary school, and some have experienced loss of their parents. I would like to sincerely thank you for your devotion to your work throughout all the happy, angry, sad and pleasant moments in the past decade.

Thank you.