SM's Smart Marketing Strategy in EXO's Case

Each Kpop agency has different marketing strategies to promote its artists. Chief of all, SM Entertainment is recognized as having the most sophisticated marketing strategy. As the originator of Kpop idol company, SM has been a role model for latecomers. With their thoroughly calculated strategy, they have produced many top-class Kpop stars such as TVXQ, BoA, SHINee, Super Junior, Girls' Generation and EXO. Among these stars, EXO made a debut the latest, and you can see SM's newest marketing strategy in EXO's case. Let's talk about SM's smart marketing strategy with EXO's case.


Individualized Marketing

SM's marketing strategy with EXO is totally individualized to meet teenage fans' wants and needs. As you already know, the group is comprised of 12 members. Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O, Kai, Sehun, Kris, Xiumin, Luhan, Lay, Chen and Tao. Each of these members captured teenage girls' heart by showing off their charm in 12 different ways. In terms of overseas expansion strategy, the group is comprised of two teams, EXO-K(Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O, Kai and Sehun) and EXO-M(Kris, Xiumin, Luhan, Lay, Chen and Tao). 'K' stands for Korean, while 'M' indicated 'Mandarin', which means EXO's marketing strategy is individualized not only for Korean fans but also for Chinese fans.


As you can see in the music video of EXO's hit 'Growl', the members appear in the video wearing school uniforms, emphasizing on their familiar images. They look like neighborhood brothers in the video! Through this, each fan really feel a sense of closeness toward EXO members. Plus, as appearing in TV reality program, MBC every1's 'EXO's Show Time', the members approach fans friendly, showing their usual figures.

Perfectly Prepared Performance

After its debut, EXO came into the spotlight by showing their perfect dance performance on the stage. They show off pinpoint accuracy about dance performance! Moreover, unlike other idol groups who just try to be seen stylish by girls, EXO's dance performance has a clear concept. You know the 'tree of life' performance, right? I'm sure that it was really impressive to all the teeage fans. The performance has its own fairy tale too. Here's the story.
"When the skies and the grounds were one, through legends, with their twelve forces, nurtured the tree of life. An eye of red force created the evil, which coveted the heart of tree of life and the heart slowly grew dry. With tend and engrace for heart of tree of life, the legends hereby divide the tree in half and hide each side. Hence, time is over-turned and space turns a skew. The twelve forces divide into two and create two suns that look alike into two worlds that seem alike. The legends travel apart. The legends shall now see the same sky but shall stand on different grounds, shall stand on the same ground, but shall see different skies. The day the grounds be kept a single file before one sky in two worlds that seem alike, the legends will greet each other. The day the red force is purified, and the twelve forces reunite into one perfect root, a new world shall open up."


Interesting story? EXO's well-organized narrative performance pulls you into them.

Well, that's not all. In Korea, people have some preconceptions about idol groups. Some people think that the idol stars are just pretty boys. It is not easy for idol stars to be recognized as having competitive singing ability. However, EXO showed off singing ability sufficiently through its pop ballad song 'Miracles in December'.


EXO has focused on its intensive dance performance with its hits 'MAMA', 'Wolf' and 'Growl'. But, on the contrary, they paid more attention to singing when they performed 'Miracles in December' on the stage. Yes, releasing the pop ballad song was SM's smart marketing strategy too.

Fully Support to the Artists

Kpop chart shows are made with pre-recording and real time performance. Usually, new singers can not gain an opportunity to participate in pre-recording because it is for well-known faces.

However, for their debut stage, EXO has been privileged to participate in pre-recording. And during their debut time, they hit the stage of MAMA(Mnet Asian Music Awards) with other famous Kpop stars. It was exceptional.

Well, of course, EXO was popular as much as other existing Kpop stars even before their debut, but receiving such benefits was absolutely impossible if it had not been for SM's help.

SM is the most influential Kpop agency in Korean entertainment industry. Not only top-class Kpop stars, but also top-class actors and comedians are in the agency. Kang Hodong(comedian), Jang Dong Gun(actor) and Kim Ha Neul(actress). Have you heard about these names?

In the entertainment industry, money is power and star is power, while SM has both of them. With its enormous power in entertainment industry, SM provides full support to its artists, and you can say that EXO is the beneficiary. SM prgresses the large-scale marketing activities for its artists, while other agencies can't even think of it.

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