Marketing, North Korean style04/05/2013 | Follow Neil | Connect with Neil


I don’t know whether we should chuckle at the news coming out of North Korea about nuclear threats and being in a state of war with their ‘long-suffering’ neighbours, or be scared. It is easy to put it down to just propaganda on their part and assume that they’d never really go ahead with anything stupid. Isn’t it?

Why are they doing it? Is this part of a refreshed strategy from their new leader Kim Jong-un? If so, what is he trying to do? Commentators suggest that he has little respect from within the ranks of the DPRK military and government, and they suggest that this is him trying to earn their respect.

What if North Korea was a misguided company and not a tooled-up country? Cue dream sequence…

Marketing Plan

The new CEO is worried about his shortcomings and that nobody takes him seriously in his own company or the market. We need a campaign to win hearts and minds internally and then take this new energy to market, backed up by a workforce that is firmly behind our vision.


Basically, we are not doing very well. Our previous generations of management have alienated the wider market to the point where nobody does business with us anymore, apart from China and Russia. We can’t sustain ourselves with just these customers therefore we need to generate more revenue. However, morale within the workforce is low at the moment and it is highly likely that our employees could leave. We believe that motivating the employees behind the new CEO and the brand, as well as other ‘incentives’ could avoid us losing too many people to our competitors.


We will win hearts and minds internally if we show that we publicly believe what we keep telling them. Therefore our ‘go-to-market’ strategy is one of challenging the big players in the market. Let’s take them on publicly and make sure that our staff sees this. The media love a bit of a squabble and we shouldn’t shy away from this. Look what it did for Richard Branson’s Virgin Airways when they took on BA.

With an engaged workforce we should share this content with the market. Our customers and competitors can see how engaged our staff are and how they are behind the new CEO. This will make the market take notice of our new approach and believe it. They will see a bold and skilled CEO backed up by a fired-up workforce.


As we are playing catch up our marketing output should be focused around the competition and conflict with our competitors. Let’s pick our closest competitor and one of the big players. Firstly, we’ll need to create some content to start with. It won’t be genuine but we can stage it using some of the workforce. I’m sure we can find ways of ‘encouraging’ them to take part. We’ll then embark on a PR strategy focused on the major news outlets.

The PR strategy will start with some official announcements but we’ll quickly build up to some major new events with some of our latest equipment. We may have to stretch some of the product feature claims but R&D has promised that all of those new features will be available by the time we launch.

We, the marketing team, are firmly behind this plan and believe it to be a win-win strategy.

With regards,

Marketing Dept
DPRK Company

PS – The second phase of our plan will depend on how our competitors react to the above (and budget).

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