Mobile Natives and a “one-person marketer”


As the number of social networking service and smartphone users skyrocket, the role of an influencer (influential individual)–a representative of today’s “one man marketer” job– is also receiving greater spotlight. The mobile-native generation, typically referred to as the 1429 generation (14 to 29 year-olds who grew up in the late 1990s to 2012), has had the success of generating substantial income through the use of Facebook, Instagram, Afreeca TV and YouTube, exerting celebrity-like influence on social platforms.

On January, 3rd, the Korea Press Foundation published the results of the ‘2016 Youth Media Use’ survey. The result indicates that today’s adolescents consume more media contents via mobile (91.7%) than television (82.6%). In particular, 26.7% of respondents said that they use a one-person broadcast platform such as YouTube and Afreeca TV. Of various types of content, “Game” was overwhelmingly the most popular genre (77.5%).

These results are exemplified by active gaming creators on YouTube who market their own channels. For example, a  7-minute video on the online game “Overwatch”, posted by gaming creator “Gamp” who is a part of GameCoach (CEO Song Gwang Joon), has accumulated over 1.4 million views on YouTube since last April.

The success and virality of “one-person marketer” activity can be attributed to the growing phenomenon of users selectively consuming content of their interest on their mobile phone instead of TV. Additionally, the convenience of various social platforms that allow people to post and share pictures or videos – ultimately opens a door for marketers to get a piece of the action. SmartPosting, which services influencers marketing platform in Korea and North America, paid $3.6m USD to one-person marketers on its platform in just the last year.

With the recent growth of the one-person marketer trend, enterprises are paying greater attention to one-person marketers and mobile platforms that will help promote their brand and products. For these companies, the one-person marketing can serve as a new, more efficient marketing avenue as it is easy to predict the reach of the advertisement by the number of followers or regular subscribers. In addition, measuring the Return on Investment requires no arduous effort since the advertisement cost is calculated based on clear, metric-driven performance. And of course, this recent marketing method is less prone to triggering any stigma associated with typical ads on the web as consumers generally perceive one-person marketers’ contents as more approachable and tailored to their specific needs.

Over the past few years, the sole-marketer trend has been studied and substantiated in numerous surveys. According to the Korea Advertising Agency’s (KAI) Advertising Forecast Index Survey Report published in December 2016, mobile is the medium in which ad market expects the greatest ad expenditure increase compared to the previous year, with the forecast index of 136.7.

According to the ‘2017 Digital Marketing Trend Forecast and Keyword’ survey conducted by the Digital Marketing Forum, the most noteworthy trends in social media marketing in 2017 are branded contents and influencer marketing, with 41% and 32% of respondents supporting the respective trends.

“The mobile natives, better known as the 1429 generation, are changing the way people consume content. Since we’re in an environment of using social networking services to both consume content and produce new ones seamlessly, we can all think of ourselves as ‘one-man marketers’”.

Inspired by Platum

I’m a problem-solver in the daytime, and a writer at night. I find joy in trying new things, from exploring every jolly, peaceful public reading spot in NYC to learning to play guitar and kickboxing masterfully. Let’s connect:


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