It was the Overseas Stock Event Planning Task Force (TF) within Kakao Pay Securities that mixed hard stocks with bubbly ideas. The seven-member team put their heads together for three months to organize ‘Sweet Potato Stock Giveaway’, an event that has been running for two seasons with enthusiastic support. The news of ‘free stocks’ caused a flurry of inquiries about how to participate in the event at Blind, an office worker community, and various salty tech cafes.

During seasons 1 and 2, the number of participants reached 1 million, and the number of users in the discussion room tripled during that time. Bizwatch met with the team behind the event at Kakao’s KakaoAtel in Pangyo, Gyeonggi-do in early May.

The interview began with a brief self-introduction. Product Manager Jay (Jae Lee), Marketer Jenna (Jiyoung Heo), Product Designer Jodi (Minhyung Cho), and Server Developer Mumble (Mansoo Kim). These are all English names. Of course, they also have external titles. However, they said they were used to calling each other by their English names in the company. On the contrary, they agreed that their Korean names were unfamiliar. All of them came from IT companies not related to the securities or financial industry.

They all joined Kakao Pay Securities last year. Except for Lee Jae-yi, a product manager who joined in June last year, three of them joined KakaoPay and moved to KakaoPay Securities. Although the company is smaller than its parent company, KakaoPay, they came to KakaoPay Securities with the expectation that they would be able to do more autonomous work.

From left: Jiyoung Heo, Marketer at Kakao Pay Securities, Minhyung Cho, Product Designer, Jaei Lee, Product Manager, and Mansoo Kim, Server Developer/Photo=Kakao Pay Securities
Sweet potato attracts beginner ants to the stock market

In April, Kakao Pay Securities held an overseas stock event to celebrate the first anniversary of its Mobile Trading System (MTS). Overseas stocks are the center of attention for online securities companies. Unlike domestic stocks, they are easier to attract new investors. In fact, Kakao Pay Securities is in the process of acquiring US securities firm Siebert Financial. The aftermarket service that started this year is also provided in partnership with Siebert.

The name of the event is “I’ll give you sweet potatoes, I’ll give you stocks.” At first glance, you might question the connection between sweet potatoes and stocks. The story goes like this. Chunsik is a pet cat raised by Ryan, Kakao’s representative character, and the concept is that users can give him the sweet potatoes they pick and he will randomly exchange them for stocks.

The process of collecting sweet potatoes is simple. The first time you participate in an event, you receive one sweet potato. Each subsequent quiz will double the number of sweet potatoes.

For example, if you choose Tesla, the quiz asks you to guess whether the stock price will go up or down on the NASDAQ stock exchange that night. It sounds easy, but in season one, no one got a perfect score. You’ll need to pay attention to international economic news and the performance of companies to increase your chances of getting the right answer. In Season 2, when we started offering aftermarket services, we had nine perfect scores. Six of them were in their 20s. “I was surprised to see some people from the 2000s,” says marketer Jiyoung Heo.

“We wanted to make the quiz not just a quiz, but an entry point into Kakao Pay Securities’ services,” said Lee Jae-yi, a product manager who planned the project from the beginning. “We tried to make it so that after taking the quiz, users could share their opinions with other users in the stock discussion room on the Pay app.”

It was also the team’s idea to include game elements to differentiate the event from other events. “We didn’t just give out stocks like other companies, but we let people take quizzes and feel a sense of accomplishment,” said Cho Min-hyung, a product designer. “There are many people who have difficulty investing, and we wanted to give them confidence (by taking quizzes),” he said.

“Also, events can be boring because you have to access them repeatedly, so we added concepts such as doubling the reward for answering the quiz and sharing it with friends to give them a chance to try again next time,” he said.

“After the scheme was finalized, we had to come up with a name that we could put on the banner,” said Jiyoung Heo, the marketer who came up with the name of the event. “There is a character limit for the banner, so we had to come up with a title that was concise enough to say, ‘Take the quiz to collect sweet potatoes and turn them into stocks,'” she said. “Then I remembered the Toad House song I sang when I was a kid, and the sentence ‘Chunsik, Chunsik, I’ll give you sweet potatoes for stocks’ came to mind,” he recalled.

Since KakaoTalk is used as a channel, it was also a mission to design a smooth process for users to enter the KakaoPay app from KakaoTalk메이저놀이터.

“In fact, it was complicated to implement in the development area because you can enter from KakaoPay app and KakaoTalk,” said Kim Mansoo, a server developer. “If you fail the quiz, you have to share it with your KakaoTalk friends to participate again, but we designed it so that users can focus on the game by hiding the complicated process.”

/Photo=Kakao Pay Securities
Jongtobang participation tripled, watchlist registration doubled

The event also helped to increase the number of actual MTS users. The number of participants in the Kakao Pay Securities stock discussion room tripled compared to the previous time, and the number of interested items registered doubled. This is because the newbie ants are naturally interested in trading overseas companies and stocks.

“We could see that the service was more loyal than we expected when we saw the high percentage of people who participated and completed the program once or twice,” said Lee Jae-yi, Product Manager. “The number of users in the discussion room tripled before and after the event, and the number of interested items registered doubled.”

“If you look at the users who won first place in Season 2, they didn’t just focus on one stock, but chose a variety of stocks to participate in the quiz,” said Heo Ji-young, a marketer at Kakao Pay. “They tended to follow the announcement schedule during the earnings season and look at multiple stocks.”

In this promotion, there were many users who entered the Kakao Pay app through Kakao Talk. “For our next mission, we want to drive users directly to the Kakao Pay app, which actually has a stock service, so that they can trade more and use the service more,” said Lee.

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