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Overcoming the Downturn: Meet the SK hynix Marketers Tackling External Challenges

By April 27, 2023 December 5th, 2023 No Comments

What exactly is the role of a semiconductor marketer?

How has their job changed in recent years?

How do they gain the knowledge and skills required for global activities?

Which strategies do they use to help the company navigate external challenges?


To find out the answers to these questions and more, the SK hynix newsroom interviewed two marketers from the company’s U.S. and South Korean offices.

In South Korea, Jay-hyun Chu is taking on more varied tasks in her sixth year at the company. In addition to her usual role of being a contact point for clients, Chu has put aside much of her time to coming up with attractive proposals for her company’s products while managing negotiations with clients.

Across the ocean at SK hynix America, Jong-rak Hyun of the Commercial Marketing team has also seen considerable changes to working methods. Recently, taskforces and working groups have been set up to spearhead efforts to systemize the work process in the U.S. office.

Amid economic instability, geopolitical issues, and the industry slowdown, it is clear that marketers’ roles and skillsets are developing to take on these challenges. Especially at a time when semiconductors are playing such a crucial role in essential technologies, it is important to consider how marketers help get these key technologies into the hands of those who need them most.

In a wide-ranging interview, Chu and Hyun discuss why their work is essential for companies to thrive no matter the situation.

Adapting to a Rapidly Changing Environment

Chu has been a sales representative ever since she joined SK hynix six years ago. Her daily tasks at the Global Sales & Marketing (GSM) department have included managing the annual planning of the company’s supply and revenue in addition to acting as the contact point for external clients. However, as client demand for products changes frequently during times of economic instability, it is the role of Chu to keep up with this fluctuation.

“While it is fundamental to match the client’s demands, it is my job to promote our products in various ways,” she said.

“We have also become more proactive in our sales approach as demand has been falling,” said Chu. “This has required us to be more thorough with our market analyses to make better proposals and negotiations with clients.”


Out of the 12 years that Hyun has worked at SK hynix, the last four years have been spent in the marketing and sales division. Some of his tasks have included analyzing markets, verifying customer demand, identifying potential businesses, and maximizing corporate sales. He also contributes to the establishment of marketing strategies in the U.S. by gathering market intelligence on clients in the server, automotive and consumer markets.

Working in the U.S. has meant that Hyun experienced relaxed COVID-19 restrictions much sooner than Chu in South Korea, but some changes in the work culture made as a result of the pandemic have remained and helped to improve productivity for the U.S. office.

For example, SK hynix has introduced a flexible work system which allows employees to freely adjust their mandatory working hours. As for employees in South Korea, they may also choose to commute to the office closest to their homes as there are multiple offices they can work in.

Training to Take Employees to the Next Level

As a global semiconductor company with offices and plants around the world, SK hynix is often faced with numerous unforeseen challenges. Therefore, marketers at the company ensure that they are always prepared for any eventuality by taking essential education and training for employees. Such programs help staff develop the skills they need to perform their duties effectively.

“I am thankful that our company is continuing to invest in training and educating our workforce even during such challenging times,” said Hyun.

Program for Improving Language Skills

As the GSM department deals with global clients, language skills are also an essential part of employee’s duties. “The company provides opportunities to hone language skills as we need to deal with international clients and companies,” Chu said. “For languages like English and Chinese, we even have in-person classes and online courses.”

Gaining a Global Perspective Through the GXP

Foreign language skills can also come in handy for the recently launched Global eXperience Program (GXP), SK hynix’s work abroad program which introduces employees to new working cultures and methods. The program gives employees the chance to work at one of the company’s overseas branches or at the office of an international partner. Chu was one of the participants of the first GXP class last year and explained how the program opened her eyes to a new way of working.

“I got to meet face-to-face with international clients who previously I only could call from across the ocean. It really broadened my knowledge of different work tasks as I got to directly experience how our global colleagues were working in their offices,” she said, talking about her time working for five weeks at the company’s U.S. office.

“It was an eye-opening experience to see how staff in a different office work and discover what types of skills and manners they used for negotiations with clients,” she added.

Building Win-Win Partnerships That Last

With a global network of partners, SK hynix looks to move forward and develop innovative solutions collaboratively even in the face of challenges. Working closely with global partners who are renowned for their high standards has also helped to bring out the best in SK hynix’s employees.

“We have a variety of technical and business collaborations based on our strategic partnerships with leading tech companies. Such world-class businesses always demand our best efforts and performance, which is sometimes challenging,” Chu said. “But we feel that our company’s technology and business competitiveness are improving as we work with partners who expect only the best.”

SK hynix also has a strong partnership with leading consumer electronics companies. “Throughout our partnerships, we have always been extremely committed and collaborative,” said Hyun. “We provide our partners with not just memory products, but also the solutions they need.”

Hyun adds that while the company looks to “continue building win-win partnerships,” it is most important to always maintain a customer-first attitude. As Chu reiterates: “To become the number one technology company in the world, you can’t forget about the customer. Recently, SK hynix introduced a new CoC (code of conduct) for employees with an emphasis on customer relationships.”

This focus on the customer has helped the marketers to navigate the current downturn, which has brought down prices and impacted sales figures. ”As the contact point for customers, we need to relay a message of hope,” Chu said. “Even in such challenging times, we can attract new customers and expand our market if our technologies and advancements are distributed efficiently.”

The same applies for Hyun’s office in the U.S. “Even if tough times still lie ahead for us, we will feel immense pride when we work to spread awareness about our technological prowess to secure new customers and expand our reach in the market,” said Hyun.

Heading for a Brighter Future

As highlighted from talking with Chu and Hyun who work thousands of miles apart, SK hynix’s marketers around the world are giving their all to keep the company moving forward regardless of external circumstances.

Through a focus on adaptability, partnerships, and training, SK hynix is making sure that it remains a leading memory solution provider for its customers. As Chu said: “Employees voluntarily and willingly come up with innovative solutions to propel the company to become a global institution with a world-class competitive edge.”

Amid expectations that the global semiconductor industry will begin to recover later in 2023, SK hynix’s marketers will continue to give their utmost to ensure the company capitalizes on the upturn and reaches unprecedented heights in the future.