Reporter's Notebook: Ad:Tech San Francisco, 'Darwin On Speed'

  • by May 25, 2004
"The Internet is Darwin on speed," enthused Peter Weedfald, senior vice president-strategic marketing and new media, Samsung Electronics America, and Tuesday's keynoter at Ad:Tech, San Francisco. "The Internet is a disruptive technology that is changing technology and the life cycles of business."

Weedfald cited the ways in which the Internet has changed the rules of the game, disrupting business models in the music, TV, and movie industries. For example, he cited dismal CD sales figures, attributing the weakness to the supremacy of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and for-pay online music services.

Weedfald, known for his outspoken evangelism of the Internet and his drive to put Samsung advertising, marketing, and promotions on the Web "24/7, 365 days a year," spoke to a packed audience of show attendees who came to hear the marketer's idiosyncratic view of the Web. For example, Weedfald defined CRM, best-known as customer relationship management, as "customers really matter." He said that he and Samsung are in "launch mode 365 days a year" in order to have the "freshest lettuce on the shelf." And, he said, "people are trading up, not down." But Weedfald noted that these issues extend across categories. "You must have an integrated, Internet-ready company and [be] in launch mode 365 days a year, and overhaul your entire Internet infrastructure," he maintained.

Weedfald said the disruptive influence of the Internet has made its presence known in the content business, in the so-called "pipe" business via cable, Wi-Fi, broadband, digital subscriber line, and other distribution systems, and in Samsung's diverse and gargantuan global business.

Through Weedfald's efforts, Samsung in the United States reels in more than 1 billion impressions per month via the company's advertising presence on 360 Web sites (appearing above the fold), 24 hours a day. Samsung runs 40-50 different ad campaigns per month online. The company is currently conducting a global agency review. Its current agencies are Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, and Cheil Communications, the company's in-house ad unit.

Weedfald offered several examples of Samsung's online promotional efforts, including a 2-week effort flagging a Jon Bon Jovi concert simulcast live on the Web. The simulcast drove 150,000 people to Samsung's U.S. Web site to tune in. Weedfald called the concert promotion part of the company's CRM (customers really matter) efforts.

Next story loading loading..