Samsung’s Weedfald Puts Internet First

SAN FRANCISCO If someone were to ask Peter Weedfald of Samsung Electronics America how the Web should fit into a company’s marketing plans, he would respond, “Stop doing it. It does not work.”

Speaking to a packed room of online advertising executives this morning at the Ad:Tech conference here, the Samsung senior vice president of strategic marketing and new media rationalized, “I don’t want my competition to understand the Internet. I don’t want them to understand that the Internet is Darwin on speed. I want them to look at it as the last stop of an integrated campaign.”

Weedfald’s keynote address kicked off the second day of the three-day conference at the Palace Hotel that attracted more than 4,000 attendees, up 30 percent over a year ago.

Despite his attempts to lead the competition astray, he offered, “Everything we do starts with the Internet because it’s the most exciting, powerful, vibrant medium.”

During his hour-long speech, Weedfald emphasized today’s “information economy,” where people have access to content from multiple platforms. He also highlighted the disruptive nature of the Web, which is changing the way companies have historically done business.

Contrary to popular belief, CRM does not stand for customer relationship management, Weedfald said. “CRM stands for ‘Look at Michael Dell’s business for god’s sake,'” he joked. “CRM stands for customers really matter.”

“If I really care about you then I will build an [Internet] infrastructure that allows for one-to-one communication. You can only do that on the Internet,” he said, advising marketers to overhaul their online infrastructure.