As the portal war heats up, Infoseek (SEEK) is launching a marketing blitz and a new slew of e-commerce services that aim to keep the company competitive, the company's CFO Leslie Wright said Monday at the BancBoston Robertson Stephens Technology 99 Conference.
The campaign, set to start in March, will include national TV spots, a Web banner blitzkrieg, promotions in movies, videos and theme parks -- even a billboard in Times Square. Infoseek touted this new campaign as the first fruits of its partnership with
, which promised to fork over $165 million in promotion as part of the deal struck last year.
"This is the right kind of partner to have in building brand," boasted Wright, who pointed out that Infoseek was the first Internet company to join hands with a old media juggernaut.
After building its
network brand with the Disneyfied marketing barrage, Infoseek will focus on rolling out a new round of e-commerce services, including an affinity program, an auction service and more partnerships with stores, Wright said. These services are designed to build on Go's current shopping site, which launched in January.
"There's really no commerce in the revenue mix," said Wright, pointing to a slide that shows e-commerce accounted for about 4% of Infoseek's revenue. "That's what we're hoping to add in 1999."
Despite Go's menu of leading brands, which includes
, Wright said Infoseek's offering lacks one key item: a personal finance portal. "We're developing our own product now and looking for a potential partner," he hinted.
Spencer E. Ante
Quantum's Storage Story
, the leading maker of hard disk drives, is drawing interest for its recent forays into data storage technologies.
More than 60% of Quantum's revenues come from PC or hard-disk drives. Barbara Nelson, the general manager of Quantum's desktop and portables group, said Monday that four of the top five PC makers used Quantum's drives. The exception?
, which had a 4% decline in year-over-year revenues last year.
Nelson sees promise in the company's burgeoning storage business. "Right now, our Digital Linear Tape and tape automation business makes up 28% of revenues," she said, "and that's something we want to improve on." Critics have argued that Quantum, whose stock has fallen from 29 15/16 on Jan. 20 to below 20 Monday, has been overdependent on its lower-margin hard-disk drive business.
Today, Nelson seemed to win over a crowd of skeptical money managers in attendance. "We are liking Quantum more and more because it is moving into the storage business faster than its competitors," said one money manager, who requested anonymity and has a long position in Quantum.
-- Eric Moskowitz
What's My Name Again?
Robbie Stephens has been changing allegiances so frequently lately that the West Coast research shop forgot to change its name in some presentation rooms. In Salon 2 of the swanky
, the teleprompter read:
BancAmerica Robertson Stephens
. It's the previous name before
bought Robbie Stephens last year.
-- Eric Moskowitz