Comcast Corp. has turned to a telephone company veteran to direct its marketing strategy, naming former Verizon Wireless executive Marvin O. Davis senior vice president of marketing.
Davis, who oversaw Verizon’s well-known “Can you hear me now?” campaign and other marketing pitches for the telco, will be responsible for developing and implementing integrated marketing, sales and branding strategies for Comcast’s video, high-speed data and voice products.
Davis, who started working at Comcast on Feb. 14, wasn’t available for interviews last week. He succeeds Andy Addis, who resigned last month as senior vice president of marketing and new products.
BACKGROUND AN EDGE
Comcast executive vice president of operations Dave Watson said the MSO wasn’t looking specifically for an executive with a telephone background to market its services. But as Comcast rolls out voice-over-Internet protocol phone service — and looks to stave off competition in its core video business from satellite firms and new telco entrants such as Verizon Communications Inc. — Watson said Davis’s background is a plus.
“Competition has continued to increase. Anybody that has a different competitive experience base — I think that’s helpful,” said Watson, also a phone veteran who oversaw marketing for Comcast Cellular before Comcast sold its wireless business to SBC Communications Inc. in 1999.
Watson said Comcast is considering adding wireless phone service to its bundle of video, high-speed data and VoIP phone products, but the MSO hasn’t decided if it will partner with an existing wireless carrier or enter the sector through other means.
Last year, Comcast and other major MSOs began considering partnering with Sprint Corp., Nextel or Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile.
Major MSOs have also reportedly considered acquiring a wireless phone company.
“There are many different scenarios we’re looking at. I think wireless, at some point, will be a product that we’re going to have to take very seriously,” Watson said.
Watson, who had been executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service at Comcast before he was promoted last year, said that Davis is Comcast’s head marketer.
Davis, who reports to Watson, will also probably be Comcast’s “principal voice over time” in its work with the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, Watson said.
Davis’s direct reports include Kevin Hill, who was recently promoted to vice president of national video marketing, along with marketing executives at Comcast that handle media buying, research and database marketing, according to Watson.
Senior vice president of video products Terry Yu will continue to report to Watson.
Marketing executives at Comcast’s five operating divisions will continue to report to local managers, but Watson said that system marketers “will have a dotted line into Marvin.”