Close-Up with Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO, Eastman Kodak Co.

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Named CMO of Eastman Kodak Co. two years ago, Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO of Eastman Kodak Co., has become a familiar face on the conference circuit (he is immediate past chairman of the Business Marketing Association) and more so on multiple social networks, where his seemingly constant status updates and Twitter posts are followed by Kodak employees, customers and reporters, among others.

Named to his current post two years ago after serving as CMO of Kodak's Graphics Communications Group, Hayzlett was honored in June at the BMA's annual conference in Chicago, where he received the 2009 G.D. Crain Jr. Award, which recognizes a BMA member for career achievement in b-to-b marketing communications and exceptional service to the association. (The award is named for the founder of Crain Communications Inc.)

BtoB, which named Hayzlett its Top Marketer of 2008, caught up with him last month for a wide-ranging conversation about his marketing approach, Kodak's internal FAST principle (and why the acronym was revamped shortly after it was introduced) and why he has become an ardent user of social networks.

BtoB: What's your top marketing objective for the rest of 2009?

Hayzlett: It's about growing Kodak and continuing to be the best partner to help our customers grow their own businesses. And that's around delivering value and innovation. Really, in tough, challenging economic times, that's more important than ever for us. The same is true for the consumer side of our business, around delivering value and innovation for our customers. That's the only thing we exist for: to drive profitable sales and value for our customers.

BtoB: You mentioned the downturn. How have Kodak's own marketing strategy and tactics been affected?

Hayzlett: There's an old saying in advertising: "In good times, advertise. In bad times, advertise more." So we're actually putting more into advertising than we did last year. But we're also working with less—we might be reducing our overall budget but putting more dollars into advertising. That means more percentage of our budget is now into advertising ... and a majority is in outbound marketing. And we're doing it by working FAST. FAST is a core set of operating principles that drive everything we do: Focus, Accountability, Simplicity and Trust. Even if we screw up, we're going to do it FAST. We have some themes around OPM, "Other People's Money," where we try to make Kodak more and more the story so that we can do more promotions; and that also resonates in terms of the believability of our value statements.

BtoB: With OPM, are you talking about public relations or viral marketing?

Hayzlett: A little bit of everything. So for instance, branded content is a big part of that—where we make ourselves part of the entertainment of a television show. So, like [with] "Celebrity Apprentice"—and there's a number of other shows that'll be out this year—we become part of the story. That's more than just buying a spot on that show; it's becoming a part of the show. [And] we're doing a lot more step and repeat, where we get it down to what we call "big play" campaigns. Fewer of those, but more behind them.

BtoB: What about traditional media, where a number of marketers have reduced spending?

Hayzlett: To be honest with you, I think that's a mistake. What medium am I using? Is the mix changing? I'm using all of it because we've moved from broadcast to narrowcast, which means the consumer or the business wants to receive the information the way they want to receive it. So what we have to do is surround them in a 360 campaign—and give it to them when they're ready, in the way they want to have it.

BtoB: So, specifically, say the role of broadcast, in the b-to-b context?

Hayzlett: In the vertical markets [advertising] is primarily print, because there's not a lot of b-to-b television out there. Unless you can do it through sources or areas where those b-to-b decision-makers resonate. So where do you find those? Around the business shows. So making more appearances on business shows, that makes more sense. Advertising in some of those places, or sponsoring or participating in alternative marketing operations, such as the PGA Tour. With more of our business going toward b-to-b over the last seven years—almost 70% of our business is b-to-b—I want to be where the business people are.

BtoB: You've talked frequently about the organizational structure needed to take advantage of opportunities. What's Kodak doing to prepare for the economic recovery, organizationally?

Hayzlett: Over the last five ears, we've been putting a marketing architecture into place that gives us a framework for how we want to go to market, because we want versatile players who can move quickly to take advantage of market innovations and market opportunities. We want our marcom people to be very flexible. They can basically move from product to product, or business to business, or region to region. We're all clear that we're in an Internet world now. It used to take us five years to bring a product to market. Now we can do that in five months. It's really about taking zeros off of things, or adding zeros in terms of sales.

BtoB: When it comes to streamlining marketing, is there a place marketers should be looking first?

Hayzlett: It has to be at the core of what you do. It's got to start with the leaders of the company. And you have to walk the talk. That's why our operating principles are FAST. When we kicked off FAST, it stood for Focus, Accountability, Speed and Trust. And about two months into the kickoff of our internal campaign, our CFO said, "Doesn't FAST represent speed? And really we just need to be more simple around here. Can we change it?" So in the spirit of FAST we made a decision to change it [replacing "speed" with "simplicity"], and we relaunched it the next day. What a perfect example of FAST

BtoB: You're a huge advocate for and user of social media. How are you using social media today, and what's the benefit to Kodak?

Hayzlett: I got into social media tools primarily for myself, so Twitter and Facebook because I wanted to keep in touch with my family. And then I saw the practical applications for business in terms of OPM. Where can I get that much feedback from a customer directly—unfiltered by any organization, or rules or whatever. I get to talk to customers every single minute of the day. So the ROI is very good. But also, for the marketers who aren't doing it, "What's your ROI?" Meaning, what's your "return on ignoring"? I mean, I want to know when customers are mad, when customers are happy. I want to be able to have customers suggest to us—for our new, hand-held HD videocam—"You should put an external mike jack on this thing."

BtoB: Interesting. You're talking about social media as a listening environment. Most of the presentations I hear are about its use for outbound messaging infrastructure. You started by talking about it as an input.

Hayzlett: I announced at the Twitter conference a couple months ago that we're going to hire a "chief listener." We have had hundreds of applications for this position. This is somebody who acts like an air-traffic controller. Just do a keyword search on "TweetDeck" [or another Twitter search application] and you'll be flooded with information that you never knew existed. And so it can be used for sales, for marketing, for customer service—for a whole variety of things. And all you gotta do is sit there and listen. Now if you engage in it—I call it the four "E"s (Engage, Educate, Excite and Evangelize)—then you can really turn social marketing on its ear. Most people only try to evangelize. If you don't have engage and educate as part of that, you'll never get to evangelize, I'll guarantee you. But if you do engage and educate, you'll get excitement from it, both internally and externally, and you'll get evangelize as an outcome, which is awesome. And we see that every single day.

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