Hayzlett develops plan for Kodak GCG

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In April, Jeff Hayzlett was named VP-chief marketing officer of Eastman Kodak Co.'s Graphic Communications Group (GCG), a 2-year-old division that provides technology and products for the commercial printing industry.

In his new job, Hayzlett leads all marketing activities for the business, including product positioning, segment marketing, branding, marketing communications and customer development.

Previously, he was president-CEO of Hayzlett Cos., a business development firm for graphic arts, technology and communications companies. He has more than 20 years' experience in marketing, sales and customer relationship management in the graphic communications industry.

Kodak GCG is the result of several acquisitions, including Encad, Scitex (now called Versamark), Heidelberg Digital, NexPress Solutions, Creo and Kodak Polychrome Graphics (previously a joint venture with Sun Chemical that Kodak acquired).

Hayzlett spoke with BtoB about the marketing challenges he faces in his new position, branding a new business and the importance of building relationships with customers.

BtoB: What are your priorities as CMO?

Hayzlett: We want to position Kodak GCG as a business brand for the commercial printing marketplace. Most people don't think of Kodak as a printing company. Kodak has been supplying printing technology and supplies, things you might not always think of, since the early 1900s. We want to capture market share and make Kodak shorthand for the commercial printing space.

We also want to be a business partner with our customers and help our customers do more business. To do this, we are putting tools in our printers' hands so they can go out and penetrate the market.

BtoB: What are the challenges in branding Kodak GCG?

Hayzlett: The challenge is getting people around a common message and common theme. We have a number of companies with very strong brands-Encad, Creo and Versamark. We bought these companies and integrated them into one company. Now, we have a new look and feel, and we need to show people that we are a new company.

Kodak conjures up a certain standard. We want to make sure all of the brands are positioned inside Kodak to meet that standard. We're going back to our business units to work on service levels, communications and integrating all of our marketing materials to meet the demands of customers.

BtoB: How will your advertising reflect these changes?

Hayzlett: We'll be doing more advertising around the products. People know what the Kodak brand means, particularly in the commercial print market. Kodak has always stood for color and quality.

We have to show how our products link to that and why it's important. We also want to do more advertising around how our products can help printers do more business with their customers.

We have a new ad campaign [developed by Eric Mower & Associates] that's based on our customers and the challenges they face. The campaign is the result of six companies coming together to replace the legacy ads that came from the acquired companies.

We use customers from different segments to address the challenges from those segments and solutions that Kodak provides.

BtoB: Kodak is both a consumer and b-to-b marketer. What are some of the differences in how you market to a business audience?

Hayzlett: One of the things we want to do in our marketing is show how we help our customers. We're an ingredient or machine or tool that our customers use to get printed products delivered to their customers. We want to focus on how we can make their lives easier in delivering the end product.

We launched a market mover program [recently], providing people, tools and services to our customers so they can reach out to their markets. Printers traditionally aren't the best people at marketing. They'd rather be printing for their customers. So we go out and help train them, help them make sales calls and give them services to help them market.

BtoB: How are you handling database integration from the acquired companies?

Hayzlett: We do have some direct and database marketing challenges that came from buying several companies. Each one had its own system, so we had to consolidate the data into our CRM [customer relationship management] system to keep track of customers and do cross-sell or upsell promotions.

We're still dealing with a fairly finite audience. There are not a lot of new commercial printers sprouting up. I was at a conference recently, and I went around a room and met people that have been customers for 65 years.

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