Search and Branding — SES San Francisco Opening Keynote with Jeffrey Hayzlett

Jeffrey Hayzlett

Good morning. Welcome to the first day of SES San Francisco, part of Connected Marketing Week. This week of Internet marketing nerddom kicked off yesterday with SEO Training with our very own Bruce Clay and now we’re diving into the heart of the conference itself. I have coffee and a programming guide. Let’s do this. I don’t know who programmed the music this time around but it’s pretty great.

Mike Grehan welcomes us all. Hi, Mike!

Our opening keynote will be the delightful Jeffrey Hayzlett (@jeffreyhayzlett) whose bio lists him as a celebrity CMO as well as former Kodak CMO, Eastman Kodak Company. Can I be listed as a celebrity editor from now on? Or do you have to be Anna Wintour for that? I’m adding it to my bio regardless.

We begin with technical difficulties with the sound on a video about something. Dunno. Kodak. Poking fun at their old schmaltzy “Kodak moment” image and being all big and excited about moving into the digital age. There’s talk of “grab-ass”. Oh my. But hey, the audience is laughing so I guess it’s working?

And with that bombastic video tirade, we have a Jeffrey. Who begins like this:

Gimme an Amen for search. This is a revival.

You guys sound like Lutherans in South Dakota.  They live in fear that someone, somewhere is having fun. No, I want you to sound like Baptists. If you’re a Goldstein, throw in an oy vey.
How many of you bought a roll of film in the last year? [very few hands]

We’re going to talk about how you use search to remake your image.  Display advertising is now “traditional”.

slide presentation

Kodak made $15 billion in film five years ago. This year, less than $2 million in film. They had to do a proof of life. What business are you in? “We’re in the printing business, we’re in the film business, we’re in the camera business.” No, that’s not what they were.

Passion is not a substitute for planning.  They were passionate about film. We all grew up with Kodak moments. But the generation coming up didn’t.

He’s passionate about pheasants. Hunting, eating. He built a pheasant farm to corner the market. Because he was passionate about pheasants but you can’t farm pheasants. Poor planning. Pheasants are not forever.

The new elevator pitch is your 118. 8 seconds is the average attention span and the average elevator ride is 110 seconds. 8 seconds to hook me and 110 to sell me. That’s all you’ve got.  You need to keep your pitch short and sweet.

You have to do your sell in one or two words in search. Short and sweet.

Big Macs are worth the wait. You have to set the conditions of satisfaction. It’s not about just getting the job done. It’s about setting the level and sticking to it. What will you accept?

Your job is to take everyone from the center of the table and move them to the edge. Your job is to cause tension. Cause people to question why you’re doing something. Tension moves the group forward.

How do you keep an organization together? We can only move as fast as our slowest common denominator. So you have to find that person and ask them to leave, because you can’t move any faster than the slowest person.  “We love you but we’re going to miss you.”  It’s hard but no one is going to die.

118-year-old company trying to be cool but dressed like Elmer Fudd.

They did a mobile campaign based around the fact that Big Ink totally over-charges.  462k in ink to fill a tank of gas. They hired Vinny Pastore to make a commercial. Watch the commercial, text to the mobile, and get a coupon for cheaper ink. They spent millions, it tested awesomely, they released it to movie theatres… and got two text responses. Why didn’t anyone reply?

Because you turn off your phone at a movie theatre. How do you repurpose it? They built it around search. If you’re going to make mistakes, make it big.

70% of Kodak used to be in the film business. Now they’re mostly digital. They used to be a consumer company, now they’re B2B. They didn’t advertise their old image while they were building the new image. They make most of their revenue from 19 products, half of which are new in the last two years and those 19 products are 1, 2, or 3 in their markets.

Every time you take a picture, take it with a Kodak camera. It makes you look thinner. [Hee.] They used to literally raise cattle to make their film.

They had to get back to their core business.

People literally would run back into a burning building to save their product. They don’t make cameras or printers or film. They make emotional technology.

Commercial time.

They had to remake the mood of the company. They were stuck in the past. They liked how it used to be. But they couldn’t be that way anymore, just like you can’t be the way you were when you were 20. You have to want to look like you are today and who you’re going to be in the future. Make a brand transformation.

Bring the old to the new. What’s the key? Trust.

Look pretty in the mirror. They used to be boring, white and corporate. Not about one thing, about everything. They refocused back on Kodak Moment. They’d let it lapse.

Their corporate blog is “a thousand words.” They have a separate blog for the engineers: “a thousand nerds.”

They made it more open and interactive. “You tell us what the most important scene from the Best Picture nominations is.”

Get a Personality

Kodak moments should have fun.  They’ve started April Fool’s jokes. eyeCamera, Aromatography. “Sniff here.”

Get Social

Why don’t most companies get it? Because they suck. Social media isn’t a destination, it’s a tool. If you’re not using it, you’re an idiot.  These conversations are going on with you or without you. Why aren’t you listening?

The Four Es: Engage, Educate, Excite, Evangelize

“Add a mic jack” was a suggestion from Twitter. So they added it to the next iteration of the product. (I want one of them now.) It outsells the competition 10 to 1 because of that one feature. They didn’t test it, they just heard the suggestion and did it.

Have a Chief Listening Officer, Someone Whose Job It is to Listen

Responding to people, listening to them, builds excitement. You’re not worried about eyeballs and ears. You’re worried about driving the community. People waste millions on viral videos and no one remembers the products. Spend the time and the money on building the community. It’s not about followers. It means nothing if they’re just passing through. Build hearts and minds, they’ll stick.

What’s your ROI?  Return on Ignoring.  It’s not investment. What’s the return on doing nothing? Nothing.

It’s okay if they scream at you. Scream back. Don’t just roll over.

Finding the Next Big Thing

The next “2” – The ZI8 was named one of the best products in the year. But that name sucks.

What’s our next product?
This one. It’s waterproof!
Yay! What’s it called?
“The ZX3”
That name sucks!
Let’s have a naming contest! And we’ll tweet it out! And we’ll give away a week’s vacation!
Wait, we have to check with the attorneys.
There will be a fine!
How much is the fine?
I don’t know. 50k?
That’s worth it! We’ll get press out of it and we’ll be on the side of the little guys and everyone will be excited! Do it!

26 hours from idea to implementation. They tweeted it out. Marketing people shouldn’t have to wait. They need to move fast. If you’re going to fail, fail fast. Don’t debate forever.

They got 28k responses to name the new product.  The fine was $300. It made the product the best selling product and raised the average selling price $50.  There’s a waiting list. It’s now called the Play Sport (Play’s the platform, Sport is the specific product iteration). The next version is coming out soon.

Time for another commercial!  Memories and stuff.  The real Kodak moment is when you share your memories.  There is schmaltz. Oh yes. I have something in my eye.

98% of the people who buy cameras are women. They target women as a result. They listen to what women tell them they want, what problems they have, etc. If you’re not listening, you’re just building a baseball field in Iowa and no one will come.

Should you hire creative people or marketing people? There’s no difference. Marketing people should be creative. Don’t build “buzz” about a brand. A brand is a promise delivered. You brand by selling stuff.

Susan Esparza is former managing editor at Bruce Clay Inc., and has written extensively for clients and internal publications. Along with Bruce Clay, she is co-author of the first edition of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

See Susan's author page for links to connect on social media.

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2 Replies to “Search and Branding — SES San Francisco Opening Keynote with Jeffrey Hayzlett”

is Eevangelize suppose to have teo “e”s.. :P Great post.

Virginia Nussey

LOL – that snuck past the editor (me). Thanks for pointing it out :) All better!


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