Opening Keynote by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett: SES San Francisco 2010

Aug 18, 2010 | 1,476 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Day 1 of SES San Francisco 2010 lived upto its expectation. The opening session was based on social media marketing and how it has become a major platform for companies to connect with people and build their brand's image.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Jeffrey Hayzlett (Celebrity CMO and former Kodak CMO)

The session was initiated by Mike Grehan. The morning session kicked-off with the opening keynote from Jeffrey Hayzlett (@jeffreyhayzlett), former Kodak CMO and now a celebrity CMO. Jeffrey's first statement was “If you expected a long and lame presentation you can kiss that shit goodbye” and he was true to his words. He talked about the ever-changing face of marketing and how Kodak, a 118-year old company, was compelled to get an image makeover in order to connect with the people on the emotional front



Kodak started as a consumer company but now they are B2B. 70% of Kodak was into film business once upon a time and now they have gone completely digital. However, they never advertised about these transitions. The 19 products offered by Kodak are either 1, 2 or 3 in their category market, out of which half were launched in the past two years. Although, ROI was good but there was general feeling that they were missing out on something very crucial. That something was the emotional bond, people had with Kodak's products.

Jeffery said that it is important for any leadership to consider things like:

  • Set conditions: It is essential to set conditions in the organization such as how you want to satisfy the consumer or how would you grab their attention and more importantly what can they expect from you and what you want to deliver.
  • Cause some tension: “Take everybody from the centre of the table and move them to the edge”- The job is to create tension so that people question you, why are you doing something. Tension always pushes the group forward.

Coming back to Kodak, Jeffery discussed how they miserably failed when they did a mobile campaign. The campaign was based on the fact that Big Ink totally over-charges. They got Vinny Pastore on-board to produce the commercial. The idea was to show the commercial in movie theatres, send text to the mobile and offer a coupon to get cheaper ink. Millions spent but the result was far from expectation: just two text responses.

Then, where did they go wrong? At movie theatres, phones are supposed to be turned off. The whole campaign fell flat.

Kodak recognised how social media could be a potent weapon to reach out to people and created their corporate blog “a thousand words,” Their blog for engineers is called “a thousand nerds.” The blogs are more open and highly-interactive.

Time to Get Social

Most companies find it hard to understand social media. It is not the destination rather it is a tool that can help to create a special bond with people. Respond to people and listen to them. It is not about grabbing eyeballs through display advertising, it is about driving the community, understanding them and giving what they want.

The Four E’s: Engage, Educate, Excite, Evangelize

Someone suggested on Twitter “Add a mic jack” and the next version of the product had the mic jack. They heard the suggestion and did it. That one feature made the product the hottest selling product in the market.

Companies spend millions on viral videos but does anyone remember the products? It is time to spend the time and money on building communities.

Kodak named one of their products after running a campaign on Twitter, where one had to name the product and the response was simply outstanding – 28k responses! 98% of the people who buy their cameras are women. So, now they target women and listen to their queries and suggestions.

So, what should one do, get marketing or creative people on-board? There would be no difference. Marketing people need to be creative. People believe in brands. Brand is selling stuff. So sell your brand.

Opening Keynote by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett: SES San Francisco 2010, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
4.thumbnail Opening Keynote by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett: SES San Francisco 2010

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Opening Keynote by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett: SES San Francisco 2010
4.thumbnail Opening Keynote by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett: SES San Francisco 2010