Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jeffrey Hayzlett, Kodak CMO at Streaming Media East 2010, "How Video and Social Media Helped Kodak Get Its Mojo Back"

I caught up Jeffrey Hayzlett, two weeks before his departure as Eastman Kodak Company's energetic and boisterous, celebrity CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), at Streaming Media East 2010, where gave an opening keynote address. He discussed Kodak's innovation in video with it's popular pocket cameras and why companies should engage in social media and video. In his role at Kodak, he helped Eastman Kodak Company get its mojo back by using streaming media, video technology and emotional technology to connect with its customers. Hayzlett had joined Kodak in 2006 and has ran all their marketing efforts since 2009. He launched a social media team with the roles of Chief Listener and Chief Blogger, and also landed the company a starring role on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.

Hayzlett says that in today's media landscape, it's vitally important to be where your customers are and that's why Kodak has immersed itself in social media - to engage in a two-way conversation with customers. Kodak's social media activity includes a Facebook page, four blogs, free podcasts on iTunes, videos on YouTube ad and very active participation on Twitter. The company turned to the wisdom of the crowd for a Twitter contest to help name their latest pocket video camera, the new PlaySport. Kodak has produced two guides with Social Media Tips and Mobile Marketing Tips to share their experiences of how social media helped grow their business, available for free at

Hayzlett kicked off Streaming Media East a few weeks ago, with a spirited presentation on how social media has redefined Kodak's tactics of product development and customer engagement, and built communities around their brand. It's no longer just eyeballs and ears, but now it's the hearts and minds.

Hayzlett says:
"These conversation go on with you or without you. So you want to engage, educate, excite people and they become evangelists, or Kodak ambassadors is what we call them. That's what we call the "4 E's" So, it's very important for businesses or individuals, but especially for businesses to get out there and engage with their communities."

How do companies get started in social media?

In their Social Media Tips guide, Kodak advises that before you jump in think about some basic questions:
  • Why do I want to participate in social media?
  • How can social media improve my business?
  • How will social media be incorporated into my overall customer experience?
A checklist of social network profiles should include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. Download TweetDeck and Seesmic to monitor your social media streams, listen and add value to the conversations that are going on. Kodak believes that on some some level all companies are publishers. "Content Creation, Distribution, Engagement, and Measures should be key areas of focus."

Why Video?

According to Hayzlett:
"If I picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth ten thousand words... People are very visual in terms of their activity, so they want to see things, and when they can see with their own eyes as they say, they believe it more. So we think video is a big important part of that."
Coincidentally, this interview was recorded with a Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera that has a built-in microphone jack, which the idea as Hayzlett points out, also came from Twitter:
"For the older Zi6, which lacked a microphone jack, we saw a Tweet that said we should add it.We did add it and the product is outselling the competition 10:1, and the competitor's newer product is lacking the microphone jack."
Hayzlett says that capturing that rare "Kodak Moment" and "Keep it Forever" is as simple push of the button. It doesn't have to be a Hollywood production either, as he emphasizes, you can make mistakes and start over. Nobody cares, just get the content out there, that's the most important thing. Hayzlett says that you'll see more and more technology shoved into the Kodak pocket cameras.

Two days after my interview with him at Streaming Media East, he announced his resignation as Kodak's CMO, on May 14th 2010 , to pursue personal projects. His new book, "Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing," is climbing the best seller list and is demanding more and more of his time along with a packed speaking event schedule. He's working on a second book with "Mirror Test" co-author Tim Eber, and headed next to New York City, to start his next chapter.

He had this to say about leaving Kodak:
"Everybody knows I've been on borrowed time. The average tenure of a CMO is 18 months. It's because of my love of Kodak I've stayed as long as I have. We have our mojo back. We've certainly raised the profile of the company."
Yesterday was his last day at Kodak, and he wrote this on Twitter:
Ever had one of those days when you are sad but happy at the same time? Got one today. :)

Look for him sometime soon on television, or join his army of Twitter followers at @JeffreyHayzlett or at

Congratulations Jeffrey Hayzlett!

Update 6/4/2010: See Jeffrey Hayzlett’s last on-camera interview before announcing his departure from Kodak at Streaming Media East - Marketers Are Like Farmers -