When Jeffrey Hayzlett talks, people listen! Jeffrey is a famous name in the marketing and business world having worked with some of the biggest brands out there, including Kodak. In this interview, Jeffrey gives me his take on the demise of Kodak, the business world today, and much more…
Please describe what you do in 140 characters or less
Business leader, bestselling author, keynote speaker, global agent of change, driver of profits for high-growth companies, sometime cowboy.
Jeffrey, it’s fair to say you have been around the marketing block! What has been the biggest and most challenging change in the field during your career?
Sometimes the biggest challenge can be just getting the work done. I’m a driver of change, and the first step to changing something is recognizing that it needs to be changed. I’ve been a business professional for many years now, and I often meet people who see things are bad, but won’t read the writing on the wall. I also come across people who see things need to be changed, and yet don’t enact the necessary changes in order to drive the success their business needs.
You were the CMO at Kodak for four years. Many people are offering their thoughts on the demise of the company but few have been as close to it as you, what do you think has gone wrong for them?
I’m still a big cheerleader for Kodak and I am hoping for the best for the company. The concentration has been too many bets across the line, and when you run up against a bad economy, that’s what happens. But for Kodak, the pivotal moment was back in 1975 when they invented the digital camera and chose to put it aside in order to live out the film business for so long. That effort in the 70s, 80s and 90s led up to this big build with all the overhead that meant they couldn’t see it till the end.
Jobs in marketing and in particular digital, have never been more in-demand, what one piece of advice would you give to young people looking to make their mark on the industry?
My advice for young people in marketing and digital is to know what you want, and just go out and get it. Easier said than done, I know. But when you have a clear goal and an in-depth understanding of what you want to achieve, potential employers will value that and recognize how that trait can add value to their business.
Do you think brands are starting to grasp the need for an integrated approach to marketing or are too many still working in silos?
There are some companies that are doing a great job of recognizing that it’s not the traditional business we grew so very comfortable with. More and more, we’re seeing brands embrace mobile, social media and online to compliment their traditional marketing activities like direct mail, and print and television advertising. Those are the brands that are reaching their customers and learning what they want, and delivering! Those are the brands that have a better chance of succeeding. There are definitely too many brands still continuing to work in silos, and that’s going to be to the detriment of their business.
What does 2012 hold for you, anything you are particularly looking forward to?
I have great team who keep me motivated and excited about the future of our business. The release of my new bestseller Running the Gauntlet is keeping us busy, in addition to building on the strength of our PR and consulting business. 2012 is all about driving growth and motivating others to become change agents within their organization.
Give us the elevator pitch for the book!
What’s stopping you from making the changes your business needs to thrive? You’ve always had the ability to institute positive change in your company. Now with Running the Gauntlet, I can give you the inspiration and knowledge to make it happen and take control of it – instead of letting it control you. I’m Jeffrey Hayzlett, bestselling author and global business authority, and I am passionate about driving change and leadership, and helping you grow profits.
Running the Gauntlet builds on the principles from my first bestseller, The Mirror Test, and will take you on a step-by-step journey to
-Develop a “takeover mentality” and execute the right changes and deal with any disruptions they may cause
-Summon the vision and courage necessary for driving change and sustaining your company’s newfound momentum
-Sharpen the mental and emotional toughness to make strategic, lasting change
Change is already happening all around you. The most dangerous move in business is the failure to make a move at all.
Massive thanks to Jeffrey for his time! Stay tuned for the next instalment of Thought Leader Thursday!