June 2008 - Picture Perfect Marketing

Chief Business Development Officer Jeff Hayzlett says
taking a blended approach to marketing that includes
channels like television, direct mail and viral marketing
is what has made this 130-year-old company one of the
most recognizable brands in the world.

By Vitisia Paynich / Photos By Roger Hagadone

Since 1888, Kodak has been helping consumers capture moments and build memories with its wide range of cameras and accessories. When George Eastman founded the company, his mission focused on making a customer’s experience as simple as possible with one slogan: “you press the button, we do the rest.” How has the company been able to grow the brand over the years, yet remain true to its foundational roots? For one, Kodak recognized the rising consumer demand for digital technology.

“Right now, we’re at the crux of what we call Kodak 2.0,” says Jeff Hayzlett, chief business development officer and vice president of Eastman Kodak Co. He explains that within the past four years, the company has undergone a dramatic transformation that required major retooling, which meant shifting 70 percent of its traditional business that focused primarily on film, to a business focused more on digital.

What’s more, Kodak realized it also needed to bring on board new people who could advance the company forward in research and innovation.

“Sixty percent of the people who work with us today weren’t part of our company four years ago,” he says. That change has led to the development of 19 products, which comprise 80 percent of Kodak’s total revenue. “Our 19 products that account for that revenue are number one, number two or number three in the marketplace, which is phenomenal for a company.” Today’s success can be attributed to Kodak’s EasyShare line of digital cameras and ink-jet printers.

Although people are adapting more easily to new technology today, they also desire quality and affordability for such products. Kodak listened to their customers and developed ink cartridges with pigments that enable customers to print their own lab-quality images, but without spending a lot of money.

Now that the company was shifting into high gear to keep pace with consumer demand, it needed to concentrate on strengthening its image as a formidable brand in the marketplace.

Two years ago, Hayzlett joined the Rochester, N.Y.-based company as CMO of its graphics group. Then in October 2007, Kodak put him in charge of the company’s PR, communications, advertising, branding and corporate sponsorships.

If you go out and ask marketing experts what they’re spending money on, most people would say the Internet, notes Hayzlett.

However, he quickly points out that it doesn’t mean that all advertising and marketing are shifting in that direction, rather “3.9 percent of the total CMO spend is in that area,” he says. “Although it’s growing significantly, it’s still not as heavy as print or even broadcasting.”

But when you combine those different channels into a blended campaign, Hayzlett contends that your marketing reach is far greater and more effective. “What has happened is we’ve moved from a broadcast model to a narrow-cast model. And that’s what the Internet has allowed us to do. It enables smart companies with good CRM data and good marketing practices to be able to target their customers better.”

Many times, Hayzlett says he hears things like direct mail is futile or television advertising is dying.

“Direct mail is the only category that grew in CMO spend in the last couple of years. So, [it] is probably one of the most effective means of marketing,” heasserts. But the key for most marketers is whether or not the message is relevant to the person who’s receiving it in the manner in which you deliver it.

Technology drives more demand for information and the methods for which you can do it. Hayzlett acknowledges that people are going to continue to want to see print, while some will prefer to see it on the web and others might prefer it via mobile.

“So, I’m going to give it to them whichever way they want it; whichever way is most effective and has the greatest return on my investment,” hes. say”It’s not about the cost per page, it’s not about the cost per e-mail; it’s not about the cost per phone call; it’s about a cost per response.

“At Kodak, we’re looking at investing in cost per response. So, I’m going to find a blended campaign that’s going to work the best and the Internet is going to be a big part of that, but it will probably have another component to it as well that’s much more tangible than just sending it out over the wire.”

In 2007, Kodak ventured into DRTV to promote its EasyShare 5300 all-in-one printer. Hayzlett says that many competitors today will sell customers cheaply priced printers, and then make it up in exorbitant ink-cartridge prices. Kodak’s goal was to show that customers could get a reasonably priced ink-jet printer and ink cartridges without sacrificing quality.

The company enlisted the help of its agency Kaplan Thaler Group and Mayhew Breen, a DRTV production expert, to produce the long-form program (28:30). They brought in Caroline Rhea, the actress/comedian from “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” as the show’s host.

“We found the [DRTV campaign] to be very successful, because we could really communicate our unique value proposition,” notes Hayzlett. “And it far exceeded our goals.” In fact, the program surpassed the company’s sales goals by 20 percent.

Livemercial, a web-marketing agency based in Valparaiso, Ind., played an integral role on the backend. Not only did the company condense the long-form program into a five-minute video on the website, but it also built the web order pages for consumers to place online orders. These pages were then integrated into the shopping cart within the Kodak online store.

In total, the company saw approximately 30 percent of the long-form program orders come in via the web pages. Livemercial applies an infomercial filter when designing the web pages that not only allows the consumer to place an order, but guides them through an upsell process to try to increase total shopping cart value on each order.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based LiveOps handled the teleservices arm of the campaign with great results, especially when it came to upsells.

In addition, the infomercial drove a lift to retail. “So, it’s been a grand slam for us across the board,” notes Hayzlett.

Kodak struck marketing gold in 2008 when it teamed with Donald Trump on his hit NBC show “The Celebrity Apprentice.” In a January 17 episode, celebrity contestants-such as KISS frontman Gene Simmons, actor Stephen Baldwin and boxing champ Lennox Lewis-were tasked with creating a “Kodak mobile printing experience” on New York City sidewalks. The winning team was selected based on originality, brand messaging and profit.

According to Hayzlett, this was the perfect long-form marketing vehicle, with a value proposition centered on the company’s ink-jet printer. Not only was the Kodak logo and products prominently featured in the episode, but the name itself was mentioned a multitude of times, which Hayzlett says was “better than we could have ever hoped for. It doubled our sales.”

Hayzlett, who appeared in the episode that introduced the Kodak challenge, has almost become a celebrity in his own right. To further promote the “The Celebrity Apprentice” partnership, the Kodak executive created special behind-the-scenes vignettes featuring celeb contestants as they tried to sell EasyShare ink-jet printers. Those vignette clips appeared on the Kodak website, as well as on YouTube.

This not only led to active blogging, but also generated over 2 million views of their web clips. And Kodak didn’t stop there. Capitalizing on the Apprentice hype, Hayzlett and his team decided to take it one step further by expanding the vignettes to include others in the Apprentice cast. One such vignette included castmate and Latina media star, Nelly Galán, in which “she told her very poignant story of how she had to leave all her photographs behind when she fled Cuba and how she rebuilt those memories,” notes Hayzlett.

As a result, that vignette alone doubled the company’s photo book sales. “We’re seeing a 70-percent increase year-over-year on sales for the products that she mentioned,” he explains.

According to Hayzlett, the Kodak Gallery is the second largest social network site in the world behind MySpace, with over 70 million online users.

“We consider our customers’ [content] to be very sacred,” asserts Hayzlett. “We have their memories. We have all these Kodak moments saved in the Kodak Gallery-over 2 billion photos that we hold in trust for these people and we take that very seriously.”

Kodak has built a loyal online community of customers who wish to exchange their photos, not just with family and friends, but also with other customers. Thus, Kodak encourages customers to share their stories on the company’s site and features a “Picture of the Day.”

What type of presence does Kodak have internationally? According to Hayzlett, one-third of the company’s business comes from the U.S., another third is derived from European operations and the last third comes from Asia.

“We’re working toward emerging markets in that we have a pretty grounded business outside of the U.S., which is very good for us. When we think of marketing, we don’t just think U.S. first-we think worldwide,” he says.
And when it comes to blended marketing in those international markets, Hayzlett says that “the key is to be able to find the balance in each of the regions,” which means testing and matching different marketing mediums to create the right mix. In markets like Asia, for instance, Hayzlett might partner mobile marketing with an e-mail marketing campaign.

However, with mobile marketing, he says that marketers are “going to have to tread lightly” in making sure that they are pursuing the consumer in the right manner and ensuring that their information is protected. Otherwise, your marketing message could have an opposite effect on them, thereby damaging the brand.

Kodak has evolved by leaps and bounds in the area of technology, as well as in its overall business. Hayzlett says his team will be concentrating on what he calls “smart information,” by analyzing consumer behavior more carefully in order to make Kodak’s marketing message more relevant to their customers.

He likens that to being a waiter in a restaurant and knowing exactly how his customers like their steak prepared and what type of drink they prefer so that when those customers return, he’s already taken care of their needs. When you do that, they generally pay more and they come back to you much more often. And as Hayzlett puts it: “Kodak is going to continue to strive to deliver on that brand promise.”


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