May 10, 2011 – SEMpdx put on a stellar event this month at the third annual Members Only Appreciation Night.  “Celebrity CMO” Jeffrey Hayzlett, of The Hayzlett Group, joined us for the evening and shared his expert marketing advice, providing ample stories from his experience as Kodak’s CMO and the turnaround of one of the world’s biggest brands.

Jeffrey spoke a lot about leadership.  As leaders of a company, it’s essential to set clear conditions of satisfaction.  Spend more time here at the onset and save time in the end.  Consider how many projects were never finished because the mutual conditions of satisfaction were never discussed.  Jeffrey also noted that causing tension is actually a part of marketing’s role.  Be who you are and look for any slow common denominators in the company.

Businesses get really good when they get back to their core.  Be clear about who you are.  You have one DNA – what is it that makes your product like no one else’s?  And how are you going to communicate that?  Passion is not a substitute for planning.  Today’s elevator pitch is 118 seconds, so be prepared.

As you’re forced to adapt to various changes like Kodak was with the digital age, be prepared to shift to a completely new business model.  Consider brand transformation to shift consumers’ view.  And get social.  It’s here to stay, so abide by the four E’s: engage, educate, excite and evangelize.  Some will ask about the return on investment.  Jeffrey’s response is, “what’s the return on ignoring?”  Finally, you’re going to make mistakes, but no one is going to die.  (This isn’t brain surgery.)  Correct your mistakes and move on.

Tonight also saw the return of hot seats where three of our members’ websites were chosen to receive site audits.  A panel of six experts, including Jeffrey Hayzlett, gave their recommendations for optimizing these sites, proving insightful for all attendees as we related it to our own websites.

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