Jeffrey Hayzlett to Keynote at SES Toronto 2013

Jeffrey Hayzlett will be the keynote speaker at SES Toronto 2013. Hayzlett will talk about “Driving Change and Growth for Marketers” in his keynote on Thursday, June 13.

As a best-selling author, business change agent, and marketing expert, Hayzlett led the turnaround of one of the most iconic brands in the world as the chief marketing officer of Kodak with some of the most innovative approaches to marketing.

Hayzlett is the author of the best-selling book “The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing?“, which was named to Inc. Magazine’s 2010 Best Business Books list.

Hayzlett speaks frequently around the world on business growth, communications, and marketing. This includes keynotes at SES San Francisco 2010, SES Chicago 2010, and SES London 2011.

Hayzlett leads The Hayzlett Group, an international strategic business consulting company focused on leading change and growth in businesses. Even when he’s away from his home in South Dakota, he can be seen in his trademark cowboy boots.

A Q&A With Jeffrey Hayzlett

Search Engine Watch (SEW) asked Hayzlett (JH) a couple of questions about his upcoming keynote. Here are our questions and his answers:

SEW: In your first best-selling book, “The Mirror Test”, you ask the questions that most business managers are afraid to ask. Why are most business managers so frightened to thoughtfully yet aggressively evaluate, deconstruct, and then reconstruct their business?

jeff-hayzlettJH: Because they don’t want to ask the hard questions. It’s easier to put the blinders on and do business as usual, but “doing business as usual” isn’t getting it done anymore. A business manager needs to act as a Change Agent to save their company. They should be willing to fog the mirror, ask the hard questions and be prepared to continuously question, what did I change today to better my company tomorrow.

SEW: In your second best-selling book, “Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change, and Grow Profits“, you say the most dangerous move in business is the failure to make a move at all. What’s stopping most business leaders from making the changes their companies needs to thrive?

JH: One word: fear. Change agents recognize it and get past their “three seconds of fear.” Those three seconds are the difference between doing something and not doing it. Some decisions don’t succeed, but then some do. Change agents generally fall short for two reasons: failure to get alignment around conditions of satisfaction where they run the risk of being out there on their own without support or air cover and because being a change agent is a never ending tiring process. They run the risk of losing energy and flaming out before they are finished.

SEW: You were recently named Contributing Editor for Bloomberg Television. What are some of the first business challenges that you will address?

JH: I’ve already covered a number of business challenges already. They say that business never sleeps, well neither does the news. When Facebook’s Q1 earnings report was released, I was on air commenting on it. I was on air talking about Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, and the statements he made in 2006 that just resurfaced. I also commented about Warren Buffett and his recent interview that made headlines about women in leadership roles. I’m looking forward to continuing to provide the Bloomberg audience with practical insight based on my successes and c-suite experience.

SEW: What is “the 118” – or elevator pitch – of your keynote at SES Toronto 2013?

JH: The 118 is my modern version of the elevator pitch. You have 8 seconds to hook me in and 110 seconds to sell me on it. Technology has made everything faster these days, and 118 seconds is about the average length of an elevator ride in New York City. Those first 8 seconds are crucial, just like they are for a professional bull rider. When the bull tries to throw you off, be prepared to be strong, focused, and compelling. Once you’ve grabbed their attention, use the last 110 seconds to close them.

SEW: From 2006 to 2010, you were the CMO of Kodak, which is headquartered in Rochester, N.Y. That’s about a two and a half hour “port-to-port” trip by Fast Ferry from Toronto, Ontario. Do you think that what’s happened to the iconic brand on the southern shore of Lake Ontario will resonate with most of the experienced marketing and advertising professionals who will be attending SES Toronto 2013?

JH: Absolutely, because what happened to them can happen to anyone. Accepting change is crucial for businesses and there are many examples where companies failed to accept change. Doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned rider or just a beginner, marketing and advertising professionals are faced with those decisions to accept or refuse every day.


In addition to Hayzlett’s keynote, SES Toronto will feature more than 30 presentations and panel discussions that cover all aspects of search, social media, and online marketing.

I should disclose that SES is a client of my agency. But trust me, you won’t want to miss Hayzlett’s insights on innovative marketing and tackling business challenges. You can register here for SES Toronto.

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