What’s Your ‘118?’

Change agent, thought leader, and sometimes cowboy, Jeffrey Hazlett is a social media and marketing expert and Kodak's former Chief Marketing Officer. Hailed a "Celebrity CMO" by Forbes Magazine, and famous for his outspoken appearances on numerous television networks, Hayzlett is recognized as one of the most influential marketers of our time. (Jeffreyh@hayzlett.com)

I often get dismissed for believing in things like the power of print as a business tool.

Hey, I exploit the power of social media too, and to those print haters I say: Know what any tool can do for you. Print is dead? We still love to see, feel and touch things. Think about this the next time you sign a contract. Think about it when a child’s eyes light up from a postcard. Think about it when you get a thoughtful Thank You card for your gift. Text me a thank you for my Christmas present, and I’m sure your gift will be smaller next year.

But nothing compares to the feeling I get when I speak at meetings and conferences and trade shows about getting back to best practices and core values. That’s when I get a lot of nodding heads saying, “I know I should do that.”

And I know they won’t do it — the allure of the flashy promise or quick fix is too strong. Or maybe they’ll listen to me and think, “Yeah! Someone should do something and fix this at my company.” and not realize they are that someone. Truth is, you must look in the mirror and ask, “What don’t I know and how can I know it?”

For me, in marketing, that means going back to your roots and the core of who we are as a company. And that’s why one of the most important parts of the first mirror test in my book (“The Mirror Test”) is to master what I call your “118.”

The “118” is my version of what some people still call “the elevator pitch.” Problem is, that time used to mean up to three to five minutes. Now, an average elevator ride is about two minutes. And the chance to hook me? You have seconds before I tune you out and maybe two minutes after that to completely sell me with your initial pitch.

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