On January 18, in an 18 minute webcast Jeff Hayzlett will debut the 118 Pitch Contest, which will run for 18 days. The contest involves assembling a 118 second pitch to tell the world why your favorite business, charity or other project is the best. And who might this Jeff Hayzlett be? He’s the former Chief Marketing Officer of Eastman Kodak, the company that went from selling $15 billion in film to $2 billion in about five years. Now 70 percent of Kodak’s business is in digital products. And what’s so special about 118? It turns out that 8 seconds is the average attention span of an adult human and 110 seconds is the average elevator ride in New York City – so you have 118 seconds to get someone’s attention and close the deal – the math does seem to be faulty but 118 seconds it is. That’s if you’re in an elevator in NYC. Does this mean that if you’re in Paris where there are few elevators, you would have the four second stairway pitch?
Hayzlett’s book, “The Mirror Test,” was named the top business book of 2010 and none other than Donald Trump has, “trumpeted” it as nothing short of genius within the pages. This book aims to get businesses moving away from cutting their way to profitability and instead focusing on growth. Meanwhile, Hayzlett is tired of excessive discussions about social media marketing and the quest to go viral. There’s nothing new about that, he claims. As he sees it, the Kiwanis Club is social marketing, as is watercooler chats. Marketing should focus on building minds and hearts rather than just eyeballs and true marketing geniuses have always being doing this.
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