By Rex Hammock, CEO

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, I was contacted by a friend in the magazine publishing field who was reaching out on behalf of a small publisher in New Orleans.

For the first time, the company’s five-person editorial and sales team was unable to gather at one location to work. Their office was under 5 feet of water, and employees had been forced to evacuate to other locations, some of which were hundreds of miles away.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

“Content marketing” has become associated with everything from search engine optimization to lead generation. But sometimes its most powerful role is overlooked—content is often what separates a leading product from its competitors. In this role, content isn’t just a way to market a product, but part of the product itself.

By Rex Hammock

Many years ago, I was hired to create a public relations department within an advertising agency. It soon became apparent to me that PR and advertising often have little to do with each other. The two can look alike if a client’s goals are about launching a product or developing and supporting a brand. But the skills, responsibilities and business models of advertising and PR can be fundamentally different and, quite often, at odds with one another.

By Rex Hammock

I’m described by some as an early-adopter geek. I guess having @R as my Twitter username helps perpetuate that perception. But the focus of my interest is not on the “early” part of that description. My obsession with “the new” is as much about avoiding it as it is about adopting it.

By Rex Hammock

I’ve spent the past few decades helping people who work in large organizations use a wide variety of media, content and strategies to successfully communicate with the audiences they are trying to reach, whether they be customers, members, supporters, employees or owners of their products.

By Rex Hammock

As a marketer, no doubt you’ve noticed an increase in the use of the term “brand story” during the past decade. We have. In fact, for several years, the first thing you’d see when entering our offices were these words displayed on the wall: “Your story starts here …”

By Rex Hammock, CEO

Because an Idea Email is sent every other week to subscribers across the United States and globally, we try to keep our references universal, not local. But when something big happens a few blocks from the Nashville office we call Hammock HQ, we can’t help wanting to share.

And no, I’m not talking about the unprecedented way in which locals (including us) have gone nuts over the success of the Nashville Predators and their first appearance in the finals of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff (#GoPreds).

By Rex Hammock, CEO

From its ho-hum reception by critics and moviegoers, I may be the only person you know who has seen the social media-themed film, The Circle. Despite excellent performances by Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, its dystopian plot lacks some key backstory elements that make the Dave Eggers novel on which it is based a far more compelling story. 

When you compare a corporation’s website from the early web era (the late 1990s) to the same company’s current website, you can easily recognize the DNA of the early site in the 2017 model.

For example, if you use the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to view the 2001 version of Ford.com you’ll immediately be blown away by the dramatic changes in aesthetics and “wow” factors.

By Rex Hammock
Founder and CEO

Earlier this week, I heard Cisco Systems Chairman and former CEO John Chambers speak to 700 social marketers who work at some of the nation’s savviest and most successful brands. After hearing Chambers share Cisco’s approach to marketing, these all-star marketers were buzzing in the hallways about how far their companies need to go to truly transform their customer relationships.