By Rex Hammock

Fire-heated branding of farm animals originated in Egypt around 4,000 years ago as a technique to identify the owner of livestock. The practice of burning a symbol into the hide of cattle stayed fairly consistent for four millennia.

However, in recent years, other forms of livestock identification have been developed that are more humane and more effective, including freeze branding, inner lip or ear tattoos, earmarking, ear tagging, radio-frequency identification, and tagging with a microchip implant.

By Rex Hammock

(Note: I may be breaking an Idea Email rule. Over the past five years, I’ve devoted a lot of space encouraging marketers to avoid hype and focus on help. Some of my colleagues think that by focusing on Hammock Inc., I’ve come close to the no-hype rule. I can understand their point. So we flipped a coin. I won.)

If you read how most marketing firms describe themselves these days, you might think “content” is a departmental bullet point on a long list of services that have replaced the words “advertising” and “public relations.”

By Rex Hammock

In any marketplace, there are two phases in the relationship between a buyer and a seller: The “Why” phase and the “How” phase. During these two phases, the role of marketing with content is very different.

By Rex Hammock

While working on a video documentary about multigenerational family businesses, the director and I recently spent time visiting several fascinating people who returned home to run their family businesses after successful careers in other fields.

By Rex Hammock

The current blow to some digital marketing core beliefs caused by the Facebook Cambridge Analytica data breach is providing a much-needed moment of reflection on the reality vs. perception of a long list of digital marketing buzzwords like big data, adtech, SEO, retargeting, social-anything and dozens more.

By Rex Hammock

What does your company provide that’s better than what they can find from your competitor?

Here’s what the answer should be: Wisdom.

By Rex Hammock

If you paid attention to Steve Jobs’ career in real-time (or read any books or saw any movies about him), you know there are actually two Steve Jobs. One is the “mythological” Steve Jobs and the other is the “real” Steve Jobs.

By Rex Hammock

At Hammock, we believe marketing with content adds value to your product or service all along the customer journey. (We’ve even published a short Ebook on the topic.)

Yet too often I speak with marketers who pigeonhole content’s role somewhere at the very earliest steps of the journey. I agree early-stage marketing content is a powerful tool for lead generation, thought leadership, search engine optimization or sales efforts—all obviously vital to a company’s success.

But what about content for the rest of the journey?

By Rex Hammock

I love how the web offers marketers the ability to communicate directly with their customers. It’s the same reason I love custom magazines, live events and email newsletters. These types of marketing have one thing in common—one thing that makes them different from traditional advertising and public relations. It’s the phrase, “directly with their customers.”

By Rex Hammock

After the recent announcement of the acquisition of Time Inc. by the media company Meredith, I received the usual round of questions whenever there’s some big news about magazines: Do magazines still work?