By Rex Hammock

The history of a business or an association can too often get lost in the shuffle of time. The stories that define a company’s mission and values—its foundation—can be forgotten, leaving behind only photographs or myths about its founders and leaders.

By John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

At a HIMSS-sponsored conference in May, HIMSS Analytics and the Content Marketing Institute presented new survey results about the best content marketing practices in healthcare IT (HIT). The most successful efforts fall into what’s called the “three Cs”:

By Rex Hammock

One of the mantras at Hammock is a three-word phrase to describe marketing that builds long-lasting customer relationships: “Help not hype.”

By John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

“May you live in interesting times” sounds like a friendly toast you hear at a wedding reception. However, the saying is actually an ironic “Chinese curse.” The irony? Interesting times are times of great change and challenge during which we move from one crisis to another. Indeed, times that aren’t interesting are peaceful and calm.

For healthcare marketers, these are very, very interesting times.

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 John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

If you’re lucky, you’ve found one person at the organization you’re marketing your services to who is a champion for your solution. You’ll probably need that person to carry you on their back, like a Sherpa guiding you up a mountain, for a year. How can you help and encourage them along the way?

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 John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

What is failed marketing? It can be the inability to share a story that matters to the intended audience.

On Tuesday, voters in Nashville overwhelmingly rejected a proposed transit plan to address congestion in the fast-growing city (Hammock’s hometown, and home to many of you). There are many reasons why the referendum, despite its support from some of the city’s corporate forces, failed. But the lesson marketers should learn from the referendum is this: Don’t tell the wrong story.

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 John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

We’re all waking up to how much of our personal data is owned by other companies. We wanted the benefits and convenience offered by these online companies, but in the light of a new day, it doesn’t feel so good. Let’s just say that the hangover has set in.