Young man and woman positioning orange puzzle pieces while standing at the edge of cliff against white background

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I heard a great question this week from a prospective client: Why do customers choose you and why do they stay with you? 

It’s a great question because the person who asked it recognized the fundamental value of how a relationship works. A good business partner offers more than what you sought them out for in the first place.

Developing recurring content, across a variety of media, to support a business objective typically requires skill sets that are too specific and too expensive to replicate in-house. 

Most healthcare companies that want to do content marketing need a partner with the subject matter expertise, team, processes and experience to help.

In many cases, they are looking for a partner because they’ve come to the conclusion that they can’t justify the investment in-house. So they see it as a replacement for a full-time equivalent (FTE) or FTEs. 

But long-term relationships are much more than a replacement for an FTE. 

Sure, with the right partner, clients find that they are able to focus on projects and other priorities that serve their core business. And the clients understand that a professional process makes it easier on their team. 

But there is deeper, more fundamental value when you find the right outside partner. You have an extension of your team that is focused on serving your customers and prospects, just like you are, with solutions that perfectly position your brand.

A good outside partner can serve as a sounding board, and constantly challenge you to focus on the audience’s concerns, and not corporate speak. 

The right outside partner’s access to domain expertise is valuable for helping you hone your message.

And the right outside partner starts to show you all the ways content plays a role in moving healthcare customers through their journey, such as building presentations for sales or investor groups, developing training videos, or helping improve their client conferences, to name a few.

Finding the right partner means looking at the reasons they are the right fit for right now, but also for next year and the years to come. 


About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.



By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

In our last healthcare idea email, we discussed the need to make healthcare more continuous and less episodic and shared that we are interested in examples of companies delivering models that are truly customer-centered.
One example is Amazon Care. Much was made of the “failure” of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan’s joint venture, Haven. Haven, established by these three companies to transform healthcare, was disbanded earlier this year after three years. 
But what we discussed in a January idea email was how these companies would leverage their experience to develop innovations for their own employees. One of those innovations is Amazon Care. This app for Amazon employees serves as a “centralized hub where patients identify their problem or concern. Amazon Care then directs them to the right resources.”
Nothing could better describe helping a customer along their journey. That’s what customer-centered care should look like. Helpful content and platforms to aid us in our journey to navigate healthcare. 
Healthcare is confusing and, unlike other customer experiences, it’s usually not welcome or our first choice. Having clear help to get what we need is what should happen. As healthcare marketers, we should work to be part of the team building those experiences.
Takeaway: Is your approach helping or preventing customers from navigating their healthcare journey?

About Hammock Healthcare Idea Email |
This post is part of Hammock’s award-winning Idea Email series. Idea Emails are sent every other week and share one insightful marketing idea. Idea Email comes in two flavors: Original and Healthcare. To subscribe to the original Idea Email (general marketing ideas), click here. To subscribe to the Healthcare Idea Email (healthcare marketing ideas), click here.



By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I have been struck in a few recent conversations by the idea of how “warm” and “cold” healthcare can be in terms of engaging us as customers. I was talking to someone whose wife has been undergoing cancer treatments and has a 20-minute meeting once a month with the doctor. In those 20 minutes, she feels exceptionally cared for. It’s a warm experience.

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

For companies that are continuing to work from home, new employees are largely deprived of the ad hoc interactions from mentors and peers that help them learn how to do their job. That’s why some of the most crucial content being generated by healthcare companies right now is learning content.

Learning content is necessary for many companies so that employees can gain certifications and remain compliant with regulations.

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

One of my goals for 2021 is to help people understand the full scope of content marketing and what it can do for an organization. Content marketing tends to get pigeonholed as “thought leadership” or “lead generation,” or “search engine optimization.”  While it is those things, it’s much more than that. 

Content marketing should sustain and nurture all the steps along your customer’s journey. And this doesn’t always mean it’s necessary to create a larger content marketing budget (although it probably should) but it does mean that content marketing should be thought of more holistically. 


By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

One important development from the pandemic for healthcare marketers has been the renaissance of Quick Response (QR) codes. 

While QR codes have been around since 1994, efforts to make QR codes and QR code readers ubiquitous had never been successful. One effort in particular, the CueCat, was launched in 2003 and burned through $250 million of investors’ money. According to one critic, the CueCat “fails to solve a problem which never existed.” Ouch.

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

As healthcare marketers, we often face complex problems. For many of us, our tendency is to see the solutions to those problems in terms of what we know or what has worked before. This is called the “Einstellung effect,” our predisposition to solve problems in a specific way, though better ways may exist. 

But our tendency to fall back on solution-centered approaches, even if they’ve served us well before, is a real limiting factor. Uri Levine, the co-founder of Waze, famously said, “Fall in love with the problem, not the solution, and the rest will follow.”

How do I keep track of the problems that face us as healthcare marketers? I usually start by thinking about the problems faced by our clients or our own company. I also do a lot of reading. I thought I’d share some of the resources I turn to regularly—resources that help deepen my understanding (if not love) of the problem. In addition to daily news sources and specific industry reporting, here are my sources that follow the problem of healthcare:

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Wisdom isn’t a word used a lot in marketing. But we need more of it to solve our challenges. 

Most clients we work with have a full plate of responsibilities, along with a bewildering number of options for partners and data from a number of platforms. The environment in which they are operating has a lot of noise, but not always enough signals for what direction to head. 








By: John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

As this is the first Healthcare Idea Email of the year, it naturally lends itself to predictions and forecasts. I’ll start with some news that grabbed my attention.

This week Haven Healthcare announced that it would disband three years after the company was founded. Haven, the joint venture of JPMorgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon, was rolled out with the intention to “transform” healthcare

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Content marketing, and what it means to marketers, is in the eye of the beholder. But in our experience at Hammock, it tends to be defined more narrowly than what it is, and more importantly, used more narrowly than what it can do to build relationships.

I go back to this definition: Content marketing is the ability to deliver solutions directly to customers anywhere they are in the life cycle, from your prospects to your most loyal customers, using a variety of media.