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.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

Each year, we share a version of this Idea Email. This year, we are sharing it especially for those who have risked their lives on the front lines of protecting ours. We are thankful beyond words.

In the early days of email marketing, people thought a go-to subject line needed to contain the word FREE.

That era ended with the creation of filters that automatically translate that word into the word SPAM.

I now believe the most powerful word in marketing is THANKS. 

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

The economic disruption that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic reminds me of the Great Recession (2007–2009). We endured that experience and came through wiser for it. But we also know, with the benefit of hindsight, that a confluence of content marketing forces happened in those years that shaped the way we work today.

Are there patterns for healthcare content marketers taking shape right now that we can start to see? 

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Mapping Experiences,written by Jim Kalbach, is a classic for marketing professionals who want to map customer experiences and design stronger ones.

The book has a wealth of practical ideas, and this one in particular has stuck with me: “When we map customer experiences, we are effectively mapping jobs to be done.” And there are three dimensions to checkoff within each job:

By Jeff Walter, Editor and Writer

For most of us, 2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year—but especially for those serving in the healthcare professions. So we at Hammock recently sponsored a “Thank You, Healthcare Heroes” giveaway, asking clients, colleagues and friends to nominate someone working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to receive a free hammock.

It was just a small but symbolic way for us to honor a group of people who selflessly put their lives on the line every day to provide essential care for their community, and who well deserve a rest. We selected three winners whose stories particularly inspired us.

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been helping clients maximize their investments in marketing. Many of our clients are used to holding annual conferences in exciting locations and using those times to engage prospects and customers with meaningful discussions. When the coronavirus spread through the nation, many companies faced real questions about how to replace that conference experience.

Spoiler alert: You can’t replace the benefit of face-to-face interactions and the energy those events provide.