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 Rex Hammock, CEO

“Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” reminds us that having an abundance of something is not the same as enjoying the benefit from it.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

As I’ve shared before, using content in marketing is like a golfer and their bag of clubs. Each situation a golfer encounters calls for a unique club—but knowing which club to use is just as important as knowing how to use it.

One of the most challenging and rewarding things about using content tools in marketing is learning when to use new tools, as well as learning how an old tool can work in new situations.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the newlywed couple who were preparing a roast for the first time.

“Why are you cutting the ends off the roast?” asked the perplexed young bride.

“That’s the way my mom always did it,” replied the young groom.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

As of this morning, September 24, 2020, Wikipedia contained 6,163,272 articles in English.

Sometime today, perhaps more than once, I will refer to one of those Wikipedia articles—and to other online resources that help me fill in the blanks of my knowledge.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

(This Idea Email is part of a new series of “explainers” that will answer some of the questions we often receive about various forms of content used by marketers to create opportunities, solve challenges, build long-term relationships and provide a myriad of other solutions. A version of this Idea Email was published on October 12, 2010.)

Since the earliest days of using the term “content marketing,” there has been confusion and debate over what the phrase means. In an article for the Content Marketing Institute, author Michael Brenner explains that one reason for the confusion is that “using content for marketing” and “creating content” mean different things.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

(Note: Over the past few years, IBM has purchased the digital assets of The Weather Channel, the network you see on cable. IBM now also owns what you see on the internet: and

Where most companies have limited their vision of content to marketing activities, IBM has viewed content as both a marketing activity and a unique and vital source of data that it can use in commercial services related to the military, science and a wide array of lifesaving knowledge.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

I’ve spent the past 40 years learning things I didn’t realize I was learning.

Such lessons tend to be the big thing and important later, and they often occur at times of crisis or challenge.

I’ve learned—without realizing it at the time—that being in the middle of such an event can teach me far more than webinars or conferences.


By Rex Hammock, CEO

Why do some people believe that wearing a mask during a global pandemic is ineffective? (Before you read on, let me disclose that I’m a mask-wearer who follows the recommendations of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).) Why doesn’t a mountain of scientific evidence convince people that smoking is harmful? Why do recommendations from the American Heart Association about weekly exercise not faze people, or why do guidelines from the CDC not convince parents of the necessity of vaccinations? Why do people still text while driving?

The answer to each of these questions is confirmation bias, which is the tendency to pay more attention to evidence that supports what you already believe. It’s a well-documented and common human failing that causes “rational people to buy into conspiracy theories.”


By Rex Hammock, CEO

I would never choose to live through another global pandemic, and I long for this one to end.

However, such times of crisis, challenge and disaster can force us to accept positive changes that we have long delayed or denied.