By Rex Hammock, CEO

We write a lot about the role customer- and content-driven media can serve as a foundation for building deep, engaging relationships between customers and shoppers, owners and members, and members and organizations.

Until recently, however, I had not considered the relationship potential of a bank like Capital One Café. That is, however, until I listened to the “Audible Original” book Caffeine: How Coffee and Tea Created The Modern World. According to its author, Michael Pollan, caffeine has a “unique ability to entertain, inform, and perform in a world where an estimated two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.”

Idea Email: Zoomed?
Posted in Idea Email, by Rex Hammock
February 26, 2021

By Rex Hammock, CEO

There are several fascinating conversations about how the pandemic will change something forever. After I heard one such conversation regarding Zoom, I wanted to share my opinion on the topic.

Here’s what I think.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

A few weeks ago, someone asked me why Apple and Facebook were fighting each other.

I had to admit that I wasn’t quite sure. It seems simple, until you try to explain it. 

On its surface, it seems like a battle over access to user data and the “advanced tracking” technology that allows Facebook to target advertising so precisely (and spookily) to users. 

Apple is about to make a change in its operating system that will make that feature more difficult to access. 

While Apple is not banning advanced tracking (you can turn it on by using Safari> Preferences > Privacy), in a coming upgrade, Apple is making advanced trafficking the default setting with the option of turning it off.

“Apple may say that they’re doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in January. Facebook’s economic concern is that once prompted to opt in to being tracked, users will opt out and Facebook loses massive ad revenue.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the change is rooted in the company’s belief that “users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used.”

And on-and-on.

Why This Matters

I’ve heard this described as a battle between privacy and profit. But I believe it is more complex and nuanced than that. In reality, the issue has been taking place for the past decade. Apple believes that users should know what companies plan to do with your data and information before you share it, and Facebook sees itself as a free platform that you pay for by allowing the provider of the platform to track your data and usage and show you ads. For a marketer or user, it is important to understand—even if it seems too complex or even too simple.

Regardless of how this particular battle is ultimately resolved, it is highly unlikely to be the last conflict involving commerce and the use of personal data and information.

Image: Getty Images

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 Rex Hammock, CEO

What media-driven technology, business practice or cultural shift has likely changed us forever as a result of the pandemic?

It’s an interesting question—but one we likely won’t be able to answer for another decade or two.

I’ve written before about the slow speed of technology adoption. Yes, that’s right. Technology moves slowly, and it can take decades to mature into something that’s viable or real.

The late scientist and researcher Roy Amara is credited with what’s called “Amara’s Law,” an adage about forecasting short-term and long-term effects of new technology. He explained it this way: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a new technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

Research firm Gartner took Amara’s Law a step further, creating a chart that shows the “peak of inflated expectations” and the “plateau of productivity” in what the research firm labeled the “Gartner Hype Cycle.”

Here are three media technologies and the way they have already changed us forever—or, at least, until the next 20 years roll around.

I’m not talking about the TVs with the big screens that are everywhere. I’m talking about our changing ability to take control of screens and turn them into various tools, or gatherings, or classes—or as many screens being used to create content as are consuming it.

There’s nothing inherently radically new about the TV. We watched The Jetsons a few decades ago—we know what the future TV is supposed to be like. However, it is now something that even CEOs can set up and run.

Workplace Flexibility Tools
In an earnings report released in June 2020, Zoom reported making $328 million in revenue during its February–April quarter—almost double what it made in 2019. Other team communication platforms such as Slack, WebEx, Microsoft Teams and Basecamp also experienced exponential growth as a result of the pandemic and offices transitioning to “work-from-home” scenarios. Right now, it’s hard to predict much change will come from the “work where you are” era.

Asynchronous Chat
This idea might conjure up a picture of a world where we turn over to Google all our maps, searches, chats, videos and all other forms of digital media it can be organized in a way so that allows us to have it with us everywhere, all the time, with no flu. To some (including me), that prospect can be a bit frightening. Others, however, see great possibilities―and, in fact, asynchronous chat is helping to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of industries including healthcare.

Bottom Line 
The past year has taught us new lessons we will carry for years. Sad lessons. Inspiring lessons. Lessons that will change us all in positive ways.

Image: Getty Images

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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]



By Rex Hammock, CEO

During the past four decades, I’ve witnessed a fascinating phenomenon in the field of marketing.

When I started working in PR, TV advertising was king of the mountain for marketers. Content marketing wasn’t even a small hill.

Today, “advertising” means Google and Facebook as much as it means CBS and CNN. (There are nuances to that observation. For example, local advertising is still a big piece of the advertising pie.)


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.