We’re proud of Rex for his foresight in helping to found the Custom Publishing Council (CPC) back in 1998. The CPC has always been a special partner with Hammock in promoting and creating excellence in custom media, so we were thrilled to attend CPC’s first conference, the Custom Content Conference, held in New Orleans earlier this week.

Here are some of my favorite quotes and highlights from the sessions I attended:
Joe Duffy, Duffy & Partners: “Yesterday’s consumer is becoming today’s programmer.”
Remember when Time named its 2007 Person of the Year “The Consumer”? As Joe’s session illustrated, now consumers are in control—from the color of our Nikes to the playlist on our iPod to the design for our Mini. In this atmosphere, it’s vital for brands to deliver authentic experiences. One exciting way to make that happen is through custom content.
Robert Passikoff and Amy Shea, Brand Keys: “The percentage of contribution that ‘customization’ makes to products and services through engagement, adoption and loyalty is 18%. It was 4% in 1997.”
People are bombarded with advertising messages all day, every day. To cut through the clutter, you have to speak directly to your audience with messages targeted specifically to their wants and needs and desires. With customization’s growing reach, how can you afford not to?

Joseph Plummer, Advertising Research Foundation
: “Engaging storytelling campaigns prove superior in creating relevant, lasting connections with consumers that enrich brand meaning and ultimately impact brand behavior.”
At Hammock, we say “Your Story Starts Here.” It’s not only a catchy slogan, but it represents how we feel about the work we do for our clients. To us, a client’s story is the essence of their brand, so our primary goal is to communicate that story in the most engaging way possible to their members and customers.

Anil Dash, Six Apart: “Blogs are the part of the Web that build and maintain relationships.”
We agree! Want proof? Check out Rex’s blog (going strong for 8 years and counting) and our Hammock.com blogs.
Peggy Fry, Clearspring Technologies: “Make it, Share it, Track it, Monetize It.”
Peggy talked specifically about widgets in her session, but her advice lends itself to any online property. Keep a close eye on the analytics.
Geoff Cook, myYearbook.com: “Ad expenditures will triple within social networks by 2011.”
Wow. Learn how to leverage opportunities for brand engagement within these online communities.
David Polinchhock, Experiential Advertising: “Abundance of information creates a scarcity of attention.”
Even if you can grab your customer’s or member’s attention, how do you maintain it? It’s increasingly more difficult in this environment to communicate your unique brand experience. Custom media is a solution.
Domenic Venuto, Avenue A/ Razorfish: “Make every [Web] page a homepage.”
Google’s search results make it very likely that visitors to your site go directly to interior pages rather than your homepage. That makes it essential to pay just as much attention to the navigation and design of these “inside” pages as you do to your homepage. And to keep people on your site, it’s also important to showcase content available in other areas of your site whenever and wherever it makes sense. As Anil Dash put it, “Every window is a front door.”
Kent Nichols. Ask a Ninja: “Pickles are cucumbers soaked in evil.”
Kent’s quote doesn’t have anything to do with custom media, but we wanted to point it out as an interesting T-shirt slogan. Around here, we have a thing about T-shirts.
We congratulate Lori Rosen, CPC Executive Director, and her staff for the success of their first conference. We’re already looking forward to next year!