By Rex Hammock

(Note: I may be breaking an Idea Email rule. Over the past five years, I’ve devoted a lot of space encouraging marketers to avoid hype and focus on help. Some of my colleagues think that by focusing on Hammock Inc., I’ve come close to the no-hype rule. I can understand their point. So we flipped a coin. I won.)

If you read how most marketing firms describe themselves these days, you might think “content” is a departmental bullet point on a long list of services that have replaced the words “advertising” and “public relations.”

Adding new expertise or positions to reflect changing times is a good business strategy.

However, “marketing with content” has never been a department at Hammock Inc. It has been our entire reason for being. We are, as it says on every page of our website, “a customer media and marketing content company.”

But what does that mean?

“Customer media” (or “member media”) define a strategy that utilizes distribution channels that go directly from marketer to customer, and back again. Unlike marketing services that depend on forms of paid or earned third-party mediation, a customer media company focuses exclusively on direct-to-customer communication and community.

The second part of the description, “marketing content,” is not a misplacement of the words “content marketing.” It is a strategy that, like all good marketing, puts goals before strategy. Marketing with content is focused on helping companies reach specific and strategic goals. Only after understanding and agreeing upon goals, are such marketers the creators and managers of content.

So let me be clear. I am a fan of marketers who create great advertising or manage savvy public relations. But we’ve been dedicated exclusively to something we have called customer media for a long time.

How long?

We registered the domain names and 20 years ago.

We believe in them being unique marketing disciplines then; and now.


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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.