Conversations with some of the most creative and influential people that I have been lucky enough to connect with.


Q&A with HammaJack

Jacob Moran & Ian Hammond are both co-founders of HammaJack. When they started out, their accountant gave them some advice and they read a lot of books, one suggested they break down and assign roles required for a successful company. So technically, Ian is the CEO, CMO, BDM, and Content lead. Jake’s the VP, COO, CFO and Data lead.

Recently we spoke to Ian to get his insights about everything HammaJack, Content and Data.

He said, "it probably is a bit silly - but we wanted to make sure we knew who was responsible for what - so it got done and we didn’t tread on each other’s toes. The plan is to keep those roles and add more as needed, but build the company around them. So far, we’ve already brought in a creative, design lead and CTO."


Who is HammaJack?

Jake’s a bit of a boy genius. He’s only young, but seems to have a wealth of commercial and practical experience. Working for a heap of big brands and companies with a raft of degrees and qualifications. MBA, MIT, certified Scrum Master. Plus he used to play lead in a band. So, he’s a bit cool too. I’ve (Ian) had a bit of a longer journey to get to where we are. I started out on a law career, working fulltime as a paralegal in Sydney while studying, finally graduating and practising as a lawyer — which I hated. So I packed it in and restarted as a junior advertising copywriter at age 31. From there, I learnt about content writing and landed a digital content role specialising in big digital site rebuilds.

Jake and I met working for an agency in Sydney. We coincidentally moved down to Melbourne at the same time (we were both married to lovely girls late last year), and started HammaJack at the same time to complete the life trifecta (move cities, get married, start a business!). We worked almost every night and most weekends for a year without pay before going full time in January of this year.

Who (or what) inspires you?

We like completely different things. We often talk about the ying and yang. Jake’s the Newcastle and I’m the Sydney. We both have our strengths and weaknesses - but we make it work. We both get inspired about the opportunities that the digital space presents. It’s always changing, so you have to be interested in so many different things. We have a channel at work that we share the latest articles that we’ve been reading and it’s just so much fun to go down these cool rabbit holes. One week you’re looking at the latest super bowl ads, the next you’re discussing the societal implications of Facebook’s privacy settings and next week - who knows — AI and how chatbots can cut costs for small business and better serve customers?

How did you get your first break?

When I moved down to Melbourne I met with Sally Brownbill in a cafe and we were talking about what we wanted to do. I was touting my skills as a digital strategist (which was my then day job), but I said what I really wanted to do was to create a data and content agency that put data and the heart of the content decisions. At this point in time it was all up in the air (and mostly in my head), so instead of trying to explain it, I said, “Why don’t I show you”. I called Jake that afternoon and told him that we’ve just got our first client. It’s been a huge learning curve since then, and it doesn’t always go to plan, but we really love what we do and are so lucky to have great clients who believe in us.

Tell us what you are currently working on.

We have a number of clients who we do monthly reporting and insights - we monitor and report on their digital activities and have a bunch of recommendations each month. We have found that for people who don’t have enough time to know what they should be doing, it’s a huge help to let their own data guide their decisions. We’re also doing some more detailed content and data analysis for a national charity – which is really exciting as they are a really switched on client and have the traffic and audience to really make a difference.

Plus, we’ve got a few product development projects - where we’ve consulted on the entire project — from conceptualisation, brand development, digital roadmap and delivery. Basically, our client’s come to us with a great project idea and we work with them to make it happen.

Q&AMel Ryan