Football fans will likely remember Gregg Hammann from his days as a wide receiver for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. The former football player is also the former executive of Nautilus/Coca-Cola/Levi’s and last month, he stepped in to steer Iowa City company, MetaCommunications as CEO and president.
How MetaCommunications works
MetaCommunication’s primary product is Workgroups DaVinci, a project management software aimed at streamlining the creative aspects of a business. MetaCommunications uses Workgroups DaVinci software to fully integrate end-to-end project management for the notoriously hard-to-wrangle work of marketing departments. Workgroups DaVinci corals information starting at the brainstorming stage for projects, all the way to comparing drafts and design changes as well as metrics and financial aspects of a project. Changes and approvals are all instantaneous across the platform, with all information stored in the cloud.
“There are a lot of resources like this for human resources and financial management, but when MetaCommunications started up, there wasn’t anything like this for the marketing department or creative guys,” said Hammann. “People didn’t think there was a way you could measure the creative side.”
Meet the new boss
After college, Hammann went to work for Procter & Gamble, managing the Crest and Scope brands. From there he went to Coke, helping to reinvigorate the fountain beverages division. Next, he moved on to Levi’s as Chief Customer Officer before becoming CEO of Nautilus.
“My wife and I always wanted to come back to Iowa to raise our kids,” Hammann said. “I decided to start a consulting company (Action Advisors) to help companies turn their business around. Sometimes that meant stepping into a CEO role, or acting as an advisor. About six months ago I got connected with some people at MetaCommunications and joined their board to help them out before recently stepping into the CEO role.”
Hammann said the thing that excited him most about MetaCommunications was that he had encountered the same problems Workgroups DaVinci is trying to solve at every company he has worked at. Information was passed between departments in manilla envelopes or on flash drives.
“This would have saved me literally thousands of hours,” Hammann said. “I was on the other side, so I know the pain points inside some of these companies. I think I can help us tailor, target and deliver on those needs.”
Learning to wear different hats
Hammann has a lot of history at Fortune 500 companies. At MetaCommunications, he’s experiencing business on a smaller scale.
“In small companies, everyone has to wear multiple hats,” Hammann said. “Engineers might come in one day to do one thing, then do something completely different the next. That sort of fluidity and flexibility where people are willing to step in to play whatever role is needed to help a company grow is the fun part. You don’t get a chance to do something like that at a big company.”
The future of MetaCommunications
The company has some new innovations in the works for Workgroups DaVinci to launch in the final quarters of 2017. Hammann said he’s aiming for double-digit growth going forward, with the long-term goal of making MetaCommunications a global leader in marketing management solutions.
“I think we’re getting to the point where we can scale the company,” Hammann said. “In 2018 we’ll be able to hit the accelerator pedal on some new products that will let us get into a significant growth cycle.”
Joe Lawler is a freelance reporter based in Des Moines.