Marketing Category



From case studies to critical analysis, we go behind the hype to show you what’s new, what’s noteworthy, and what’s nonsense. This section covers all aspects of marketing: advertising, branding, design, SEO, social media, overall business strategy, and more. Sometimes serious, occasionally satirical, frequently skeptical, never stale.

young shopper
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Dude Now Definitely In The Older Demo; photo by Jomjakkapat Parrueng on Unsplash… A running gag in my marketing classes was that every student-crafted plan consisted of “using social media to target Millennials.” Then the business world finally acknowledged that organic social media doesn’t really work.Read More
Influencer Marketing
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Influencer Strategies Instructor at USC; photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash… What’s the difference between a “celebrity” and an “influencer”? That’s one of the many questions I was asked by columnist Samuel Scott for the British marketing mag The Drum.Read More
Ignoring The Signs
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Avid Reader; photo by Micaela Parente on Unsplash… In this hive of scum and villainy we call the Internet, you’ve likely met all shades of dubious characters: trolls, stalkers, spies, Republicans. Here’s one group that’s not nearly as harmful but just as annoying…Read More
Watch Branding
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Likes Watches And Brands… Knowing I love watches, Amazon recently recommended an Italian brand I’d never heard of: Brismassi Esetti. At least it sounds Italian. And at first glance, it looked pretty sharp: a clean design, only 8mm thick, with an Italian leather band and a Japanese movement. Yet at only $45.88, the low price waved a red flag — why so cheap?Read More
Instagram Vending Machine
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Influencer Marketing Instructor… Although it’s April Fools Day, this is no joke. Everyone knows that most social media data can be faked. Likes, followers, views, even comments — name it, you can buy it. What most people don’t realize is how easy it is to do so…Read More
competitive strategy
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Loves a Challenge… Never shy from competition. You will face it, if not now, then as soon as you create a viable market. So if you see a field of competitors, don’t give up, even if they have a head start. Challenge them by being DIFFERENT and BETTER — particularly if they play the traditional way…  Read More
zombie economy
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Did A Fair Amount Of Shopping This Xmas; Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash… Just this summer, many “experts” proclaimed the death of American brick-and-mortar retail, and that Amazon would eat everyone’s lunch. When Amazon subsequently bought Whole Foods (make that “organic free-range lunch”), the same experts sang dirges for all the supermarkets. Consequently, the stock of competitors like Costco plunged. (BTW, I’m still waiting for one of these experts to explain the contradiction between “consumers are shifting toRead More
Pickpocket Warning Sign
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Writer Who Likes Numbers; photo by Cory Doctorow via Wikimedia Commons… Digital advertising these days is like wandering into a room full of pickpockets. Obviously, you should avoid doing that altogether — you do have other choices — but if you must go, watch your wallet. I know this from experience. About a year ago I noticed some interesting ads at the ends of news articles. Instead of promoting a product or service, these ads featured other articles on other websites.Read More
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder Of Atomic Tango + Guy With A Hang-Up About Phone Calls… As I typed my very first email in 1994, I thought, “Writer’s dream come true!” No more fumbling for the perfect words while speaking on the phone. No more trying to end a rambling call in a polite yet immediate way. And no more timing my calls to suit someone else’s schedule or mood. Today, texting lovers have taken those anti-call sentiments a step further. And on an enterprise level, chat tools like SlackRead More
Retail Hell
by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Guy Who Will Miss Shopping In Stores; modified illustration from Weird Tales magazine 1941… Deep inside the HQ of Rapacious Retail Inc. — an office so sterilized and bathed in artificial light that live plants wilt within seconds — we find the head of marketing — Bob Boberts: Marketing Ninja. Uh, OK, Marketing Ninja — Bob: No, make that Marketing Visionary. Yes, that would look great in my Twitter bio… Marketing Visionary Bob Boberts, a generic male exec in his 40’sRead More