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.

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
Amazon Dog
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Amazon Customer Since 1998… Call me an Amazon loyalist by default. As in, it’s da fault of the competition.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 Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + 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’s whoRead More
How To Fix Retail And What To Drink
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Talking Enthusiast… Move aside, Sriracha, there’s a new claimant to the spicy condiment crown: Tajin Clasico. In my latest podcast, I explain why I prefer Tajin, and how it’s a key ingredient in a killer summer barbecue beverage, the chelada. But first, I address one of the most talked-about topics in business right now: the implosion of retail stores in America. In my previous podcast, I noted that the dizzying decline has less to do with the Internet and more to doRead More
Marketing Plan For New Business
Q: Dear Freddy: I’m setting up my own business in India where I’ll be teaching meditation and techniques on “mind management.” I’ve gotten a certification from the appropriate agencies and I also teach well, per the feedback I’ve received across different countries. How should I prepare my marketing plan and conduct local research? — A.S. in India A: Dear A.S.: Regardless of the country, these basic steps toward creating a campaign should work: Define both THE PROBLEM your new company will solve (e.g., not enough meditation practices in the market) andRead More
jargon
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Knows Jargon Enough To Avoid It; image by Mabdul via Wikimedia Commons… Quick, can you guess what this company is selling? “We provide a platform for market-moving dialogue by connecting decision makers through actionable exchange, revolutionizing the way 21st century companies create value.” Although reading that is like chewing sand — but not as fun — too many execs think such jargon makes them sound “professional.” Instead, it makes them sound like con artists. I take that back: aRead More
Stop! Don't make me watch any more!
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Former Car Advertising Guy… Every now and then an ad campaign makes us viewers lunge for our TV remote controls, either to change the channel or simply mute the annoying spots.Read More
Sold Out
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Marketing Communications Professor… Q: Dear Freddy: I noticed that this particular company sometimes leaves sold-out items on its website, and I was wondering what its tactic might be. – S.F. in L.A.Read More
Worn & Wound Watch Straps
by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Amateur Horologist… I dig on wristwatches: reading about them, window shopping them, and occasionally adding an unusual artifact to my modest collection. For a while I collected vintage Russian watches, which are usually mechanical (no batteries) and remarkably cheap. Since many don’t come with bands, I discovered the bonus diversion of matching watch heads with the right accessories. And that’s how I stumbled upon Worn & Wound. Their striking handcrafted leather straps popped up in my Google searches, with their HorweenRead More