The Digital Contrarian

Thoughts on digital marketing and living in a digital world.

2018 Marketing Phrases That Need to Be Retired

Hop to it! Years ago I remember seeing a billboard along the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago that said something like, “Our biggest source of referrals is from word of mouth.” I remember thinking at the time, “You could be selling cheeseburgers, nuclear weapon parts or...

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To Phone, Or Not To Phone

The decision will be a painful one, and either way, nobody will be ready for it. I’m not talking about how we will solve climate change, or how we will heal the political divide in our country. I’m talking about something much more urgent: the decision to give our...

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But I Don’t Want to Exclaim!

I am ashamed to admit it, but I must confess: I’m an exclaimer. I’m not talking about verbal exclamations, although my wife and kids do say I can cut the volume a bit during my moments of high tension. I’m talking about over-using exclamation marks in my digital...

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The Loud Crowd

It's time to have a serious discussion, and I mean you, Howard. Howard, you’re clearly not doing a good job. That was the opinion of your boss, a salt-and-pepper-bearded weasel, who made three separate and horrendously loud phone calls shifting the blame to you for...

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Space Invaders

This post is not about outer space, but it starts there. I recently found myself on Space.com reading about a proposed Mars Mission called “Red Dragon” (and wondering what sick Hannibal Lecter fan at NASA proposed that name) when I finally saw evidence of...

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WhoAreYouAgain.com?

I discovered today that I'm closing in on 1,000 connections on LinkedIn.  My exact number sits at 963, so if you're not already connected to me, reach out to give me a boost.  I'll check back in a couple of months, and until then I'll just note the unfulfilling 500+...

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It’s Not Youyou, It’s Meme

I was doing a little research about memes—those Internet graphics that convey a huge amount of information by playing with our appreciation for popular culture. I thought for sure I had come across the word meme during my studies as a student of literature in the...

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The Office is Closed for Innovation

Happy post-July 4th, everyone.  And now, a few words about productivity. I’m currently running the beta version of Microsoft Office 2015 for the Mac.  After using this upgrade for several weeks (and loading two full-package updates), I would like to congratulate...

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Death to Taglines!

Years ago I was working for an education startup and plotting the revision of the company web site when I asked my boss which tagline we should use under our logo. My boss, being wiser and younger than I am (hate that), came back at me one simple question: “Why?" I...

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Why Are Banner Ads Still a Thing?

John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” has a great segment called “Why is ____ Still a Thing?” He has tackled everything from Daylight Savings Time to Columbus Day to the popularity of Ayn Rand to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Leaving aside my internal conflict on...

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