Good morning, Marketers, and is it time to look ahead?

There will be a Times Square ball-drop this year, but without spectators. In any case, we’re counting down the last days of this non-stellar year and starting to look ahead.

My feeling is that the world long-predicted — in fiction (especially dystopian science fiction) — as well as in tech and martech circles, has arrived, and sooner than expected. It’s the fully connected, always online, digital environment we’ve been slouching towards for the last two decades.

It has many benefits, but also many costs, and I don’t think we’ve yet got a clear picture of the psychological costs of a remoteness which is likely to continue even once vaccination is widespread. Not all offices will open again, not all transactions will return to brick and mortar, and yes, Zoom meetings are here to stay.

We’re all on this journey together. Take a look at some of Ryan Phelan’s thoughts on 2021 below.

Kim Davis
Editorial Director

Looking Ahead

2020 – The year we unlearned everything we learned

Ryan Phelan, co-founder of Origin email, takes a look at the year we’re putting behind us, and the year to come. “Here we are, at the end of December, and you know what I’m not seeing? A lot of predictions for 2021. Now, this isn’t surprising. In 2020, anything I predicted, or anything anybody else predicted, surely didn’t happen. We all planned for a better year. For a more interesting and innovative year. For a year that would be ‘normal.’ That didn’t happen.”

Instead of predictions, Ryan came up with five facts to bear in mind as the New Year dawns:

  1. Retailers must explore ways to market to their customers based on a whole lot of changes that happened in 2020;
  2. All of our data is in flux;
  3. We will “unlearn” what we know;
  4. We need new models and data; and
  5. We need to help each other learn.

Read more here.


Measuring marketing attribution

Read up on the latest MarTech topics and trends, and learn what’s working (and what’s not) for agencies like yours. Sharpspring surveyed leading marketing professionals from across the U.S. to find out the most sought-after MarTech trends and the challenges they’re facing right now.

Learn more »


Retailers increased Black Friday and Cyber Monday ad spend

According to data from StitcherAds, retailers increased their Black Friday ad spend on Facebook and Instagram by almost 40% this year. Cyber Monday ad spend on the same platforms was up by 26%.

StitcherAds looked at online purchase data for 22 top U.S. retailers advertising on Facebook and Instagram, each spending at least $300,000 per month on ads. In app transactions driven by Facebook or Instagram ads accounted for 2% of overall sales revenue, up a quarter on last year, and there was an 11% YoY increase in website sales on the two holidays.

Why we care. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were record-breakers in terms of online sales in 2020. The main reasons seem obvious, but marketers will want to look closely at the specific drivers.


Master the science of search marketing analytics

Join us online, February 23, 2021 at SMX Report: a deep dive into everything you need to know about analytics for search marketing. Book now for just $99!

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What 129 million calls can tell us about the state of inbound marketing

Sponsored by CallRail

Inbound marketing has become a strategy small businesses must invest in — but you probably already knew that. What’s more compelling is how the results show that call-tracking software is one of the best tools available for measuring attribution and optimizing the effectiveness of your inbound marketing and phone calls.

We analyzed more than 129 million calls across 12 industries to understand inbound marketing’s impact on generating calls from leads.

Read more »


Google Search Console brings back request indexing tool

After 69 days, Google has reenabled the request indexing tool, within the URL Inspection tool, in Search Console. Just last week I was complaining about this very issue when Google “temporarily” disabled issue validation (hopefully that feature doesn’t take 69 days to get back either).

Remember, if you have a large number of URLs, submit a sitemap instead of requesting indexing. And, just because you used the tool doesn’t mean Google will index or rank the page.

Read more here.



See the estimated list sizes of your similar audiences.

It’s just gotten a bit easier to see your expected reach with new customers: the estimated list size of your similar audiences is now available directly in Audience Manager in Google Ads. Previously, advertisers were only able to see their estimated list sizes when applying them to campaigns.

Currently, these estimates are only available for search audience lists with more than 20,000 users, and for YouTube audience lists with more than 5,000 users, but Google says it’s working on expanding coverage in the future.

Read more here.