Good morning, and welcome back to work!

The marketing technology industry was on a hot streak in 2019, with 246 mergers and acquisitions occurring in the first half of 2019 alone – a dramatic increase from the 162 over the same period in 2018. So exactly what were these big moves in martech? From Salesforce scooping up Tableau for $15.7 billion to Adobe’s strengthened partnerships with Microsoft, Drift, Roku and ServiceNow, we’ve narrowed down the big list of deals and integrations that shaped technology for marketers in 2019.

In other news, Spotify is the latest platform to halt political ad sales in the U.S., beginning early this year, Ad Age reported last week. Political advertising will not run for the 130 million listeners of its ad-supported plan or its original and exclusive podcasts. Spotify said in a statement that it does “not yet have the necessary level of robustness in our process, systems and tools to responsibly validate and review this content.” Spotify’s new policy will cover candidates, elected and appointed officials, nonprofits and political parties and Super PACs as well as advocacy content around political entities and legislative or judicial outcomes, Ad Age reported.

Email service provider Campaign Monitor has released its annual global email benchmark report, offering marketers a glimpse into email marketing performance across industries. Government organizations topped the list as having the highest open rates of over 30% –  an increase of nearly 11% over the course of 2019. The automotive and aerospace industry had the lowest open rates of only 12.6%, down from 17% last year. The report provides insights that will help organizations understand how they match up against their peers and competitors across different industries with key areas for growth in email marketing programs.

Nexthink is among the first in with its entry for the 2020 Stackie Awards. Jon Blumenfeld, Nexthink’s director of digital marketing, has put together an interactive “Periodic Table of Martech,” highlighting the 120 martech tools Blumenfeld ranks as the most relevant to enterprise B2B SaaS. The 2020 Stackie Awards are open for entries until March 20 — so let this be the inspiration that gets your creative ideas flowing! 

As always, there’s more to read below – including a Pro Tip on adding value to pop-up ads, plus an update on the social marketing front.

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor 

Pro Tip

Creating pop-up ads that users actually like

“If you want to get good results from your pop-up ads, they have to provide value,” explains Jacob Baadsgaard of Disruptive Advertising. “Remember, three-quarters of your site traffic will instantly be annoyed by the appearance of a pop-up ad, so you’re starting in a pretty bad place. To recover, you need to offer enough value that people will be willing to forgive your advertising faux pas. If you want people to feel positive about your pop-up ads, you have to make the interruption a positive one by offering something valuable. People don’t mind interruptions when they get something they want in exchange.”

Learn More »


What’s a DAM and why should you care?

Digital Asset Management platforms, often called DAMs, are software programs that store, organize and enable the more efficient use of an organization’s entire library of digital assets. This new guide from MarTech Today answers the following questions — What features do DAMs provide? What’s driving the growth DAMs? Does your company need one? It also includes profiles of 18 leading vendors, capabilities comparisons, pricing information, and recommended steps for evaluating.

Read more »

Social Shorts

Messenger now requires a Facebook account, YouTube adds tools to help Creators resolve copyright issues

Facebook Messenger update. Facebook has removed the ability to sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account, the company confirmed to VentureBeat last week. Up until now, new users could simply use their phone number to create a Messenger account. “If you’re new to Messenger, you’ll notice that you need a Facebook account to chat with friends and close connections,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We found that the vast majority of people who use Messenger already log in through Facebook and we want to simplify the process. If you already use Messenger without a Facebook account, no need to do anything.”

YouTube copyright tools. To make it easier for Creators to understand and resolve Copyright issues, YouTube added new tools to its Studio dashboard at the end of December. Creators will now see information about their channel’s copyright strikes in the YouTube Studio Dashboard, including details around why videos were removed, who submitted the copyright takedown notice, and actions Creators can take to resolve the strike. Additionally, YouTube has added an Assisted Trim option on the Video Copyright details page, allowing Creators to trim out copyrighted content claimed by the Content ID in videos. The Trim tool uses pre-set timestamps to determine and remove copyrighted content that appears in the video. 


Dive deep with an SMX workshop!

Tack an extra day of training onto your SMX West itinerary and attend one of six exclusive workshops on Friday, February 21 from 9:00am – 5:00pm. These expert-led workshops are the perfect way to drill down into a specific search marketing topic and round out an amazing few days of learning. You’ll walk away with actionable tactics you can implement immediately to drive results. Topics include Amazon Advertising, Paid Social Commerce, Advanced Local & Multi-Location SEO Strategies, Advanced SEO Training, Advanced Google Ads Training, and Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics & Techniques. Which will you choose?

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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Twitter’s big bet on topics and lists is just getting started – Fast Company

YouTube influencers beg FTC to not limit lucrative kid-tracking data – New York Post

TikTok claims zero takedown requests from China in first transparency report – The Verge

Navigating Privacy Laws in 2020: Invest in Quality Content – CMS Wire

Seed investors are favoring enterprise startups, and other conclusions from analyzing Y Combinator’s investing history – Eric Feng on Medium

Google veterans: The company has become ‘unrecognizable’ – CNBC

Snapchat will launch Bitmoji TV, a personalized cartoon show – TechCrunch

‘Facebook is the new cigarettes for our society,’ Marc Benioff says, calling for regulation – MarketWatch