Good morning, has your brand dabbled in TikTok yet?   

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg once compared TikTok to Instagram’s Explore page (according to leaked audio from a company meeting). PSA: Instagram and TikTok are definitely not the same.

The platform known for its amusing video challenges inspired by the ephemeral (and often satirical) nature of Gen Z is starting to become part of the marketing equation. If you’re still wrapping your brain around the strange, youth-centric platform, don’t worry. We created a TikTok primer for brands that covers all the bases, from the youngsters running the app to the beta forms of advertising available to brands. A word of advice to marketers: Don’t sleep on TikTok.

In other news, Amazon quarterly ad revenues surpassed $4 billion for the first time in the fourth quarter, an increase of 41% year over year. That brings the company’s annual advertising revenues in 2019 to roughly $14.1 billion, up 39% from $10.1 billion in 2018. The ability to directly tie advertising to sales on Amazon has been a key attraction for advertisers. “I think they appreciate the fidelity we can provide around shopping outcomes,” said David Fildes, director of investor relations at Amazon said on the earnings call, adding that Amazon is “uniquely positioned to do this given our retail business.”

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired 4Cite, a first-party identification and analytics platform. 4Cite will become part of the Dentsu-owned marketing performance company Merkle Inc., leveraging 4Cite’s identity resolution capabilities with its own people-based identity and data platform. “The 4Cite acquisition plays a critical role in the future-proofing of our platform in a world where the third party cookie is crumbling,” said Merkle Americas President Craig Dempster. 4Cite will retain its company name and its 50 employees will join Merkle’s staff.

Are you proud of your martech stack? Our 2020 Stackies Awards is just around the corner – and we’re still accepting submissions. To participate, create a 16:9 slide that illustrates the way you conceptualize your marketing stack, the different tools you use, but more importantly, how you think they fit together. Here’s some inspiration. The contest is open through March 20.

Taylor Peterson, 
Deputy Editor

Pro Tip

To discount or not to discount?

“This might come as a shock, but including mention of a discount in an email subject line during the holidays can actually hurt your engagement rates. Emails with no discount in the subject line universally had a higher engagement rate than those that featured a discount,” explains Len Shneyder of Twilio SendGrid. “To discount or not to discount can be a complex question that requires data outside of just email open rates and subject lines. Regardless, what we can say with more or less certainty is that a discount alone will not deliver the desired outcomes – there’s more to subject lines than a discount. Marketers should focus on cleverness, their value-add and differentiating their subject lines from those of competitors.”

Pro Tip »


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Social Shorts

Reddit’s new chat function rolls out to all users, Twitter adds threaded replies, Facebook takes measures to limit false virus claims

Reddit launches new chat capabilities. After years of testing, Reddit yesterday announced it is finally rolling out subreddit chat and one-to-one chat to all users and communities. “These two new features will enhance engagement among Redditors individually and within communities,” a Reddit staff member wrote in a blog. The platform said the new function could help “lower the barrier for individual contribution, and speed up the response time for engagement.”

Twitter conversations get a makeover. Twitter is making it easier for users to decipher between tweets and replies with a new threaded replies feature on iOS devices. In the new interface, replies to a parent tweet are indented with a connecting series of lines to indicate the order in which they were posted, creating an easy-to-read threaded conversation. According to Twitter, the new reply layout will be coming to Android soon.

Facebook addresses false news about coronavirus. Facebook said its working to limit the spread of misinformation about coronavirus, which was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) last week. Facebook said its network of fact-checkers is hard at work debunking false claims limiting its spread on Facebook and Instagram. The company is alerting users who’ve already shared misinformation related to the virus. Additionally, Facebook said its partnering with various organizations to share up-to-date information through messages on top of News Feed on Facebook, deployed based on guidance from the WHO. 


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What we're reading

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

Why Winning The Super Bowl Ad Popularity Contest Doesn’t Matter – Forbes

Walmart Media Group Tests Xandr And The Trade Desk For DSP Role – AdExchanger

Byte tops a million downloads amid spam issues and content concerns – TechCrunch

Mozilla launches Hello WebXR intro app for WebVR – VentureBeat

These Brands Said No to Running Super Bowl Commercials – New York Times

Microsoft Teams goes down after Microsoft forgot to renew a certificate – The Verge