Good morning, and hello 2020! 

The holidays may be over, but we’re still easing back into the office here at MarTech Today. Before we jump full force into the new year, we’re taking a look at the biggest martech acquisitions and integrations that shaped our industry last year. From Salesforce’s deal to buy Tableau for $15.7 billion to Automattic Inc.’s purchase of Tumblr, last year’s martech deals proved Scott Brinker was on the money when he predicted 2019 would be a buyer’s market for marketing technology mergers and acquisitions.  

We also saw an impressive number of martech integrations, especially across chat, email and data solutions. Shopify added new messaging capabilities via Apple Business Chat and new ad integrations with Facebook, Google, SnapChat and Microsoft. Adobe deepened its partnership with Microsoft, as did Salesforce, and Lytics added Salesforce and Google Marketing Platform integrations to its CDP. 

Nexthink is among the first to submit an 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! 

2019 proved to be the year U.S. marketers got real about privacy issues. “There was a convergence of legal, technological and cultural factors that forced brands, publishers and tech companies to confront privacy head-on in ways they’d been trying to avoid for years,” writes MarTech Today’s Greg Sterling. With the EU’s GDPR well underway after its launch in May 2018, last year saw marketers preparing for similar regulations with today’s CCPA launch. 

Sterling believes our industry has witnessed a major transition culturally — and legally — with privacy now serving as a central feature of the user experience going forward: “Privacy-conscious consumers will reward companies that are more transparent and shun those that are opaque or manipulative.” 

We’re not done yet: Don’t miss the big list of Pro Tips we’ve curated from our martech community during the last 12 months, Vox Media’s newest first-party ad targeting solution and the headlines we’ve been reading over the holiday stretch — it’s all below for your reading pleasure. 

Amy Gesenhues,
Senior Editor

Pro Tip

A look back at some notable tips from our community in 2019

Over the past year, our community of martech-focused marketers have shared a variety of insights to help fellow digital marketers. Our Community Editor, Wendy Almeida, shares a roundup of pro tips that were popular with readers this past year. The tips offer advice about when to hit pause on email, how fast-moving trends can impact brand safety, collecting only the data you can use to deliver value and more.



Does your enterprise need an identity resolution platform?

Connecting consumer identifiers has become a mandate for enterprise marketers trying to meet customer expectations for a consistent, personalized brand experience. This MarTech Today guide examines the market for identity resolution tools and what you should expect when implementing this software into your business. It includes profiles of 12 leading vendors, pricing information, capabilities comparisons and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

Read more »

Martech Minute

Vox Media launches Forte, Microsoft’s AI endeavors and the top five highest-valued tech companies in 2019

Vox Media gives advertisers a new targeting solution. Vox Media, the company behind publications like The Verge, Recode and New York Magazine, has launched Forte, a first-party data ad targeting solution. The ad platform uses audience intent and behavior data curated from Vox Media’s 125-million monthly unique visitors across 13 editorial networks, giving advertisers the ability to connect with a diverse range of audiences. “Forte is a next-generation solution in how marketers can reach audiences, moving away from a reliance on third-party data,” said Vox Media Chief Revenue Officer Ryan Pauley, “This platform puts Vox Media in a place to confidently succeed in a world where third-party data will likely cease to exist.”  

Microsoft Office’s top AI implementations. Microsoft’s Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint are all getting significant boosts from AI, according to a report from VentureBeat. Excel is getting two new AI features, one that will help bridge the gap between mobile and desktop and another that will help users pull deeper insights from their data. PowerPoint’s new Live Captions and subtitles are powered by AI, and Outlook is getting deeper integrations with Cortana — all built with AI. Microsoft 365 General Manager Rob Howard says the goal isn’t to allow AI to takeover processes, but instead assist the user. “It’s really not about doing somebody’s job for them, it’s actually about being really assistive, about really helping them as they do their work,” said Howard.

Highest valued U.S. tech companies? Microsoft, Apple top the list. The top five most valued tech companies in the U.S. in 2019 were Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google’s parent company Alphabet, according to TechCrunch. Apple’s value increased 86% last year and Facebook was up 57%, while Microsoft’s value increased 55%. “The technology industry’s epic run has been so strong that The Wall Street Journal noted this morning that, powered by tech companies, U.S. stocks are poised for their best annual performance in six years,” writes TechCrunch Senior Editor Alex Wilhelm, who raises the question, “How long can the biggest tech companies be worth a combined $4.93 trillion?” 


Dive deep with a MarTech workshop!

Jumpstart your time at The MarTech Conference by attending one of five outstanding, expert-led workshops on April 15 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. These immersive training opportunities are the perfect way to drill down into a specific marketing topic and set the tone for an amazing week of learning. You’ll walk away with actionable tactics you can implement immediately to drive results. Topics include The Right Way To Buy Marketing Technology, Using CDP To Make The Most Of Your Customer Data, Agile Marketing Advantage, Creating Connected Experiences, and A Marketer’s Guide To Attribution Analysis. Which will you choose?

Register now! »

What we're reading

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

Where Agile Fits Into DX Technology Selection – CMS Wire

Fight against facial recognition hits wall across the West – Politico

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

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

The top tech IPOs of 2019 – Quartz

In the shadow of Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle startups are having a moment – TechCrunch

I Was Google’s Head of International Relations. Here’s Why I Left. – Ross LaJeunesse on Medium