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Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

It’s encouraging to see a resurgence in the quantity and quality of B2B marketing conferences and trade shows these days. For a while there, I was worried, as event after event went dark. Part of the upturn is due to the growth of the proprietary client conference.

Marketing technology (MarTech) appears to leaning toward tailoring itself to verticals, such as real estate and retail, if last week's startup deals are any indication. Investors funded a variety of software and to see what MarTech is coming, marketers can click here.

Last week, investors seemed to fall in love with mobile marketing technology (MarTech). Money changed hands to fund real-time mobile analytics; call center MarTech that drives, tracks and automates inbound calls; and software that, in part, tracks leads for on-the-go sales representatives. Read on about the MarTech marketers may soon be able to buy.

Every year, thousands of people descend on Austin, Texas in the middle of March for the much-romanticized South by Southwest Festival, historically a meeting of the minds for those in the technology and marketing worlds. But has the magic disappeared? Once the birthplace of killer apps like Twitter and foursquare, over the past few years the buzz has gone South, and left many saying "South by So What?"

By now, you've likely broken some New Year's resolutions. What else was on your list this year? Eating better, exercising and reading more might be great goals, but the one you made about creating a search engine optimization (SEO) plan actually needs to happen. Even if you had a solid 2013 on the SEO front (despite the various Google changes), there's no better time to briefly review what SEO can mean to your business and take a peek at some 2014 trends.

Let's remember Wendy Davis' 15 minutes of fame. Abortion is a third rail in American politics. Nobody likes abortion. The defining question: Is it the government's business? With some of the nation's toughest abortion restrictions in Texas, it was a circus atmosphere at the state capitol in Austin last summer.

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