Cornel Lazar

Adtech vs martech: what’s the difference?

Adtech and martech are terms that are regularly conflated. Let’s put aside misconceptions to define adtech and martech – and their differences.

As a marketer curious about the industry (safe to assume since you’re trying to boost your understanding of marketing terminology right now), you’ve probably noticed that the terms “adtech” and “martech” are sometimes used interchangeably. 

While the overall goal is obviously driving sales, there are a number of nuances between the technologies, and the problems they are both trying to solve. Let’s take a look at the definitions of martech and adtech, the key differences we should be aware of and where Datasine sits.



“Adtech” tends to be broadly defined as the systems that are used to direct advertising to individuals and audiences across platforms. It’s the technology that facilitates the delivery of messaging to the customer, and tends to be geared toward ad agencies or large publications.

Examples of adtech are: digital banners, data management platforms, tag management systems, and ad exchanges, networks and servers.


Simply put, “martech” refers to the technologies we use to execute and enhance digital marketing strategies. It’s what allows marketers to build, manage and measure marketing campaigns.

Examples of martech include: CRM systems, content marketing platforms, email marketing software, social media management software, digital analytics tools, customer data platforms – to name just a few.

The overlap

In the same way advertising is commonly seen as a type of marketing, adtech is arguably a subcategory of martech. Naturally there’s an overlap, but they are most definitely not the same thing. 

Let’s take a look at three of the key differences to clear things up.

What’s the difference between adtech and martech?


Adtech covers the process of making your product or service known in the marketplace. Martech is an umbrella term for all aspects of digital marketing strategies: the techniques teams use to promote their product or service to their audience and the techniques used to optimise these processes.



One of the key differences The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has noted between adtech and martech is the billing methods. 

Adtech companies tend to collect revenue “based on the volume of advertising they purchase and place on behalf of clients.” On the other hand, “many [martech] companies have instead focused on selling software on a subscription basis, often directly to marketers,” explains WSJ.


While martech encompasses all aspects of digital marketing, the demand-side platforms, data management networks and exchanges that publishers use to sell their digital ad space are covered by adtech.

Where does Datasine sit?

Datasine’s SaaS offering exists firmly within the realm of martech. Connect (formerly Pomegranate) is an AI tool trained on psychological insights which is able to select which images will be the highest-converting out of any number of marketing assets. 

As such, it’s used in the execution, but mostly notably the optimisation, of marketing strategies. 


Why not give the free version of Connect a go today? Using the tool our clients have seen their CTR skyrocket by 36% – and higher. 

Filter by Category:
Jergan Callebaut
The AI Tool Marketers Are Using to Increase Facebook Campaig...

A new breed of marketing tools is here that leverages machine learning and psychology to pick high-converting creatives for your Facebook ads.

In Conversation with… Bernardo Nunes, Head of Science at G...

Growth Tribe’s Bernardo Nunes joins the conversation to talk artificial intelligence in marketing: how companies can leverage AI and cultivate tech talent.

Speaker spotlight: Mitch Platt, UK Country Manager at Growth...

Datasine discusses growth marketing, personalisation and AI adoption with Mitch Platt, UK Country Manager at Grow Tribe, ahead of his presentation at #SuperchargeMarketing.

Use AI to identify high-converting marketing images

Cutting-edge AI (artificial intelligence) research into how computers see marketing images is changing the way marketers build more successful campaigns.

Speaker spotlight: Emily Miller, Head of Marketing at Ollie ...

Datasine talks marketing, AI and personalisation with Emily Miller, Head of Marketing at Ollie Quinn, ahead of her fireside chat at #SuperchargeMarketing.

In Conversation with… Mohamed El Hannaoui, Growth Marketer

Experienced Growth Marketer Mohamed El Hannaoui joins the conversation to talk growth marketing in startups and how AI is going to change marketing

Your images matter: five reasons why

Got your attention with the picture above? Great! I’m sure you’ll love the rest of this article. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that we live in the age of visual culture. Ten percent of all photos ever taken by humankind took place in the last 12 months.

Speaker spotlight: Karla Rivershaw, Head of Marketing of Tur...

Datasine discusses the tools that make marketing work, and finding the right balance when personalising communications with Karla Rivershaw, Head of Marketing at Turtl.

Speaker spotlight: Mack Grenfell, Biddable Lead at Babylon H...

Datasine talks to Mack Grenfell, Biddable Lead at Babylon Health about falling into the industry, and how AI is helping marketers optimise spend.

In Conversation with… Harry Hugo, Co-Founder of The Goat A...

Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of The Goat Agency, Harry Hugo, joins the conversation to talk social media, influencer marketing and founding Goat.

Forms of personalisation in today’s digital world

Personalisation means connecting with your audience on a deeper level. Our Head of Psychology, Jergan Callebaut, looks at its many forms.

Nine Mailchimp integrations for personalisation

Check out our top nine Mailchimp integration picks for empowering marketers to increase campaign metrics and improve customer experiences.

Three Mailchimp newsletter growth hacks

Email is one of the most effective marketing channels and Mailchimp has long been a favourite amongst marketers and growth hackers. Learn how to up your Mailchimp newsletter game with our growth hacks. 

The three must-ask questions before a rebrand

Datasine’s Marketing Director, Cornel Lazar, shares the questions each brand must ask before rebranding, and Datasine’s journey to change its look and feel.

How AI is set to transform email marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used in email marketing, learn how machine learning enhances personalised email campaigns.

Growth hacking Facebook ads

Growth hacking Facebook ads sends engagement skyrocketing and there are many ways to optimise paid ads to drive brand awareness and sales.

Which images make the most successful Facebook ads?

Images are the cornerstone of successful Facebook ads. We look at how to find the best images to create more effective Facebook ads.

What is a rebrand? (And what is it not?)

I sat down with our Marketing Director to discuss what a rebrand is, what goes into a rebrand and how Datasine approached the project.

From idea to martech: combining psychology with AI for bette...

Igor Volzhanin, our CEO, explains what started Datasine, a martech platform combining psychology and AI for better customer experiences.

Speaker spotlight: Emma Wynne, Head of Growth Marketing at P...

Datasine talks about personalising marketing communications and marketing tools with Emma Wynne, Head of Growth Marketing at Pasta Evangelists.

In Conversation with… Meagan Healey, Head of Content &...

Head of Content & Product Marketing at Attest, Meagan Healey, joins the conversation to talk data-driven marketing and why aligning sales and marketing is a game changer.

Semantic content analysis will disrupt marketing – for the...

Discover the benefits semantic content analysis brings, and how to utilise data, psychology and AI to predict the highest-converting content for your brand.

Five things we learned at Supercharge Marketing

Datasine looks back at the five things we learned at Supercharge Marketing, from data-driven marketing to investing in learning new skills.

Mirroring at scale

How mirroring can help you level up the impact of your one-to-many communications, offering personalised content and customer experience.

A quick guide to remarketing with Facebook dynamic ads

Facebook dynamic ads, or Facebook product ads, let you remarket to your audience. Find out how to use them in this simple guide to DPA ads.

What is segmentation in marketing?

Segmentation in marketing allows marketers to place customers into groups for targeting. We take a look at the types of market segmentation.

Marketing 20:20: meet the Speakers

Datasine sits down with the two guest speakers of Marketing 20:20, Becky Simms, Founder and CEO of Reflect Digital and Social Media Expert Kieran S Lawler

MAD//Fest Day One: the recap

We look back on our first day at MAD//Fest with presentations from Burger King, Virgin Trains and our own CEO Igor Volzhanin.