Adtech vs martech: what’s the difference?

September 23, 2019

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 contact us today? Using the tool our clients have seen their CTR skyrocket by 36% – and higher. 

Related posts

Let's work together.

Book a demo to see how Datasine empowers marketers with intelligent, data-driven insights to improve the performance of creative content.

Share This