Adtech vs Martech: What’s the difference?

September 30, 2020

If you’ve been in the marketing sphere for more than five minutes, you’ll have heard the terms ‘Adtech’ and ‘Martech’. Sometimes, you’ll have heard these words used interchangeably. Believe it or not, adtech and martech are different from one another. Sure, the differences are slight – but understanding these nuances will help you to choose the very best platforms and services for your campaigns.All in all, it’s well worth knowing the difference between adtech and martech. Here, we’ll take you through the meaning of ‘adtech’ and ‘martech’, and explain the crucial differences between them.

What is Martech?

When people talk about ‘Martech’, they mean the technologies we use to execute digital marketing strategies. Martech helps marketers to build, run, measure, and manage marketing campaigns. Examples of martech include:

  • CRM software
  • Content marketing platforms
  • Email marketing software
  • Social media management software
  • Digital analytics tools

What is Adtech?

‘Adtech’ broadly refers to the systems which put adverts in front of eyeballs. Adtech helps to facilitate messaging directly to customers. Usually, it’s geared towards large agencies or publications. Examples of adtech include:

  • Digital banners
  • Data management platforms
  • Tag management systems
  • Ad exchanges, networks, and servers
  • Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) – these let customers bid for ad inventory.
  • Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) – these let publishers sell ad inventory.

What’s the difference between Martech and Adtech?

If you’re scratching your head trying to understand the difference between adtech and martech, we don’t blame you. On the surface of it, they really do seem pretty similar. And, in fairness, adtech is (more or less) a subset of martech. Think of it in terms of baking a cake. Martech would be the ingredients and recipe you use to make the cake. Adtech would be the plates you serve it on.  Still not clear? Bear with us, there’s more to explain! Let’s run through the main martech vs adtech differences:

  1. Their roles.

‘Martech’ is an umbrella term for everything used in a digital marketing strategy. ‘Martech’ refers to all the techniques a team might use to optimise and promote their digital marketing campaigns. Adtech, meanwhile, refers to the technologies and techniques by which the team gets those campaigns into the marketplace.

  1. Billing.

As a general rule, Adtech companies bill their clients based on the amount of advertising they purchase. Martech, on the other hand, often comes on a SaaS (Software as a Service) basis. Martech companies tend to sell their software/services on a subscription basis. What’s more, while martech companies usually sell directly to marketers, adtech companies sell to a much broader market, including media and advertising agencies.

  1. The targets.

Marketing often involves targeting a very specific group of people. Marketers put a huge amount of time and effort into identifying, researching, segmenting, and nurturing particular audiences. Advertising takes a more scattergun approach. It involves sending out advertisements to a pretty much unknown group of prospects. Sure, marketing strategies can inform advertising – but, from the point of view of the technologies, the difference between marketing and advertising holds true. Adtech is reliant upon third-party data, while martech works with much more personalised data. That’s not to say you can’t target and personalise adtech – you can. However, in general, martech is designed to work with personal, first-party data (like email addresses, or other information provided specifically by the customer), while adtech works with more generalised third-party data (like website cookies).

  1. The approach.

Martech tends to focus on nurturing prospects through social media, SEO, email and so on. Adtech, meanwhile, is more about paid media – buying the right spot and right inventory to get content in front of eyeballs. To return to the cake analogy for a second, the baker would use cake ‘martech’ in a tailored way (for example, to avoid certain allergens, or to bake a cake they know that their guests will love). The plates and cutlery – the cake ‘adtech’ – however, are much less personal. They haven’t been specifically designed for the lucky cake-eaters in the same way that the cake itself has.

Datasine: adtech or martech?

Datasine is martech. Great martech! We offer a SaaS solution which helps to optimize and execute marketing strategies. Our AI can tell you which images will perform the best with your audiences, and make sure that you’re always using your highest converting creative assets. Our focus isn’t just on delivering great quality content – it’s on making sure that content will be relevant and valuable to your audiences.

To find out more about what Datasine can do for you, get in touch today.