Difference Between AdTech and MarTech – Everything You Need to Know
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Difference Between AdTech and MarTech – Everything You Need to Know

Marketing professionals leverage a broad spectrum of technologies in their various activities for advertising and marketing. These technologies improve our efficiency to heighten the speed and accuracy of our efforts. Similarly, these tools also enhance the effectiveness of marketing and advertising processes with their capabilities of integration, optimization, execution, and management of process and data sources. 

Some of them are advertising technologies (AdTech), and some are marketing technologies (MarTech). Though there are a plethora of similarities in these two types of tools, there are several differences between AdTech and MarTech

Here, we will break down these tools by their significant differences and how they can connect to help marketers maximize data-driven personalization.

Understanding MarTech and AdTech

What is MarTech?

The term Marketing technology indicates the broad category of technologies used to strategize and execute digital marketing campaigns. These specific types of tools assist in every activity from demand generation, lead generation, lead nurturing to conversion.

According to John Koetsier, the VP of Singular has defined MarTech as “Every piece of technology a marketer uses to reach a potential customer.” Based on his definition, MarTech covers a wide range of technologies, including the following:

  • Marketing automation platforms
  • Email marketing software
  • Content marketing platforms
  • Social media management software
  • Analytics tools
  • Customer data platforms

When marketers refer to a “MarTech stack,” it implies the combination of different marketing technologies deployed by a business. You need to find the right stack of integrated technologies based on the types of marketing operations you execute.

What is AdTech?

AdTech, as the name implies, is the advertising technology, which refers to the set of technologies that are explicitly used to execute digital advertising campaigns. These ad tools range from the backend to the frontline execution, which helps advertisers build, run, and manage ads better toward the targeted audiences. The categories of AdTech tools that are available include: 

  • Data management platforms
  • Ad exchanges/networks/servers
  • Tag management systems
  • Programmatic advertising tools
  • Demand-side platforms

What Are the Differences Between MarTech and AdTech?

While an AdTech allows targeting anonymous audiences, a MarTech stack usually enables targeting known customers. In addition to this significant difference, there are numerous ways these two types of tools or stacks differ. The key differences between these two are broken down by their functions, use, and capabilities. You can find it below: 

1) Coverage

An AdTech stack covers all types of demand generation-side software, advertising networks, data management platforms, and ad exchanges. Publishers leverage these platforms to sell digital advertising spaces. 

Marketing tech stacks encompass different aspects of marketing campaigns: creative campaign design tools, content marketing tools, SEO tools, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, and automation tools.

2) Role 

An advertising technology refers to the technology behind creating awareness for your offerings, products, and services in the marketplace. These tools are mostly used to spread awareness and generate demand about the brand and its offerings. 

A marketing technology tool or stack of tools is used to carry out a wide array of activities. MarTech tools aid in a broader range of activities, starting from making strategies in planning, product distribution, product pricing, marketing channels, sales strategy, customer service, market research, community engagements, and other activities that help extend the customer outreach.

3) Channel

In AdTech, the channel used by marketers to reach targeted audiences is third-party paid media. In MarTech, channels that marketers use for increasing customer outreach are owned media using data-driven personalization activities.

4) Customer Insights 

Understanding your customers is critical, and that begins with analyzing customer data that you get from analytics tools. An AdTech tool collects data by using cookies from third-party sources and uses this customer behavioral data to build ad campaigns.

A MarTech platform includes CRM, marketing automation tools, and many others to collect customer data from various touchpoints of the customer journey. Based on this customer data, MarTech tools allow you to segment customers into different groups to enhance targeting and delivery. 

5) Communication

AdTech tools allow limited, one-way communications between customers and advertisers. MarTech tools enable marketers to perform two-way communications between them and their customers.

6) Customer Data

Every customer leaves digital footprints, in different stages of customer journeys, through their online interactions. That’s why marketers use databases to track customers’ behavior and activities across different channels such as company websites, email campaigns, newsletters, social media posts, search queries, ad responses, and many others. Despite the significant importance of databases, AdTech tools fall short in this aspect to help users maintain a database of customers’ digital footprints.

That’s why MarTech tools are more popular with marketers. They present marketers with plentiful options in data collection and management tools that generate extensive insights on customers, including demography, employment, behavioral, purchase history, and many others.

7) Retargeting

When customers add any product or service to their shopping cart and do not complete the purchase process, they are targeted with product-related advertisements. This process of targeting the same customer is known as retargeting. Customer targeting activities are most common in advertising, and AdTech tools support retargeting.

But in the marketing industry, marketers adopt various methodologies of retargeting their prospects and customers. Marketers run omnichannel marketing campaigns through diverse channels such as social media ads, abandoned shopping cart marketing campaigns, and related product or service suggestions by leveraging machine learning technologies.

8) Revenue

AdTech tools are usually based on media activities. These tools generate revenue based on the volume of advertising campaigns and what clients have generated. Users of AdTech tools pay for AdTech based on the performance of the client’s revenue generation and advertising volume.

MarTech tools typically work on SaaS or MaaS business models. Marketers or business owners pay subscription fees for MarTech tools. The subscription models vary based on user profiles, capabilities, and course of time. The subscription fees are usually automatically renewed on an annual basis and charged on existing payment methods. 

In addition to these differences, MarTech and AdTech tools differ in other areas, such as adaptability. 

MarTech tools are more adaptable to changes in customers’ behavior and changes in marketing processes, among others. An AdTech tool can be less adaptable towards these changes. Since advertising campaigns are more transactional, the key method of AdTech tools is to increase impressions and engagement. On the other hand, MarTech tools offer much more beyond increasing engagement.

MarTech tools are used for lead generation, lead qualification, lead routing, subscriber reactivation, and conversion through different stages of the customer journey. 

Do you want to know more about how MarTech tools can empower your lead generation, nurturing, communication, and conversion optimization efforts? Talk to our MarTech experts by saying “Hello” at experts@marrinadecisions.com, or if you are on social media, DM us via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter