Adtech vs Martech – Is There a Winner?

Mythbusting and treading the complex jargon-filled waters on advertising technology is part and parcel of the space, but with the increasing pivots from ad tech to ‘martech’, AdNews puts it to the industry to explain the differences between both.

According to the convergence of ad tech and martech whitepaper out this week from retargeting company AdRoll, there is no single absolute definition that distinguishes one from the other. Instead, it says the disciplines of ad tech and martech most commonly differ over the types of data they rely on, the types of campaign activity they support, who – brands or agencies – typically manages the systems, the way services are priced and whether the media is paid for or owned.

It also found that while there is clearly a convergence underway, significant roadblocks remain; major silos exist between and within the two disciplines and a number of factors are creating the circumstances for an accelerated push to merge.The report stated that marketers will spend US$500 billion on advertising in 2017 and at the same time, will spend more on their technology than ever before.

The new ‘it word’

Blis senior sales manager Brittany Lefave says martech seems to be the new ‘it’ word, putting the use of ad tech to bed for most digitally focused organisations.

“Many marketers now believe that ad tech is simply a subset of martech, and it’s become easier for tech providers to position themselves under a broader, more approachable name for the sector,” she says.

Amobee Australia and New Zealand managing director Liam Walsh says he doesn’t think it’s a situation of ‘rather’ or pivoting from one to the other. “I think martech is an extension of their solutions as it becomes possible for advertising to be integrated into other marketing functions like CRM systems,” Walsh adds.

From Gumtree to Amobee and Quantcast to AOL and Yahoo7, we asked a handful of industry experts to give us their views on the fundamental difference between ad tech and martech.

Blis senior sales manager Brittany Lefave says:

“I believe people have perceived the difference of ad tech and martech in the past to be based solely on cost structure and the ownership of the service being offered. Ad tech equals a paid media service, usually offered by agencies, while martech focuses on owned media and gets used in-house. However, we are past the times where agencies provide strictly paid media solutions. Ad tech could be a word of the past as agencies and tech providers begin to offer more tailored, holistic solutions in the paid, owned and earned media space.”

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