Adtech vs Martech: What’s the difference


The advancement of technology has made new words or trends emerge in this marketing world. Those words are Adtech (Advertising technology) and Martech (Marketing Technology). This could be completely new and amusing but the two has a very important function to play in marketers day to day life. Many people including few marketers get confused between both terms because they may look and sound similar but have a slight difference.

We are going to dive deeper into both concepts and outline the differences for you to have a clear understanding.

What is Martech?

Marketing technology or Martech comes under the digital marketing sphere, uses various technology or tools to execute digital marketing strategies. It helps marketers to evaluate, manage, measure, and run their online marketing campaigns and onsite marketing smoothly for example website analytics, social media management, email marketing, SEO and content optimization, A/B testing, etc.

What is Adtech?

Advertising technology or Adtech is all about advertising campaigns. It is designed to help marketers create, manage, run and measure all relevant metrics and data like viewability, likeability, and impression. It makes use of technologies and tools to get its advertising campaign in the marketplace and get the eyeballs of a desired and targeted audience.

What’s the difference between Martech and Adtech?

Adtech and Martech do look similar in the pretext of the use of technology but there lie differences in many aspects which we are going to explain below. One can say Adtech more or less is a subset of Martech. Explaining it in simple terms Martech is a dish with all the ingredients in it and adtech is a serving plate in which you serve.

Let’s look at some key areas of difference between Adtech and Martech that will help in clearing all the confusion and ambiguity in minds.


Basically, Martech does all the main jobs of creating, analyzing, managing, and promoting the campaign using various techniques and Adtech helps in placing those campaigns in the marketplace for the audience to see. Martech becomes an umbrella term for all digital marketing strategies and is now widely and popularly used by all big digital marketing agencies.


The main difference lies in the platforms used by Martech and Adtech. Let’s look at Adtech specific platforms.

  • Demand-side platform (DSP) – it is a platform used by the media buyers to run advertising campaigns and buy inventory from various ad exchanges and data exchange accounts through just one user interface. These platforms are used for the effective management of advertising online across any real-time bidding network. It enables programmatic advertising which is a process of buying and selling ads. In a simple way, if you are running, managing, and analyzing ads across different platforms then DSP enables that under the dashboard itself. It gives one major advantage and that is pinpoint targeting, more specific targeting gives more reach and in turn better ROI results.
  • Supply-side platform (SSP) – supply-side platforms are also known as sell-side platforms. It is a platform used by publishers to manage, sell and optimize available inventory in an automated and efficient manner. They usually connect to DSP to sell ad inventory on behalf of a publisher.
  • Ad exchange – an ad exchange is a digital technology platform that enables the buying and selling of media space between advertiser and publisher through real-time auction. Some notable ad exchanges are Google Ad Manager, AOL, Microsoft advertising, etc.
  • Ad server – an ad server is a technology that is used by ad agencies, ad networks, publishers. They are wholly responsible to make decisions on where to place the ads online and where to show the ads on the websites. It also helps in managing and recording impressions through ads.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM) platforms – SEM is basically paid online advertising to promote websites for ranking at the top of SERPs. It ensures good visibility for the website and a wider reach with specific targeting elements. It helps in driving more quality leads than the SEO method.

Martech specific platforms are enlisted below:

  • Web analytics – web analytics is a process of collecting and recording data on the web. It helps in optimizing the website using those data which includes the number of traffic, number of visitors, and clicks. It can be used as a tool for business and market research and designing the strategy accordingly.
  • Social media management tools – there are various social media management tools like Hootsuite, buffer which helps in managing the campaign across all different social media platforms in one software. It helps in effectively tracking the campaign.
  • CRM – customer relationship management i.e CRM is used to bridge the gap and build relationships between brands and customers. It is used to manage the interaction with the potential customer and gain lost customers at the same time. It has proven effective to turn leads into loyal customers.

The target

Marketing involves targeting a very specific group of people which includes researching, segmenting, and targeting. A lot goes into a marketing strategy while running or placing an ad campaign. Whereas advertiser uses shortcut. They send out their ads to a bunch of unknown people. Martech is more into personalization and using first-party cookies to target and attract people. The bottom line lies that Martech uses to directly communicating with the consumer. Adtech on the other hand uses third-party data and adopts the approach of one-to-many and Martech believes in a one-to-one approach.


Adtech uses a commission or fixed fee-based billing method in which advertisers charge the clients on the basis of the advertising purchased while Martech uses the SaaS (Software as a Service) model which is more on monthly basis.

The media

Both the technology uses different media approaches altogether. Adtech uses paid media and Martech uses free media like SEO, social media, email to market, and run ads. Adtech focuses more on buying media space and running inventory online while Martech focuses more on working directly with the vendors.