Mar Tech and Ad Tech: Walking the (Blurry) Line
May 17, 2017
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Advertising technology (Ad Tech) and marketing technology (Mar Tech) are instrumental tools in the kit of any digital marketer, and as our ability to collect and make use of customer data increases and the preference of audiences for 1-to-1 conversations with brands grows, the importance of understanding the intersection of the technologies and how they can work together becomes increasingly important.
While both Mar Tech and Ad Tech allow companies to reach new and existing customers online, they do so in fundamentally different ways.
Mar Tech Understands & Nurtures Existing Relationships
Mar Tech is any technology used to manage and measure a company’s digital marketing activities – it can encompass everything from customer analytics to a platform to publish online content. Google Analytics is considered Mar Tech, as is WordPress, and even Facebook Live.
A subsection of Mar Tech is marketing automation. Marketing automation uses first-party data (data that a brand can collect on its visitors and customers) to manage relationships, like triggering emails based on browsing behavior, optimizing contacts, managing leads, and otherwise tailoring the customer journey so that it is a 1-to-1 experience.
Ad Tech Prospects for New Customers & Opportunities
Ad Tech is the set of tools that marketers use to target and purchase the space that their ads are served on. Focused on reaching beyond a company’s regular client base or on promoting complementary products to existing customers, Ad Tech finds the time and place to serve advertisements for a business’ products or services based on various methods of prospecting and retargeting including using third party data. Databases of audience information – including companies and individuals – is accessed through demand side platforms (DSPs) and is then used to serve advertisements strategically in places that a target audience is likely to see them.
Where Do They Converge?
While Mar Tech and Ad Tech platforms are inherently different, they need to work together in order to be most effective. Data is the critical element in a marketers’ communications with any new or existing customers. The data collected through Mar Tech self-serve platforms can be used to fuel Ad Tech campaigning, and vice-versa.
Imagine you collected emails through your marketing automation technology to deliver information to interested visitors to your website on a particular product or service you offer. You could place an advertising pixel for a retargeting campaign in the email you deliver to those website visitors that could trigger a targeted advertisements to be delivered to them online. This is an example of the convergence of Mar Tech and Ad Tech.
Marketers need to understand how to use these two distinct technologies in tandem to effectively communicate with new and existing prospects in a digital world.
Both Mar Tech and Ad Tech share the goal of delivering a targeted message to the right person at the right time in the hopes of eventually converting them to a customer or growing existing customer business, they just deliver the message in different formats.
What Does This Mean for The Future?
As customer demand for targeted, 1-to-1 advertising and messaging grows, more integrations between Mar Tech and Ad Tech are bound to occur. By thinking about Mar Tech and Ad Tech as two critical and complementary elements of any marketing strategy, marketers and advertisers can take better advantage of the entire customer journey, and serve the customers’ desire to receive the most relevant messaging at a time in their buying journey that makes it applicable to them. Truly understanding the differences and nuances between the two technologies and learning how they can work together is a surefire way to keep prospects happy and boost your marketing and advertising ROI.