What Is Adtech, and Why Does It Matter to Online Advertising?

For advertisers, technology is critical. Whether they’re designing a campaign with team members or analyzing a campaign’s data, technology serves an important role — hence the term, adtech. As more consumers become connected online, that role will only grow.

Ready to learn more about adtech and how you can use it to boost your online advertising? Keep reading!

What is adtech?

The definition of adtech

Adtech, also known as advertising technology, describes a series of applications that streamline advertising tasks. Applications often focus on day-to-day responsibilities in the advertising sector, such as targeting audiences, delivering campaigns, and analyzing campaign data.

A few examples of adtech platforms, as well as companies, include:

  • Adroll
  • Tapad
  • MediaMath
  • StartApp
  • Oomph

Some other companies involved in advertising technology include Google and Adobe.

How does adtech compare to martech?

The difference between adtech and martech

In some ways, it can feel like advertising and marketing intertwine in the online marketplace. While that’s true to a degree, adtech and martech encompass different technologies with different purposes — though each aim to streamline your efforts as a marketing or advertising professional.

When you look at martech and adtech platforms, you can see those differences.

For example, the social media management application, HootSuite, is a marketing technology. It makes promoting your company across social media platforms faster and simpler by letting you manage your social media accounts in one place.

Accounts you can manage in HootSuite include:

In comparison, the ad management platform, Adroll, is an advertising technology. It lets you launch, modify, and analyze your advertising efforts on social media, email, and search and display networks. That streamlines your advertising work.

Should you use adtech and martech together?

While they may differ from one another, it’s valuable to use both martech and adtech in your company’s business strategy. When you do, you give yourself a competitive edge. That improves not only the quality of your advertising and marketing campaigns but also their results.

It can also help you fill in the blank when researching whether your advertising or marketing efforts brought a new client to your company. A great example of that is CallTrackerFX, which tracks the marketing and advertising efforts that led to a call.

With that kind of data, you can build smart and informed campaigns that drive phone calls, quote requests, and visits to your location. Now that we understand the value of both adtech and martech, as well as their differences, let’s focus on what adtech brings to your company.

5 reasons why adtech matters to digital advertising

Whether you’re a part of an advertising agency or a business looking for an advertiser, it’s critical to understand the value of adtech and why it matters to online advertising. That way, you can explain that value to potential clients, as well as to decision makers in your company.

So, why does adtech matter to digital advertising? Here are five compelling reasons:

1.       INTEGRATE TOOLSETS INTO SYSTEMS

A few of the benefits of adtech

The most notable advantage of adtech is that it combines your advertising tools into a single system. Take Adroll, for example. Instead of logging into your social media accounts, followed by your search and display network account, you only log into Adroll.

That saves your team an immense amount of time, as they can manage all your online advertising efforts in one place. Plus, they can analyze the results of those advertising campaigns, which optimizes their productivity.

A similar system is MarketingCloudFX.

While directed towards marketing campaigns, it also supports advertising efforts. With its call tracking feature, you can track what calls come from your paid advertising efforts, such as pay-per-click (PPC). Plus, you can view data from lead generation forms on your website in one place.

For many businesses, that’s a big enough reason to adopt advertising technology.

2.       TRACK USERS FROM ONE DEVICE TO ANOTHER

The percentage of users that use multiple devices when researching product

With 90 percent of users beginning an online task on one device and finishing it on another, it’s a challenge for advertisers to determine whether that visitor on a laptop is the same user that visited earlier on a smartphone.

While Google offers cross-device tracking to try and resolve this hurdle, it requires that users log-in to an account. That’s where adtech platforms like Tapad come into use. It utilizes a digital ID, as well as a hub of big data, to track the movement of users across devices.

That data helps businesses across the world understand their target audience, as well as user behavior. It also provides your company with insight into the effectiveness of your advertising — and even marketing — campaigns.

As an example, Autotrader, which is an online marketplace for selling and purchasing cars, increased its reach with Tapad. The adtech company’s software for cross-device attribution helped Autotrader reach more than 14 million unique users in their target audience.

For Autotrader, that was a win. It boosted the performance of their advertising campaign, which wanted to reach more valuable audience members across devices and eliminated wasteful actions that affected past campaigns.

3.       OPTIMIZE BIDS FOR MAXIMUM ROI

The advantage of an adtech program

No matter where you advertise online, from Facebook to Google, it’s critical that you monitor the performance of your campaigns to ensure you’re bidding the best amount. Otherwise, you’re cutting into your campaign’s return, which affects your company’s bottom line.

With advertising technology, businesses can now optimize their bids through applications like MediaMath. This platform, referred to as a demand-side platform (DSP), helps you make smart bids through algorithms and proprietary data that determine what an impression is worth to your company.

Not only does this type of advertising technology eliminate a time-consuming task from your calendar but it also optimizes your return on investment (ROI). That can provide your company with the funds to expand its advertising efforts, department, and more.

It’s worth noting that this type of technology benefits not only smaller businesses but also large ones. Coca-Cola, for example, partnered with MediaMath to optimize the campaigns of its various brands for audiences in Mexico.

The results?

Coca-Cola identified nine new audience profiles, plus increased the success of its key performance indicators (KPIs) by 40 percent. In response, Coca-Cola moved more than 50 percent of its budget to programmatic advertising or automated advertising.

In this case study, adtech delivered a massive impact. It helped a business achieve its advertising goals, as well as re-evaluate and optimize its advertising efforts to generate more revenue and response from consumers.

4.       STREAMLINE APP ADVERTISING

The percentage of Americans that own a smartphone

Almost 80 percent of Americans own a smartphone. For many businesses, that makes it worthwhile to advertise on mobile applications. That’s why many adtech platforms focus on expediting advertising on smartphones and tablets.

One is StartApp, which creates app-exclusive advertisements and provides actionable data and insights into the performance of your app advertisements. The adtech platform also offers comprehensive data on user behavior. That lets you optimize your ad strategy even more.

Depending on your market, you can also use adtech to get ahead of your competition.

For example, maybe your competitors only advertise on search engines and social media, but you have an audience that’s active on popular industry apps. By advertising on those apps, you can reach those high-value users.

That leads to high-quality leads, which can make your business even busier.

5.       COMBINE PRINT AND DIGITAL ADVERTISING

A description of how adtech blends print and digital advertising

While some companies focus on only digital advertising, others will also invest some time and money into print advertising — digital advertising, however, does offer better targeting options, which can lead to a better ROI.

A few adtech companies bridge the gap between digital and print advertising. They include Adobe and Oomph, which both provide a similar adtech software that converts print publications into rich media text ads for the Internet.

MarketingCloudFX also supports digital and print advertising efforts. Its offline tracking feature lets you see which calls came from your print advertisements and which came from your digital advertisements by including a unique tracking number for each.

By adopting these applications, businesses can optimize the time of their advertising and design teams. They can also ensure that their digital content, whether for advertising or marketing, meets the standards of users for quality and functionality.

For example, the University of Adelaide in Australia partners with Oomph to create, publish, and update interactive content for their eScience app. In response, the university saw monthly app downloads increase by 40 percent, with engagement rates also seeing an upward trend.

With adtech, companies can do more — and see a return on their investment.

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