Technology, capabilities and the need to fuel innovation are three reasons why the worlds of AdTech and MarTech are merging.

That’s the view of Ben Sharp, Asia-Pacific Managing Director and VP.

He made the comments during a recent industry round table into the subject, hosted by AdRoll and facilitated by Which-50. That round table — along with interviews with senior executives in Australia and the US — informed a research paper which AdRoll released today.

According to Sharp, there is much more consistency between the technologies used in the two disciplines these days. “Technology is partly becoming commoditised, and it’s much easier to transfer the technology between the two areas of marketing and AdTech. That’s the first thing.”

Another core driver — and the most important — is the opportunity to provide a much better outcome for brands.

“I’ll answer this from the perspective of an AdTech platform. We have traditionally built a business which is all about putting ads on the Internet. So we are a one-to-many platform, and we leverage first-party data to be able to do so.”

Sharp said, “When you are exclusively playing in the AdTech space, and you’re an innovator and disruptor, you are always looking for new products that are going to enable you to speak to your customers in a much deeper fashion.”

And he said the feedback from the market is very clear: brands want the technologies to blend together.

Finally, Sharp said, part of the reason was simply commercial. “If you look at some of the very large cloud-based platforms — Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle — they have traditionally been in the MarTech world.” They are also large, established incumbents for whom marketing is just one of their business areas.

However, he said, the AdTech players are more typically the disruptors.

“They’re very exciting businesses that the traditional players look to acquire, as it allows them to further innovate their own businesses, and offer additional interesting solutions for their clients.”

AdTech players also tend to have a very aggressive culture in terms of going to market and acquiring new customers, according to Sharp.

“Quite often those traditional MarTech players get the benefit of that new customer acquisition.”

Performance improvements

Performance marketing companies also bring a different and more transparent approach to pricing, he said. That is reflected in AdRoll’s Email product, which employs this philosophy to differentiate itself in a market where vendors typically price on volume.

“An AdTech platform can start to deliver things like personalised email and on-site retargeting to that particular customer in a really smart fashion,” he said.

“If you can leverage the customer data that you’ve received through the AdTech environment and transfer it across into the MarTech space by offering personalised, time-efficient emails, you’re really starting to blend those two parts of the market together in a really interesting fashion.”

About the Author

Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit, which produced the white paper.

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