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AdTech 101 – Is Your Strategy Where it Needs To Be?

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AdTech is a broad term that references various solutions to help target, deliver, track, and analyze digital advertising efforts. Before you develop your company’s strategy, it’s important to clarify the differences between Digital Media and AdTech. Let’s start by defining the two terms and exploring how they are different.


Digital Media typically refers to the content users consume via desktop, mobile, over-the-top advertising (OTT), and IoT devices. Articles, blogs, videos, audio, photos, etc. are provided by publishers, many of whom also directly produce the content and have built their businesses around monetizing that content (via advertising, subscription, etc.). For our purposes, media itself traditionally encompasses television, radio, print, and digital.

AdTech, on the other hand, exists at the crossroads of media, technology, data, and analytics. It can refer to items, such as:

  • Ad servers designed to deliver digital banner ads and video advertising.
  • Systems designed to transact on digital ad impressions—DSPs, SSPs, trading desks, etc.
  • Companies and technology that deal with data—usually used to target specific members of an audience.
  • Back-end systems—measurement and analytics platforms, tag/media/creative management systems.

These are merely examples of solutions that can facilitate direct advertising to targeted audiences. While the catch-all term encompasses a myriad of solutions, ultimately, it’s all about driving digital advertising sales revenue. This is done by selling advertising adjacent to content. The more engaging and relevant the content to the target audience is, the more successful the digital advertising should be.

Not only is the AdTech space crowded with a host of solutions, it’s also full of providers of these solutions. Companies, often startups, looking to drive digital advertising revenue do so by creating, or adding value to content by overlaying data, improving relevance and streamlining delivery. On the sales side of things, publishers work with advertisers to facilitate their purchase of ad inventory across the internet. For example, an advertiser may work with a publisher to advertise adjacent to video on their site.

Over the past several years, AdTech has become increasingly sophisticated. Many traditional media companies have pivoted successfully to digital. Pure play digital publishers (those that focus solely on digital, rather than traditional or legacy media) have also emerged and are competing successfully for audience attention and advertiser dollars.

Now that we’ve outlined the differences between Digital Media and AdTech, read our ebook to learn more about how to compete successfully in the AdTech landscape and grow your business.

Discover how to build success and differentiate your brand in our guide: Show  Me the Revenue! 4 Ways to Stand Out in the AdTech Space.


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