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Understanding AdTech: An overview

A convergence of technology breakthroughs, consumer privacy concerns, and regulatory changes is poised to influence the direction of the AdTech industry. The global programmatic advertising industry is anticipated to reach $84 billion by 2025, growing at a 20% CAGR between 2020 and 2025. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are anticipated to play a key part in the future of AdTech, with a forecast increase of 48.2% annually from 2021 to 2028. According to a recent survey, 64% of customers would rather see advertisements from trustworthy sources than from unidentified third-party sources, which has fueled the growth of alternative advertising ecosystems and walled gardens.  

It is anticipated that as the AdTech sector develops, it will strike a balance between the need for secure and private data storage and efficient advertising solutions. The industry will need to adjust to these developments to stay relevant and fulfill the shifting needs of both businesses and customers. 

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What is AdTech?

Advertising Technology (AdTech) refers to the applications and tools used in digital advertising, including their development, distribution, and optimization. AdTech covers every step of the digital advertising process, from audience targeting and data collecting to ad development and delivery. It offers insightful data on the effectiveness of ad campaigns. AdTech has transformed the advertising industry by making it simpler to target particular demographics and monitor the effectiveness of marketing efforts. AdTech, in general, is essential to the expansion and profitability of the digital advertising sector.  

Why AdTech is important  

AdTech is significant because it makes advertising effective and efficient. It automates and optimizes ad placement, buying, and using technology. AdTech gives substantial insights into ad performance and assists advertisers in choosing the appropriate audience to target. Automating the ad sales process and giving publishers access to a larger pool of advertisers also helps publishers maximize revenue.  

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Integral components of AdTech  

  • Ad servers  
    Ad servers are technology platforms that store, serve, track, and report online advertising. They help advertisers manage and monitor their advertising campaigns by serving ads to websites or mobile apps, tracking performance metrics, generating reports, and allowing for targeted advertising. Ad servers provide a centralized platform for managing campaigns, setting budgets, and adjusting targeting strategies. They play a crucial role in the digital advertising industry.  
  • Demand-side platforms  
    Demand-side platforms (DSPs) are technology platforms that enable advertisers to purchase advertising space through real-time bidding. DSPs allow advertisers to access large pools of inventory from multiple sources, including ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSPs), and bid on the advertising space in real time. They use data and algorithms to target specific audiences and optimize advertising campaigns, providing advertisers with increased efficiency and effectiveness in their digital advertising efforts.  
  • Supply-side platforms  
    Supply-side platforms (SSPs) are technology platforms that enable publishers to monetize their digital inventory by selling advertising space to advertisers through programmatic channels. SSPs connect publishers with demand-side platforms (DSPs) and ad exchanges and allow publishers to set rules and pricing for their inventory. They use data and algorithms to optimize the sale of advertising space, ensuring that publishers receive the highest possible revenue for their inventory while also providing advertisers with access to high-quality inventory. SSPs play a crucial role in the programmatic advertising ecosystem, connecting publishers and advertisers to facilitate the buying and selling of advertising space.  
  • Data management platforms   
    Data management platforms (DMPs) are technology platforms that collect, store, and manage data on consumers and their behaviors. DMPs gather data from multiple sources, including websites, mobile apps, and other data providers, and use this information to build detailed profiles of consumers. This data is then used to inform and optimize advertising campaigns, allowing advertisers to better target their ads to specific audiences based on factors such as demographics, interests, and behaviors. DMPs play a crucial role in the digital advertising industry by providing advertisers with the data and insights needed to effectively target and personalize their advertising efforts.  
  • Ad exchanges  
    Ad exchanges are online marketplaces that facilitate the buying and selling of advertising space through programmatic channels. They connect demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs) and allow for real-time bidding on advertising inventory. Ad exchanges provide advertisers with access to large pools of inventory from multiple sources and allow publishers to monetize their digital inventory by selling advertising space to the highest bidder. Ad exchanges play a crucial role in the programmatic advertising ecosystem by facilitating the efficient and effective buying and selling of advertising space.  
  • Ad networks  
    Ad networks are middlemen that connect advertisers with publishers to facilitate the distribution of online ads. Ad networks aggregate inventory from multiple publishers and sell it to advertisers in bulk. They serve as a one-stop shop for advertisers, allowing them to reach large audiences across multiple websites or mobile apps with a single ad buy. Ad networks may also offer additional services such as targeting, tracking, and reporting, providing advertisers with an all-in-one solution for their digital advertising needs.  

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How does AdTech work? 

AdTech automates the process of digital advertising by combining software and algorithms. The following steps provide a high-level overview of how AdTech works:  

  • Data collection  
    AdTech platforms gather information about users, such as their demographics, interests, and online activity. Ad performance is optimized, and the right audience is targeted with this data.  
  • Targeting audiences  
    AdTech platforms use the information gathered to focus on particular demographics, like age, gender, location, and hobbies. Additionally, advertisers can utilize data to target specific behaviors like website visits, app usage, and past purchases.  
  • Ad creation  
    AdTech platforms give advertisers the resources to produce text, video, and image-based digital adverts. Additionally, advertisers can utilize data to demographically target their advertising by displaying different ones to different groups of people.  
  • Ad delivery  
    AdTech systems employ algorithms to choose the best location for each advertisement based on user behavior, website content, and audience demographics. Advertisers can also select targeting criteria to choose the ideal moment to display an ad.  
  • Ad optimization  
    AdTech platforms track each ad’s performance and continuously improve campaigns using data analysis. Advertisers can use this data to modify their targeting and ad copy for better results.  
  • Reporting  
    AdTech systems offer thorough reporting and analytics on each ad campaign’s performance, including figures for clicks, impressions, conversions, and income. The information can be used to evaluate the performance of a campaign and make changes for subsequent ones.  


AdTech also raises concerns about privacy and data security. Publishers and advertisers are responsible for securing user data and adhering to privacy laws. This should include ensuring that personal data is gathered and used in line with applicable privacy laws and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  

However, AdTech plays a crucial role in the growth and success of the digital advertising industry. Programmatic advertising, DSPs, and SSPs are vital components of AdTech, providing advertisers and publishers with a more efficient and effective way to reach target audiences and monetize their ad inventory. It also offers valuable information about the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. 

To launch a career in AdTech or advertising, you may want to consider an online MBA with a marketing elective from Manipal University Jaipur. Alternatively, if you are an experienced professional seeking a career change, you can enroll in an online MBA in marketing from the prestigious Manipal Academy of Higher Education. Both programs provide in-depth coverage of advertising and marketing principles, enabling you to become a future-ready professional in your chosen field. 


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

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  • Master of Business Administration
  • Online MBA

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