Chip Chick Explains: What The Heck is Ad Tech?

It doesn’t need to be cryptic!

Here at Chip Chick, my whole goal is to provide you all with real, useful information in a way that is easy to understand. We’re in the era of information overload, and it’s unfortunately hard to find things told to you straight up.

I’m doing a new series called Chip Chick Explains, where I tackle some tech that’s generally told in a way that’s, well, way over our heads. You don’t need to be a brainiac to understand ad tech, because I’m about to break it down for you. So, here we go with what the heck is ad tech?

What the heck is ad tech?

Ad tech is short for “advertising technology”. It’s very simply what it means: the pairing of advertising with technology. It largely encompasses the various types of analytics and digital architecture that exists within the world of advertising.

It’s basically a complex network of systems that can specifically target advertising to users and demographics. It’s the whole reason you’re Googling shoes and all of a sudden see shoe ads popping up on Facebook and everywhere else you go. Ad tech runs much deeper than that, but it’s the best straightforward example of how it relates to your life.

It’s also pretty much like the high frequency trading of internet advertising. It’s also like the new finance in regards to how much money you can make with a career in this industry. I worked in it for several years, and the exciting thing is that ad tech is constantly growing and evolving so there’s never a dull moment. If you like to learn and can keep up with rapidly changing tech, it would be a good fit for you!

So, what are some examples of ad tech?

The first example we looked at, where you’re Googling shoes and all of a sudden shoe ads are following you everywhere is called retargeting. That’s a pretty straightforward example of ad tech at work.

Another example would be ads you see when you visit websites. Ad tech makes that possible.

The way certain ads are shown to you across the internet or the type of ads that are shown to you is another example of ad tech at work, though from a behind the scenes standpoint.