Ad tech and marketing tech are similar enough that if you Google "difference between ad tech and marketing tech," you'll find you're not the first to wonder.

You'll also find there are a few different ways to answer that question, one of them coming today from the Wall Street Journal. The latest answer: "Marketing tech" is a more attractive turn of phrase to investors.

The Journal explains it this way: Ad tech companies often generate revenue based on the amount of advertising they purchase and place; marketing tech companies tend to sell software on a subscription basis, according to the journal.

And while some venture capitalists may at times be shy to say one word can make all the difference, data cited from PitchBook shows that interest in "MarTech" really does trump "AdTech." While VC investment in ad tech declined in recent years to $860 million in 2015, investment in marketing tech is on the incline. The latter already stands at $1 billion in investment this year and is on track to beat last year's numbers.

This idea--that the right turn of phrase can make a not insignificant difference when looking for funding--extends far beyond this one example highlighted in the Journal.

CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal has joked that putting "machine learning" or "artificial intelligence" in your pitch deck can get better results, and while his comment may have been tongue-in-cheek, there's some data to back up the assertion. Machine learning rides the top of the crest of the "peak of inflated expectations" in a graph representing Gartner's latest hype cycle report.

But, of course, nothing ever really boils down to just one word--even if the one word can help.

Published on: Aug 26, 2016