The DSPolitical Client Services team fields questions from clients, consultants, and campaigns all over the country on how to run the most effective, impactful, and targeted digital ads. Leveraging our decades of digital experience here are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive. Whether you’re a DSPolitical client or not read on for some insider strategies on how you can start to run better digital ads!

1. So to start, what is programmatic media buying?

Programmatic advertising is the process of automating the buying and selling of ad inventory in real-time through an automated bidding system. DSPolitical’s job is to act as an intermediary while facilitating the process of buying ad space and ensuring audiences are seeing your ads wherever they’re online

2. How is direct buying different from programmatic buying?

Direct buying, which also happens to be a service available through DSPolitical, revolves around negotiations with publishers to secure and book inventory at a fixed price and audience. It’s not automated like programmatic buying is.

3. What determines if my digital program will be effective?

We like to say the effectiveness of a programmatic digital program can come back to three key factors: audience, budget, and messaging.

4. How exactly does audience, budget, and messaging impact my digital program?

The audience size and budget available affect how often which ads appear to the target audience. DSPolitical recommends a cost-per-target of at least $0.70 per month. To do this, audience size and budget must be considered as plans are being put together.
However, even with a strong reach, if the creative lacks a clear message, then the digital program will lose one of the core factors needed to effectively persuade the target audience. This is why messaging is crucial!

5. What are some best practices for messaging DSPolitcal recommends?

DSPolitical’s Client Services Team has a ton of knowledge on this question! For brevity’s sake, here are just a couple pieces of advice; for video, make sure the most important information is in the first 3-5s. Add details like office being sought, ballot measure title, and platform positions at the end of a 15s or 30s spot. With display and other static ads, this information should be included on the ad in a clear and concise location or written out clearly in the Facebook text, Instagram caption, or native descriptions.

6. What about CTV? Should I be adding CTV to my media plan?

Targeted CTV was little more than a buzzword in 2016 and 2018, but in 2020 we feel more confident than ever in the technology and inventory. In the last few years there has been a substantial increase in both the number of people using CTV devices (such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Playstation, Xbox, etc.) as well as the amount of CTV inventory available programmatically. At the same time, the technology governing our ability to match CTV devices at the household level has improved. It’s a really great addition to any media plan, especially in light of COVID-19 and the growing presence of video streaming. To learn more about CTV in general, check out our guide here.

7. Where are my programmatic videos appearing? My PMP videos? My CTV videos?

Here is a general overview of where some of your videos are most likely being displayed:
Programmatic video will show up on sites like Accuweather, Slate, Eater, The Verge, Business Insider, and other local news sites.
PMP video might show up on more premium video players (like CNN, ESPN, Vox, The Daily Beast, etc) as well as on full episode streaming sites when voters are watching TV shows or streaming live TV on their computers, tablets or phones (e.g.,,, MSNBC).
CTV will run exclusively on connected TVs either in an app (like someone watching Spurs highlights on the NBA app on an Apple TV) or dynamically inserted into TV content on channels like A&E, AMC, History Channel, MSNBC, ABC, etc.

8. What tactics does DSPolitical recommend to reach our objective?

Every client’s needs are different, but we can tell you what tactics DSPolitical can offer you! By using competitor analyses and our extensive relationships with voter files and Analyst Institute research findings, DSPolitical can provide not only a service for programmatic media buying but also strategic insights into best practices for digital engagement.

9. What makes DSPolitical’s offerings different from other partners in this space?

DSPolitical specializes in programmatic media buying, and dedicates itself specifically to Democratic and progressive organizations, candidates, and causes. On top of that, we partner ourselves with the best-in-class ad exchanges and voter file vendors to deliver top-of-the-line inventory at a stronger reach than standard in the industry.

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