We sat down with DSPolitical’s Senior Director of Advertising Russell Wagner to talk about the role of programmatic advertising in the upcoming midterm elections.
About Russell: Russell has been working with programmatic media technology for over 12 years, starting with a marketing firm in New York City and moving through various agencies in the field and holding management positions along the way. Besides being personally involved with the programmatic strategies of major consumer companies, Russell has helped grow the individual agencies he has been a part of. He came to DSPolitical because of its unique sense of purpose that sets it apart from the rest of the advertising world.
Q: What does your role entail, and how would you say it fits into the rest of the company?
A: In my role, there’s a focus from a programmatic perspective on the deployment of campaigns and activation, and making sure that we are satisfying clients’ needs and requests in a timely and responsible manner. The product and partnerships part of my role is focusing on whether or not we are partnering with the right products and the right companies. We make sure to have a well-rounded and well-built tech stack that we can operate within, and then put that tech stack to use to deploy media.
Q: Now that we’re coming up on the midterm elections, what is the importance of programmatic technology for campaigns in this last stretch?
A: Everyone is bracing for impact! We want to make sure that the tech that we have is working and reliable, and that it can handle the substantial upticks that we are expecting in campaign volume. On the activation side is where I act as an added layer of protection for the programmatic trading team. I can help them with pacing and deployment issues, and make sure that we are satisfying our clients and meeting their expectations.
Q: Do you have any advice for campaigns or organizations that are getting started with programmatic advertising?
A: Come to DSPolitical! We’ll guide you!
The difficult part about programmatic is that it is constantly changing and there are multitudes of options to choose from. People can get overwhelmed by that, which can lead to creating incorrect partnerships that are not mutually beneficial. The advice is: if you are a brand or client, leave that heavy lifting and due diligence up to another party, like an agency. In my mind, when brands aren’t ready to fully invest and build their own in-house agency, they think it can be done pretty easily, and it winds up being a multi-year process for them to truly onboard all of their media. Don’t go through that headache, pair with an agency and somebody who can navigate the complexities of digital and programmatic advertising for you.
Q: How is a target audience meant to interact with programmatic advertising?
A: A handful of different ways! You can actively click on it, or you can watch a video. Clicking on an asset will get you to a destination or landing page with more information. Ultimately, what we want to do is a few different things: we want people to take a particular action, or we want to persuade them to take some specific action at some point in the future, like persuading their decision to vote for someone. It’s about getting the word out to support the candidates that align with what we’re promoting here at DSPolitical, so people are confident in their decision when they go to vote.
Q: How do you think programmatic advertising will change for the future?
A: I think in the future everything is going to be purchased programmatically. Anything that is powered by an internet-connected device can be purchased programmatically to a degree. At this stage in the game, we can’t do all of that at scale, but this shift is constantly progressing year over year. People shouldn’t think about programmatic as a new channel providing incremental inventory, we have to understand that it is just a different, efficient and more effective way of buying media. As a result, we’ll start to see more formats universally available at scale to be purchased programmatically.
Want to learn more about programmatic advertising technology? Check out our two eBooks that break it down: Programmatic 101 and The Programmatic Ad Technology You Need to Understand for 2022.