As 2022 draws to a close, we sat down with Mark Jablonowski to discuss the highlights of the year and what the future holds. Mark is Chief Technology Officer of Optimal and President of DSPolitical. A business leader with two decades of experience at the intersection of politics and technology, he is a sought-after thought leader and is widely quoted by media (New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Axios, CNN, Politico, etc.) on issues ranging from advertising technology and the broader media landscape to audience targeting and political data. Named “Technology Leader of the Year” by Campaigns & Elections, he has also been a featured expert at conferences around the globe.
Q: Great work has been done this year. What do you think are the highlights?
A: It’s been a better-than-expected year to be a Democrat in America. I’m really proud that DSPolitical was able to work on so many varied races and have a meaningful impact by helping candidates up and down the ballot. We had some incredible wins from coast to coast, and it was incredibly meaningful to play a part in the success.
Q: How do you think this year was compared to previous election years?
A: One of the things that I was fortunate enough to witness internally was how the team worked so smoothly and better than ever. Our technology has allowed us to work on more varied campaigns with greater and greater efficacy, and that’s a testament to the significant technology investments we’ve made over the years. Our team members were also absolute rock stars! We ran smoothly and effectively, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work we produced.
Q: What trends do you see DSP taking on going forward? Is there anything you’d want to retain for the 2024 election year?
A: This was the year that targeted CTV became available at scale. We saw a convergence between TV buyers and digital buyers because they all wanted ads on the biggest screen in the house. As for 2024, it is going to be critical for candidates and causes to make sure their digital vendor is staying ahead of the latest changes in not only targeting capabilities but also regulations that become increasingly important as you have more state-based privacy laws coming into play in 2023. There is also deprecation of the cookie that folks will be contending with on the horizon. We spend a lot of time at DSPolitical thinking about and making sure that our clients are in compliance with the law and taking advantage of the latest and greatest targeting capabilities.
Q: What surprised you the most this year? What do you hope for in 2024?
A: Ultimately, the surprise is the outcome of the election and how Democrats overperformed expectations. It was definitely rewarding to see a rejection of Trumpian politics and extremism and an outpouring of support for candidates who support our democracy. For 2024, I hope we continue making progress to advance the progressive values we share and that we elect a Democratic Congress and President!