WASHINGTON, D.C.-When you are a publisher serving more than 50 political buyers across some 200 different political campaigns and receiving one trillion bid requests monthly, ad tech only goes so far. “We have to be able to understand what’s happening,” according to Erik Requidan, VP of Programmatic at Intermarkets.

“Let’s say a bidder is bidding 10 million times for your inventory and they’re only winning a million times. You’ve got a problem there. This is where your humans come in,” Requidan said during a panel discussion at the recent Beet.TV summit on politics and advertising.

Election seasons are typically a win for Intermarkets, whose publishing portfolio includes The Drudge Report and The Political Insider. “We’ve always been a tier one buy for all sides because we’re able to reach a lot of the audiences like independents and a lot of the different blocks that help to win elections,” said Requidan in response to a question from panel moderator Matt Prohaska of Prohaska Consulting. Another attribute is the publisher’s 90% direct-site navigated audience, more than double that of most sites.

Nevertheless, there is no easy cruising to victory from one election cycle to the next given the pace of change in the programmatic world. “We started a lot of this hard work nearly three years ago,” Requidan noted. “You had to take all of your tech and make sure all the pipes match, you have to be able to make sure there are no restrictions on how a buyer can access your inventory.”

On the subject of private marketplaces, Requidan described a diversification of programmatic and premium programmatic executions driven by buyers seeking “access and clarity” they have not gotten from the open marketplace. The range of options spans “your traditional storefront private marketplace deals” to private transactions “around deal ID’s” to header integrations “where you can provide clarity around price point or spend and access, and it’s a fair auction and everyone understands that what they’re buying is what they’re buying.”

Amid all of this change, one of the biggest challenges is explaining a publisher’s differentiation to media buyers, according to Requidan.

“By design we built a unique ad tech stack which buyers are curious about,” he said. “We actually use an ad server that most of the marketplace does not.”

You are watching videos from Beet.TV politics and advertising summit presented by OpenX along with Intermarkets. Please find additional videos from the series here.