WASHINGTON, D.C.-One of Julie Van Ullen’s roles at OpenX is that of an educator when it comes to the political advertising space, particularly with regard to programmatic ad buys in private marketplaces. That’s because the political vertical “is probably more nascent” than others.
“I think there’s probably a bit of a lag there,” Van Ullen said in an interview earlier this month at the Beet.TV summit on politics and advertising. “What we heard from the publishers is that the uptick particularly this year isn’t quite what they expected but it might be.”
One of her takeaways from panel discussions at the Beet.TV summit is a keen interest among buyers of what inventory is available and how they access it. “That came across loud and clear,” said Van Ullen, who is VP Business Development at OpenX, which is a monetization partner to more than 1,200 publishers worldwide and works with more than 150 demand-side platforms and agency trading desks.
Interviewed by Prohaska Consulting CEO & Principal Matt Prohaska, Van Ullen explained that part of the education process is not only showing political buyers how to reach their specific target audiences, but informing them that they will have to compete with other advertisers to win them.
“There are some premium brands who are more entrenched in the programmatic space who understand that programmatic isn’t a race to the bottom for remnant inventory anymore,” Van Ullen explained. Placements like header bidding allow for impression-level competition with direct-sold campaigns. “So if you want those valuable eyeballs and you want to take them away from big brands, then you’ve got to pay for it,” she said.
Not all eyeballs are created equal, according to Van Ullen. “It’s an eyeball on a piece of content that’s really relevant and the right environment for the ad creative,” she said. “It’s a hybrid of audience and content that really drives ROI for buyers.”