WASHINGTON, D.C.-From Alaska to Obama, since 2004 Mark Jablonowski has witnessed the explosive rise of political campaign technology, a business where “everything is an emergency.” Now the Chief Technology Officer of DSPolitical, a digital advertising network for Democrats, has a hand in fueling that growth overseas.
Jablonowski described DSPolitical as “Somewhere in between a trade desk and audience targeting solution” earlier this month in an interview at the Beet.TV summit on politics and advertising. In short, the firm helps candidates and campaigns “reach the exact right voters online, wherever they go.”
Jablonowski got his start in the elections game in 2004 in the Senate race working for Senate Tony Knowles in Alaska. That led to a stint as IT Special Projects manager at Obama for America. During the 2008 election cycle, he co-founded Atlas Voter Protection, an online tool that the Obama campaign used to manage its voter protection operations.
DSPolitical has been busy ramping up its international presence. Since 2014 it’s done work in the U.K., Canada, Brazil and Australia. “We’ve had great success learning what we’ve learned since 2011 and bringing it to other countries,” said Jablonowski.
A lot of DSPolitical’s present focus is honing its own tech chops. That includes increasing “the scale and breadth of our tech stack and making sure we’re able to squeeze every last impression and every additional marginal voter onto our platform.” Jablonowski said.
Asked about the human side of advertising technology, he cites the sense of immediacy that people must bring to the workplace.
“One of the really important things in the political tech world is it’s politics. Everything is an emergency, everything has to happen immediately,” said Jablonowski. “Almost all of our staff has worked on campaigns in the past so they understand the urgency and that the one finite quality is time. At the end of the election, there’s going to be a winner and loser.”