MarTech Interview With Vitaly Pecherskiy, COO and Co-founder at StackAdapt

Vitaly Pecherskiy, COO and Co-founder at StackAdapt chats about the inception and evolution of StackAdapt while taking us through a few advertising and adtech tips in this conversation:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Vitaly, tell us about yourself and the story behind StackAdapt…

Hello, thank you so much for this opportunity! I co-founded StackAdapt in 2014 with CEO Ildar Shar and CTO Yang Han. Prior to launching the company, Ildar and I worked at an agency where we saw a clear need for a next-generation advertising platform.

We soon met Yang, and the three of us believed we could create a better platform by placing machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) at the core, making it intuitive to operate, and built around delivering results to advertisers. We were a scrappy startup, passionate about technology, and working to solve client problems every day.

How are you seeing the need for self-serve ad platforms evolve today?

In the past, digital advertising was reserved for blue chip brands with large budgets and large teams to build customized programmatic strategies. These power-users inputted all the nitty gritty into the platforms, dictating exactly what they wanted the platform to do. But ML and AI have advanced to the point that advertising platforms can centralize optimization and performance strategies on the back-end. This has moved self-serve to the forefront, with adtech more accessible to organizations of all sizes across verticals. The algorithms can tell marketers what strategies will be the most efficient and highest performing, which increases the overall ease of use and speed of execution. Self-serve is becoming a great equalizer, increasing ad competition. And, it isn’t just for the mid-market anymore. We are seeing more and more of the largest advertising players adopting self-serve ad platforms for their ease of use, ability to deliver while also offering first-class customer service.

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What are some of the ad and adtech trends around programmatic advertising that you feel advertisers/marketers need to be paying more attention to today?

Proliferation of machine learning in adtech is one of the main drivers of innovation. Its application is vast and use cases span many areas within programmatic advertising such as campaign optimization, brand safety, and targeting. Take, for example, the trend that will be huge in the coming years – contextual advertising. Contextual advertising existed for many years but it’s always been seen as an upper funnel targeting strategy and more of a branding play. Once you bring machine learning into the mix, it completely changes the game. Now contextual advertising can drive measurable business outcomes. One area that marketers should master is the use of these automated tools that can drive operational efficiencies and campaign results.

As adtech as a segment evolves, how do you feel it will impact how digital advertising evolves?

Digital marketers need to leverage a multi-channel strategy to tap into our increasingly digital world where people are spending time across various digital platforms. On any given day, a person will switch between scrolling social media, listening to a podcast, browsing products online and streaming on their smart TV.

Marketing across several channels means an advertiser is casting a wider net and expanding the potential for reaching the right audience in the right moment. The right demand-side platform (DSP) will allow advertisers to plan, execute and analyze all ad formats within the same platform. Cross-device targeting enables reaching audiences on their desktop, mobile and streaming devices, and it provides the chance to drive brand awareness as well as product purchase or another desired outcome.

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Five thoughts on the future of Adtech?

Budding. Advertising technology (adtech) is still the underdog in the broader marketing technology’s (martech) market. Due to barriers to entry, it’s still mainly utilized by larger brands. In the future, adtech (and programmatic advertising specifically) will be much more democratized, the same way many other channels such as email or SMS have been.

Powerful. Programmatic advertising brings a unique mix of control and scale that allows marketers to build advertising experiences not available in closed ecosystems like social or search. As more marketers look to own the communication channel with their clients, programmatic advertising is growing in its importance due to its control over customer data and access to new environments like connected TV, streaming radio, in-game advertising, and digital out-of-home (DOOH).

Fragmented. Advertising is a massive industry and is growing and changing rapidly. As a result of this growth and changes, it is fragmented into countless smaller markets that vary dramatically in their addressability and scale. It is reasonable to expect that the market will continue to be fragmented which will continue to put pressure on marketers to continuously educate themselves about changes in the market.

Unstoppable. “Software is eating the world”, said Marc Andreessen, and the advertising industry is not immune to this fundamental shift in how people access services. Speed, control, and scalability are some of the reasons why marketers rapidly adopt programmatic advertising as a channel to reach potential customers.

Changing. Anyone who has spent even a few years in adtech knows how quickly the industry is evolving. I find it exciting because change brings opportunity. I expect we’ll see many new companies build new solutions, solve difficult problems, and invent new technologies. I am thrilled to find ways to work with them, and continue reshaping the industry together!

Some last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up!

At StackAdapt, we’ve always operated with the belief in building strong relationships where there can be an active knowledge exchange. We want to help our agency partners look good to their clients and to their team, so they can continue to excel in the work they do. The best way to do that is to empower them to become their company’s internal subject matter experts, leaders and change agents. Strategically, education is one of the most powerful tools any of us has at our disposal to help identify and realize career ambitions. Tactically, it is all about garnering actionable ideas and experiments that can be implemented on any programmatic platform and can uncover new areas of growth for their brands.

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StackAdapt - Senior Software Engineer

StackAdapt is a self-serve advertising platform that specializes in multi-channel solutions including native, display, video, connected TV and audio ads.

Vitaly Pecherskiy, is the Co-founder and COO of StackAdapt, an industry-leading programmatic advertising platform. Amongst numerous accolades, StackAdapt is ranked as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America by Deloitte. Prior to founding StackAdapt, Vitaly was an early employee at AdParlor, a pre-eminent Facebook Ads API partner.

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