Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Programmatic Stars: Richard Kanolik, Head of Programmatic at Vodafone

Programmatic Stars celebrates the pioneers, trailblazers and innovators holding the role of Head of Programmatic, one critical to any company today.

Richard Kanolik is Head of Programmatic at Vodafone. Previous roles included stints at the7stars and Omnicom Media Group. At Vodafone he has led the company’s in-housing strategy.

What do you love most about your role as Head of Programmatic?

The rapidity of change. Being able to find solutions to problems whether they are media, data or tech related.

No two days are ever the same.

What is the biggest opportunity for programmatic over the next year?

CTV! Embracing CTV as an advertising opportunity will give advertisers a chance to develop their approach from siloed TV & Digital plans to one integrated CTV plan.

Whilst targeting methodologies are still evolving, they offer the promise of reducing some of the wastage associated with traditional TV buying and opens the door to advertisers with smaller budgets.

What is your proudest achievement in programmatic?

Building a best in class team at Vodafone whilst simultaneously in-housing and onboarding new tech in the midst of a global pandemic!

What are the biggest challenges for programmatic and how will we overcome them?

The death of the cookie will bring about a fundamental change in online advertising. As cookies vanish, scale disappears for all but authenticated users. We need an end-to-end solution that connects first-party data securely without sacrificing privacy, scale or control.

What innovation or technology in programmatic are you most excited about currently?

Supply Chain Optimisation (SPO). There are many ways to approach this on both the buy side & sell side. However, seeing a renewed commitment from both sides of the industry in pushing for a new era of ‘programmatic transparency’ is extremely exciting and goes some way in demonstrating that Programmatic advertising is entering its second cycle… maturity. 

We now need to ensure the tools and products built to enable this are being utilised in the right way.

How is the role of ‘head of programmatic’ evolving or changing at present?

With programmatic advertising becoming more prominent within emerging channels, you now more than ever need to keep up with latest technology. But not only that. You need to make sense of it all to ensure your media activation & buying routes are as pioneering as possible.

With this is mind, the role has become a lot more commercially focused… though there is still no getting away from a QA!