CRO Brian Gleason on why Criteo is ‘not an ad network’

Criteo CEO Megan Clarken took cost in 2019, simply weeks earlier than Google confirmed that it was to hammer the ultimate nail into the coffin of third-party cookies — a transfer that will finish advert retargeting as we all know it.

Traditionally referred to as the business’s go-to retargeting instrument, Criteo has since embarked upon an acquisition technique, with the 2021 buy of Mabaya, constructing on its 2016 investment in HookLogic — an advert trade the place manufacturers can purchase adverts on e-commerce websites. Extra not too long ago, Criteo’s buy of IPONWEB was accredited, a transfer some deem essential to bolstering its footprint on Madison Avenue.

Criteo made these strikes to capitalize on the rising retail media sector, the place the likes of Amazon Promoting, Microsoft’s PromoteiQ and Publicis Groupe’s CitrusAd will prove stiff competition.

One other key part of Criteo’s retail media technique has been the appointment of long-time GroupM exec Brian Gleason as its chief income officer. He spoke with Digiday about Criteo’s plans to combine IPONWEB, win over Madison Avenue and compete with Huge Tech.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.

All of it started with the HookLogic acquisition, as what you had was the fragmentation of retail [media] after which on the middle of it was Criteo’s platform.

Most individuals didn’t know Criteo in that house however they slowly started to seize share and construct a platform with businesses, for those who take a look at our agency-spend it’s now important. It’s because if you wish to get to any retailers then you definately’re coming in by means of the entrance finish of our stack.

Lots of people would characterize Criteo as an advert community. How would you persuade them in any other case?

On the inception [of Criteo] the enterprise mannequin was definitely very completely different…two years in the past they modified that mannequin to go 100% self-service [as opposed to managed service buys] the place they launched the platform.

There’s actually two sides to our enterprise, there’s what I’d name the true platform-play which is what I’d name our enterprise focus — the most important retailers manufacturers, advertisers and businesses on this planet and we offer connectivity.

It’s an analogous mannequin to Google…the place you’ve gotten DV360 which is a really completely different use case in comparison with Efficiency Max.

Brian Gleason, CRO, Criteo

And now…while you go into the entrance finish, you pay on a platform charge, the identical approach that you’d with The Commerce Desk or Google DV 360 the place it’s a clear charge mannequin – there’s no community play on that facet of the enterprise in any respect.

So, Criteo just isn’t an advert community by any form or type. The distinction is you’ve gotten maturity cycles which are completely different. The retailer pays an SSP or advert serving charge which is totally clear, you’ve gotten the model of the company pays a DSP charge which, once more, is totally clear. So, it’s a platform mannequin.

On the opposite facet of our enterprise is buyer acquisition and retention [through retargeting]. It’s an analogous mannequin to Google, simply as a comparability, the place you’ve gotten DV360 which is a really completely different use case in comparison with Efficiency Max.

We’ve obtained 20,000 purchasers which are once more, centered predominantly on acquisition retention, and we’ve obtained the remaining which are centered on the true enterprise platform and the benefits they play.

The IPONWEB acquisition provides us the chops to supply connectivity in two methods.

The SSP MediaGrid on the again finish which provides us entry to off-site [ad inventory]. For many retailers, their audiences are small or in isolation, so that you want to have the ability to scale them, and that’s what IPONWEB has performed nicely with curation.

It additionally helps us on the entrance finish, the place manufacturers have requested if they will use the total energy of Criteo’s advice engine, viewers graph or optimization capabilities, even when they don’t have a consumer promoting product on a selected retailer’s web site.

IPONWEB helps us allow that, so, hastily you’ll be able to entry our audiences and measurement throughout the highest…after I take into consideration commerce media, you get retail plus efficiency advertising and marketing.

When you’re trying to have the ability to deal with your retail channel, most model and businesses have Amazon for his or her distribution, after which additionally they have everyone else whether or not you’re Goal, Walgreen’s, CVS, Macy’s or Nordstrom.

Most businesses and huge manufacturers are going to Amazon [for distribution and its retail media], and that is the place we’re seeing the most important uplift…Criteo unites everyone else [as a media platform], so we expect we’re complementary to Amazon.

I’ve an amazing quantity of respect for Microsoft, there’s no query, however PromoteIQ is a small part of their total promoting providing. You take a look at what they’ve performed with Netflix, which is very large, they’ve obtained the gaming acquisition, after which they’re going to have to determine what to do with their Yahoo relationship [plus Xandr], so it’s only a part of what they do.

Whereas for those who take a look at our market share, we now have 50% of the highest retailers on this planet, so whereas PromoteIQ is an attention-grabbing proposition, it’s extra of some extent resolution at this level. At Criteo, that is what we do day-after-day, no person is aware of buyer retention and acquisition higher than us, that is our DNA by way of what we do.

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