Paris-born retargeting company Criteo sees Asia Pacific as the fastest growing region with India being a very important market for growth. In India, Criteo is looking to expand into BFSI and auto verticals.
“Retail, travel and classifieds are our core verticals and in India we are also expanding into BFSI and auto,” Siddharth Dabhade, General Manager, Criteo India, told BestMediaInfo.com in an interview.
The company that helps brands reach out to their customers, regardless of the device they are using with its cross-device advertising solution covering desktop and mobile sites as well as social media, is connected to 18,000 plus retail clients worldwide and has a similar number of publisher relationships.
Sharply focused on ROI goals, Criteo does not believe in spill-over and claims to have the highest consumer retention rate. “Since the last 26 quarters, we have 96% customer retention rate,” said Dabhade.
How different or superior is Criteo than several other players including the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter as a retargeting and programmatic advertising services provider? Who do you see largely as your competitor?
We have very different technology and in fact we partner with Google and Facebook. The differentiator that we have is the amount of shopper behaviour which we are able to see. We look at 1.2 billion active monthly shoppers, 4 billion plus product interactions every month and $550 billion commerce data. We have a scale of commerce bigger than what Amazon does. The other differentiator we have is recommendations where we recommend consumers about certain products on the website. The other differentiator is the way we show the ad communication. The way we personalise the ad communication is very different from the rest.
How do you get this data?
We connect our technology to the retailers. We are connected to 18,000 plus retail clients worldwide and we also have publisher relationships. For example, we have a relationship with Nykaa and beauty blogs. On Nykaa we get the consumer behaviour and target Nykaa’s consumers and get on to beauty blogs to show their ads.
Can you name a few top performing verticals for Criteo?
Retail, travel and classifieds are our core verticals and in India we are also expanding into BFSI and auto.
What are the drawbacks of retargeting? Doesn’t it also tap the consumers for the same product who have already completed the purchase? Hence, isn’t it a spill-over?
That’s exactly where the technology comes in. We look at the transaction data. We know that you were interested in bags and you have bought it. So, we don’t show you the ad again.
What if we see something online and buy offline?
In that case we will show you the ad first time. If you are not interested then don’t click on it and ignore it. May be for the second time, we’ll show you again and not the third time. The frequency will decrease. Our engine will also not show you ads again and again because it costs us money to show you more ads.
Why don’t you also get into content space and work with publishers for the promotion of their content?
We are not into content business, but we support publishers indirectly and our ads are shown on our publisher partners. For example, Times of India is our publisher partner and by showing ads on Times of India, we are helping them with revenue.
Consumers don’t want to watch ads popping on their computer screens. What is your say here as you help brands reach targeted consumers through ads?
The right way to look at ads is that consumers don’t want to watch irrelevant ads. Majority of people are ok with ads which are relevant.
Don’t you think that over-targeting or overtly sharp targeting is also not always good for a brand?
We are focused on performance marketing. We do marketing with a particular ROI goal. If I am doing larger targeting then I might not meet my ROI goal. That is why we have such a high customer acquisition rate. Since the last 26 quarters, we have 96% customer retention rate. You might do a broad targeted campaign, but you will not do it for more than two to three years because some spill-over has already happened. Now you want to focus on driving sales and profits and that’s where we come in and don’t want to do spill-over.
How has been your growth in India ever since you entered the market?
APAC is the fastest-growing region and India is a very important market for us.
How do you fight with ad frauds as bots must not be sparing you too?
We partner with agencies that detect frauds and help us eliminate them.
Do you charge additional from brands in the name of brand safety as YouTube does?
We don’t charge any additional from brands for safety purposes.