The ad-tech firm earlier was known for its retargeting point solution
In June this year, global ad-tech company Criteo rebranded itself and unveiled a new logo, visual identity, and brand positioning. The company is focussed on creating as well as introducing new solutions in India. In a conversation with BrandWagon Online, Taranjeet Singh, managing director, SEA and India, Criteo, talks about the journey ahead. (Edited Excerpts)
What was the idea behind opting for rebranding exercise and what has been the impact?
The new brand positioning solidifies the fact that we are no longer a retargeting point solution, rather a global technology company driving outcomes through our commerce media platform. It also speaks about the vast opportunity Criteo can capitalise on as we expand our product portfolio and prepare for the future of advertising. Today, Criteo is a full-funnel platform for marketers. Now we have two major solutions – the marketing solution which provides marketers the capability to address their full-funnel campaign goals, from awareness to consideration, conversion. The full-funnel advertising solution addresses each stage of the shopper’s journey to optimise customer engagement and monetise retailer’s audiences. And the second solution is retail media which provides retailers and marketplaces the ability to generate new revenues from the suppliers and partners.
With Google pushing the deadline for a move towards cookie-less, how has the firm been preparing for the same ?
The announcement is excellent news for people who rely on a vibrant and healthy open Internet. But the extended deadline does not impact Criteo’s strategy. We continue to build products that will enable our customers to reach and engage their audiences without third party identifiers. This includes investment in a first-party media network, or cohort based advertising initiatives or contextual advertising, all of which allow marketers to effectively engage their customers in a privacy safe and the consented matter.
Can you throw some light on contextual targeting solutions?
We launched contextual solutions in the beta phase in some parts of the world. It is not available in APAC now. We should launch it in India by the end of the year.
How is Criteo’s business faring in India?
Both on a global and local level, we are focusing on our transformation journey. The new direction includes bringing in new product offerings, including a video solution which we launched in India. We have also launched retail media solutions, while contextual is in the pipeline. We are also focusing on growth execution plans and first party data activation. India has always been one of our fastest growing markets. Today I see a bigger opportunity for Criteo to work with agencies and clients and help them build a full funnel solution for advertising. We appointed Httpool as our ad sales partner here. Our current aim is that we drive the right impact for our clients’ budgets and help them drive their marketing KPIs.
What does your client base look like in India?
We work across retail, travel, and classifieds. We are seeing a major emergence of the over-the-top (OTT) sector because of us being able to help in getting additional video views for their platforms, and also helping them drive subscriptions. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands are also emerging as good opportunities for us, the brands who are now looking at increasing their presence through E-commerce channels. We can help them build traffic for their digital assets. We are seeing a significant shift in how clients are moving their budgets to digital. With our current offering and solutions we have, we are touching most of the main categories, as well as, new emerging ones like fintech, gaming.
Criteo recently expanded its retail media solution in India. How has the response been, so far?
The adoption of retail media is a slightly long process. We are talking to several partners. As brands look ahead for a cookie-less future, retail media plays a pivotal role in empowering brands who seek new addressable media opportunities. With more channels available, brands and retailers need to deploy omni-channel marketing strategies to ensure that consumers get both the online and offline experiences. If we look outside India, over 50% of top retailers in the US and Europe are already working with us. In APAC, it’s a recent offering. Hence, it will take us a few quarters to ramp up. But it’s a promising space and most of the partners who we work with are very interested in also activating our retail media solutions.
How other video-based advertising opportunities are growing for Criteo in India, especially in the connected TV (CTV) segment?
Globally, Criteo has launched a proposition that is targeted only towards CTV and OTT audiences. We have that proposition in India too. Although CTV is still in a very nascent stage in India, the cost of buying a smart TV is as cheap as a mobile phone. This is going to drive more CTV adoption. From a solution point of view, Criteo already has the solution to help marketers reach the audience on CTV. Moreover, the kind of audiences we reach out to in India, makes it a very interesting proposition for CPG or women focused brands to be looking using a criteo solution.