Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO) is the global technology company that provides the world’s leading Commerce Media Platform. 2,500 Criteo team members partner with over 20,000 marketers and thousands of media owners around the globe to activate the world’s largest set of commerce data to drive better commerce outcomes. By powering trusted and impactful advertising, Criteo brings richer experiences to every consumer while supporting a fair and open internet that enables discovery, innovation and choice.
Criteo recently announced a new brand identity in line with its new positioning, ‘The Future is Wide Open’. This stems from the company’s focus aimed at powering marketers and media owners with impact-driven advertising through Criteo’s commerce media platform.
In an exclusive chat with MediaNews4U, Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director, SEA and India, Criteo talks about the new brand identity, the State of Advertising Report 2021 and the way forward in the new normal…
Criteo has been rebranded as a commerce media platform, can you elaborate?
In June, Criteo revealed its new branding and a tagline “The Future is Wide Open” as a global company that powers the world’s marketers and media owners with trusted and impactful advertising. We define Commerce Media as a new approach to digital advertising that combines commerce data and intelligence to target consumers throughout their shopping journey and help marketers and media owners drive commerce outcomes such as sales, revenue and leads.
We are helping brands, publishers, and retailers activate the first-party, privacy-safe data so they can reach audiences in a fair and open Internet that enables discovery, innovation, and choice. Marketers can achieve measurable results to continue running campaigns, media owners generate ad revenue to continue to develop content and experiences to attract audiences, and consumers get richer experiences from trusted marketers and media owners.
I believe that a balanced ecosystem is a thriving ecosystem. And Commerce Media is poised to bear fruit for a long time to come.
What is the strategy behind creating the new logo and identity, ‘The Future is wide open’? Your thoughts behind this.
This new brand solidifies that we’re no longer only a retargeting point solution, but rather a global technology company driving outcomes through our world-leading Commerce Media Platform.
Being “open” means being collaborative and willing to evolve for the good of marketers, media owners, the consumers that they serve, and the advertising industry as a whole. It also speaks to the vast opportunity Criteo can capitalize on as we expand our product portfolio and prepare for the future of advertising without cookies.
The purpose of our brand tagline is to capture and summarize our brand promise, brand values, and product experience whereas, the new logo is the heart, soul and centre of our brand identity.
Criteo has recently published The State of Digital Advertising Report 2021, can you share a few insights of the report, and how will this report help marketers?
The report highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the consumer buying behaviour and that it has led to more online sales and rapid digital transformation. The survey findings reveal the implications of Covid-19 for businesses, their priorities, challenges, and digital marketing spend.
According to the report, 43% of the marketers surveyed in India said that due to Covid-19 their business had seen a drop in revenue in 2020. However, 54% of marketers said that Covid-19 has led to more website sales/bookings, indicating that driving online sales and visits will be a big emphasis for businesses moving forward. Budget for social, content marketing, paid video and advertising on retail websites and apps is also likely to increase in 2021. 4 out of 10 marketers say Covid-19 has resulted in rapid digital transformation of business processes. Further 46% claimed they had seen increased efficiency and 45% confirmed increased customer loyalty.
Our research also found that over half of the marketers said that their digital marketing campaigns were going ahead as planned. I believe digital transformation will continue to be a focus in 2021. By staying on the top of new trends, analysing the market insights, and understanding the growing customer demands and changes in behaviour, marketers can develop a successful marketing campaign for moving ahead in the future.
This crisis has seen a tectonic shift on how we communicate as individuals and as brands, how do you see this trend globally and in India?
With repeating lockdowns, occupancy capacity limits, and varying comfort levels for in-person activities, consumers have turned to alternative options – utilizing both offline and online – to continue with their daily routines and necessities in the way that suits them the most.
In this new environment, connecting with consumers digitally can be tricky as it requires brands to meet consumers where they are, meaning, marketers need to be able to reach consumers throughout each touch point of their shopping journey and provide value with every interaction. According to Criteo’s Peak to Recovery survey, around 50% of Indian shoppers discovered at least one new online store during the pandemic. It also means that brands need to keep the consumers at the centre to cultivate a strong loyalty to build a long-lasting relationship.
Why is an omnichannel approach needed now?
As consumers adapt to the most convenient ways for them to shop, embracing digital transformation in the future will transform the business landscape in the post-pandemic era. Businesses will eventually need to invest in architecting a full-fledged omnichannel digital presence.
Going forward, an optimistic trend to take note of is that of demand revival and a pivot towards a digital-first approach when it comes to shopping. A critical game-changer for the industry going forward will be in how they create a unique virtual experience utilizing new formats such as Video for consumers wanting to make contactless purchases. We have been nimble in evaluating, evolving, and adopting new strategies and approaches that will enable us to grow even better. Therefore, retailers including e-commerce players should gear up in advance to deploy an Omnichannel marketing strategy and ensure that consumers get both the online and offline experiences they desire.
The surge of digital in this pandemic has opened avenues for marketers, now more and more campaigns are personalised and data-led, how are you seeing this trend?
Increased demand for data-driven and personalized digital campaigns is a trend driving the market in our direction. As a global powerhouse in Commerce Media, Criteo drives $36B of commerce outcomes for our customers.
As we’re deeply integrated on the buy and the sell sides, Criteo can provide a Walled-Garden like an audience solution for the open Internet, one that reduces data deprecation and the tech tax, and by doing so, enables superior marketing outcomes and media monetization. It also makes it possible for us to build the First-Party Media Network which is all about connecting our clients’ and partners’ data across marketers and media owners and making it available for Criteo AI that provides privacy-safe personalization.
How are you seeing the growth of Adtech in the next 3 years?
As per my predictions, there will be a well-defined increase of investments in digital advertising. By gagging to newer mediums and formats such as video for shopping during the pandemic, shoppers now are keen to keep purchasing from the new stores they discovered during the pandemic. This lets advertisers not only encourage purchases, but also build customer loyalty for years to come. To do this, advertisers will increase their spends across digital marketing channels such as virtual events, paid display, and content marketing.
Today, it is not just about the product, it’s about an end-to-end solution for a marketer. Therefore, if a technology partner can help drive all aspects of a marketing funnel from awareness down to conversion — that is where the real opportunity lies. The big advantage with digital, especially larger ad tech players is the full-funnel solution that they provide.
Way forward for Criteo in India?
Both at global and local level, we are laser-focused on our transformation to the new Criteo, which includes bringing in the new product offerings including a video solution and retail media, and focusing on the plans especially on growth, execution, and first-party data activation. India has been one of the fast-growing markets for Criteo specially to drive business strategy, growth and building on the company’s current portfolio of customers. We aim to strengthen Criteo’s current advertiser and agency partner relationships and spearhead new business development plans.