M&M Global asks all the questions you might be too polite to ask about Criteo’s new cross-device personalised marketing solution.
What is it?
New York-based ad tech company Criteo believes it has discovered the keys to the digital marketing Holy Grail: the ability to follow the consumer journey across multiple devices, and to then target those consumers at the ideal moment as they make a purchase decision.
Is that a big deal then?
A huge frustration for marketers is the fragmented nature of digital measurement.
Brands can track a consumer using their mobile phones to seek information for, say, a family holiday in South Africa as they travel home from work. But once they arrive home and pick up the iPad to continue their vacation search, the trail goes cold.
Criteo now reckons it can piece together the various stages of that consumer journey, and the multitude of smartphone, tablet and laptop devices they might us, to give marketers an end-to-end vision of the online purchase funnel. In theory, using this information, brands can send personalised ads at the ideal moment to swing the customer in their direction.
So how do they manage to do that?
We’re not 100% sure but it sounds pretty clever. Criteo’s cross-device solution claims to offer an “exact match identifier” which aggregates unique, anonymous and client-provided data to piece together users’ online journeys. Brands can then use Criteo’s relationship with 7,000 global publishers to deliver personalised ads.
This is the view of Jason Morse, Criteo VP mobile products: “By combining our exact match capability with the power of the Criteo Engine, we can ensure that a customer who browses a product on their work laptop at lunch can seamlessly purchase it that evening on their smartphone and tablet.”
Sounds creepy – is this allowed?
Criteo insists the tool has been designed with “privacy standards at the forefront”, using “secure” browsing data and with advertisers allowing users a “robust opt-out”.
It is also not the first attempt to offer cross-device personalised marketing – in August, Facebook launched a new cross service for advertisers allowing them see where a logged-in user saw an ad and where they converted.
Criteo, however, promises to make the solution available across first party sites and RTB, without the need to log in to a particular social network. The potential is certainly sizeable.