Most histories document a 2005 start date, but, to its current CEO, 2007 was the year Criteo really got going.
Eric Eichmann’s milestone means the much-talked-about advertising technology company is now celebrating its tenth year.
During that time, Criteo raised $250m from an IPO that valued it at $800m and courted attention for popularising the practice known as ad “retargeting”. But the little company that started in Paris is now a global player.
“(We are) a company that has 2,700 employees, we’re serving ads in more than 95 countries,” Eichmann says in this video interview with Beet.TV. “We have 30 offices worldwide. And, of those 30 offices, we’re in 18 countries and we work with eCommerce companies that represent about $550 billion in sales. For 25 quarters now, we have (had) 90% retention rate.”
The company was lately seen re-entering the Chinese market as part of a wider Asia push.
Eichmann joined following the IPO in 2013 and says Criteo started by trying to help individual ecommerce retailers use Amazon’s super-powers.
“From the beginning, when we were doing recommendations, we’re trying to sort of do what Amazon was doing for other eCommerce players, we’re doing product recommendations on their site,” he says.
Over time, the practice of retargeting has drawn a degree of criticism. But Eichmann defends retargeting as highly effective.
“A lot of people say, ‘You just serve the products that you’ve seen’,” Eichmann adds. “And actually, in most cases, in more than 50%, the products that people click on are products that they haven’t seen before.
“From a consumer perspective, if you think about advertising in general, you’d rather get something that’s relevant to you that you’re likely to buy than to get something that’s completely irrelevant.”
After a decade in the game, what’s next? Eichmann sees the line between branding and promotional ad budgets blurring, helping marketing achieve the same kinds of measurability that sales enjoys.