COLOGNE – Criteo is a company that has “run wild and done very, very well making efficiency out of inefficiency,” observes Matt Prohaska, the former BBDO executive who now runs Prohaska Consulting. So it’s not a question of whether Criteo succeeds going forward but how, he says in this interview with Beet.TV at the annual DMEXCO conference.

“We’ve said for three years ago that Criteo will be one of the last stalwarts to stand strong and independent as this frankly brilliant arbitrager who has been selling on CPC buying on CPM because of tech, targets and talent.”

Those three T’s help advertisers and agencies make sense out of what still can be separate brand awareness and performance operations that should be melded. Prohaska alludes to a former client 2.5 years ago that had separate budgets, separate people and separate KPI’s for their brand awareness and performance activities.

“Just insane that they were totally siloed off,” says Prohaska. “Never shared data. It was almost a little too oil and water instead of chocolate and peanut butter like we always say in terms of those things mixing better.”

In terms of tech leadership, he says Criteo early on had its own dynamic creative optimizer. “The fact that there are major agencies who still do not have either their own, that they bought or built or even licensed at this point is crazy.”

He recalls that while working at BBDO in the mid 1990’s, creative and media staffers were separated by just one floor. “It was nice when you had media and creative together. Criteo has had media and creative together. That’s why their click-through rates were always one-plus and why conversion rates were always higher, because actually there are a lot of advertisers where that math still matters quite a bit.”

According to a recent release, Criteo is ranked #1 by IDC with a worldwide adtech market share of 7.4%. It was the first time IDC quantified the advertising software market at $12.7 billion, growing 38% year on year.

Speculating on Criteo’s future direction, Prohaska believes the more it can share its expertise “either with self-service tools or kind of empowering, maybe in a way that Xaxis became part of [m]PLATFORM. The more times that they do that and partner more with buyers and sellers, it might be less margin but of a much bigger pie and they’ll keep growing. It’s just symbolic of them doing very, very well, redefining performance marketing nailing it in this space and then expanding when it comes to video, mobile, in-app, ultimately television.”

This interview is part of a series titled Advertising Reimagined: The View from DMEXCO 2018, presented by Criteo. Please find more videos from the series here.