Criteo Pools Data From Over 6,000 Brands To Power Its Device Graph

ericnewCriteo is prepping a Universal Match product as a serious contender in the cross-device arms race.

The company is pooling anonymized data from two-thirds of its 9,300 brand customers in its consumer database. Every brand that participates provides CRM data (not unlike Google’s Customer Match) that would enable them to target specific users cross-platform through a hashed ID.

Criteo says it can take the concept of custom audience matching, which Facebook has done for years, and apply it more broadly across web publishers and apps using its unique identifier, the Criteo ID.

“Let’s say, [hypothetically], you’re Walmart and you have a customer logged into your site – [we could perform a match] that would determine when that user was browsing on a separate browser at work and also when they’re in-app,” Eric Eichmann, president and COO of Criteo, told AdExchanger before the company’s Q3 earnings call Wednesday.

A Universal Match user could, for instance, match someone logged in on properties owned by different brands. 

“Our identifier crosses clients and is deterministic, so … it gives us a lot more coverage,” Eichmann said. “What you see now is a lot of companies creating walled gardens. We use Facebook’s cross-device solution to track sales and it’s great, but it’s limited to the Facebook environment. Outside of Facebook, we provide something complementary and end-to-end.”

In addition to growing its device graph, email personalization is a big focus area for Criteo, especially given its acquisition of French email marketing and retargeting tool Tedemis in 2014.

Criteo is joining a handful of companies, such as LiveIntent and PowerInbox, who offer dynamic personalization of email content. “We’re focusing on the prospecting phase,” Eichmann explained.

There are challenges, since most consumers open emails on their mobile device, which introduces more nuance around device type or in-app versus browser. But Criteo’s goal is to make email more targeted to the individual across the board.

Say a retailer’s customer goes to, but that user is not in its known customer database. Criteo’s aim is to connect known users in a system like a CRM with behavioral signals (in this case, third-party email databases where a user may have already authenticated).

It could then match that user anonymously via its cookie pool and dish up a relevant email offering products they might be interested in.

In terms of financials, Criteo clocked €1.1 billion in revenue over 12 months.

Revenue minus traffic acquisition costs was €120 million (or about $130 million) for the third quarter, a 55% increase from €78 million ex-TAC last year. Criteo’s market cap is about $2.4 billion on the high end.

Although it has seemingly circumvented the general volatility seen with other ad tech stocks, its share price dropped about 12% this week and about 6% in early trading Wednesday.

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