Criteo Buys DataPop, Revenue Climbs As It Rolls Out Mobile And Cross-Device IDs

criteo Q4Criteo, which began as a retargeter of online display, expanded on its product roadmap during the company’s Q4 and FY 2014 earnings call Wednesday. Criteo’s focus is “leveraging the huge momentum in mobile commerce,” said CEO Jean-Baptiste Rudelle by emphasizing its multi-screen solution and cross-device ID.

“Converting customers across multiple marketing channels is critical for CMOs. [We have] display, social, in-app and email and, more will come in the future,” Rudelle said.

The retargeter-turned-performance advertiser posted 76% YoY increase ex-TAC, for a total of €96 million, mostly due to increased spend from existing clients and the acquisition of 600 new clients, bringing its total to 7,190 clients. Margins ex-TAC improved one point from the previous year, going up to 41.4%.

Criteo also revealed it had acquired DataPop, expected to have a €2 million impact next quarter.

DataPop helps connect a retailer’s product catalog into its online advertisements, enabling a large variety of ads optimized to each shopper. Criteo COO and President Eric Eichmann told AdExchanger, “We think the current technology will be helpful to drive performance, plus they have a great team.”

If DataPop’s capability sounds familiar, it may be because Facebook revealed something similar yesterday: product ads, for which Criteo is one of Facebook’s launch partners.

Ten percent of Criteo clients tested Facebook’s dynamic product ads product (which is only for mobile in-app ads) during the fourth quarter. For those clients, the Facebook product drove a quarter of all mobile sales.

In other Criteo news, 80% of its customers use its multiscreen solution, which Rudelle highlighted as an area of growth, as it inspired clients to shift spend to mobile. The solution involves a deterministic cross-device ID, released last year, through which Criteo identifies 1 billion unique users a month.

Looking forward, Criteo is making further changes to its algorithm. Last year, it changed from click optimization to conversion optimization. Now, it’s adding ecommerce basket size to the mix to optimize toward the highest-spending consumers.

“We’ve been deploying this with travel companies,” Eichmann said. “Advertisers judge us on a cost-per-sale basis, not a cost-per-conversion basis.”

Eichmann said Criteo will also focus on creative optimization, changing ad creative based on a consumer’s likelihood to click.

“We’re rewriting our creative platform so every element of the ad can be mixed up in different ways,” he explained. “It’s one of the key pillars of our optimization solution.”

Criteo’s growth pleased investors, who sent the stock spiking up almost 10%, but that number later normalized.

The company’s huge growth will eventually slow, as the regional breakdown suggests: The more mature EMEA market grew 58% ex-TAC, totaling €46 million to the Americas’ €33 million. The market in the Americas, still smaller than the EMEA market, experienced the strongest regional growth: 121%. Holiday spending in the US, which included higher CPCs, helped drive that growth.

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