Do Criteo display ads drive new conversions, or is it just showing ads to already-convinced customers?

Odyssey Attribution


Criteo seems to be a real sales engine for e-commerce, but is this really the case?

We tend to believe that in the history of Criteo, a negative ROAS never ever existed and is possibly not even achievable. But if you had one once, please let us know, we hope that we are wrong. This fact illustrates the golden goose characteristic that Criteo likes to portray. Criteo is an advertising tool that serves online display advertisements for businesses. Criteo is mainly used as a retargeting/remarketing tool by e-commerce brands and agencies. Due to its low advertisement cost and ease of use, the platform earned much popularity and success in recent years. But when things are that easy, they are usually too good to be true. So let’s take a closer look at Criteo and see if these ads are helping your business.

Criteo ROI

How does Criteo determine its advertisement value?

Criteo has an interface that allows marketers to set up their campaigns with their product feed. The ad buying option is quite limited but that’s kind of the concept of Criteo. It works as a ‘black box where data, machine learning, and a lot of ad inventory are combined for the most optimal ad delivery. A marketer just fills in his or her budget, adds the pixel in tag manager and the platform will do the rest. Furthermore, Criteo works with click attribution combined with the possibility of one day view. Because Criteo targets all the website customers, exposure of the Criteo ads is almost inevitable as a customer. Consequently, Criteo seems to be a part of almost all the transactions completed on your website.

And so the legend began; Criteo is your best bet as an e-commerce marketer for growth. But critical marketers soon began to raise questions and the argument over its real contribution to online marketing started to arise.

What is your best weapon against Criteo?

A good marketer knows that it cannot trust the results blindly that he or she is being handed, especially results that are too good to be true. Your best bet against romanticized results is qualitative data and a different attribution model. A customer journey is never completed by one sole touchpoint, but it is always the result of a collaborative effort of all the touchpoints that reached the customer before conversion. Insight in what other channels had an effect before Criteo claimed the conversion will weaponize you against its misleading reporting. Odyssey enables marketers to use multi-touch attribution to determine the real value of platforms like Criteo. These models can be applied in the Odyssey platform:

  • First Click Linear
  • Linear
  • Last Click Linear
  • U-Shaped
  • Custom model

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What happens when you apply multi-touch attribution to your Criteo display ads?

Although Google Analytics will slightly help to give insights into what real results are being generated with Criteo. Google Analytics still works with last-click attribution and is consequently not the platform that will help to make Criteo’s misleading results straight. Odyssey allows marketers to place Criteo within a complete customer journey and will blast away the mist that surrounds the past of each conversion. Every channel or campaign (depending on the level of insight) is given a certain index based on its value to the complete customer journey, Odyssey calls this the Incrementality index.

Criteo generated revenue is almost always lower when looking at the Odyssey Incrementality based revenue, this could be up to 90% less revenue in comparison to Google Analytics attributed revenue. A right understanding of the conversions and revenue driven by Criteo ads will give marketers the right means to set the budget accordingly.

Are you excited about what you will find with multi-touch attribution?

Odyssey connects seamlessly with your Google Analytics and will export this data to the Odyssey attribution platform. By additionally integrating Criteo with Odyssey, spend insight will also be combined to generate razor-sharp ad spend recommendations. It’s also possible to get Odyssey’s attribution into other marketing data tools like Google Data Studio or BigQuery etc. See more of this in our Destinations section.

Destinations Destinations