Partner Content: Consumers to be comfortable with online purchases even after lockdown: Kenneth Pao, Criteo

Kenneth Pao, Executive Managing Director, Asia-Pacific at Criteo, says with social distancing economy going to be the new normal, marketers must focus on messages acknowledging consumers' new reality

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 24, 2020 10:23 AM

Just like most other businesses, marketing is also looking at a New Normal. But how different are marketing strategies now from the pre-COVID times?

Kenneth Pao, Executive Managing Director, Asia-Pacific at Criteo, shares with exchange4media insights on the new normal in marketing, how the Indian market is emerging in terms of data management, curbing invalid traffic, and the key trends in the industry.

Edited excerpts:

What are the new and innovative marketing trends and strategies that have got implemented during COVID-19?

With millions of people under lockdown, everyone is looking at new ways to continue their daily lives, including businesses, educational institutions and governments. These challenging times have made the usage of the internet even more necessary as people rely on free and immediate access to news and information. Due to the excessive use of the net, people have started raising privacy concerns. One of the trends to look out for is that the consumers get a truly convenient, customized, and safe advertising experience that adds value to their lives. This trend will be appreciated by customers even after this situation settles down.

 What will be the new normal post-COVID for marketers?

Now is the time to relook at the conditions and see how we can together bring it to normalcy. Since the social distancing economy is going to be our new normal for the foreseeable future, marketers must focus on what customers need in terms of messages that acknowledge their new reality. To determine what that new normal consists of, we analysed e-commerce trends across our network of over 20,000 advertisers and created Criteo Product Insights Finder to help retailers and brands navigate the changes. At Criteo, we’re helping our advertisers make decisions and solve their biggest challenges during this turbulent time of rapid change. We are sharing ways for advertisers to continue driving revenues while meeting consumers’ unique needs as they adjust to their new ways of life.

How is the Indian market emerging in terms of data management? 

With ‘Data is the new oil’ being the common saying now, in order to move enterprises forward, you need to support innovation with both technology and organizational culture. Data is now one of the most important assets an organization can have and that is why companies are coming across the challenges of extracting quality and accurate data. Most companies spend large sums of money on third-party audience data and on third-party solutions to activate their data. That said, third-party cookies are by no means a perfect solution. For instance, consent is hard to manage for websites, and users have less visibility over what data is stored and have less control over how they share their information. It is for these reasons that a change is being welcomed by those of us who value user privacy. It is Criteo’s view that consistency and certainty around privacy and data protection is a win-win for businesses and the consumers they serve.

What will be the e-commerce trends during and after COVID-19?

After the Coronavirus outbreak gained momentum, there were restrictions imposed on stepping out of one’s home houses and so many turned to e-commerce websites for purchase of day-to-day goods. The newly launched report on consumer behaviour during COVID by Criteo also showcases that more than 50% respondents in the survey have turned towards more of online shopping, while 59% said they are not keen on physically buying goods from a store. It can be anticipated that people will be more comfortable purchasing commodities online even after the lockdown ends.

What are the new digital measurement solutions Criteo has implemented?

Criteo, in partnership with Nielsen, has come up with a planned implementation of Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings (DAR), the industry standard for digital ad measurement, and Digital Brand Effect, which helps advertisers measure better and optimise brand-lift metrics with Criteo solutions. Nielsen's Digital Ad Ratings provides a comprehensive, de-duplicated next-day view of an ad’s audience across desktop, mobile and connected devices in a way that is comparable to Nielsen TV Ratings. As Criteo continues its evolution into a full-funnel advertising platform and aligns its technology to a broader array of marketing objectives and insights, including Connected TV, the DAR measurement will help provide more transparency, flexibility, and performance for the brand advertisers.

What are the solutions to curb invalid traffic? 

Invalid traffic can be addressed with three main actions:

First, an invalid traffic detection engine that detects GIVT (General Invalid Traffic) and SIVT (Sophisticated Invalid Traffic). In short, basic crawlers and bots are blacklisted via our GIVT rules, and more sophisticated complex fraud by our SIVT rules.

Secondly, comprehensive and enforceable Inventory Quality and Traffic Quality policies need to be in place. Meaning, we won’t tolerate poor inventory or implementation of our ads on publishers’ properties that do not meet our quality industry level standards.

Finally, compliance to highest industry standards, most notably IAB and TAG certifications which are audited by a 3rd party auditor is a must. Today, Criteo not only meets the 3 main actions above but also participates in industry forums, chairs in the IAB Bots and Spiders subcommittee and submit inputs to industry blacklists and whitelists for Traffic Quality. Additionally, to measure the performance of our own IVT solution, we partner with a best in class third party vendor, pixelate to augment our invalid traffic fighting efforts.

Lastly, how does a marketer safeguard themselves from digital fraud? 

Marketers should first audit the main KPIs of performance of their campaigns, such as CTR, viewability metrics (if available), and look at where their ads are being shown. Large variations in clicks, CTR and budget spend besides news events, holidays and campaigns budget/targeting changes should be investigated and should be escalated to their local support teams. If marketers deem the usage of a 3rd party traffic quality vendors necessary, they need to ensure that the 3rd party vendors meet the industry standards and is accredited by either the MRC or TAG organizations as well as have been independently audited. But generally, a close monitoring of their ad campaigns is enough if they target quality inventory with a reputable company that has put the measures in place to transparently and openly to combat Invalid Traffic.

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