A Less Than Efficient Retargeting Platform
June 09, 2016

A Less Than Efficient Retargeting Platform

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Criteo

I use Criteo for one of my retail clients as our display retargeting platform. I manage the campaigns for my client and work directly with 2 Criteo campaign reps. We initially switched to the Criteo platform for retargeting to take advantage of their dynamic creative functionality, which allows us to serve product ads in real-time featuring products a user has viewed while recently browsing the client's website.
  • Dynamic Creative - The dynamic ads pull in our product feed on a daily, real-time basis. We can retarget users who have visited the client's site and browsed several products but then left without making a purchase. The dynamic ads technology will pull those products a user has viewed straight off our feed and place their images, price and more details right into the display ad. It's a great way to remind a user "Hey, you we're just checking this product out. We know you're interested. Come back and buy it!"
  • Optimizes against clicks, not views - Other retargeting platforms will optimize based on views to a display ad and post-view purchases. While there is a lot to be said to the credit an exposure without a click has in the purchase funnel, an actual click on an ad will always be more valuable as it shows a higher level of user engagement. Criteo optimizes based on the clicks, which in turn targets a more qualified audience for our client.
  • 24-hr lookback window - Criteo's standard window is for post-view conversions in 24 hours. This is a very short amount of time which ads more relevancy to the "view" of the ad. Many other platforms, including Google, default to a 30 day window. A lot of clients have trouble grasping how if someone was shown an ad a month ago that it actually had a real impact on their decision to purchase. The 24-hour window Criteo uses makes the post-view purchase seem more tangible and relevant.
  • Bid Management - Bid management on the platform is a nightmare. It requires daily monitoring in order to meet both spend and ROI goals. I've never been more frustrated with an ad platform when it comes to managing bids. There is also little to no predictive bid modeling to guide your bid changes. I feel like I am taking a shot in the dark half the time when I make adjustments on my own. Additionally, the smallest change can have a big impact so it's frustrating that there is not more guidance, especially considering this is a self-serve platform.
  • Support - In my experience, the support team has not been very helpful. They seem to confuse goals and offer conflicting advice on a regular basis. It's really frustrating. Last month, over halfway into the month my campaign was underspending drastically. The support team offered bid change suggestions to ramp up spend. This only ruined my ROAS for the month. Even though I had outlined specific spend and ROAS goals, the Criteo team did not seem to understand how to meet both of these simultaneously. I should not have to choose between one or the other with a good platform.
  • Dashboard - The dashboard is confusing and hard to read. It needs to have more customization options. Right now you are limited to the number and type of metrics you can view on the dashboard at one time.
  • A reduction in overall ROAS attributed to retargeting. In the past 3 months, we are yet to hit our 8x ROAS goal.
  • The platform absorbs way too much time on our end. Employee efficiency has decreased due to using the tool.
  • Poor customer service. Their style is much more reactive than proactive, and when it comes to choosing display partners, this is a very detrimental quality to have.
I prefer AdRoll when it comes to retargeting. We selected Criteo due to the client requesting we test it out. Criteo is much harder to manage and to date has provided less than stellar ROAS.

Criteo, however, is much better than using the Google Display Network on AdWords. Retargeting through Google was a nightmare to manage (so many inappropriate and irrelevant placements!) and led to very few conversions.
Honestly, based on my experience, I would not recommend Criteo as the first retargeting partner to test out on a client campaign. I have had much more success using AdRoll, and that platform is also much more intuitive and requires less daily maintenance with the campaigns.

That being said, Criteo does exactly what it is supposed to. It retargets to users across the web who have been cookied on your website. It also does it so much more efficiently than Google Display Network, so I will give it credit for that.

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