Criteo has announced that they will be partnering with Yahoo! Japan to deliver personalized display advertising across Yahoo! Japan’s news, entertainment and sports information sites. After having shut off retargeters back in November last year, Yahoo! Japan apparently came to realize the value personalized display advertising can deliver and, consequently, made the decision to enter into an exclusive partnership with Criteo. This agreement is, in fact, the first time since it’s founding 16 years ago that Yahoo! Japan is permitting a third party technology to “monetize it’s personalized display inventory”. This deal is obviously a huge win for Criteo. Regardless of it’s ongoing challenges, Yahoo, still reaches millions of internet users every-day (Yahoo! Japan is actually the 15th most visited site globally) and, thus, is still a major draw for advertisers. Through this deal, Criteo now will now have an even bigger impact on the performance technology space as they will enable many more advertisers to reach consumers with targeted advertising on a cost-per-click rather cost-per-impression basis. In fact, according to Criteo co-founder and CEO, Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, this deal is a “…significant milestone for Criteo” and offers a truly compelling solution for Yahoo! Japan’s advertisers with Criteo promising to bring “all the benefits of search marketing to display advertising, [which will] significantly increase consumer response, and ROI”.
For Criteo, this deal is obviously a big step in their development. Although they are a huge success story (for France and in general) and, with a presence in 32 countries, now run a completely global operation, deals such as this one help them strengthen their position as a real force in the online advertising space. This will be a real asset as they continue their international expansion into new markets such as China. According to their president, Greg Coleman, they have their sights on China, so one would assume there will some news on that front in the near future.
Incidently, Criteo’s president is also a Yahoo! alum, having spent 7 1/2 years there. Although, I’m sure his professional experience with Yahoo! was useful in closing this deal, Criteo’s innovation and leadership position in the performance advertising space was likely the main driver of Yahoo! Japan’s decision to doubledown on their relationship with Criteo. The fact of the matter is that Criteo is a great example of how setting audacious goals, namely going global and seeking to positively disrupt a sector (in their case “making display ads perform better than search”) can pay off in spades.