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AiThority Interview with Matthew Hogg, Vice President at Criteo

Matthew Hogg, Vice President at Criteo

Hi, please tell us about your current role and how you arrived at Criteo.

Having been tempted to move from LinkedIn, I started a new journey at Criteo to lead its media owner practice. It’s been a hugely enjoyable ride thus far. Criteo has incredible potential to help media owners globally grow their businesses in the years ahead thanks to fantastic tech and an earnest approach to R&D.

Tell us little bit about your journey during the pandemic months and how your experience leading teams in the past helped you scale your opportunities?

Having managed distributed teams before the pandemic, I feel like I’ve been hybrid working for some time now. The key element that really changed is our customers – media owners are now working from home too. This has been a blessing in terms of moving quickly and being able to scale some major partnerships, like our recent announcement with Microsoft, one of the largest tech companies and media owners there is. We signed the partnership and launched our combined product all while working remotely.  

However, I am looking forward to the next phase of in-person conferences and travel coming back to life. Just recently, we hosted a cocktail hour at a NYC rooftop for Programmatic IO. It felt like we’d all really missed the face-to-face contact (and the cocktails!). It helps us to build trust and foster a deeper sense of partnership, which means you can confidently move through the complexity, as it arises, together – something we all need to do to be successful.

Could you tell us more about Criteo and the services you offer?

Criteo is the world’s leading commerce media platform with over 20,000 customers in every major market. Our vision is to bring richer experiences to every consumer. We do this by powering the world’s marketers and media owners with trusted and impactful advertising so that they can deliver outcomes across the open web and grow their revenues with commerce-related advertising and services.

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According to you, how is the Personalised Advertising market shaping around data privacy, AI Machine Learning and digital transformation trends?

In certain respects, personalised advertising is still an industry in its infancy, but it’s quickly adapting to major industry and technology, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. The guiding principle  is about providing the greatest possible utility to users, across countries, regions, demographics, whenever and wherever we are online through relevancy. The more relevant a marketing message is to you, the more likely you are to interact with it. 

To prove the point, a recent survey of ours showed that relevant video ads prompted more than half of viewers to research the product or service in the ad, 52% to visit the advertiser’s website and 45% to purchase the product. That creates a value chain of a better experience for the user, improved outcomes for a marketer and increased revenue for the media owner.

Cord-cutting has become a real threat to all TV advertising companies. What is the future of TV /CTV advertising?

Not long ago, Sky announced the death of the satellite dish. As it stands, at least 66% of UK homes have SVoD subscription. We all expect to be able to consume media on any device at any time and there are so many apps now that help you do so. So as the market changes in terms of how that experience is delivered to viewers, the value of the medium for advertisers is at an all-time high. This creates a great business opportunity, which is why you see so many technology companies retooling to support this seismic shift in the industry.

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What are the key metrics you use to measure the performance of Video and satellite TV advertising? Which regions are leading the trends with adoption of these technologies, and why?

The US and the UK have a small lead but Germany also has a hugely developed technology system from its large broadcasters, as does France. Ultimately, in every market we see a great deal of well-deserved excitement about the future of video advertising. There are many great indicators for video completion among the right audience. Optimal frequency and engagement also really help marketers evaluate the success of their campaign investments. For us though, the most important measurement is being able to track a marketing activity through to some form of outcome.

What is the next big trend to shape the C/TV industry?

For a while now, people have held multiple direct debits for a range of video and audio streaming platforms, and sometimes, that’s just to watch one TV series or listen to one album. Often before you know it, you have half a dozen or more paid subscription services a month. 

Given this creeping expansion of cost. free, advertising-based streaming could be just what consumers are looking for. Platforms such as Rakuten TV currently see over 12 million unique viewers across Europe tune in monthly and Amazon recently launched ad-supported TV on IMDb, so there’s an ongoing shift in attitudes towards adverts. In fact, Criteo found that 70% of UK consumers, compared to 66% globally, would now opt for ad-based video services over premium subscriptions to save money.

Next year, I expect to see these advertising-based models grow across C/TV and streaming platforms as they offer the flexibility consumers want. What’s more, with the changes in the technology behind CTV advertising, smaller brands now have greater opportunity to set themselves up on channels for no more than they would spend with other publisher networks. This provides so much potential to connect thousands of brands to their audiences, and this diversity will also help reduce consumers seeing the same ad multiple times, something we all want to move beyond.

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Hear it from the pro: How is the hiring industry shaping up in the modern Adtech industry? What kind of skills and expertise are you hiring for in the current year?

There is no doubt it’s a hot job market in ad tech. We’ve seen a huge amount of capital move into the sector and growth pressures on many companies mounting which drives this demand for talent in every type of role. For my department, we really focus on people that are willing to engage deeply with the technology and data, but they need to have that same curiosity and enjoyment in engaging with people. It’s a rare blend but we find those team members excel and are always on the lookout for more.

What’s your contingency plan for 2022: How are you preparing for the cookiepocalypse/ cookie-less economy?

At Criteo, we’ve always been proud to develop our solutions inprivacy-by-designways and we see the deprecation of cookies as an opportunity to reset the infrastructure of the internet on a more solid foundation.

In place of third-party cookies, our network of over 4,500 directly connected publishers and retailers provides us with access to a large first-party data footprint. This allows our clients to address unique commerce audiences with personalised recommendations in a safe and responsible manner. In parallel, we are moving up the funnel to target new audiences via channels that have never relied on third-party cookies such as mobile apps and connected TV.

All of this is incredibly valuable to big brands who want to reach new audiences and for the user who wants to receive relevant ads. This is how we’ll continue to deliver trusted and impactful advertising in ways that benefit all industry players, as well as consumers. In other words, we’ve got it covered.

Thank you, Matthew! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

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Matthew Hogg leads Publisher Partnerships for the Americas at Criteo. Prior to joining Criteo, he held a number of leadership roles at LinkedIn, including launching its programmatic business and integrating one of its largest acquisitions, the marketing platform Bizo. Matthew has a wealth of experience; prior to LinkedIn, he worked at large media businesses such as ITV, where he launched a video-on-demand platform in Europe, a TV channel in Asia and the world’s first livestream ad insertion technology. Matthew is passionate about leadership, innovation and the future of advertising.

Criteo Logo

Criteo is a global technology company that powers the world’s marketers and media owners with trusted and impactful advertising through our world-leading Commerce Media Platform, a suite of products that activates the world’s largest set of commerce data to drive better commerce outcomes. We help thousands of brands, publishers, and retailers reach and monetize audiences and are committed to supporting a fair and open internet that enables discovery, innovation, and choice.

Criteo is headquartered in Paris, France, and has offices around the world where our incredible team collaborates to create an open and inclusive environment. We stick together, accomplish together, celebrate together—and we do the right thing to create a sustainable impact for our customers, our industry, and the people we serve.

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