Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director- SEA & India, Criteo

Only a handful of media professionals in this country would have had the opportunity to  work on platforms, which offer global perspectives with focus to a local market. Being  part of senior management positions across global iconic media platforms, Taranjeet has  been a conduit between where the industry is headed and to where it is today. This has  given him individual insights and learning’s into the best practices across strategy,  revenue management, people relations, data analytics, forecasting and general  management leadership skills which have become an astute requirement for any  individual wanting to lead a business. A specialist in launching and scaling up products  and brands in India.  


In recent years, AdTech including m-commerce technology has been a crucial element in assisting marketers grow their businesses in India. Mobile web and apps have made it easy for individuals to spend time browsing products online and even on streaming channels, hence, marketers may readily expect mobile spending to continue to grow in 2022. Furthermore, with an increase in screen time owing to the pandemic, video format ads have shown to be the emerging medium for engaging customers with impactful creatives.

Brands are seeing an increase in digital marketing activity, with mobile marketing and performance marketing becoming vital components of the entire ecosystem. Marketers must generate numerous campaigns to ensure their brand is front and center where people consume content. An audience-first mindset keeps this consumer perspective in focus, while ensuring hyper-relevant experiences throughout all channels help people find the products, they will love in 2022.  

  • Activate first-party data

It is evident that consumers want transparency, privacy, and control over how the advertising industry utilizes their identifiable information. The convergence of consumer awareness of monetize their personal data and the lack of control they have when their activity is linked to their identity has led to both an increasing backlash and antitrust investigations. 

That is where the first-party data can help those with trusted relationships use data to identify how to best grow their business. It is the information received by the media owners and marketers directly from consumers which give insights to achieve superior commerce outcomes. When used effectively this data can help increase revenues and reduce operational costs. 2021 was the year we saw more advertising players come together to develop open-source solutions such as Prebid’s addressability initiative as well as Criteo’s First-Party Media Network, both of which help marketers and media owners connect, enrich, and activate first-party data.  

  • Think Audience-First

Criteo’s recent global data reveals that discovery, consideration, and purchases are happening all the time on every channel including mobile web and apps. This is the year when marketers should put aside their channel-by-channel plans, and instead, create an advertising strategy based on audiences. Once you build the right audiences for your campaign objectives, you can engage those audiences and drive outcomes across all the channels they’re paying attention to. ​

If the platform you are spending on, doesn’t give you real-time access to information—that may not be the right platform for your business. This audience first approach of delivering the right experience (right products, ad creative at the right time) for each person comes through commerce data. When combined with AI, it can enhance audience experience and assist the brand in identifying target customers’ interests and patterns to recommend relevant products. This also suggests that for continued personalization, first-party data will be vital. 

  • Video ads will be the key 

Marketers have continuously observed in the recent years that consumers have been much responsive to video ads due to increasing ad consumption across various apps and platforms. According to Criteo’s research, during the COVID-19 outbreak, six out of ten Indian consumers downloaded streaming video applications. The pandemic significantly increased consumer streaming video behavior across all age groups, presenting growth in the opportunity to engage new prospects. This same upward growth will continue in 2022, enabling marketers to better engage people with impactful messaging. 

Further to this, over-the-top (OTT) services require users to log in, enabling advertisers to utilize the first-party data to reach the potential audience who are most likely to be interested in their product/services. Hence, advertisers now can target a highly engaged and niche audiences through numerous streaming platforms. They can connect video streaming patterns with shopping behaviours and enhance advertising quality across channels along with implementing privacy safeguard. 

  • Strengthening Omnichannel Strategies by integrating offline data

The pandemic brought a majority of businesses to look into ecommerce to sell online, offer curbside pick-ups and contactless buying capabilities. However, some consumers still opted for offline shopping, shifting businesses to consider their omnichannel marketing efforts by merging offline and online data. As the role of physical stores started to re-develop, it also became important to understand how the in-store experience affects online sales, and vice versa.

2022 would be the year for marketers to further refine online and offline customer journeys, including all in-store purchases, to improve and build better omnichannel initiatives along with hyper-personalized ads based on SKU-level data and each customer’s shopping journey. Modern consumers expect to shop on their terms, and a customer-centric strategy is integral to delivering them what they want, when they want it, wherever they want to get it, whether it is offline or online.

  • Improved advertising through Commerce Media approach will scale 

In 2021, you may have started to see the “commerce media” phrase bubbling up. That’s because it’s a new approach to digital advertising that’s changing how commerce is done. “Commerce Media” is one of those deceptively simple sounding terms but when pressed to explain it, most are left scratching their heads. Let’s look at the individual words of the phrase through the lens of digital advertising: “Commerce” means the online activities that relate to the buying and selling of goods and services, both online and in-store. This includes all touchpoints with a consumer from discovery through conversion that inform their decision and lead to a commerce outcome, such as a sale or signup.  “Media” means the digital advertising channels that reach or influence people with promotional content. If we put those together with one key addition – commerce data and intelligence – we arrive at the final definition for commerce media: A new approach to digital advertising that combines commerce data and intelligence to target consumers throughout their shopping journey and help marketers and media owners drive commerce outcomes (sales, revenue, leads).​ 

Today, commerce media on the open internet is fragmented, with demand side platforms (DSPs), supply side platforms (SSPs), and retail SSPs all operating separately. However, as privacy regulations continue to evolve, marketers and media owners will be looking for more streamlined solutions to manage, scale, and activate first-party data and addressable audiences. Expect to see the commerce media space quickly advance along those lines to make it easier for marketers and media owners to work together to bring richer experiences to consumers.

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