Last month, London-based performance marketing agency Merkle|Persicopix and its sister Divisadero, a boutique consultancy in digital strategy based in Gijon, Madrid and Barcelona, were among the first round of European agencies to be named Google-accredited Attribution 360 Partners.
The new enterprise-level Attribution 360 product provides advanced but easy-to-use attribution modelling tools to help understand and then optimize the effectiveness of cross-platform marketing spend. The Attribution 360 suite is currently in a private (i.e. by invitation only) beta test phase and is expected launch later this year.
The Drum recently spoke to Oliver Walker, head of insight at Merkle|Periscopix, and Tania Asa, head of strategic partner development at Divisadero, to find out more about the accreditation process and what being named an Attribution 360 Partner means for both agencies…
How did your agencies first become interested in Attribution 360 accreditation?
Oliver Walker (OW): For us, it was a no brainer. Periscopix has worked closely with Google in the past, given that we’ve been helping clients with their Analytics for eight or nine years now.
When we heard that Google planned to launch the Attribution 360 suite of products, expanding on Google Analytics and Tag Manager with an additional five new products, we knew we wanted to get on board from the start. Every 360 tool that’s been released so far, such as Data Studio or Optimize, we’ve been among the early adopters. We recognized the market need for better attribution tools as a building trend a few years ago and this new suite of products is the culmination of Google’s learning what people want from an attribution product.
The different tools within the suite integrate seamlessly and are relatively easy to get started with as they are all built on the GA and DoubleClick infrastructure that clients and agencies are already used to. It also allows users to create attribution models quickly and easily that can then be integrated back into DoubleClick, AdWords or your third-party bidding system to bid against.
Tania Asa (TA): We have various clients that are already loyal users of Google technology, both Google Analytics 360 Suite and the products it encompasses, and DoubleClick Digital Marketing for advertising purposes. So Attribution 360 was a logical next step for us and our clients in order to unify both sets of technologies and provide a coherent analysis of advertising campaigns based on real data.
Also, we have been a Google partner for 10+ years and we are always extending our portfolio of services, resulting in various certifications in the last couple of years, including Google Optimize (solution for testing and personalization) or Google Data Studio (solution for reporting and data visualization).
What was involved in applying for accreditation?
TA: We were actually invited to take part by Google, who had identified partners that they knew were doing good work with clients on Analytics and DoubleClick. The accreditation process itself was quite straightforward. We had to nominate five or more people from our organisation to study the video materials provided by Google and then take a quiz that evaluated our knowledge of the Attribution 360 product. After successfully passing this stage with six appointed consultants, we were invited to a telephone interview, where we were assessed not only on the basis of our knowledge of the product, but also Divisadero capabilities with attribution projects in general. Needless to stay, we successfully passed the interview and already have our first pilot with one of our clients approved and supported by Google.
OW: We went through exactly the same process. One thing I would add is that, with previous Google accreditations, the process has focused almost exclusively on demonstrating your knowledge of the products, but this time round there was much more attention given to areas such as change management and dealing with the various stakeholders within a client organisation. Attribution 360 partners are expected to be able to guide clients through the adoption of or migration to the new model and help to inform the organizational changes that may be required.
What do you expect to be the business benefits of the accreditation?
OW: The really exciting thing about Attribution 360 is that it’s the first product that’s entirely partner-led. It’s not a reseller model. Where clients need support with Attribution 360, either around set up or getting ongoing value from the tools, they will only be able to get that through Certified Partners. Due to the product being led exclusively by partners, we’ve already been introduced to some top-tier Google clients in recent weeks, including some of the biggest companies in their sectors.
Google are also recommending that all clients who were previously on Adometry start working with a partner as part of the mandatory migration to Attribution 360 over the rest of this year, so we expect to see benefits from that too. The accreditation also expands the scope of work we have with current clients who are keen to become more sophisticated with their attribution work.
For the first part of this year, Google was working directly with a very small close group of clients migrating from Adometry to Attribution 360 directly. We are now in the first round of agencies working with the next phase of clients, getting ready to use Attribution 360, which is still in beta until the end of this year.
So another exciting benefit for us is being able to feedback directly to Google and influence the development of the platform based on our work with clients.
At Merkle|Periscopix, we’ve been recommended as a Measurements, Insights and Media Partner for large clients who want an end-to-end digital media solution, or any specific assistance in between. It’s a great achievement for us given it’s a brand new platform, new collection methodology, new interface and we were tested in a couple of different ways. We’ve worked really closely with Google in recent months, tuning into trainings, attending forums and meeting the product managers as part of the process.
It also goes without saying that it further strengthens our relationship with Google across both DoubleClick and Google Analytics and we’ve received sales leads from both sides since we started engaging with Attribution 360.
TA: Firstly, we are very much looking forward to our first project with Attribution 360 which is already underway; we hope to learn a lot from it and improve our methodology for further occasions. As mentioned previously, we have various clients whose digital maturity level allows for an introduction of such a complex tool as Attribution 360 into their technology stack, so it would be a great opportunity for us to be able to offer this tool to them once it’s out of the beta.
Secondly, as Oliver mentioned, Attribution 360 is the first product by Google that is sourced entirely through partners, which means that getting accredited will help us position ourselves as leaders in our region and receive more new business leads from Google.
Until the product is launched officially we’ll only be working with clients recommended to us by Google. However, Google recently asked both Divisadero and Merkle|Periscopix to submit a number of our own clients for consideration during the remainder the beta phase.
What can brands do at the moment to get ready for the launch Attribution 360?
OW: Make sure that the data you’ve got is accurate. Generally the clients that we’ve been putting forward to Google are clients we’ve worked with for a while so we know their GA implementation and set-up is sound. But there are other organisations out there who won’t have so much confidence in their data.
Something brands could be doing now to save time further down the line is to engage with their partners and relevant agencies to make sure that they are happy with their DCM set-up and their Google Analytics implementation. More specifically if an organization is set upon going down the round of Attribution 360, partner agencies such as Divisadero and Merkle|Periscopix can provide the criteria you’ll need to meet to make sure that your data is in good shape for using these tools.
TA: I agree. Atrribution 360 is a complex product that implies the client has a high digital maturity level, so the first step to reach it would be to organise internal data sources so that they are ready for the introduction of an attribution tool. Also, it is crucial to understand that while Attribution 360 is an advanced product that will help organisations with their attribution efforts, technology is still only an enabler. It is still people, such as partners like Divisadero and Merkle|Periscopix, who can make sense of all the data and provide meaningful insights to the clients that will improve their digital marketing initiatives and their users’ experience in general.