by: Darren Haygood
I’m a father of 3 teenagers. And this past week, my oldest had final exams at school to wrap up the year. Of course, like any parent, I asked about how she did on her tests? Imagine how skeptical I’d be if she replied with, “Dad, I got all A’s!”
Skeptical, I’d probably ask, “Well how’d you find out the results so quickly?”
“It’s simple Dad, I graded them myself!”
There’s been a lot of speculation and commentary this past week around Google’s Attribution Announcement. But my point of view is quite simple – self-reporting simply doesn’t pass the common sense test. Now more than ever, businesses should require independent analysis and validation when it comes to measuring the performance of their digital marketing investments.
Now, I recognize as the leader of a small, independent analytics company, it’s not hard to see why I believe there’s an inherent conflict of interest when the BIG company with the colorful bicycles serves as judge and jury for the performance of their own platform.
But keep in mind, WE, as an industry, use third-party validation in most of the other key areas that influence our business.
Two clear examples, Reviews and Used Car Valuations.
Would anyone believe the reviews from a dealership, if they were all supplied by the employees and sales people at that dealership? Of course everyone there would tell you they provide the best customer experience, etc. What makes reviews credible and relevant is the fact that they come from the actual consumer, and there’s a transparent mix of good and bad.
Used Car values are another shining example where the consumer relies on independent tools/platforms like KBB, BlackBook, etc. to verify and validate what their vehicle is worth.
So again, I’ll ask, since dealers are the actual “consumer” of Google’s ad platform, why would the same logic not apply? If you were buying a home, would you really let the realtor that’s selling you the house also serve as the home inspector?
“Looks good to me!”
Now let’s be clear, Google is a critical partner in your advertising strategy. And effectively managing your campaigns to optimize your ROI is something EVERY dealer should be doing. And the good news here is, if you’re a GA certified whiz and you’re using their dashboard to inform and analyze the effectiveness of your digital marketing spend, they’ve just made it easier for you to utilize their tools – for free – so you can monitor and measure this yourself. And that’s a good thing.
I’m just saying, you shouldn’t let them grade their own report card.