Nothing emphasises the change in media our industry has seen more than our recent accreditation by Google. Since starting out in 1980 I don’t think any other media channel or owner has ever given us an accreditation. We’ve been ‘recognised’ for most of the last 3 decades, but really that just means we pay our bills and are solvent enough to be given credit. That’s a good thing of course and you should look for your marketing partners to be financially solvent, it’s surprising how many aren’t, but it doesn’t actually prove we know what we’re doing. We do, and we can prove it, but no media has ever asked us to before, until Google.
Unlike television or radio or press advertising Google have exams you can sit for their Adwords advertising platform. If you pass the advanced exam they give you and your business an accreditation. We’re a Google Partner, you can see our ‘badge’ on the top right of home page, we think it’s only polite that if someone gives you a badge you should wear it, particularly if it signifies something important.
I suppose Google recognise that it’s in their best interest that the companies who are advising and helping other companies spend money with them actually know what they are talking about. Effectiveness and value for money being pretty good incentives for repeat business after all. To be fair other media have ran training courses in the past but they were optional and none, to my knowledge, have ever made you sit an exam or two, and only if you pass given you a formal accreditation.
I’m not Google’s biggest fan, they remain remote and uncommunicative in many ways, unlike most traditional media who make every effort to be accessible and reachable. However in terms of making sure the people who act as advocates on their behalf actually know what they are talking about they are streets ahead of everybody else. You have to respect that.