BOSTON: Shift Communications has become a Google Analytics Certified Partner to help clients better understand the ROI of their marcomms efforts.
Through the partnership, Shift can help clients make the most of the free, enterprise-class online measurement tool by offering services including Web-measurement planning, advanced feature implementations, media analysis and consulting, and website optimization.
This augments the firm’s PR, influencer management, social media, creative, and marketing technology services, according to Christopher Penn, Shift’s VP of marketing technologies.
In addition, through the certification, the firm has direct access to Google engineering and development teams, so they can help clients fix things that have gone wrong on their Google Analytics accounts.
Penn explained that Shift clients will benefit from the firm’s certification, since technical support is hard to come by when using Google Analytics.
"Let’s say one of my clients lost administrative access to their Google Analytics account," he said. "If you don’t have access to a partner, then you are kind of stuck and you might just have to start a new account. But now we can easily help that client recover access to their account."
More broadly, as a partner, Shift gains access to more advanced Google Analytics training that it can roll out on behalf of clients.
"If you are a home improvement store, you can look at the weather in your key markets inside of Google Analytics on a particular day and say that’s why e-commerce sales of this product were up 22% in this market," Penn said.
Shift is the first PR firm to become a Google Analytics Certified Partner, according to Penn. He noted that the "long and difficult application process" is likely the reason that is preventing other firms from making the same move.
It took Shift two years to gain the certification. The firm had to supply three case studies, two of which had to involve an instance where it used the most advanced Google Analytics features with clients. The next step was getting staff members certified via a rigorous exam.
Four Shift staffers hold the official certification.
"Our big hope is that we continue to emphasize the importance of data and analytics in the PR industry," said Penn. "We are traditionally not known for being a super-data-driven industry, but as digital and mobile devices make the world more measurable, that is a skill everyone in the industry is going to need."