How many agencies in Europe have a Google analytics certified partner and Facebook preferred marketing developer status in the same time? According to Croatian digital agency iSTUDIO, only two of them – they and 77agency. But, that is not the only certificate this agency has. We talked a bit more with iSTUDIO’s CEO Daniel Ackermann about the importance of certificates, for their clients and their team, as well as the next steps for the agency.
iSTUDIO is today a:
- Google Adwords certified partner – this means they have all needed knowledge for running successful Adwords campaigns. Lots of agencies have this status so iSTUDIO insisted on further education and certification of their employees. Now they have more than 15 Adwords individual certificates, more than any agency in the region.
- Google analytics certified partner – the agency has all needed knowledge for setting up advance analytics integrations as well as interpreting them and using for website optimization. Eg. they can setup all measurements needed (goals, ecommerce, funnels) and perform a/b testing with goal in increasing conversions and at the end, end client business result. Less than 300 companies globally have this status.
- Facebook preferred marketing developer – it assures that the agency has all needed knowledge, expertise and experience of developing very advanced Facebook application, in accordance with Facebook terms of service. This is the biggest (and only) Facebook status and also, only a few hundred of companies globally have it.
- Mailchimp expert – iSTUDIO has all needed knowledge in sending newsletter campaigns with the Mailchimp system as well using Mailchimp API
Daniel adds that they see Google, Facebook and email as strongest digital platforms with best ROI for the clients and that’s why they insist so much on this certification.
We are investing a lot in our knowledge and expertise but we are not satisfied until somebody objective can confirm us we have top knowledge.
The first certificate is not hard to get, says Daniel. The company has to have at least one certified individual, at least $10 000 quarterly budget and fulfill their level of performance. But the process of getting Google analytics certified partner status is very complex and lasted for six months. The agency had to make a huge application with minimum of 3 cases, universal Analytics implementations, cross domain, ecommerce, funnel, custom reports, custom variables, a/b testing but also cases where, with this information, they helped clients improve their business results…They called their clients to confirm all provided data. Also, they had live interviews about their knowledge, process, organization, technology…
Facebook preferred marketing developer application also lasted for a long time. They even lost our application so we missed one application cycle. We had to provide several very advanced Facebook app cases, Facebook connect integrations as well as usage of Facebook API. We had the advantage of making our products (mediatoolkit.com and socialnumbers.com) which means we were very strong also in Facebook API and Facebook connect integrations. Here, every 1 year, we have to confirm we still have strong quality in production. A few months ago, again we had to send them information like cases (as before, but with mobile segment also), have enough spending on Facebook ads (to confirm we are enough serious agency) and also get recommendations from the Facebook account manager.
The last one, Mailchimp expert certificate, was the easiest one. It is enough to fill the application form, the agency got a few questions via email and several days later a status of Mailchimp expert.
The importance of certificates
But what kind of significance do these certificates have for the agency’s clients and the team? Daniel says that they see a lot of new agencies and freelancers entering the market. Some of them are really good ones, but there are also some with small experience and knowledge. With these certificates, their clients know they are not just one of the agencies and that they are a strong agency with strong knowledge and experience and all requirements for best possible results.
This is also great news for our team. We are very happy and proud of every one of these certificates. We are investing a lot in our education and development and this means that the effort is paying off. I hope we will find a lot of new hard to get certificates so we can do our best to get them ASAP and show everyone we are strong there also.
So, iSTUDIO “conquered” Facebook, Google, e-mail… What’s next? Daniel states that they are trying to achieve the highest level of knowledge on these platforms. Their current focus is an international business development (expansion to the western market, where certificates are even much more important), but they are planning to integrate few more services in 2014. In the end, their goal is to be able to fulfill whole customer/clients digital business journey with the best results and ROI.