Derek Kwok, the head of Google platforms and audience insights in Greater China and Korea, is facing ad fraud and data fragmentation head on—no easy feat in the fast-evolving marketing environment of China.
Kwok notes reliance on ‘last-click’ results as the first in a long overdue list of data measurement issues in the industry, owing to a habitual misunderstanding of the Chinese consumer’s complete path to conversion.
“A lot of clients have over-simplified their measurement and attribution efforts. It doesn’t give a full reading of the customer journey and isn’t helpful for their long-term development,” he says.
The underlying problem, Kwok explains, is that advertisers use last-click results to allocate budgets. “This limits the marketer’s ability to acquire more new customers, because they are focusing on the existing last-click customers.” In the long run, it will be increasingly difficult for marketers focused on last-click results to optimise and expand their reach.
In response to these issues, Google developed a solution that gives clients end-to-end tracking and full understanding of attributions, including post-view, post-click and last-click. Kwok himself describes the tool as enacting “data-driven attribution”—using data to teach itself to attribute causes of conversion.
Google is present throughout the course of a campaign, analysing the total causal relationships between buyer behaviour and conversions. Its tools are also able to deduce the click paths that buyers follow up to their ultimate purchase, and identify those which are most successful or unsuccessful. By applying these integrated platforms, clients can easily link different data sets.
An open environment
One prevalent source of marketing fragmentation is that big platforms and data-owners don’t share data. “They only allow data in, they don’t allow data out. And they do not allow data flow among each other. At Google, we have adopted an open approach. We work with different third-party data companies to enable clients to use more data sets.”
Its partners include mobile big-data firm Talking Data and recommendation engine Baifendian. “We are very open for partnership, so long as the third-party partner complies with our data policies.”
Kwok oversees all DoubleClick platforms, Google Analytics 360, and audience insights including measurement and attribution. His team’s brief is to help clients better activate data in their marketing campaigns and planning, working with clients like L’Oréal, Air China, and various agencies.
Google has three major suites of products, focusing on search, display and video, and analytics. DoubleClick’s full stack platforms mainly cover the first two: DoubleClick Search (DS), DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM), and DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM). GA360, launched last year, is Google’s analytic product suite with a set of tools including Analytics 360. It is the paid version of Google Analytics, which helps enterprise clients better understand their end customers in real time and access more powerful tools to activate their data. “The power of our platforms is that, based on the same backbone, we can have a single view of our audience and we can take actions based on the insights.” Kwok said.
GA360 clients can log in from its app or website and can link all their data together to give themselves a full view of their customer’s landscape.
Google also provides rich metrics for brands, such as viewability and verification, and has a strong track record in filtering out bot activities, fraudulent inventory and flawed data—enacting preventative ad fraud operations to accommodate accurate, useful audience measurements.
Google Cloud also has a product called BigQuery. This is a fast, economical and fully-managed enterprise data warehouse for large-scale data analytics. Clients can join their web or app analytics data from Analytics 360, advertising data from DCM, and proprietary social-media data in the secure Google Cloud platform.
Additionally, Google is deploying a new, highly-automated campaign management tool: a top-level campaign type in AdWords that offers app promotion ads across channels in a single campaign named Universal App Campaigns.
Kwok foresees easy-to-use platforms like this will be the new trend, particularly for small- to medium-sized advertisers, while customisable platforms like DoubleClick will be adopted by enterprise-level advertisers. For both types of clients, the usage of data, machine-learning, and cloud computing will increase at an unprecedented pace.
Derek Kwok, head of platforms and audience insights, Google Greater China & Korea