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Google wants to count more than just clicks

Google

Google today is overhauling its marketing analytics platform, announcing today Google Attribution which will use machine learning to measure user engagement with ads across display, video, search, social, and their site or app, on any screen, all in one place. Google's ‎Sr. Director, Product Management Babak Pahlavan tells Axios, "The emphasis is on simplicity and availability to everyone."

Why it matters: Google's current marketing platform, Google Analytics, is the largest in the world but mostly just measures the lask-click that drove someone to take action on an ad. That created a perverse incentive for marketers to focus only on getting clicks, instead of on the marketing that drives engagement to get the click. (See Axios: Death of the Click for more details.) This is Google's attempt to broaden its focus and measure how users interact with content beyond just a click on a link.

Get smart fast: This is Google making a bigger play for brand ad dollars. Most major distributors in the digital ecosystem are trying to get some of the $70 billion spent in TV ad market — a market that mostly serves brand advertising, not direct-to-sale advertising. With last-click attribution, it was more difficult to make the case for buying brand ads on Google platforms (search, YouTube, etc.)

Cross-device marketing is big problem: The discovery of a product and the intention to buy it often occurs on mobile, but many times, the sale isn't carried all the way through on mobile, but rather desktop. The inability to track this intention could stall mobile ad sales. This fixes that problem by giving advertisers a way to follow users all the way to a transaction.

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