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Why the New HookLogic Accreditation Matters

HookLogic is a platform in ecommerce marketing. Specifically auction based merchandising. With 60% of product related searches happening on retailer sites, it is imperative to understand and influence the space.  The platform currently works with the likes of , Asda, Tesco Direct, PC World etc.

iProspect is qualified in Ecommerce Marketing

Recently iProspect worked with our valued partner HookLogic on their qualification rollout to agencies. Presently we are qualified in Brazil, United Kingdom, and the United States and the first agency globally to get this accreditation.

Why is accreditation important in the agency world?

Accreditation of individuals who work with a vendor, be it a HookLogic, Google or Facebook,is incredibly important. Study material and the exams provided ensure a baseline of knowledge when executing a campaign with a vendor. Brands look to agencies to add value via expertise and qualifications are a great way of validating that the agency is not just claiming the skillset for a pitch. We are also very lucky in the digital world, to be able to study online and take exams online. Apart from the convenience online accreditation brings, it also gives two valuable advantages compared to the exams that I remember from my formative years (sorry to say in the past millennium).

The first advantage is that the material and accreditations can adapt as the vendor’s product adapts. Having worked with Google for over ten years, I started with an accreditation course that culminated in just one  exam that covered all their products (which was just Adwords). Now there are 7 exams covering AdWords basic, Adwords advanced, YouTube, analytics etc.

The second advantage is, being digital the accreditation can be associated with both the agency and individual. So if  a portion of talent moves from the agency, so does the accreditation. Therefore an agency does not stay qualified unless it has the right number of individuals. It also helps agencies hire qualified specialists and easily manage their accreditation. Who could say the same about my degree from 1999?

Why are iProspect so excited to have achieved this qualification for its teams?

 Being the first agency to achieve the accolade aside – it’s not just about collecting qualifications. This is a milestone as it’s an accreditation in auction based merchandising. A new channel within iProspect.

What is auction-based merchandising?

Auction-based merchandising is native promotion of product on e-commerce retailers. There are a handful of vendors that do this, but that is all the ecosystem needs, because between HookLogic and Amazon they have advertising placements on most major retailers. HookLogic would cover an array of retailers from the likes on Walmart to ToysRus in the US, Tesco to PC World in the UK and Sub Marino in Brazil.

If Google Shopping brings SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) straight to search results via a cost per click, buying method and a product feed, the likes of HookLogic and Amazon take it one step further. To use an analogy, Google Shopping placements are window dressing placements to get people onto a product page, auction-based merchandising is shelf placements to try and convince a user to buy one brand over another.

In the below example from Argos.co.uk, you can see examples of SKUs on the tablet category. In this category the “organic” SKU list is likely to be dominated by bestselling tablets. Microsoft and ASUS in these examples have the ability to sell tablet and laptop devices in a category that would only show Tablets. The advertiser pays nothing for these placements, only when someone clicks onto the product page.

 Why is it its own channel at iProspect?

Here at  iProspect we believe that now is the time to specialise in this type of advertising. Its roots are search engine marketing (cost per click buys, keyword intent signals and last click). However managing SKUs or ASINs (Amazon’s equivalent) for marketing requires its own skillset from a marketeer. That marketer needs to understand the strategy of bidding appropriately to a KPI, understand how to get the best attribution, understand that keyword buys alone will get full value from this platform, and most importantly demonstrate that this medium works for direct response or even higher up the funnel media buys.

How do we begin to demonstrate that the talented people of iProspect have this new e-commerce led skillset?

Qualifications like the one achieved off HookLogic are the first important milestone!