It had to happen. Google yesterday announced the launch of a new skills qualification program: “Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ), which allows individuals to demonstrate proficiency in Google Analytics“.
SoftwarePromotions is an AdWords Qualified Company, so I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot to make my point.
However, as a marketing professional, I have to tip my hat at Google’s qualification schemes. People queue up and pay for the privilege of pushing Google’s products and services. Every individual or company displaying their qualification is paying to display an ad for Google. It’s inspired.
The cynics and realists among us, however, may be amused by such schemes. Most countries have a mandatory education and testing process for their citizens to drive a car, yet we all know there’s no shortage of terrible and dangerous qualified drivers.
Having a qualification means very little.
To maintain our AdWords Qualified Company status, there are various hoops that we have to jump through. Yet being qualified doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the skills required to run a Google AdWords account. It means that you know how to use the AdWords system.
Our company is sometimes approached by Qualified Individuals looking for work. Most of them know what they’re doing, yet a number of them are more or less clueless.
They know how the AdWords system works, yet have no idea how to reduce costs, how to get more clicks for less, how to write brilliant ads, how to beat Google at their own game and so on. Why? Because Google didn’t teach them how to do any of these things. They taught them what the buttons mean and how to push them. They didn’t teach them how to make the machine more efficient.
Being qualified and certified is a good starting point. But don’t assume that merely having a certificate guarantees competency and professionalism. You wouldn’t employ a driver to take your children to school just because they have a driving licence. Nor should you hire or employ a person because of their certification.
The internet is full of experts, and most of them are wearing badges. Look beyond their qualifications.