Partner surveys

Agencies that are owned or managed by a diverse group of people and have underrepresented people on their teams can be more equipped to create work that’s inclusive. Surveys can help you understand where any existing or potential external partner is on their journey toward integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in their teams and creative output.

The illustrated Google Doodle showing the Google logo drawn in graffiti style lettering on a brick wall

For the 44th anniversary of the birth of hip hop, we partnered with design agency Mass Appeal to create a Google Doodle that captured the cultural moment. Because Mass Appeal had a team that reflected the voices and groups the Doodle was meant to represent, the Doodle felt authentic and relevant. This was reflected in high engagement and positive sentiment.

Hear more from Jon Colclough, Director of Brand Partnerships and Strategy at Mass Appeal.

Creating a survey

Here are a few things to think about including in a partner survey.

  • Team representation. Ask questions about representation and ownership across an organization. In our partner surveys, we see a consistent need to hire and promote more Black and Latino employees in the industry, as well as the many opportunities to promote more women into senior leadership roles.
  • Internal initiatives. While there is no “one size fits all” approach to addressing areas of opportunity, innovative solutions can improve workforce representation - like affinity groups, fellowship programs, returnship programs for recent parents, and focused recruiting at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Volunteering programs or involvement in initiatives that support diversity and inclusion within local communities demonstrate commitment to representation beyond the office walls.
  • External partnership with industry organizations. At Google, we are leaning into a few key partnerships to help us learn, grow, gain access to untapped talent, and hold ourselves accountable. We’ve noticed that some of our partners are also working with other industry change agents like 4A's, ANA, and The One Club for Creativity, and diversity-focused organizations like ADCOLOR and The 3% Movement.

All agency surveys discussed below were voluntary, both for agencies performing and for employees participating in them. We also ensured that all personally identifying information was removed from the data.

Lean on experts

  • Here are some examples of external experts that we have either worked with, or who have been recommended to us, that you can reference to develop your survey and questions:

Interpreting survey results

Create an easy way to share info with key decision makers.

  • Make a scorecard. Create a template that makes it easy to interpret results visually. Here’s a scorecard template similar to what we used in 2019 in the U.S.
  • Respect sensitive information. Make sure to obtain consent from external survey partners before sharing results internally, and redact exact percentages before sharing (e.g., share a range like “Top ⅓ as compared to the U.S. Census” instead of exact percentages).
  • Evaluate holistically. We consider survey results in the context of a broader evaluation that also includes recent work, offerings and expertise, size and location, and other factors.

In 2019, we began annual surveys of 70 of Google’s trusted U.S. creative and production agency partners, and in 2020 we expanded them. These surveys have helped spark honest conversations between our agency partners and Google’s marketing leadership about what is working well, and what opportunities there are to push the industry forward.