Mostly Marketing by Theresa B. Clarke

Sharing my love of marketing. Helping marketing students, marketing practitioners, & marketing professors connect with one another. Passionate about nurturing new marketing talent. Enjoys sharing novel ideas about a wide variety of topics…but mostly marketing.

The 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge Results from JMU

Once again, my MKTG 477 and MBA 625 students have shown the world what amazing talent we have at JMU.  On behalf of my eight teams that participated in the 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC), I dedicate their recent successes to our strong network of alumni and agency partners.  We are extremely grateful to our alumni and agency partners who support this experiential learning experience through guest speaking, mentoring services, and intern/externship opportunities.

First, I wish to congratulate Lauren Crain, Dan Froehlich, Morgan MacKenzie Moore (Team Captain), and Brea Zeise for being named Americas AdWords Business Winner in the 2015  GOMC!  This marks the fourth time that JMU has won this same award which means they were the top team in the North America, Central America, and South America region of the world. They join the ranks of Rachel Bruton, Meredith Rauh, Brandon Lawlor, Molly Shea, Larissa Cookson, Lindsay Keller, Nicole Behr, Rachel Krause, and Tara Goode in holding this prestigious title.  I look forward to our team visit to the Googleplex this weekend as part of their winning package.

Morgan Moore, Lauren Crain, Brea Zeise, and Dan Froehlich

Morgan Moore, Lauren Crain, Brea Zeise, and Dan Froehlich from James Madison University were the Americas Region Winners and the 2nd Place Social Impact Winners of the 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

Second, in addition to winning the Americas region, this same team won second overall in the Social Impact category of the GOMC. As result of this win, their client, the Calvert Marine Museum, a museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, research, and interpretation of the culture and natural history of Southern Maryland, will be given a $10,000 donation from Google. This brings JMU’s total Google Challenge donations earned for non-profits to $50,000! Lauren, Dan, Morgan, and Brea join the ranks of many Dukes who earned one of the top three prizes in the Social Impact category: Scott Guengerich, Melissa Dennis Allen, Jeremy Daniel Vogan, Josh Baugher, Baris Bilek, Chris Foster, Carla Larson Reese, Kelcey Troxell, Xavier Pickett, Craig Honeycutt, Dale W. Richards, Lauren Hale, Ashleigh Rojanavongse, Rachel Lam, Kaci Lassiter, James Carter, Monika Kelpsaite, Carly Calhoon, Aly Wilkins, Rory Salzberger, Kelly Pollhammer, Melissa Kniceley, and Hannah Irene Johnson.

Matt Ropp, Naureen Versi, Glen Hollowood, Taylor Schwalbach, and Chris Meyers (Team Captain).

Matt Ropp, Naureen Versi, Glen Hollowood, Taylor Schwalbach, and Chris Meyers (Team Captain) were named AdWords Business Semi-Finalists (top 15 in the Americas region) and AdWords Social Impact Finalist (top ten in the world) in the 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

Third, the MBA team of Chris Meyers (Team Captain), Glen Hollowood, Matt Ropp, Taylor Schwalbach and Naureen Versi proved to be strong contenders in the 2015 GOMC by winning two awards.  They were named a 2015 AdWords Business Semi-Finalist which means they were one of the top 15 teams in the Americas region on the AdWords component.  Students developed a campaign for Friendship Industries, the first organization in our local community to provide commercial work and training opportunities for persons with disabilities.  Because they partnered with a nonprofit with public charitable status and they submitted an Impact Statement, they were eligible for the Social Impact Award.  Their superior performance earned a second title as a 2015 AdWords Social Impact Finalist which put them in the top 10 teams in the world in the Social Impact category.

Finally, the other six participating JMU teams were ranked as a “Strong” team which means the students demonstrated strong AdWords proficiency and understanding of online advertising.

Over 1,700 teams competed in the 2015 GOMC and the top 322 teams made it into the Strong, semi-finalist, or winner category. Thus, we can confidently state that all JMU teams performed in the top 20% of the world!  I am immensely proud of all of my 2015 students for these accomplishments.  But moreso, I am proud of their drive, determination, hard work, and overall performance in my class.  Because of their efforts, each team made a meaningful difference through the marketing services provided to their clients.

Google Challenge Social Impact Winners Speak at the Augusta SPCA Pets in the Park Event

Scott Guengerich, Melissa Allen, Debbie Caywood (Augusta SPCA Director), Josh Baugher, and Sue Overton (Augusta SPCA Webmaster).

Scott Guengerich, Melissa Allen, Debbie Caywood (Augusta SPCA Director), Josh Baugher, and Sue Overton (Augusta SPCA Webmaster).

Three members from a JMU Global Winning Team recently attended the Augusta SPCA Pets in the Park event at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, Virginia.

As a result of being named the 2013 First Place Global Winner of the Google Online Marketing Challenge Social Impact Award, this team won a $15,000 donation from Google for the Augusta Regional SPCA.

Scott Guengerich, Melissa Allen, and Josh Baugher met with employees and board members of the SPCA and were greeted with hugs of gratitude.

JMU Wins Global Titles in 2013 Google Online Marketing Challenge

In the 2013 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC), over 12,000 students from 80 countries and territories participated.  Out of the 2,454 teams competing, there were 12 top awards and Google awarded three to JMU.  Two teams from JMU’s iMBA Program earned global recognition in the social impact category and collectively won $20,000 for local non-profits.  Additionally, a JMU Department of Marketing team was named global winner for the G+ Social Media Marketing Award.  Each student on these winning teams will receive prizes such as a computing device, an exciting opportunity to participate in Google+ Hangouts with Google team members, and personalized certificates noting their status as global winners in the competition.

What is the Challenge?

The GOMC is a global online marketing competition where students work in teams to develop an online marketing strategy for a real business or non-profit organization.   Using a budget of $250.00, teams develop a Pre-Campaign Strategy Report, execute their strategy in Google AdWords, use optimization techniques to run and refine the campaigns for three consecutive weeks, and then develop a Post-Campaign Summary Report.  Google uses a proprietary algorithm that considers over 30 factors within an AdWords account to select winners.  Factors include account structure, optimization techniques, account activity, reporting, performance, budget, and relevance.

Social Impact Award Global Winners from JMU

2013 First Place Global Winners of the Google Challenge Social Impact Award: Scott Guengerich, Melissa Allen, Jeremy Vogan (Team Captain), Josh Baugher, and Baris Bilek

2013 First Place Global Winners of the Google Challenge Social Impact Award: Scott Guengerich, Jeremy Vogan (Team Captain), Melissa Allen, Josh Baugher, and Baris Bilek

Teams working with non-profits are eligible for the Social Impact Award by developing a Non-Profit Impact Statement as an additional and required part of their reporting.  Google recognized three teams as global winners in this category; two of the winning teams came from JMU.

The team of Melissa Allen, Josh Baugher, Baris Bilek, Scott Guengerich, and Jeremy Vogan (Team Captain) from JMU’s iMBA Program were named the First Place Global Winner of the Google Online Marketing Challenge Social Impact Award. This award recognizes a team that made an outstanding difference to their nonprofit partners via superb online marketing campaigns. Teams were judged on their impact on and relevance to their nonprofit partner, the overall success of their Google AdWords campaign, and their overall report presentation.  The global first place winning team partnered with the Augusta Regional SPCA as their client.  The SPCA advocates for the humane treatment of companion animals including adoptions, spay/neuter efforts, and pet education.  As a result of being named global winner of the Google Online Marketing Challenge Social Impact Award, Google will provide a $15,000 donation to the Augusta Regional SPCA.

2013 Third Place Global Winners of the Google Challenge Social Impact Award: Xavier Pickett, Craig Honeycutt, Kelcey Troxell, Chris Foster (Team Captain), Carla Reese, and Dale Richards

2013 Third Place Global Winners of the Google Challenge Social Impact Award: Xavier Pickett, Craig Honeycutt, Kelcey Troxell, Chris Foster (Team Captain), Carla Reese, and Dale Richards

Another team from JMU’s iMBA Program was recognized as the Third Place Global Winner of the Google Online Marketing Challenge Social Impact AwardChris Foster (Team Captain), Craig Honeycutt, Xavier Pickett, Carla Reese, Dale Richards, and Kelcey Troxell participated in the Challenge with The Virginia Quilt Museum as their client.  The museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing a permanent collection of nearly 300 quilts as well as other Civil War artifacts, antique and toy sewing machines, and rotating exhibits from across the United States.  As a result of earned the global #3 spot, Google is giving a $5,000 donation to the Quilt Museum.

Social Media Marketing Award Global Winners from JMU

The 2013 Google+ Social Media Marketing Award Winners: Shay Meadows, Lauren Mason, Lindsay Hayes (Team Captain) and Cortney Marchetto

The 2013 Google+ Social Media Marketing Award Global Winners: Shay Meadows, Lauren Mason, Lindsay Hayes (Team Captain) and Cortney Marchetto

As an additional component of the Google Challenge, the Google+ Social Media Marketing Award recognizes teams that successfully designed and implemented a successful Social Media campaign for six weeks.  Two additional reports are required to compete in the social media category.  This was the first year JMU had a team participate in the social media marketing category…and this team came out on top!

Four recent graduates from the JMU Department of Marketing were named the First Place Global Winner of the Google+ Social Media Marketing Award.  As the global winner, this JMU team is recognized for the best-run Google+ campaign and clearly-communicated social media strategies.  Hats off to Lindsay Hayes (Team Captain), Cortney Marchetto, Lauren Mason, and Shay Meadows for their success.  They participated in the Challenge with The Valley Preferred Cycling Center (VPCC) as their client.  The VPCC promotes bicycle track racing, championship racer development, and community programs for racers and non-racers.

There were six JMU teams competing in 2013.  Aside from the three global winning teams mentioned above, the other three JMU teams earned a spot in the “Good” category which means that their AdWords campaign performance was in the top 12% in the world.  Many of the 2013 JMU students passed Google Certification Exams after the class was over.  Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any better (e.g., Americas Winner in 2012, 2011, and 2009) it did.  JMU students rocked in the 2013 Challenge.  I am so proud of each and every one of my undergraduate and graduate students for their effort and performance this year.

Special thanks is extended to our amazing alums and colleagues at Search Mojo, RKG, and Silverback Strategies for their continuous support of the Challenge at JMU.  We are so appreciative of the individuals at these companies who share their time and expertise with JMU students.

Apply now for an opportunity to participate in the 2014 Challenge at JMU.  Students will be notified of acceptance in early November.  Accepted undergraduate students take MKTG 477 and iMBA students take MBA 678.  Each course counts as an elective in their respective program.  For detailed information on the GOMC, please refer to the Google Online Marketing page.

JMU Students Obtain GAIQ and AdWords Certification: Individual Qualification with Specialization in Search Advertising

James Madison University marketing  and iMBA students recently passed the required exams and demonstrated proficiency in necessary subject areas critical to gaining competence in Google AdWords.  Google awarded these students with an AdWords Individual Qualification with specialization in Search Advertising.  By passing the examinations in this globally recognized program, individuals are qualified to effectively manage Google AdWords campaigns using the latest tools and best practice techniques.  Some also passed the very challenging Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exams and the Display Advertising Advanced Exam.

I am so very proud of these students from my spring 2013 MKTG 490 and MBA 678 courses at JMU.  Congratulations is extended to:

Nicole Bandy (GAIQ)

Joshua Baugher (GAIQ)

Baris Bilek
Check out his new business at VivaSEM.com

Dan Carr

Mollie Delp

Lindsay Hayes

Shay Meadows (GAIQ)
Also qualified in Display Advertising Advanced

Keri Miner (GAIQ)

Carla Reese

Brandon Trautman

Matthew Weltz (GAIQ)

Learn more about about how to become individually qualified in Google AdWords.  (As of September 30, 2013, Google will no longer offer individual certification in AdWords.)

JMU Marketing Students Win Americas Region of the 2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge

My first thought upon hearing the news was “Wow.

After the shock wore off and I regained the ability to think clearly again, my second thought was “Wow…JMU has a trio of winning teams.

2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge Americas Regional Winners from JMU

Tara Goode, Rachel Krause, and Nicole Behr are the 2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge Americas Regional Winners

Following a rigorous judging process, Rachel Krause (Team Captain), Nicole Behr, and Tara Goode have been crowned as Americas Regional Winners of the 2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge.   Beating over 11,000 students from 86 countries and territories, Krause, Behr, and Goode earned the top spot in the Americas Region, which consists of North, Central, and South America.   They join an elite group of two other James Madison University teams that previously won this same prestigious title in 2009 and again in 2011.

On their GOMC winners page, Google reported that 2012 was  “the most competitive and diverse pool of teams yet”.  Next month, I have the honor of accompanying our winning JMU team on a site visit to Google’s headquarters (a.k.a., The Googleplex) where they will receive laptops and other great prizes.

I am so proud of the JMU students for performing remarkably well in the Challenge.   They are a talented, hard-working group that knows how to meet the bar when I raise it high.  For example, this year when encouraged to take the Google AdWords Certification Exam at the end of the course, 8 out of 15 students took the exam and passed it.  Other JMU accomplishments are below:

Because the Challenge is such an amazing learning opportunity, I plan to expand this experience beyond the JMU Marketing department.  In September, I will be delivering a special workshop at the Marketing Management Association Fall Educators Conference to share with other marketing professors how to confidently and effectively implement the Challenge in their own classes.  In the spring, I am offering the Google Challenge experience within MBA 678, a special topics course in Online Search Advertising within the Innovation MBA (iMBA) Program at JMU.


JMU’s iMBA Program Offers New Elective Incorporating the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC)

Google Online Marketing Challenge I am very pleased to announce that James Madison University’s Innovation MBA (iMBA) Program will be offering a new course incorporating the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC).  Given the mission of the iMBA program, “Leading through Innovation with Technology and People“, the Google Challenge is quite fitting.

The GOMC is a global online marketing competition where students work in teams to develop an online advertising strategy for a real business or non-profit organization.   Using a budget of $250.00, teams execute their strategy in Google AdWords and use optimization techniques to run and refine the campaigns for three weeks.  Google and a panel of independent experts select winners based on the success of the campaigns and the quality of reporting.  Teams working with non-profits are eligible for a Social Impact Award.  As an optional component, there is a Social Media Award for teams that want to create and maintain a Google+ Page (along with the AdWords campaign) for six consecutive weeks.  For detailed information on the GOMC, prospective students are advised to refer to the Google Challenge Competition Guidelines.

I have been teaching the Challenge since its inception in 2008 and find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my academic career.  JMU undergraduate students have performed well in prior competitions (e.g., 2008 Regional Finalists, 2009 Americas Regional Winners, and 2011 Americas Regional Winners. ), so I am excited to see what our iMBA students can do in the GOMC.

The first offering of this new course, listed as MBA 678 – Special Topics in Online Search Advertising, will be in the spring of 2013 during the 4th block.  It will count as one of the MBA electives in the iMBA curriculum.   To participate in the 2013 Google Online Marketing Challenge, complete the GOMC Application no later than October 15, 2012, by noon EST.  Students will be notified of their acceptance prior to graduate registration.

Questions about the iMBA Program?   Dr. Michael Busing, busingme@jmu.edu
Questions about the MBA 678 course?    Dr. Theresa B. Clarke, clarketb@jmu.edu

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