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.

AdWords Certifications from the JMU GOMC Class of 2017

I am pleased to announce that the names of JMU GOMC Class of 2017 students who have passed the exams necessary to become AdWords Certified.  The certification is a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords. According to Christopher S. Penn, professional marketing certifications provide value in two key areas:  a) signals of base knowledge, and b) heuristics we use to make judgments about others.

Certified students from my MBA 625 course include:

Join me in congratulating the ENTIRE class of students enrolled in MKTG 477!

  1. David Bruce – Display
  2. Annalise Calpabo – Search, Mobile, Video, Display, Shopping
  3. Nicole Carothers – Search
  4. Maddie Divita – Search
  5. Caroline Galiwango – Search, Mobile, Video, Display, Shopping
  6. Ashley Glennon – Search, Display
  7. Allie Hammond – Search
  8. Devin Hogue – Search, Shopping
  9. Riley Jamison – Search
  10. Lauren Jones – Search
  11. Jordan Kimball – Search
  12. Rachel Kirbabas – Search
  13. Katie McGee – Search
  14. Michelle Mullins – Search
  15. Brendan Reece – Search, Display
  16. Raquel Sheriff – Search
  17. George Shtern – Search
  18. Joey Scully – Search
  19. Emily Vaeth – Search, Mobile, Video, Display, Shopping, Analytics
  20. Amanda Zwerin – Search, Display, Analytics

The JMU GOMC Class of 2017

Top Performers in the 2017 Silverback Strategies AdWords Test Challenge at JMU

As part of the kickoff meeting for my MKTG 477 class, our good friends from Silverback Strategies generously donated a collection of very cool prizes. The prizes serve to motivate my MKTG 477 students to study hard and perform well on my AdWords test given during the second week of the the semester.  We refer to this unique program as The Silverback Strategies AdWords Test Challenge.  The top performing student gets first pick from the prize pool, the second highest student gets the second pick, and so on.  On behalf of all of the students in my class, BIG thanks to Silverback Strategies for supporting the AdWords Test Challenge for three consecutive years.

Allie Hammond, Winner of the Silverback Strategies AdWords Test Challenge

Allie Hammond, Winner of the 2017 Silverback Strategies AdWords Test Challenge 

Allie Hammond is our grand prize winner for 2017 as she achieved the highest AdWords exam score in the class.  Allie is a senior marketing major and a mathematics minor.  She worked as a marketing intern at National Spine & Pain Centers and currently is the Marketing Manager at JMU’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Allie was recognized by Marketing EDGE in 2016 as a member of the 3rd Place Bronze Winning Team in the Collegiate ECHO marketing competition. Congratulations to Allie on her strong performance!

Michelle Mullins earned the second highest exam score. Michelle is a junior marketing major and a communications intern at JMU where she writes for the Daily Duke.

Rachel Kirbabas, a senior marketing major with a minor in art, achieved the third highest score. Rachel worked as Merchandising Intern at Kitty Hawk Kites, Inc.

In addition to the aforementioned students, I wish to recognize the first three students in my class to earn their AdWords Certification, a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords. Joey Scully was my first certified student this semester.  Joey is a senior marketing major, a staff writer for JMU’s Breeze, and the Director of Film for the JMU University Program Board. Lauren Jones was second in the class to complete the certification.  Lauren worked last summer as a digital marketing intern at R2Integrated. Brendan Reece, a senior marketing major, was the third student to earn the certification.  Brendan works as an Operations Manager in the JMU Student Success Center.

2017 Silverback Strategies AdWords Test Challenge Winners

2017 Silverback Strategies AdWords Test Challenge Winners

Sweet Sweep for JMU in the 2016 Google Online Marketing Challenge

After evaluating thousands of accounts and reports, Google announced the 2016 winners of the ninth running of the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC). I am delighted to report that James Madison University students in the College of Business earned top placements in all three competitive categories of the GOMC:  AdWords Business, Social Impact, and Social Media Marketing.  According to the 2016 GOMC results, there were over 500 professors and 10,000 students from more than 60 countries in this year’s GOMC. 

 

The James Madison University Google Online Marketing Challenge Class of 2016 under the direction of Dr. Theresa B. Clarke.

The James Madison University Google Online Marketing Challenge Class of 2016 under the direction of Dr. Theresa B. Clarke, College of Business, Department of Marketing.

Lynn Radocha (Team Captain), Alex Adley, Maianh Phan, Cari Ross, and John Thompson were selected as the Americas Winner of the 2016 GOMC AdWords Business Award.  As the highest ranked team in the North, Central, and South American region, they earned a special two-night trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA as part of a prize package which also includes computing devices from Google and other very cool awards.  Additionally, this team was a Google+ Social Media Marketing Finalist (top 5 in the Americas region) and was also named the 3rd Place Winner of the 2016 GOMC AdWords Social Impact Award through their work with a local animal shelter located near JMU. The team’s non-profit client, the Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA will receive a $5,000 donation from Google as a result of their global win in the social impact category. 

Kudos to Lynn, Alex, Maianh, Cari, and John for their hard work, desire to excel, perseverance, and keen sense of timing on so many different aspects of the GOMC.  When faced with challenges, they stuck together as a strong team and were prepared to do whatever was necessary to get the job done.

Emily Maynard (Team Captain), Jacob Brown, Amy Goffe, Christine Provino, and Jacob Shibley were named an AdWords Business Semi-Finalist (one of the top 15 teams in the Americas region) and the 1st Place Winner of the 2016 GOMC AdWords Social Impact Award. Their first place global win earned a $15,000 donation from Google for their client, the Children’s Science Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to filling the gap in Northern Virginia with a permanent, world-class interactive exploration center that incorporates traditional museum exhibits with cutting edge discovery experiences. These students will receive a computing device from Google as well as an exciting opportunity to participate in a Google+ Hangout with members of the Google Grants team.

Props to Emily, Jacob B., Amy, Christine, and Jacob S. for professionalism, positive attitudes, and for taking well-calculated risks in their online marketing strategy.  I will always remember this team for being so nimble and colorfully creative throughout their GOMC experience.

Google selected Matt Deters (Team Captain), Caitlin Fikac, Natalie Krewin, Molly McDevitt, and Claudia Schnorbus as the Americas Winner of the 2016 GOMC Google+ Social Media Marketing Award.  The Google+ Social Media Marketing Award represents an optional component of the Challenge that allows students to gain a more in-depth understanding of online marketing by developing and executing a five-week social media marketing campaign via Google+.  Their client was Poricy Park Conservancya New Jersey-based non-profit with 250 acres of open space, wildlife and their habitats, prehistoric fossil beds, and the Historic Murray Farmhouse.  The student team will receive a computing device from Google for winning the top social media marketing award in the Americas region.

Compliments to Matt, Caitlin, Natalie, Molly, and Claudia for strong performance in a highly competitive category…social media. This team was so thoughtful and patient, as well as adept at finding unique angles to solve various strategic online marketing challenges faced throughout the competition.  They created over 200 social media posts for their client and had the highest number of reshares and reshares-per-post in my class. 

The team of Alexandra Ender (Team Captain), Rachel Broudy, Annie Delafield, Elka Feinstein, and Laura Hart was among the top five teams in the Americas region in two categories.  The team was named a Google+ Social Media Marketing Finalist and an AdWords Social Impact Finalist.  Their client was The Campagna Center, the largest non-profit in Alexandria, VA that offers developmental programs for lower income residents in the community.

Congratulations to Alexandra, Rachel, Annie, Elka, and Laura for their two top five placements in the Americas region.  I appreciated this team’s eagerness to serve their client, learn from their mistakes, and focus their work into meaningful and productive efforts. 

JMU students on the winning teams will be awarded a personalized certificate of appreciation from Google noting their status in the 2016 competition.  I am incredibly proud of the phenomenal accomplishments from the Class of 2016 and the online marketing impact they made on their clients. The combined win of $20,000 in Google donations will go very far in assisting two non-profits, located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, that focus on the development of children and the welfare of animals.

I am indebted to the many individuals who supported the journey for the Class of 2016, especially my highly dedicated JMU GOMC alums. Thank you does not seem enough to express the deep gratitude I feel for all that they do to reinforce and enrich the educational mission in my class — or more appropriately, OUR CLASS.  Every year, we grow stronger because of loyal partners to the JMU College of Business who are prepared to make the difference! 

I look forward to seeing what JMU Dukes will do in our 10th year of the GOMC.  For information about applying for the JMU GOMC Class of 2017, visit http://theresabclarke.com/gomc.

Google Challenge 2016 at JMU with Dr. Theresa Clarke.




The JMU GOMC Class of 2016 Completes Their Journey

JMU students completed a ninth consecutive year participating in the Google Challenge (GOMC) at James Madison University.  There were some big changes to MKTG 477 in 2016.  As you can see from our traditional year-end class photo below, the most notable change was a larger class size compared to years past.  Another change was that every student in the Class of 2016 earned their AdWords certification by March 1.  Almost all of these students will be graduating from JMU this Friday. I wish them all the very best as they leave their roles as students and begin new phases of their lives as marketing professionals.  I hope in some way I have made a meaningful difference in how they choose to approach their new role.

JMU Google Challenge Class of 2016 with Dr. Theresa B. Clarke

On behalf of the 25 students from the JMU GOMC Class of 2016, we are grateful to the many supporters for the MKTG 477 course.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Google for running the Challenge each year.  There is no other educational experience quite like the GOMC.  Between the AdWords Business component and the optional Social Media Marketing component using Google+, students get eight weeks worth of planning, executing, and analyzing a digital marketing experience while working with actual clients and a real budget.  I have always said “they [Google] don’t call it a challenge for nothing” and this year was no exception.  All teams faced unique hurdles, but that is something I appreciate, expect, and respect about the GOMC.  I consistently hear from alums how they didn’t realize at that time how the JMU GOMC experience had a major role in starting their growth into the marketing professionals they are today.

Thank you to five non-profit organizations that served as clients for JMU.  Thank you for putting your trust in JMU students to take over your Google+ accounts for social media marketing and for giving them a chance to explore how AdWords can help to meet your organization’s goals.  In the end, we hope that your participation in the GOMC advanced your marketing goals a bit further.

Thank you to our agency partners from firms in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Alexandria, Baltimore, and Philadelphia for providing guest speakers, career opportunities, scholarships, prizes, company swag, and networking opportunities.  We are grateful for your continuous and enthusiastic support of the educational mission at JMU.

2016 Guest Speakers at JMU in MKTG 477

Thank you to 25 dedicated JMU GOMC alumni who served as mentors for the Class of 2016.  I am confident that your friendship and support meant so much to the students while they were on their GOMC journey.

JMU GOMC Mentors for the Class of 2016

Finally, a belated thanks to the 16 mentors from our 2015 pilot test of the professional mentor program.  Because of your successful work, the professional mentor program is now a permanent part of all future MKTG 477 classes.

JMU GOMC Mentors for the Class of 2015

AdWords Certifications from the JMU GOMC Class of 2016

AWcertexample In my recent post about the importance of AdWords certification for digital marketing students, I referenced a Google Hangout with the GOMC team.  In this Hangout, I shared how the Google AdWords Certification exam is a new course requirement  in MKTG 477.

Here is an excerpt from my spring 2016 syllabus:

The AdWords Professional Certification Exam:  To earn the certification, you need a passing score on two exams:  the AdWords Fundamentals Exam and one other advertising exam (the Search Advertising Exam is recommended).  To earn credit for my class, send me your certification URL via email before the due dates listed below.  You can earn more points by passing the exam earlier in the semester rather than later.

Pass date before March 1 = earns the full 5%
Pass date before April 1 = earns 3%
Pass date before May 1 = earns 1%

I am pleased to report that 100% of my students passed the Google Certification Exam by March 1.

Join me in congratulating ALL twenty-five students from the JMU GOMC Class of 2016:

  1. Alex Adley
  2. Rachel Broudy
  3. Jacob Brown
  4. Annie Delafield
  5. Matt Deters
  6. Drew Dyer
  7. Alexandra Ender
  8. Elka Feinstein
  9. Caitlin Fikac
  10. Morgan Foran
  11. Taylor Glazebrook
  12. Amy Goffe
  13. Laura Hart
  14. Natalie Krewin
  15. Emily Maynard
  16. Molly McDevitt
  17. Alex Murphy
  18. Maianh Phan
  19. Christine Provino
  20. Lynn Radocha
  21. Cari Ross
  22. Claudia Schnorbus
  23. Patrick Shamburger
  24. Jacob Shibley
  25. John Thompson

I loved this tweet from @AdWords after Molly McDevitt shared her professional credential in Twitter.

AdWords Tweet to Molly McDevitt

 

An Idea for Team Roles within the GOMC

Below is an excerpt from a survey that I give to my MKTG 477 students.  Based on their responses, I try to figure out their strengths, weaknesses, and interests and then use that information to form the class into balanced teams.

Survey:

Read the descriptions below about different types of roles. Then, answer the questions that follow about these roles.

  1. TEAM LEADER: Likes to take charge.  Enjoys leading/motivating others, time management, project management, meeting deadlines, organization, and writing. Knows how to manage/disseminate electronic information quickly and correctly through electronic and other means. Enjoys planning, working with schedules, logistics, and getting information to the right place at the right time. Detests procrastination.
  1. ACCOUNT MANAGER: A very social and people-oriented person. Enjoys working with organizations, clients, and external constituents. The primary point of contact between your client and your team. A sales-oriented, relationship-oriented, extroverted person. Extremely professional and mature. Not afraid to communicate with people who are older and more experienced.
  1. STRATEGIST: Enjoys developing long-term and “big picture” marketing strategies. Good at finding market opportunities and figuring out innovative ways to achieve marketing goals. Good at seeing how many moving parts can fit together into a larger whole. A visionary.  Avid reader of popular press articles about the marketing industry and enjoys learning about many different aspects of marketing.
  1. ANALYST: Loves working with data, details, numbers, analytics, and technology. Good at develops detailed, short-term, and fine-tuned marketing tactics. Strong eye for detail, not afraid of online marketing interfaces. Prefers working with data rather than people.
  1. BRAND MANAGER. Enjoys branding, community service, and working with social media. Very strong communication skills with a good eye for detail and visual communications. Interested in personal branding of yourself and helping others do the same. Has a knack for finding ways to improve ads, messages, packages, products, etc. Always looking for ideas on how to make things look better.

Based on the above descriptions, which role are you most drawn to?

  • 1. TEAM LEADER
  • 2. ACCOUNT MANAGER
  • 3. STRATEGIST
  • 4. ANALYST
  • 5. BRAND MANAGER

Based on the above descriptions, which role are you least drawn to?

  • 1. TEAM CAPTAIN
  • 2. ACCOUNT MANAGER
  • 3. STRATEGIST
  • 4. ANALYST
  • 5. BRAND MANAGER

Based on the above descriptions, what role are you most interested in further developing? You can further develop your biggest strength, you can further develop your biggest weakness, or you can further develop the choice that fell in the middle.

  • 1. TEAM CAPTAIN
  • 2. ACCOUNT MANAGER
  • 3. STRATEGIST
  • 4. ANALYST
  • 5. BRAND MANAGER

From their responses, I assign students into teams and give them one of five roles.  Each role comes with certain tasks and class assignments as well as opportunities for leading their team in specific parts of course experience.  For example, the Account Manager lead a “Letter to Business” assignment and the Analyst leads the team in metrics reporting assignments.  In addition to assignments, each role is responsible for leading their team in suggested areas of the report writing process.  When I say “leading their team”, I mean just that.  Students are expected to lead the other four team members in accomplishing report goals; they are not expected to write sections of the reports on their own.

Suggested Leadership Roles for the Google Online Marketing Challenge Written Campaign Reports

Google+ Pre-Campaign Strategy

  • Brand Manager leads  (tip:  get help from Account Mgr)

AdWords Business Pre-Campaign Strategy

  • Account Manager leads pages 1 and 2  (tip:  get help from Brand Mgr)
  • Strategist leads pages 3 and 4

Google+  Post-Campaign Summary

  • Brand Manager leads (tip:  work with Analyst)

AdWords Business Post-Campaign Summary & Impact Statement

  • Analyst leads Executive Summary
  • Strategist leads “Campaign Overview” and the “Evolution of The Campaign Strategy” sub-sections within the Industry Component (located within pages 2-6).
  • Analyst leads “Key Results”, “Conclusion”, and “Future Recommendations” sub-sections within the Industry Component section (located within pages 2-6).
  • Team Captain leads Learning Component (pages 7 and 8)  and Impact Statement (pages 9 and 10)
The JMU GOMC Class of 2016: Five Team Captains, Five Account Managers, Five Strategists, Five Analysts, and Five Brand Managers.

The JMU GOMC Class of 2016: Five Team Captains, Five Account Managers, Five Strategists, Five Analysts, and Five Brand Managers.

Is Google AdWords Certification Important for Digital Marketing Students?

Is Google AdWords Certification Important for Digital Marketing Students? If you plan to enter the world of online marketing, I say yes, and there are many reasons why.  Learn what Liz Gray and I had to say about why AdWords Certification is important in this video series about various aspects of the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC).  Liz Gray is a faculty member at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, Canada where she coaches students in the GOMC.  We both are very passionate about the GOMC and AdWords Certification opportunities for college students.

JMU Marketing Students Help Local Non-Profit in the First College of Business MLK Day of Service

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day the JMU College of Business (CoB) and the CoB Diversity Council introduced their first MLK Day of Service, inclusive of many CoB students, organizations, and faculty members. All of the students in my MKTG 477 class braved the cold and came together to make a difference for a local non-profit, the Explore More Discovery Museum (EMDM).  Their task was to generate creative and effective marketing ideas for birthday parties held at the museum. EMDM’s birthday events are designed to be relaxing and stress-free for parents. They offer full assistance with event planning, a set-up and clean-up crew, and pre-made party themes including decorations.  I asked five of my students, the “Brand Managers”, to write a guest blog post about their experience.  Here is what Rachel Broudy, Taylor Glazebrook, Molly McDevitt, Christine Provino, and Cari Ross had to say…


 

JMU College of Business 2016 MLK Day of Service

Left to right: Natalie Krewin, Laura Hart, Claudia Schnorbus, Elka Feinstein, Amy Goffe, Maianh Phan, Patrick Shamburger, John Thompson, Jacob Shibley, and Drew Dyer.

The moment Dr. Clarke presented our Digital Marketing Practicum class with the opportunity to participate in a day of community service by developing a cohesive marketing strategy for EMDM, our minds buzzed with anticipation. Our goal was aimed at increasing sales of our client’s birthday party events by utilizing and combining our marketing expertise. We spent a total of five hours each, yielding 100 hours of combined service, working towards an objective that will ultimately benefit the local Harrisonburg community.

At the start of the day, Dr. Clarke divided us into cross-functional teams based on our team roles in the Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC):  Brand Managers, Strategists, Analysts, Team Leaders, and Account Managers.  The specialized roles allowed us to work with other students in the class, outside of our GOMC project, to manage individual tasks that contributed to our overall goal. Our teams were positioned in an open environment, which allowed for greater collaboration between all cross-functional groups. As the day went on, teams were able to develop multiple marketing strategies to present to the Explore More Discovery Museum. This is the first time we, the Google Online Marketing Challenge students, have participated in a service event all together. Needless to say, we were eager to spend our time serving the community and sharing our marketing skills.

JMU College of Business MLK Day of Service 2016

Front row: Patrick Shamburger and Laura Hart. Back row: Amy Goffe and John Thompson

The Account Manager team consisted of Amy Goffe, Laura Hart, Claudia Schnorbus, Patrick Shamburger, and John Thompson. This group consulted with the EMDM Director, Lisa Schull mid-way through the day to ask questions and obtain information. In preparation for the client call, the account managers brainstormed a list of questions that were geared toward finding how we can better help EMDM’s event sales, specifically for birthday parties. The team was also in charge of taking the presentation template, designed by Brand Managers, and incorporating the class content to present to EMDM. Account Managers were an important component of our process, as their main objective was to understand everything about the EMDM’s current situation and then bring everything together in the end for the final the presentation to the client.

“It’s great to give back to the Harrisonburg community, especially kids, using the skills that we learn everyday in the classroom.” – John Thompson (Member of the Account Manager team)

The Analyst team was made up of Alex Adley, Jacob Brown, Anne Delafield, Caitlin Fikac, and Alex Murphy. Tasked with the job of creating an extensive competitive analysis for EMDM, this team went into great detail with regards to over 25 of EMDM’s competitors and their offerings. After developing and analyzing a spreadsheet full of competitive data, the team looked at trends among competitors, compared them to EMDM, and conveyed their findings to members of the Account Manager team through a perceptual map.

“It’s amazing to see a big group of people working together on one common goal and getting it done efficiently.” – Annie Delafield (Member of the Analyst team)

JMU CoB MLK Day of Service for 2016

Front row: Alexandra Ender and Emily Maynard. Back row: Lynn Radocha, Morgan Foran, and Matthew Deters.

Contrary to their usual leadership role within the GOMC, the Team Leaders were assigned as ‘followers’ for the day of service so they could experience a supporting role. Their job for the day was to assist the other groups as needed. They began by helping the Analysts collect data for the competitive analysis, they provided edits to this blog post, and then assisted the Strategists with details for a recommendation plan. Team Leaders included Matthew Deters, Alexandra Ender, Morgan Foran, Emily Maynard, and Lynn Radocha. When asked what their biggest takeaway from this day was, the Team Leaders collectively responded, “the experience was a glimpse of what a real-world working environment is like, with cross-functional groups and departments coming together to accomplish a goal.”

The Strategist team included Drew Dyer, Elka Feinstein, Natalie Krewin, Maianh Phan, and Jacob Shibley. This team brought a lot of creativity to the plan as the task was to generate media strategy ideas, message elements, and theme ideas for EMDM’s birthday parties. The team commented that “narrowing down our ideas and expanding on them” was crucial to their part of the marketing plan. The Strategists initiated new ways of communicating the client’s unique selling proposition by emphasizing ideas such as “more fun less work,” to

Amy Goffe and Cari Ross

Amy Goffe and Cari Ross getting into the spirit of the event.

promote the stress free events to parents. They brainstormed ideas to target the parties towards a variety of events beyond traditional birthdays, such as celebrations for local sports teams and other child-focused organizations. In addition, Strategists were tasked with developing potential revenue-generating “add-ons” for the party such as t-shirts, goody bags, or “green screen” pictures that could be added to their party package experience. The team came up with a few website-enhancing ideas in order to make the online experience more enjoyable for consumers, such as providing customers the ability to search for and book dates for a potential party. When Strategists were asked what the most challenging part of their day was, all agreed that “having to put ourselves back into kids’ shoes was definitely a challenge, but a fun one to face.”

The final team, Brand Managers, had a primary objective of publicizing the experience for the members of our class. This consisted of live tweeting and creating a guest post for Dr. Clarke’s blog to track and discuss the activities of all 25 students throughout the day of service.  Brand Managers were in charge of taking pictures, inquiring and keeping up with the progress of the other teams, and collaborating with cross-functional groups. In addition, Brand Managers were assigned to design an aesthetically pleasing template for the final presentation to EMDM.

“It’s important for students to brand themselves using the work they’ve accomplished at JMU.  The College of Business Day of Service was a great representation of what students are capable of doing to build their business skills while providing a great service to a local non-profit.” – Rachel Broudy (Member of the Brand Manager team)

By the end of the day, our class of 25 students alone devoted a total of 100 service hours to further benefit the Harrisonburg community. Our class was successfully able to develop a cohesive marketing plan for our client. The plan consisted of ways to enhance their current website, promote and advertise their birthday party experience, and create “add ons” to increase revenue. We had a great time working with EMDM and were happy to help them work towards their sales goal. Overall the first College of Business MLK Day of Service was a great success, filled with pizza, cakes, laughs, and camraderie among everyone involved!

 The JMU Google Online Marketing Challenge Class of 2016 participates in the first College of Business MLK Day of Service by developing marketing strategies for a local non-profit.

The JMU Google Online Marketing Challenge Class of 2016 participates in the first College of Business MLK Day of Service by developing marketing strategies for a local non-profit.

 

Big Changes to MKTG 477 in 2016

After much internal dialog and deliberation, as well as some coaxing from colleagues in industry and at my university, I decided it was time to make a big change to MKTG 477.

Instead of 16 students on four teams of four students each, I’m planning to admit 25 students to work on five teams of five students each.  That might not sound like a big deal, but it is a very big deal.  And, I fully understand if my former students are against this idea since “small class size” is a frequently mentioned statement on my teaching evaluations.  Trust me, I like the small classes too, but…

I get so many applicants each year and I really hate turning away so many qualified students  from such a great learning experience.  It feels like telling someone who is hungry that they can’t have anything to eat.

Even with a larger class, I will still have to send rejection letters to quite a few great students.  But by moving to an enrollment of 25, at least I can offer this experiential learning opportunity to nine more students compared to past years.  Before moving to 25, my Department Head gave me his word that I can go back to 16 in 2017 if this doesn’t work with 25 in 2016.  Keep your fingers crossed that I can deliver the same quality of the experience with a larger group.  For example, I once again hope that 100% of  my students pass the AdWords Certification to become an AdWords certified professional.   A great book to help with the certification exam is Learning Google AdWords and Google Analytics.

Enrollments in MKTG 477 were always kept low in order to deliver a flipped-learning and coaching-oriented teaching experience that included engagement opportunities with the practitioner community.  While moving from 16 to 25 may not seem like a big change, it will affect about 30 different aspects of the course delivery.  Most notably, with more students and teams, I will have less time to devote to each student and team.  Instead of 25% for each team, my time will be reduced to 20%.  But I hope we can make up for this lowered level of support through my MKTG 477 alums.  Last year for my 2015 cohort, I pilot tested a Professional Mentor Program whereby each MKTG 477 student was paired with a MKTG 477 alum.  The program received rave reviews from both students and alums.  This year, when I asked alums to volunteer as mentors, I had 21 alums fill out my JMU GOMC Interest Form within the first hour!   Within the second hour I had more than enough alumni interest to cover a Professional Mentor Program for a 25 student class.  Thank you to my wonderful group of MKTG 477 alums for your continued support in making this course such a special experience.  I’m really going to need you this year!

Through brainstorming discussions with one of my recent alums, Patrick Cusumano from Workshop Digital, I have a really good way to use the new fifth teammate.  So, in addition to our usual Team Leader, Account Manager, Strategist, and Analyst, we will be adding Brand Manager into the team mix.  Look for the Brand Manager to have a very exciting role in personal branding, team branding, a service project for their client, and quality control with many different stakeholders.  I shared the concept with Morgan Moore, Lauren Crain, Dan Froehlich, and Brea Zeise (2015 AdWords Business Americas Winners) during our visit to Google last week.  They were enthusiastic about the idea and think it will work out quite well.

Sadly, a few of our traditions will need to change, such as our end of year Duke Dog picture in the exact same pose.  Somehow I don’t see that being the same, but I will challenge my 2016 class to find a way to treasure our past while making room for exciting changes and future growth.

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.

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