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.

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.

MKTG 490 Turns Into MKTG 477 at JMU

Woo hoo!  After three years of curriculum development, MKTG 490 (Special Studies in Marketing) finally evolved into a stand-alone, official course at JMU.  MKTG 490 is now MKTG 477 (Internet Marketing Practicum).  It is the same experience but with a new course number, a new course name, and an updated description in the JMU catalog.  See below for details.

MKTG 477. Internet Marketing Practicum.  3 credits.  With an applied focus, this course introduces students to some of the most important and fastest growing sectors in online marketing. Students apply marketing theories in a uniquely applied manner as they become active learners involved in an online marketing campaign, facing real pressures similar to those in the professional workplace (i.e., account management, client relationships, financial constraints, market competition, time limitations, technology, etc.). Student teams will work with actual clients on online marketing campaigns. Throughout their campaigns, students continually make finance, advertising and marketing decisions. Students gather real world data using online marketing dashboards to gain a strong understanding of real market conditions. Students experience traditional advertising concepts such as copy writing, cost per thousand (CPM), return on investment, as well as online marketing concepts such as click-through-rate (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), conversion rates, landing page strategies, and optimization techniques. Prerequisite: MKTG 470 and permission of the instructor.

Thanks to all of my former MKTG 490 students for helping us make the case that MKTG 477 should be an official course at JMU.

Apply now for an opportunity to participate in the Challenge under my direction.

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

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.)

Dr. Jim Jansen Speaks to Google Challenge Students at James Madison University

For the first time in JMU Google Challenge history, a professor from another institution participated in our MKTG 490 guest speaker series.  But this is not just any professor, it was Dr. Jim Jansen.

Dr. Jansen’s teams have placed in the top 1% of the Google Challenge during every year that he participated.  In the most recent Google Challenge, three of his teams made it into the top five for the Americas region. This is no easy feat given that there were 11,000 students in 86 countries competing in the 2012 Challenge.  According to Google, the 2012 competition was “the most competitive and diverse pool of teams yet.”

Dr. Jim Jansen speaks at JMU.

Dr. Jim Jansen speaks at JMU.

He is an Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and his areas of expertise areas are web searching, sponsored search and personalization for information searching.

I met Dr. Jansen during the awards ceremonies at the Googleplex for the inaugural Google Online Marketing Challenge in 2008.  Since then, we co-authored two articles together and are currently working on a third manuscript.  I also had the opportunity to serve as a reviewer for one of the chapters within his book entitled Understanding Sponsored Search:  Core Elements of Keyword Advertising.

It was Dr. Jansen’s idea that we speak to each other’s classes as part of the 2013 Challenge.  On February 15, he visited JMU to share strategies for developing effective AdWords ads.  In a few weeks, I will speak to his 48 students at three Penn State Colleges (technology, communication, and business) ab0ut successfully communicating the strategic plan and the final results for the written report component of the Challenge.

Yes, our teams compete against each other in the Challenge, but above and beyond that, we are collaborators in teaching and research.  Over the past five years Dr. Jansen and I have shared ideas on how to best integrate the Challenge into our courses.  We have some similar, some different, and some complementary approaches regarding how to teach the Challenge experience.  One belief we certainly share is that student learning is the #1 priority.

Thank you Dr. Jansen for sharing your time and expertise with JMU!

2013 Google AdCamp, Australia

Ad Camp Google is offering an all-expense-paid program at Google Sydney in Australia for up to 30 current undergraduate students.

The 2013  AdCamp includes a collaborative curriculum focused on advertising insights and select Google products.  This program allows AdCamp participants to compete in an advertising case competition, meet Googlers and interns, and build a peer network through social activities.  The application is due by November 16, 2013.

Although this opportunity is only available to students enrolled in 4-year universities in Australia, there are many other exciting Google Programs, Events, and Scholarships such as the Google Online Marketing Challenge and Google AdCamp in New York City.



The 2012 JMU Google Challenge Winners Visit the Googleplex

Googleplex 2012 JMU Visit

Rachel Krause, Nicole Behr, and Tara Goode – 2012 Americas Region Winners of the Google Online Marketing Challenge under the direction of Dr. Theresa B. Clarke at James Madison University.

Last week I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Google’s headquarters (a.k.a., the Googleplex) in Mountain View, California.  This trip was part of the award package associated with my MKTG 490 students being named Winners of the Americas Region in the 2012 Google Online Marketing Challenge.  Here are more photos from the Googleplex and San Francisco.  Special thanks to Anndrea Moore, Strategist/Associate Project Manager at Google, for arranging such a wonderful experience. 

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.

Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) and Google AdWords Certification

Below are my current Google certifications.  Google provides a link on their site to prove certification in AdWords (e.g.,, but I can’t find the link for Analytics certification.  If you know where to find this, please let me know.  Thanks.


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