Abstract: The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a global student competition in which teams are given $250 to develop and run an online advertising campaign for a business or non-profit organization over a three-week period. Despite the fact that 50,000 students have competed in the Challenge since its inception in 2008, relatively little is known about the students’ experience in the Challenge. To address this shortcoming, this paper provides an overview of how the Challenge was implemented in an undergraduate Computer Information Systems class and then answers the following research questions: What do students like about the Challenge? What do students learn in the Challenge? How can the students’ experience in the Challenge be improved? This research addresses these questions using quantitative and qualitative responses to a student survey. Results suggest that students enjoy working on a real project, seeing cause and effect in action, and gaining marketable skills. The key learning outcome of the Challenge is being able to explain core concepts in online marketing (such as click-through rate, landing page experience, and return on investment). Students like having the choice between finding a client on their own or being assigned a client by the professor. Also, according to the students, a four-member team is the ideal size for the Challenge. Furthermore, students would like to work on additional case studies relating to online marketing. Lastly, students recommend pre-selecting clients based on their willingness to use Google Analytics, as this would significantly improve students’ ability to optimize campaign performance.
Keywords: Google Online Marketing Challenge, student perceptions, experiential learning, search engine marketing
Download this article: ISEDJ - V12 N3 Page 18.pdf
Recommended Citation: Lang, G., Ceccucci, W. (2014). Working with Real Companies, Making a Real Impact: Student Perspectives on the Google Online Marketing Challenge. Information Systems Education Journal, 12(3) pp 18-29. http://isedj.org/2014-12/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2013)