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Marketing class conducting campaigns for clients, Google contest

In today’s high-tech, global economy, marketing techniques have changed. A BGSU marketing class is finding out first-hand how to conduct campaigns for real clients using Google AdWords, while also competing against collegiate teams around the world.

Students in a special topics course taught by Dr. Greg Rich, marketing department chair, have formed a search engine marketing company called FalcoLytics. “The name stems from the fact that Internet advertising is much more analytical than other forms of advertising. You can track how many people see your ad, click on your ad, buy your product, etc.,” Rich said.

After applying to be in the experimental class, 12 students were selected and divided into three teams of four. The teams spent about a month learning the basics of advertising through Google AdWords, then proceeded to recruit actual clients. The three clients are Aardvark Screen Printing & Embroidery, BGSU Dance Marathon and Tea Tree Asian Bistro.

After interviewing their clients to gain an understanding of their business, the teams wrote an extensive pre-campaign advertising strategy, which was presented to and critiqued by the class. The advertising campaigns are in progress, with the students analyzing data and making adjustments throughout. In the end, the students will write a post-campaign summary, including an assessment of results and suggestions to the clients for future online marketing strategies.

The campaigns will also be entered into a worldwide Online Marketing Challenge sponsored by Google. As part of the competition, Google gives each team $200 of free online advertising with Google AdWords for their campaigns. The campaigns, along with the written reports, will be submitted and judged by an academic panel. This year, about 2,000 students from 50 countries are expected to compete.

“The Online Marketing Challenge has really excited the students, and me, too,” Rich said. “The opportunity to execute Google AdWords campaigns, to spend ‘real money’ and to work with actual clients is unique and exciting.”

March 30, 2009