The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to experience and create online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords. Over 110,000 students and professors from almost 100 countries have participated in the past 9 years.
With a $250 AdWords advertising budget provided by Google, students develop and run an online advertising campaign for a business or non-profit organization over a three week period. The teams that develop and communicate the most successful campaigns win awesome prizes, including trips to Google offices. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the optional AdWords Certification category by studying and passing the necessary exams to become an AdWords Certified individual in the Google Partners platform.
The Challenge is open to student teams of three to six members from undergraduate or graduate programs, regardless of their major. All students must register under a verified faculty member, lecturer or instructor currently employed by an accredited higher education institute.
It’s time to put your marketing skills to the test. Visit Discover GOMC to learn more about the Challenge and how to participate.
For more details on each of the steps, please refer to the sections on the left side of this page.
Step 1: Registering for the Challenge. Professors register for the Challenge, verify their account and get approved by Google. Students form teams of 3-6 members and appoint a Team Captain. The Team Captain registers under the verified professor, who in turn confirms each student team by clicking a verification link sent via email after the team registers. See Registration for more information.
Step 2: Accessing Dashboard. Once the professor has received a notification email and has verified the student team, the Team Captain can access the team’s Student Dashboard with the Google account used during the initial registration. Next, the Team Captain can add required information to the dashboard, including the name and email address of all team members, move onto identifying the team’s competition partner and preparing the AdWords Pre-Campaign Report.
Step 3: Selecting a Business. All teams, along with the support of their professors, need to identify a client business or a non-profit organization. See Selecting a Business for more details.
Step 4: Learning about AdWords and the Client. We recommend reviewing the Digital Marketing Course and Educational Resources before getting started. Each student team needs to meet with their business or non-profit partner to determine their goals and to devise their online advertising strategy. The strategy will need to be outlined in the AdWords Pre-Campaign Report.
Step 5: Uploading Pre-Campaign Report and Requesting Crediting. Team Captains must submit their Pre-Campaign Report and request access to their credited AdWords Competition Account in the Student Dashboard prior to the deadline, April 12, 2017 (3:00AM PST). The Pre-Campaign Report must be submitted before requesting access to the AdWords Competition Account, so student teams should plan accordingly, given the deadline. Access to the credited AdWords Competition Account can be requested via the Student Dashboard by clicking on the “Request credit” button that will appear under the Reports & Crediting section after the Pre-Campaign Report has been successfully uploaded. Please note that after requesting crediting, there will be no further opportunity to re-upload the Pre-Campaign Report.
Once the credit request has been verified, within 5 business days the team captain will be sent an email to their Dashboard Account email address with an invitation to access their team’s $250 credited AdWords Competition Account. The team captain will need to click on the link in the email and make sure they are signed into their existing Google Account used to access the GOMC Student Dashboard in order to accept the invitation. Once the team captain has access to the AdWords Competition Account, they may also invite their team members to have access to the account by following these steps.
The 10-digit AdWords CID of the account Team Captains are invited to should match the CID shown in the Student Dashboard. This CID is solely for use in this competition.
Step 6: Running Campaign. Once the student team receives access to their AdWords Competition Account, they can start running their campaign over a maximum period of 31 consecutive calendar days with ads serving and receiving clicks on no less than 7 calendar days and no more than 21 calendar days in total during that time frame. Please note that the maximum 31 consecutive calendar day campaign window begins on the first calendar day the campaign receives a click.
Student teams must manually pause their campaigns in AdWords after the 21st calendar day of the ads serving and receiving clicks, whether the full $250 has been spent or not. Campaigns cannot serve beyond the close of the Competition Campaign Window on May 17, 2017.
Note that AdWords Competition Accounts are set to a PT (GMT-07:00) timezone. Please do not change the timezone in your AdWords Competition Account.
Example: If a campaign started serving and receiving clicks on Monday at 9am and finished on Friday at 8am, it means that it ran for 5 calendar days.
Step 7: Writing and Submitting the AdWords Post-Campaign Report/Impact Statement.Team Captains must submit their Post-Campaign Report prior to the deadline of May 31, 2017 (3:00AM PST). If a team chooses a non-profit organization and wishes to be eligible for the AdWords Social Impact Award, they must append an Impact Statement to their Post-Campaign Report.
Only teams that submit the AdWords Pre-Campaign as well as AdWords Post-Campaign Reports will be considered for judging in the AdWords Business, AdWords Social Impact and AdWords Certification categories. Students and Professors will no longer have access to the GOMC Dashboards after May 31, 2017, so please take note of your AdWords CID and any other information you may need before the close of the competition.
Step 8: AdWords Certification Award (Optional). Student teams that wish to be eligible for the AdWords Certification Award must ensure that the AdWords Certification Award box on the Team Details section of the Student Dashboard is checked and all team members are AdWords Certified in the Google Partners platform before May 31, 2017 (3:00AM PST). Please see the AdWords Certification Guidelines for more details on the requirements for this award.
Step 9: Sharing Results and Campaigns with your Competition Client and GOMC Feedback. Once the campaign finishes, you should share the results and your recommendations from the Post-Campaign Report with your Competition Client. If they would like to continue running AdWords, you can use AdWords Editor to export your campaigns and send them as a file to your Competition Client to import to a newly created account owned by them.
Important: The advertiser cannot run any other campaigns in the AdWords Competition Account. The AdWords Competition Account cannot be used beyond the scope of the GOMC.
Also, after the Challenge has ended and you are waiting on the results, Google may contact you to complete an optional post-participation survey. Your feedback is essential to helping us improve the Challenge.
Step 10: Judging and Awards. Google, and a panel of independent academics from all over the world, select the winning teams based on the success of their campaign and the quality of their competition reports. Winners will be announced on the GOMC Google+ page and Competition website in July/August 2017.