Students from OBU’s Paul Dickinson College of Business recently earned Google certifications in internet marketing. The business school competed for the first time in the 2017 Google Online Marketing Challenge. This practical experience was one of many that OBU students undertake in their courses to better prepare for their future careers.
The Google Online Marketing Challenge provides undergraduate and post-graduate students direct experience with online advertising and marketing. The Challenge began in February 2008 and is open to any higher education institution from anywhere in the world. Student groups receive $200 to spend on Google AdWords advertising while working with a local business of their selection to devise effective online marketing campaigns. In this process, students develop an online marketing strategy, run the campaign, assess their results and provide the business with recommendations to further develop their online marketing, all in just three weeks.
Dr. Daryl Green, assistant professor of business and Dickinson Chair of Business, stumbled across the Google challenge while researching for a class.
“When I read about this Google challenge, I was excited for our students,” he said. “It provides a practical experience in internet marketing on a real landscape. We set out to assist about nine local organizations. I did not expect to see so many of our students become Google certified. It’s a difficult process.”
The Google AdWords certification is a professional accreditation that Google offers to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords. An AdWords certification allows individuals to demonstrate Google recognizes them as an expert in online advertising. Students must pass two of the AdWords certification exams (the AdWords fundamentals exam and one of the following: search advertising, display advertising, mobile advertising, video advertising or shopping advertising) to become an AdWords certified professional.
Dr. Green added, “Our students were certified in record-setting time. They achieved these certifications in less than 3 weeks.”
There were nine teams who participated from OBU in the Google AdWords campaign. Sixteen students became Google AdWords certified, including Connelly Rader, McKenzie Lumry, Jessica Schooler, Brittany Watts, Christina Roach, Sarah Hancock, Michael Vetter, Daniel Maranell, Emmalee Ewbank, Brad Adams, Zachary Romoser, Summer Templeton, Bailey Davis, Kailey Moore, Jacob Vanderslice and Samuel Guillaume.
Many companies across the nation are looking for students who understand digital marketing. Emmalee Ewbank, a non-business major, appreciated the opportunity to achieve her Google certification.“I learned that Google AdWords is a lot more intricate than I anticipated, but anyone can definitely understand it if they take the time to do so,” she said. “I value having the opportunity to gain knowledge over different subjects and this was another chance to do just that. I definitely think it is a necessity for students to have an understanding of internet marketing due to the major influence the internet has on our everyday lives.”