Fanshawe marketing students participate in Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: LIZ GRAY
Fanshawe students participate in a first-of-its-kind Google Ads Competition where they work with not-for-profit organizations who received a $10,000 USD grant.

Students in the business administration - marketing (BAM) advanced diploma and the marketing management (MKM) graduate program are participating in the first year of the Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge.

According to the Google Ad Grants homepage, the Online Marketing Challenge is a chance for students to get real-life experience with the Google Ad platform. The students get to work in teams for a non-profit organization that has been granted $10,000 USD for advertising on Google Ads.

Liz Gray is the professor of the two sections of students participating in the Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge.

“The new Google Ads Challenge is different than the previous one in that students will be working with non-profit organizations around the world,” Gray said. “This year each team has a $10,000 USD budget to work with whereas in the past we only had $250.”

According to Gray, there are 33 students participating and the challenge will run over a four-week period.

“One of the benefits to the students is that they will have the ability to manage a very sizable real- life budget in the ads platform,” Gray said. “This is not a simulation, this is real dollars being spent and accruing real data and making decisions based on the data.”

Gray said that students are required to get their international Google certification, and upon completion of the Challenge they will receive an award of achievement.

“Students will learn to manage the expectations of the [non-governmental organization] NGO partner and work with them in a productive and time sensitive way,” Gray said.

According to Gray, many non-profit organizations do not have the internal manpower or expertise to spend the money in the most effective way and that is where the students come in.

“These NGOs are often run on very small budgets and limited staff that don't necessarily have the expertise in digital advertising,” Gray said. “To be able to bring in students who are currently studying the most up to date Google Ads platform will give the NGOs a leg up in terms of being able to maximize the efficiency of their account, drive more traffic to their website and hopefully convert more visitors.”

Gray also said that this challenge will benefit Google as well as the students and the participating non-profit organizations.

“Google has all these NGOs sitting with the money that is not necessarily being used properly,” Gray said. “Sometimes NGOs can be a strain on internal Google customer service in that they need training and information so if the student body of the world can help then it is a win with all three fronts.”

Stacy Swartz, third year BAM student, said she signed up for the course so she could get real-life experience working with a non-profit organization.

“Participating in this challenge will give me some insight into the world of search marketing,” Swartz said. “Search is something I've always been interested in pursuing so having this experience will look great on my resume and hopefully set me apart from others.”

Swartz said that in order to get into the course, students had to apply and go through an interview process.

“So far, even in the first few weeks, I found that the class is pretty fast paced and information packed,” Swartz said. “It's definitely a different type of class, but I love it already and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the semester.”