The Google Online Marketing Challenge(GOMC) is a global competition opened to students where they create online marketing campaigns and experience online marketing using Google Adwords and Google+. Previous years have had patronage from over 50,000 students from almost 100 countries.
In 2012, my team had the opportunity to take part in the Google Online Marketing Challenge. Prior to taking part, we gathered some lessons from people who had previously taken part and the insights shared can be found in an older post here.
The opportunity to compete brought the chance to learn at first hand what works and what may not work. This is an attempt to help you perform better than my team performed; and my team was the best African performance in the history of the competition – part of the top 14 global finalists, finalists for the social impact award, second in Africa/Middle East Region, first in Africa, first in Ghana!!!
1. Pick the right kind of company to work with
To me, this is the most important decision you will make as a team as you plan out your Challenge. The most important look-outs are the size, stage and type of business you pick. If you pick a company that has a monthly marketing budget of $10,000 your efforts will not be appreciated since Google may give you about $250 to run for 21 days. If the business is in the early stage and is looking to push its frontiers via online marketing, you are in the right zone.
2. Establish a great relationship with the company
We worked with an NGO that promotes African childrens’ literature. We had a wonderful working relationship. We met at least once a week, and planned, strategized and coordinated our work as online marketing consultants with the NGO to a resounding success. to be appreciated and to get support from the company you work with, keep the channels of communication going. Task a member of the team to be in charge of communication with that team.
The working relationship will be worthwhile since the company will not only appreciate your online marketing efforts, they will also readily plan and set goals with you, and periodically either take or give updates to you about your efforts.
3. Pick your own team based on skill sets and working relationships
Picking a team of friends may not work. Remember, you are marketing consultants from a brand that wants to market itself via adwords. Pick a team where individuals are competent because competence breeds confidence. Your client will be meeting with you, and a display of your confidence will give them confidence to support and urge you on. Specific skills needed include Website design and optimization, blogging, Adwords and social media marketing. The web design guy can help build effective landing pages for the client, the blogger can assist to write good articles about your client’s product in order to increase traffic flow to the relevant pages and the social marketer can be pushing and promoting these things especially on Google plus. He will also be helping increase the number of pluses on the client’s Google+ page.
4. Be strategic and timely!
My team believes the only reason we were second placed in the Africa/Middle East region was because the deadline for submitting our final report was earlier than the deadline which the client had set for his business. The after-effects of our efforts came one month after we had submitted our final report to the GOMC team, and our clients gave a report that would have won us the regional title! However, all that report we got from the client could not be captured in our final report since we had already submitted it.
You can learn from this. Plan effectively, strategize effectively and be timely in all things so that your report will be full and comprehensive enough to give you your best shot!
5. Work within the rules
The budget that Google has given cannot be used anyhow. Learn what the rules say and work within them. You would not want your efforts to be counted for naught because Google discovered you were working outside the rules and disqualified you.