The 2009 Google Online Marketing Challenge
had 2,187 student teams from 57 countries around the world taking part in a highly competitive global online marketing competition.
To participate, student teams receive $200 of free online advertising with Google AdWords and then work with local businesses to devise creative and effective online marketing campaigns. Teams outline a marketing strategy, run a campaign, assess their results, and provide the business with recommendations to further develop their online marketing. Teams submit their reports and are judged by a panel of independent academics from all over the world.
The Global Winning team came from Deakin University, Australia and created a campaign for a local indoor play center, www.littletigrrs.com.au. The America's winner (North, Central, and South America) was a team of JMU Marketing students
. The team of Rachel Bruton, Meredith Rauh and Brandon Sockwell, worked with a local tour operator, www.mobiletours.org
under the guidance of their professor, Dr. Theresa B. Flaherty. Winning teams were awarded an all-expense paid trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA. This photo essay provides a few highlights from this extraordinary visit to the Googleplex.JMU Marketing Students, Rachel Bruton, Meredith Rauh, Brandon Sockwell, and our very own little JMU Duke Dog, spent an eventful day at the Googleplex as part of their award package for winning the America's region in the 2009 Google Online Marketing Challenge.
According to Rachel Bruton (Team Captain) "Going to Google was one of the highlights of my year. It was great visiting a company that values both working hard and making sure their employees are happy. Every employee we spoke to had something positive to say about their job and working environment. I got the sense that every employee felt their opinions and ideas were valued regardless of their job title."
Meredith Rauh said that "Visiting Google Headquarters was anything but expected and mundane. Being able to experience the culture, people and environment really gave another perspective on the word "Google". It's difficult to visualize seemingly intangible words such as "ideation", "creativity" and "innovation". My visit at Google encompassed those words through the atmosphere, employees and even the buildings!"
Brandon Sockwell reported "Our trip to the Googleplex was a surreal glimpse into the daily lives of some of the world's most innovative thought leaders. As a marketer, the ability to tour the facilities, pick the brains, and eat the food every Googler eats on a daily basis made the work we put in more than worthwhile. The open environment and flat corporate structure promote creativity and are a true testament to Google's commitment to "[organizing] the world's information and [making] it universally accessible and useful."The team's professor, Dr. Theresa Flaherty, accompanied the JMU Marketing students during their visit to the Googleplex in November 2009. Also joining the event was JMU alum Kiley McEvoy (Product Manager - Google Maps Monetization). The Googleplex visit included interactive seminars about Google's seven principles of marketing, AdWords strategy, and a day in the life of marketing Googlers.A group picture of the Global Winning Team (Deakin University), the Americas Winning Team (James Madison University), and the Google Online Marketing Challenge Leaders.
Theresa Flaherty (JMU Faculty Advisor), Jamie Murphy (Lead, Google Global Academic Panel), Kevin Fung (Deakin), Andrew Kidd (Deakin), Katalin Kish (Deakin), Bardo Fraunholz (Deakin Faculty Advisor), Lee Hunter (Product Marketing Manager - Google UK), Jason Blakely (Deakin), Howard Lien (Deakin), Clinton Hinze (Deakin), Rachel Bruton (JMU), Meredith Rauh (JMU), Chia Yao Lee (Deakin Faculty Advisor), and Brandon Sockwell (JMU).Rachel, Meredith, and Brandon toasting to Google in one of the many break rooms packed with a variety of free snacks and drinks to keep Googlers going.The JMU Marketing team presented their campaign strategy and Challenge experience at the Googleplex. They also received valuable feedback from Lee Hunter (Product Marketing Manager - Google UK) and Jamie Murphy (Leader of the Google Global Academic Panel). The JMU Marketing students met with Arjan Dijk (Global Director of AdWords Marketing), Meghan O'Farrell (Google Talent and Outreach Programs Specialist), and Wendy Jones (Google Recruiting Specialist).Google offers its employees three free gourmet meals a day. The JMU Marketing team enjoyed a delicious lunch in one of the Googleplex cafés.After lunch, a tour of the Googleplex helped everyone understand the unique culture of Google. The tour included viewing of an outdoor hot tub, a large dinosaur, Foosball, pool tables, volleyball courts, assorted video games, lego blocks, libraries, and gyms. Hard-working Googlers were seen sharing cubes, yurts and huddle rooms – and everyone had a laptop. Bikes and scooters were everywhere to provide free and efficient travel across the Google campus. A few dogs were spotted, along with lava lamps, massage chairs, large inflatable balls, and TONS of free food and drinks.Brandon, Rachel, and Meredith tested out a unique way to experience Google Earth.In addition to winning an all-expense paid trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA, each member of the winning team was given a Mac Book Pro laptop computer and a Google t-shirt.Rachel Bruton and Meredith Rauh had a short shopping spree at the Google onsite store.One of the highlights of the visit was the opportunity to meet with JMU alum Kiley McEvoy (Product Manager - Google Maps Monetization). Kiley was kind enough to give the JMU Marketing team an extended tour of the Googleplex after the official program ended. Thanks Kiley!
For more information about the JMU Marketing winning team, please visit http://www.jmu.edu/cob/google.shtml
For an extraordinary TIME photo essay of the Googleplex, visit http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/2006/inside_google/index.html
For information about the Google Online Marketing Challenge, visit http://www.google.com/onlinechallenge/