Bournemouth University students are taking part in the development and implementation of an AdWords online advertising campaign for local businesses as part of the global Google Marketing Challenge, which will see more than 110,000 staff and students from 100 countries take part.
The challenge, set over 10 weeks, will see 12 teams from BU work with local businesses to compete in the international competition; working with businesses including media production company, LoveLove Films, Urban Beach Hotel, Restaurant Monty’s Lounge, Fab Frocks of Westbourne, and festival promoter Bournemouth Sevens.
Dr Philip Alford, a Senior Lecturer Tourism & Hospitality Marketing at BU who will be leading the teams, said: “The challenge runs for ten weeks and will see teams consult with clients over the initial three to four weeks to understand better their online marketing, and where Google AdWords campaigns could work for that business, in particular key word strategies, areas for ads to appear and mobile advertising.
“A three-week campaign will then run, with $250 from Google for the team to do a test campaign. This is student-centred learning, setting up a live campaign, and then coming into lectures and seminars learning about the theory of marketing and then practising it. Last year, a BU group reached the regional semi-finals, but this year we are hoping to go much further.”
Ben Swatridge, of PPC Active, a paid-search consultancy company from Ringwood, met with teams and businesses at BU to help provide advice and help to competing students: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get involved in a live marketing environment. It’s a real string to their bow to take out of university and put on their CV.”
Bournemouth Sevens Sales and Marketing Manager, Lucy Daryll, and Event Manager Paul Ashurst, said: “We normally do all of our marketing over social media and email campaigns. Google Marketing Challenge isn’t something that we’ve looked into before, so we’re really keen to learn more from students.
“It’s great because it’s this area is something that we might not have had time to invest in, whereas students have been able to really look into the business.
"We’re both former BU students, so it’s fantastic, and students are our main target audience. It’s great that students will be talking about the festival and also learning about it."
Winning teams will have the chance to take part in a funded trip to California to the offices of Google.
To find out more about the competition, visit: www.google.com/onlinechallenge/