Australian universities were top of the class in Googles inaugural global University Online Marketing Challenge. A student team from The University of Western Australia was named the global winner while a team from University of New South Wales (AGSM) was named APAC regional winner today.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge involved 8,500 students in
over 47 countries with 1,650 teams competing.  It was a hands-on
competition, designed to provide direct and practical experience of
innovative online advertising. Student teams received US$200 worth of
Google AdWords advertising to devise an effective online marketing
campaign for a local business. They were required to devise a campaign,
assess the results and recommend ways to develop the business’ online
presence.

Led by UWA Business School lecturer Dr Fang Liu, UWA’s winning team of commerce students Victor Tsen, Lauren Bobridge, Amy Smith, Aron Balm and Arina Vsikov devised a search marketing campaign for Perth’s The Hangout
indoor rock climbing and abseiling centre in Bayswater. The campaign
increased The Hangout’s web presence, driving hundreds more visitors to
its website.

The APAC regional winner from UNSW (AGSM) was led by AGSM lecturer Dr Julien Cayla and worked with specialty cake business ‘For The Love Of Sugar’ to increase its web presence. Captained by Fiona Macrae, the team included MBA students Danny Van Clief, Daniel Jolly, Sean Harpur and Jason von Stieglitz.

The challenge was created by Google following approaches from
professors around the world asking for help in preparing students for
the changing face of the modern marketing business world.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Alan Robson said: This is an outstanding
achievement for our students and The University of Western Australia
and further recognition of our commitment to achieving excellence in
research and education.

Ashley Gorringe, marketing manager, Google Australia, said: We
developed this global competition to give students a practical taste of
online marketing while they were studying. UWA and AGSM developed great
campaigns and have shown the world how innovative Australian
universities can be, plus how easy online marketing is for small and
medium-sized businesses.

The UWA team will now travel to San Francisco for a week, where they
will be given a guided tour of the Googleplex in Mountain View. Each
team member will also be given a MacBook Pro. AGSM team members will
receive a MacBook.

The opinions of the teams and local businesses were overwhelmingly positive:

  • 75 percent of the local businesses strongly agreed or agreed that participating in the Challenge was a wise business decision
  • 63 percent of professors strongly agreed or agreed that
    the students were more deeply engaged in online marketing through the
    Challenge than traditional teaching tools, such as case studies and
    class projects for local businesses
  • 66 percent of students strongly agreed or agreed that that
    Challenge gave them an insight into the challenges of working with a
    real business