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Beyond the Classroom : MIS Grad Students Tackle Google Online Marketing Challenge

Winning Google team The Mt. Lemmon Sky Center winning team (left to right), with Dr. Sudha Ram (third from right): Pulkit Chadha, Salil Deshmukh, Pavankanth Mukthi, Rahul Tekchandani, Harish Kumar Kambam.
  

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April 2010

By Liz Warren-Pederson

This semester, ten teams of students in the Business Intelligence course competed in the global competition, through which teams are tasked with devising effective online marketing campaigns for local businesses using Google AdWords.

In Dr. Sudha Ram’s graduate-level business intelligence class, one thing is a given: that students will apply their classroom learning to solve real business challenges.

This semester, ten teams of students in her MIS 587: Business Intelligence course competed in the global Google Online Marketing Challenge, through which teams are tasked with devising effective online marketing campaigns for local businesses, using $200 worth of online advertising through Google AdWords.

Ram dedicated several class lectures and discussions to topics including web analytics and understanding different types of web metrics such as number of clicks, click-through rates, impressions, unique visitors, bounce rates, and conversions. “Students also learned how to use Google analytics tools including AdWords dashboards, keyword estimator tools, and more,” she says. “Then they worked with their small business clients to understand the businesses, products, and customers, so they could create pre-campaign strategies that specified campaign goals, the strategies to achieve these goals, and the set targets for each of their important metrics.”

The teams implemented their campaign over a three-week period. “The students had to regularly monitor their campaigns, change their AdWords, ads, and strategy based on their understanding of the web metrics and application of the optimization techniques they learned in class,” Ram says. “They were also required to meet regularly with me for feedback on their work. At the end of the campaign the students submitted a post-campaign report to document the success or failure of their campaign and provide recommendations to the client for further implementation.”

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