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UWA Business School
A team of students from The University of Western Australia Business School has been named the 2010 global winners of the Google Online Marketing Challenge. The team of postgraduate marketing students beat 3,033 other teams from 60 countries.
The winning team, comprising Lauren Williams, Ganesh Chaudhari, Jeeana Atmarow, Allison Miller, Mohammed Assiri and Hui Min Chua, ran a three-week AdWords campaign to promote the website of the children's novel The Adventures of Charlie & Moon. During the campaign, the website saw an 800 per cent increase in visitors.
The group members all agreed that the experience of working with a real business was invaluable. ‘The Google Challenge is a rare opportunity for students to get involved and to put whatever they've learnt to good use,' enthused Hui Min. ‘It's not just applying what you have learnt from the textbook, but also seeing how it works. Not to mention you learn as you go!'
Meanwhile, Lauren admitted that although working for a real client was initially daunting, she enjoyed seeing the team's hard work translate into actual results. ‘It wasn't a simulation or an estimation of how our campaign would have fared but real results which were helping an actual business,' she said. ‘In the end this proved to be much more rewarding than an arbitrary grade.'
Ganesh added, ‘The ultra competitive kids' book market posed its own challenges for us. Big multinational companies spend good money and usually have full-time professionals working on their online marketing campaigns. Throughout this challenge we were competing with them, but with restrictions of budget and time.
‘An important outcome for Charlie & Moon was that we helped them zero in on other potential markets (Australia and the UK) in addition to the US. It was heartening to see that our campaign results complemented Charlie & Moon's move to team up with an independent Australian online bookstore to promote and sell the book in Australia.'
The team's work was appreciated by the publishing team. ‘I am just very grateful for the work that the students did and it just goes to show that you can be anywhere in the world and be the best!' said Martin Meader, the author of The Adventures of Charlie & Moon.
Irena Mihova, the book's publicist, also praised the efforts of the team. ‘The students were extremely professional,' she said. ‘We had few on-line conference calls and they kept communicating with me throughout the overall process. We brainstormed and I felt that they were really concerned and focused on getting the job done well but were also looking the long-term effect that their work will have on the project.'
Alison put the team's success down to their diverse backgrounds. ‘We had a group of six people and it was really interesting to sit around a table and hear everyone's views on the keywords and directions,' she said. ‘We all come from different backgrounds and I think this was one of our strengths. As our client was advertising in several countries, different influences really assisted us in creating a campaign that would attract the most visitors.'
The team members have already begun putting their new skills to use. Alison is using online marketing skills in her current job, while Ganesh hopes to make a career change.
‘The e-Marketing unit under Professor Jamie Murphy inspired me to explore the possibility of making a career in this area,' he said. ‘This win has strengthened my belief that I can make a shift from my technical background into the online marketing domain.'
Competing teams were each given a $200 AdWords (a Google advertising product) budget to use on their campaign. They then had to decide how to use this, justifying their choices in two written reports. All 3,034 teams were first judged by a proprietary algorithm that examined their AdWords accounts, before Google experts examined the top 150 team accounts. Finally, a global panel of academics judged the written reports of the remaining 15 teams.
As part of their prize, the team visited the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Each team member received a laptop.
This is the second year that a UWA has won the global competition, after a class of undergraduate marketing students won in 2008, the competition's inaugural year. This year, another UWA team working with Kirby Swim Mandurah also reached the final fifteen teams globally.
Visit for more information about the Google Online Marketing Challenge.
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UWA Business School
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UWA Business School