The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to experience and create online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords and Google+. With a $250 AdWords advertising budget provided by Google, students develop and run an online advertising campaign for a business or non-profit organization over a three week period. The teams that develop and communicate the most successful campaigns win awesome prizes, including trips to Google offices. It is a competition open to student teams of three to six members from undergraduate or graduate programs, regardless of their major.

Interestingly, Nigerian Universities have been participating in this competition which shows that the technology rave hitting Nigeria is been channelled into positive energy. The Google Online Marketing Lab (OML) held for the first time in Nigeria in 2013 were students who performed well in the previous year’s GOMC were invited for the 3-day workshop and taught about Digital Marketing after which they were sent to their various universities to evangelize, teach, and prepare other students for the Google Online Marketing Challenge.

I have seen the interest of students in various campuses grow tremendously which saddens my heart that down here that some Campus where this competition can be used as a massive tool for students involved in marketing and business related courses to have a hands-on experience and added knowledge of how digital marketing is shaping the future of marketing in the world today, we have refused to leverage the growing community (Co-creation Hub, Idea Hub, etc.) of start-ups to our advantage.

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Nigeria even though are not located in a region surrounded by great start-ups like the University of Lagos have however shown that local businesses in Nigeria would thrive and benefit from digital marketing. Last year they were Regional winners for the “AdWords Business – Middle East & Africa Region” where a team worked with Automedics Limited, an automobile maintenance workshop offering free advisory car care tips. This year, they also emerged the Regional Winners for the “Google+ Social Media Marketing Awards – Middle East & Africa Region” having a team that worked with an online radio platform  Jandus Radio, a company with a mobile application that allows you to listen to Nigerian radio and other African radio stations on your mobile phone anywhere in the world.

This opportunity would cost us nothing rather it would add to our skillset and  give us a hands-on experience on how small and medium business reach the customers that they need. It is obvious that Nigeria Campus Youth are industrious students and some of us are involved in one or two businesses. It is time to use digital marketing to let the world know you exist!

2016 registration would be out soon. Prepare yourself to launch out!

Full result list showing participants proficiency can be found on the Google Online Marketing Challenge website.

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