Business students compete in Google Online Marketing Challenge

Quinnipiac students meet to discuss their project for the Google Online Marketing Challenge

April 8, 2013 - Thirty-one Quinnipiac students are using the lessons they learned inside of a Lender School of Business Center classroom to benefit six small businesses across Connecticut and throughout the country.

The students, who are enrolled in a computer information systems class in the School of Business + Engineering, are competing with students and professors from around the world in the 2013 Google Online Marketing Challenge. More than 50,000 students and professors from nearly 100 countries have participated in the past five years.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to develop practical skills,” said Guido Lang, assistant professor of computer information systems. “It takes the lessons beyond the classroom to real businesses with real goals and complex challenges.”

The class focuses on the relationship between organizational strategy and networked information technologies to implement a rich variety of business models, Lang said.

“The course places a heavy emphasis on experiential learning, or learning from direct experience,” Lang said. “It is based on the premise that students learn through critical reflection on their actions. To provide a concrete experience, students will compete in the Google Online Marketing Challenge.”

The students were broken into six groups. Each group received a $250 budget from Google to develop and run an online marketing campaign.

“This class is helping me to develop a better understanding of marketing techniques,” said Nalicia Williams, a junior computer information systems major. “Our clients are really excited to see the outcomes.”

The students said that they appreciate the opportunity to explore real-world challenges.

“This is very far from a typical group project,” said Callie Barkley, a junior public relations major. “We have real tasks and real schedules.”

The course also benefits the community, the students agreed. “Each of the companies are relatively small,” said Tim Langdon, a junior computer information systems major. “We are giving the companies a chance to get their advertising messages out there.”

The students are working with the following companies: Droogie’s Pizza, a restaurant in North Haven; Feature Fix, a movie and TV review website; Ferrara Bakery and Café, an eatery in Manhattan; Lucian’s Florist, a shop in Hamden; Mohini’s, a manufacturer in California; and Venora’s Salon, a beauty shop in Glastonbury.