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How Google is Preparing Students for the Digital World

This is a guest post by Melissa Miller

With the ever-evolving digital world we live in, it’s no wonder that web marketing has taken off the way it has. Everyone these days has an email address, Facebook account, Twitter handle and a smartphone to stay in the loop 24/7, so it’s only natural for marketers and advertisers alike to use this progression to their advantage.

Recognizing the growth of these digital media, companies have been changing the way they present information and materials to the public. They are adapting with the trends to ensure they reach as many people as possible in an efficient manner.

Professionals are not the only ones having to master these growth and trends and use them for their advantage. Students studying subjects such as marketing and advertising also need to hone their skills in their ever-changing field to ensure that they are properly equipped to work against their competition once they get out in the “real world.”

To help them prepare, Google created the Google Online Marketing Challenge. The winners from the 2012 competition were just announced and 2013 will mark its sixth year.

A global event, Google encourages students from all over the world to compete. In the most recent competition, over 8,000 students from 86 countries battled it out for the top spot. The winning team ended up being from Poland, marking the first time a Global winner has hailed from Europe. Their efforts earned them a trip to the Google Global Headquarters in Mountain View, California.

In addition to the overall Global Winner there are also regional winners for the Americans, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East/Africa. For the first time a Social Media Award was up for grabs in 2012. They selected one overall global team for this title, in addition to having several regional finalists.

Selection was based on the best Google+ pages, as well as an effective, well-thought out social media strategy. The addition of the award shows how even this competition is progressing to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.

Three teams were also awarded Social Impact awards based on how well their online marketing campaigns benefited their nonprofit partners, which helps remind participants the power these digitals have.

To participate, student teams have to have between 3 and 6 participants and they should have a professor who will be working with them. The team then has to find a small-to-medium business or nonprofit that is not currently using AdWords and could benefit from their marketing services. Along the way, pre and post-campaign reports are written up, plans are made and details are documented.

Preregistration for the 2013 event is already underway, so interested parties should do their part to learn more and stay informed. It would be a shame to miss out on such an event just because you overlooked a deadline.

Melissa Miller is blogger and freelance writer for associatedegreeonline.com. She is interested in all things on education and writes to help recent college graduates navigate the challenging world of first-time employment, adult responsibility, and finances. Throw your questions to melissamiller831@gmail.com.

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