Indian Student team secured top position Globally in Google Online Marketing Challenge 2020

Bhubaneswar: A student team from IIIT Bhubaneswar, Odisha led by Dhairya Mehta consisting of 5 members Sambit Mohapatra, Sneha Batabyal, Shraddha Suman and Bhabya Mohanty received top position and recognized as top marketer globally in Google Ad Grants Online Marketing challenge 2020 by Google in their first attempt competing with thousands of teams from different parts of the world.

The team worked with Australia based non-profit organization ‘Good Neighbors Australia’ assigned by Google for the duration of 2 months.

The team has also received the opportunity to pitch their success story on Google Spotlight Series as one of the top teams globally. All the members of the team have also received the opportunity to apply separately for Internship & Full-time opportunities at Google as a part of the benefits received for the top-performing teams.

Team details background:

The team of 5 members was led by the team leader Dhairya Mehta (Raipur, Chhattisgarh). The members were Sambit Mohapatra (Paradeep, Odisha), Shraddha Suman (Bhubaneswar, Odisha), Sneha Batabyal (Rayagada, Odisha) and Bhabya Mohanty (Bhubaneswar, Odisha). The team was mentored by Prof. Janendra Kumar Routray. Dhairya and Sambit are currently in the Final year and Shraddha, Sneha and Bhabya are in their 3rd year of Engineering. Google assigned us Australia based Organization ‘Good Neighbors’ for the challenge. We managed the Google Ads and other Digital marketing tools of the organization for the duration of 2 months.

From the team – “Digital Marketing was just a theoretical course we studied as a part of our curriculum. This Challenge was the perfect chance for us to blend into the noble cause with the actual utility of resources and opportunity to implement our theoretical knowledge. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, there were definitely some hardships, the web being our only mode of communication but we were quite well-spun as a team to coordinate everything perfectly. We are also now continuing to handle all the areas and tools of digital marketing for the organization as interns for at least the next 6 months.”

Image: Team picture

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Image: Official certificate received from Google Ad Grants
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About the challenge:

We were entitled to spend $20,000 (Worth Rs. 14,00,000) for the duration of 2 months to run Ad campaigns of the organization. We made a pre-marketing strategy and presented it before the Organization. After approval, we did extensive keyword research and Ad copywriting. We analysed all the campaigns and optimised it from time to time. We maximised the reach of the organization by 150%. After the completion of the challenge and successfully preparing Post-marketing analysis and submitting it to Google, we received a positive rating and feedback from our Organization. Google awarded us the ‘Top marketer’ position after analysing our submissions and taking the feedback from the organization.

OTHER DETAILS

Challenge Overview (From Google)

Online Marketing Challenge is a unique opportunity for students to get real-world experience creating and executing online marketing campaigns for real nonprofits using a $10,000 USD monthly budget of in-kind Google Ads advertising credit through the Google Ad Grants program. This global academic program brings two worlds together, partnering students and nonprofits, to support digital skill development and drive positive change around the world.

Challenge Specific Details:

  • Nonprofit Partner Organization Mission: Good Neighbors is an international humanitarian and development organisation working towards a world in which every child grows in a safe and healthy environment. It exists to make the world a place without hunger, where people live together in harmony. It respects the human rights of neighbours suffering from poverty, disasters and oppression, and helps them to achieve self-reliance and enable them to rebuild their hope.

  • Campaign Strategies: Our organization being a fresh organization in Australia wanted to focus on Brand awareness & visibility.

    • We concluded after a number of discussions that increasing impressions and website visits should be the short term goal for the next couple of months to educate the Australian public about our Organization and its major activities. So, this became our ultimate goal for the challenge.

    • We focused on broadening the audience reach by exploring the scope of new keywords from the unexplored webpages as the landing pages.

    • We suggested a few things to make the new shortlisted web pages SEO friendly, user-friendly and more appealing to the users.

    • We did extensive keyword research on all the topics about which the new landing pages were.

    • We introduced 3 new campaigns with fresh landing pages. Finally, we analysed the predictive reach for the new campaigns using the keyword planner and divided the budget accordingly.

  • Key Results & Impact: By working in coordination with the mentor and team members, we managed to achieve the following things:

  1. 142% increase in clicks.

  2. 154% increase in impressions.

  3. 7.4% decrease in Avg. CPC

  4. 134% increase in cost spend.

  5. 148% increase in total page views.

  6. We extended our challenge period to 7-weeks from 4-weeks.

  7. Apart from Google Ads, we did our extra bit and helped the organization in SEO, website optimization techniques, content writing, setting up Google Tag manager and managing Google Analytics.

  8. We are continuing to manage the Google Ads and all the above-mentioned areas as Interns of the organization.

  • Lessons learned and skills developed: The challenge was full of learnings, lessons, opportunities and new skills. The most important things that we all understood were the scope, demand, need of knowledge and the market of Digital Marketing. Digital marketing is the future and is full of opportunities. Understanding this has helped us a lot in making career decisions and aligning it with our interests.

We have developed a lot of hard as well as soft-skills:

  1. How to make data-driven decisions.

  2. Strategizing and implementing Google Ads Campaigns.

  3. Making future recommendations based on data and analysis of Website, Social media and other platforms.

  4. Communication Skills and Professionalism.

  5. Knowledge about the Non-profit sector.

  6. Virtual communication, teamwork, cooperation and task management during the emergency situation like COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Quotes/Moments from the Non-profit organization: Our Organization and mentor have supported a lot during the whole challenge. We were regularly appreciated for our work ethics and presentations, by our Project Manager which really elated us beyond measures. She once claimed that “Your presentations are so informative and advanced that my team and I get a lot of knowledge from them! Keep up the good work”; it was truly a benchmark compliment for us during the entire challenge. The most memorable part was that we completed the entire challenge in coordination with the mentor and team members while working from home. We had enormous online meetings and we had a great time throughout these two months.

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