Downtown In the News

JMU Students Market Downtown Businesses Online

Two teams of marketing students from JMU’s College of Business partnered with downtown businesses to compete in the 2009 Google Online Marketing Challenge.

The team of Jessica Jacklin (team captain), Stephanie Scheper and Nicole Thornton worked with with James McHone Jewelry. Nancy Woody (team captain), Kye Swenson and Tim Seher partnered with Gentry Photography.

Using a $200 voucher from Google, the teams designed and executed a three-week AdWords campaign for each business. Their results netted them a spot in the top 50 of some 2,100 teams from 57 countries. Another JMU team was named the winner of the Americas region.

What is AdWords? The innocuous text is Google’s main revenue source ($21 billion in 2008), and savvy marketers use the product to pit Mom & Pop shops against multinational juggernauts. Businesses bid on a spot in search engine results, paying only when their ad is clicked. With the option to target ads by search terms, geographic area, time of day, and other parameters, AdWords has quickly become one of the most effective advertising media yet devised.

If you’re interested in learning more, let us know. HDR is happy to set up workshops on topics of interest to downtown merchants.


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