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6/6/19
OMC Updates [UPDATED AUG 8, 2019] 0 Recommended Answers 18 Replies 22 Upvotes
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Last edited 8/8/19
Hello OMC Participants, 

I am Ammar, the program manager of the Online Marketing Challenge, a role I recently acquired. Thank you for sharing your experiences and I sincerely apologize for the frustrations you felt with the challenges in the past. These are all issues that I am tasked with to fix and restore the challenge to its original glory and mission. I would love to use this opportunity to share some insights about the decline of challenge and upcoming improvements/timeline.

When I took over as program manager, the Online Marketing Challenge was running in automation without a dedicated support team, and riddled with bugs. My first steps were to track down all the bugs and errors, work with the academic panel and professors to understand pain points, and to update our support documents and website before the 2019 fall semester.  

Communication: 
One of the first changes was to address our support and contact insufficies, many professors and students would have to wait days if not weeks for an answer to their issues from our support team. Hence the following channels were created: 
Please note that you G+ page is officially closed and out old email address is no longer receiving messages. 

Bug Fixes: 
Secondly, I comprehensively debugged the OMC platform and tracked over 20 critical issues over the past 4 months. These were causing problems such as double matching student teams with a single NPO, misinformation in the student's dashboard, matching with inactive NPOs, matching students with NPOs in different time zones, and many other issues. This no doubt was a contributor to the frustrations of running the challenge the dip in quality. The good news is that the vast majority of the bugs have been resolved and a rollout of the new platform will happen in the next 2 weeks. 

New Changes to the OMC: 
Thirdly, working with many professors and the academic panel we listened to your pain points and recommendations. Along with the roll out of the new platform, we are implementing the following changes: 
  • Professors will be CC'd in all communication sent to students. 
  • Professors will have more robust admin controls of their dashboard 
  • New support documents and checklists are now available to help guide students and professors
  • Updated the language of our email communications to reflect new changes
  • Marketing campaign with NPOs to educate them about the OMC, set expectations when working with students teams, and to opt out if they are no longer active. 
Future Changes: 
  • Update the matching algorithm to incorporate time zones and student preferences. 
  • New incentives and potential prizes 
  • Quicker certificate distribution
  • Top Marketer Spotlight on our website and Ad Grants newsletter
  • More stringent accountability rules for professors, NPOs, and students. 

Sincerely,
All Replies (18)
6/18/19
Hi Ammar,

It's been many months since we submitted our pitch for the spotlight story. kindly keep us updated about the spotlight story winners.
Thank you

Regards
Nitin Mohan Sharma
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6/18/19
Hello Nitin Mohan Sharma, 

It is good to hear from you! We have your submission and only recently started to to review and publish stories, we will make sure to keep you updated when your story is published. 

Sincerely,
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6/27/19
I have sent several emails to the onlinechallenge@google.com trying to get either certificates or a response as to why my students did not receive certificates.  I never receive a response from that Google email address.  

Two out of 4 teams received certificates, but I cannot get a response as to why the other groups received nothing.  I know that one group's non-profit partner submitted the required report and my Professor Dashboard shows that everything is complete and submitted.  

The contact person from the other non-profit was intermittent with responses to students, and eventually never responded for the past two months.  

The two teams have graduated, and I no longer have contact with them.  This was part of their grade for a Digital Marketing Class.
Last edited 6/27/19
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6/28/19
Hello Jodi, 

The onlinechallenge email is no longer receiving messages. The new email is AdGrantsOMC-external@google.com. Can you please reach out to us using that email and we will be happy to look into this issue and get them their certificates. 

Sincerely,
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7/14/19
Hello, the NPO which was assigned to us is asking for some kinda verification from Google. Can you help in this regard, I have mailed the same using the email which was provided.
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7/15/19
Hello Darahaus M.S.

We have received your email over the weekend and will be responding to your message today! 

Sincerely,
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7/29/19
I have a team that has not received an NGO and we are only weeks away from end of semester.  Might we suggest a local NGO for this?  We can speak with the NGO account ID 174-563-9306 if you can add them to the Challenge
Last edited 7/29/19
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7/29/19
Hello Paul, 

Thank you for contacting Ad Grants OMC team. We checked the CID you provided and they are a valid Ad Grants account, we can arrange that for you as long as they are in alignment to work with your student team. 

We kindly ask you to have the NGO fill out this form for our records. In the meanwhile, your students may go ahead and contact the NGO and begin working with them.  Please let us know which team would you like to pair this NGO to, so we may reflect that in their dashboard. 

Sincerely,
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7/29/19
Great!  the NGO has filled out the form as you requested.'
If you can pair them now, that would be great.  The Team captain is:  
Jose Andrés Moraga  joseandresmogo1999@gmail.com
Last edited 7/29/19
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9/10/19
Hello Ammar,
In 2016 we started our nonprofit account. In 2017 someone at google closed our account and ended our ad grants. three months ago I saw this had happened and I have made repeated calls to google ad grants and spoke to many people now. account 509-804-6015 International Autoimmune Encephalitis society nonprofit account
. They have helped me set up campaigns each saying we would be ready to open the account again. But each time it fails and I am told we do . not know whats wrong. We do not know how to bring us online. We are the International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society a 200 page web site located at autoimmune-encephalitis.org. Because people anywhere can become ill with this serious and some times fatal disease we educate them diagnosis and treatment. Doctors as well read on our site because the disease is rare. Then we have a list of doctors who can treat this disease in most countries. Today, I was told that I should target certain cities, countries around the world. If this narrows our reach to those in need, I think it is not a good idea. It is hard enough to get information on this disease with out elimination of people in need. I want people to input the word autoimmune encephalitis and have our site come up world wide. I have had people who were going to call me to fix this but then we miss the call and they do not call back. I call back and reach people who want me to start from square one by creating a new campaign when one already exists. By this time we can say that our problem is getting google to help fix what ever is wrong with competinent help so people around the world can learn about a critical disease they may have. It is not hard, one look at our site autoimmune-encephalitis.org provides a good description why when someone searches, google can play a critical role in helping people find us. Yet it has been threee months trying and must be over 15 people I have spoken to now. Is there an end point where we can get google ad grants up and running again? Is there anyone with the knowledge who can do this?
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