Funding and Payments

The Global Online Marketing Academic Challenge (GOMAC) is not a simulation game. It is rather about serving real ads to real customers. Thus, you will need real money to do this. Unlike the defunct GOMC, there is no Google funded Google Ads budget.

Concerning the GOMAC campaigns, student teams are only required to spend a minimum of $25 USD on Google Ads during the campaign period. There is no Google Ads spend upper limit and no budget limitations for other marketing platforms/channels.

Funding a project challenges both students and professors involved.  These suggestions are here to provide you with some ideas and guidance. Consider funding as a learning experience. Handling real money in a responsible manner is what business is all about. You’ll see what doing business looks like if you try to operate like a professional marketing agency would.

Handling real money in a responsible manner is a key business issue. Please acquaint yourself with advertising platform payment options and understand their consequences and risks.

How to fund the GOMAC campaign

To start, teams must decide how they will fund their GOMAC campaigns. Here are some funding options you might consider:

  1. Client funding: You could ask your GOMAC client for a contribution.
  2. Educational funding: Educational institutions may have budgets to fund experiential learning exercises.  
  3. Sponsors/Donors: You can look for one or more sponsors who could provide funds for the campaign. Look for sponsors in alumni offices, local digital marketing firms or any other institution that would like to provide funding. Offer to promote their business at University/College events in exchange for their donation.  
  4. Crowdfunding: You could consider crowdfunding or another form of fundraising.
  5. Vouchers: Google currently offers Google Ads vouchers for new accounts that could add additional funds to your budget. This option may not be available in all countries and the rules differ across countries.
  6. Google Ad Grants (Budget $10,000 USD/month): Non-profit organisations can apply for Google Ad Grants (Eligibility). You could either find a non-profit organisation that already has an existing Ad Grant, or you might help an organisation apply for an Ad Grant. Be aware that Google Ads accounts using Google Ad Grants monies can only target the Search Network with text-based ads (no video or image ads). See Google Ad Grants – How it works and the Google Ad Grants Program policies for more details.
  7. Register for the Google Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge (OMC), where Google will provide you with a non-profit organization to run the OMC campaign. Then you can submit the OMC campaign for GOMAC.
  8. Mixed funding sources: A team could mix and match from the above sources to increase their campaign budget.

How to pay your GOMAC Google Ads account

Once you’ve been granted funds for the campaign, the next main issue should be to determine the best way to manage these funds. To properly manage your Google Ads costs and limit your personal risk it is important that team members familiarize themselves with Google Ads available payment methods and billing options.

To limit the risk of overspending you should consider the following options:

  1. Automatic and manual payments: In certain countries, it is possible to configure manual payments in Google Ads so that your expenses are deducted from the funds you manually transferred to the account before starting your campaign. Since your ads will automatically stop showing once the funds run out, you can rest assured that you won’t overspend. Manual payments provide a hard limit that ensures that you don’t spend more than you anticipated. See Google Ads Payment settings to see if this option is available in your country.
  2. Prepaid credit cards: You could make your payment with a one-time use credit card (also called a “virtual credit card” or a “prepaid credit card”) if the option is available in your country. Using this type of payment method limits what will be spent on the account to the money that you have already transferred on the prepaid credit card ahead of time.
  3. Monthly invoicingMonthly invoicing prevents budget overspending by limiting spending to the initially declared hard-limit amount. Unfortunately, this option is only available to businesses that have previously funded large Google Ads campaigns. To use this payment option you would have to find an eligible Payment Partner. The Payment Partner could (but doesn’t have to be) your GOMAC client or Funding Partner. You could find a third-party Payment Partner that is be willing to link its manager account to your Google Ads account and execute payments settings on your behalf. Not all institutions can use the monthly invoicing payment method, are eligible only those that meet specific requirements (see monthly invoicing for the detailed requirements) such as:
  • Registered as a business for a minimum of one year.
  • Have an active Google Ads account in good standing for a minimum of one year.
  • Spend a minimum of $5,000 a month (this can vary by country) for any three of the last 12 months.

How to manage your GOMAC budget

If you are using your credit card, you will be personally responsible for excess expenses. Therefore, it is important that you manage manage your budgets appropriately to limit the risks of overspending. You should remember that:

  1. Your daily Google Ads budgets must be adjusted for the possibility of overdelivery (also see Google Ads monthly charging limits) because Google Ads can charge you up to twice your daily limit.
  2. The safest way to stop spending is to set proper campaign end dates in the campaign settings. Be careful to not overwrite this settings with other features (e.g. with Google Ads Scripts). 
  3. You should familiarize yourself with Google Ads campaign budgets as the GOMA accepts no responsibility for the campaign you will manage.