How edtech platforms are marketing new-age courses to school-going students

Can edtech platforms add to their relevance in the new world by marketing courses like Coding, AI, Animation, App Development, Game Designing and Machine Learning to even six year olds?

e4m by Anjana Naskar
Updated: Oct 14, 2020 9:11 AM
online education

For decades, tech courses remained restricted to higher education in mainstream colleges and schools. But recently edtech apps have been seen marketing new-age courses like Coding, AI, Animation, App Development, Game Designing and Machine Learning to even six year olds along with young students & professionals. With partial reopening of schools and colleges, and a big question mark on the relevance of edtech platforms post that, will these new courses give these apps the much-needed edge once usage of edtech apps ceases to remain a necessity for learning.

Platforms that provide such courses are WhiteHat Jr, Toppr Codr, Vedantu Super Coders and Unacademy, with some of them specifically designed for younger students.“With technology taking over our ecosystem, we have seen the workforce rapidly switching gear towards digital literacy in the last few years. Thus, the domain of data science is the most popular, followed by Digital Marketing,” observes Arjun Mohan, CEO-India, upGrad. 

Hari Krishnan Nair, Co-founder, Great Learning, says, “On an average, students are spending approximately. 2 hrs/day learning these skills on the platform.” Nair adds that Great Learning’s programmes in emerging technologies like Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, and Cloud Computing are the most sought-after programmes on the platform currently. Recently the brand onboarded Virat Kohli, the captain of the Indian cricket team, as its brand ambassador. The edtech company also launched a multi-film campaign that will be aired on Disney + Hotstar throughout the Dream11 Indian Premier League 2020. 

As per Zishaan Hayath, CEO & Co-founder, Toppr, “Coding is an important skill of the 21st century and when students learn to code, it helps them be ready for the future. “Coding courses offered on Toppr Codr are created keeping in mind the age groups and various skill levels at each age group. The duration of these courses vary from 8 to 144 classes. The combination of age group, skill level and duration takes care of individual needs. Moreover, these are one-on-one online classes, so they are highly personalised for each student.” He further shares, “Toppr Codr offers courses for various skill levels designed for specific outcomes. There are various milestones that a student can achieve during the courses.”

With their new campaign ‘Better Learning Better Results’, Toppr aims at encouraging students to understand, reason and question for better learning outcomes. “Coaching classes are inaccessible to millions of students and by design, they can’t personalise learning for every student. While a handful of better performing students get to learn from better teachers, others don't have access to the same resources, even though they are enrolled in the same coaching class. Toppr eliminates all such discrepancies and personalises learning for every single student. We are leveraging TV, Digital and print media for this. Digital is a key channel for this campaign and we are live on all major platforms and started our digital marketing campaign before TV. This helped us gain insights on the performance of each creative with various kinds of audience and helped us refine our TV plan,” says Hayath.

But are more and more parents open to such courses and willing to spend on tech-infused interactive learning for their children starting at a very young age. Siddharth Bakshi, Head of Marketing, Udemy India, opines that learning is for all age groups and their platform doesn't specifically promote a particular course to kids or parents. “We are running a national campaign on TV & OTTs to tell people how easy it is to learn on Udemy because learning is the new currency that can help us succeed as individuals, as a workforce, and as a society and Udemy believes in improving lives through learning.”

A majority of the edtech platforms are not exactly beating the drums on the new age courses like Coding etc in their mass media campaigns and keeping their communication for such niche courses to mailers and digital, largely to social media platforms where they are targeted to parents. Perhaps with more and more parents signing up their children for these courses, the scope of the communication will also be widened.

Elaborating on the response from their target market on edtech courses overall, Arjun Mohan, CEO-India, upGrad says, “By far, the majority of our learners, if we compare the pre vs. the post Covid-19 outbreak, are coming from South India with the highest interest rate from Bangalore, followed by Hyderabad and Chennai. Moreover, the numbers, in terms of interest for our programmes have significantly increased in Bengaluru & Chennai by 120% and in Hyderabad by almost 110%. In terms of interested candidates, sheer organic interest for our programmes went up by around 120%. Our website saw a 42% increase for the 45-54 age group in the AMJ quarter, which is the highest amongst all other age groups, followed by the 18 – 24 age group which grew by 40%.”

With tech-infused interactive learning, education technology or edtech platforms have gained momentum in the past few years, revolutionising the Indian education system. At this point when ed tech platforms are attempting to get into mainstream education, even with schools and colleges opening up, perhaps these innovative courses can be the much needed ‘add-on’ which can help them retain their relevance.

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