BrandTalk: Parents, children & investors are falling in love with BYJU’s: Atit Mehta

During a special speaker's session at the Pitch BrandTalk Conference 2019, Atit Mehta, Head of Marketing, BYJU’s shared insights on what ticked for their brand

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 20, 2019 8:42 AM

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Atit Mehta BYJUs

The special speaker's session at PITCH BrandTalk 2019 saw Atit Mehta. Head of Marketing of BYJU’s take us through the company's journey from being a physical classroom that taught Math to CAT aspirants, to the successful online learning app it is today.

Mehta began by talking about the education ecosystem; the fear that has been created by certain coaching classes and institutions, “It is all about creating that pressure and all about creating that fear, all about creating the environment that if you won’t join me you will not get your IIT seat, medical or management seat. All about achievements, the top rankers, and the testimony was the output.”

Which is what led to BYJU's core campaign “fall in love with learning”, that has now become synonymous with the brand.

To begin with he explained their marketing -sales route of giving people a 15 day free trial to understand what the content was about after which they choose whether or not they want to purchase the app, “ there is a healthy percentage that converts, the more the percentage of downloads, that is your upper funnel, and as and when people filter out, because nobody wants to not use it for 15 days, there is a 100 percent usage of the total number of downloads where the free trial is concerned, then some people drop out , some buy it. So the higher the downloads, the bigger the sales revenues for the sales organization.”

Like any other business BYJU’s has had their challenges -how to get growth back with organic downloads becoming stagnated, how to deliver the message of using technology for education without antagonizing the parents and teachers.

The campaign built around communicating to parents that the screen time their children where consuming to entertain themselves was being replaced by education struck a nerve with parents, explained Mehta, “this gave us a 15x jump in downloads and like I said the more the downloads the funnel becomes healthier and bigger, and the bigger the funnel more active leads get generated which converts into topline.”

Since the brand communication seemed to be working, BYJU’s stuck to consistency in their campaigns, adds Mehta, “That consistency also established the brand equity and now BYJU’s stands for online learning and kids are falling in love with learning.”

Mehta explained that despite facing criticism on spending money on tie-ups with celebs for promotions, it has had a positive impact on their growth, “The impact has been 120x growth in one and a half years. From 15x to 120x is a phenomenal thing. We are 1.3bn people, there are 260 million families school going kids, on that base having this level of growth is then a big, big number in absolute terms.  And this is the impact the communication and Shah Rukh had on the business.”

Despite the success so far the journey, BYJU’s journey seems to have just begun “35 million downloads, 4.7 ratings on Google app store, 71 mins on average time spent, and about 2.4 million paid subscribers. The headroom for growth is only 1 percent done to date.” Said Mehta.

Wrapping up the session Mehta introduced the audience to BYJU’s future plans- a business partnership with Disney for their Early Learning app for grades 1-3 and they are targeting content for preschoolers too.

The special session was followed by a Q&A with Akhilesh Sabharwal, Sr VP, Fulcro where Mehta was asked what it was like to be a challenger to the convention in the education sector. To which he replied, “The conviction has been that whatever has been happening in the last 3-4 years is working. Let's not change it. We continued to repeat it and see what works better and faster. But as we started, the conventional understanding was that we are a technology and digital company. So we will be digital-first. We tried doing that, unfortunately, this is not Rs 100 stuff which you buy from an e-commerce site or a Rs 1000 sales offer. This is educational and serious stuff. It is expensive and it requires a lot of conviction for parents. To convince a parent to shell out money over and above school and tuitions require to be unconventional, we were lucky it worked.”

Mehta’s reply to the question on what is the most unpredictable thing they have done to beat convention threw up a surprising reply from him, “We have stopped digital, to a great extent which is performance marketing. In today’s day and age people would laugh at us and say you don’t know how to run businesses and marketing and digital. For us, it is the download. When I say stop digital, it’s not actually a stop but performance has come down significantly from what it was a couple of years ago because you are chasing a parent to pay an X amount of rupees, you are forcing them through smart targeting options, great way of re-targeting, reducing the CAG and everything which gets into performance-based digital marketing, parents will somehow end up downloading the app and that is it, so my upper funnel grows, when I start filtering my funnel out I don’t have the digital convert for sales, unlike someone who has organically discovered me.”

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