To Study The Advertising Strategies For Edtech Startup
(With special reference to byju’s)
Online learning is a rich learning environment with much more flexibility than a traditional classroom. It helped students to become independent learners before they make their way into the real world. Educational Technology, commonly known as EdTech, is the new hot tea on the table. The main purpose of this secondary data based research study is to figure out the marketing strategy of Byju’s learning platform. The main sources are Byju’s website, different journal articles, and different websites referred for finding the best result. Google Scholar and Research gate are mainly used as search engines to retrieve data related to the research-based case study. KEYWORDS Educational technology, online learning, classroom, digital media, strategy.
Education is one of the inevitable necessities of man. Online learning is a rich learning environment with much more ﬂexibility than a traditional classroom. It helped students to become independent learners before they make their way into the real world. Educational Technology, commonly known as EdTech, is the new hot tea on the table. Many of the online educational companies have taken the initiative to bring in advancements into the education system so that students can learn and master lessons and concepts in a customized manner. India has shifted to digital learning and teaching in the past 10 months rapidly. As we know how the coronavirus outbreak impacted most of the sectors globally including the academic world. Due to this pandemic, millions of enrolled learners and active teachers got stuck at home. Since March 2020, the number of students learning online in India has increased dramatically. Schools, universities, and educational institutions have totally moved online due to the lockdown and worry about Covid-19. In the past ten months, the user base of many of the edtech platforms has doubled in both paid and free daily visitors. Some of the better known online learning platforms for students to study and for teachers to educate include Byju who educate millions of students and it is the renowned and leading edtech platform throughout the world.
Byju is the leading edtech platform not only in India, It is popular throughout the world. We were a little bit aware about Byju’s before the pandemic but now it is in the spotlight, everybody knows about this edtech platform. Millions of students are connected with Byju which is India’s most valuable unicorn startup, with a valuation of $16.5 billion. During this pandemic the Byju platform earned a renowned name in the online sector because millions of students were stuck at home and unable to visit the schools. Their presence in the market is not from the pandemic, It is for the past 10 years. According to marqueex, in the months of March and April of 2020, over 13.5 million users joined the renowned platform Byju’s to learn and educate themselves. And since the lockdown, Byju’s has added over 25 million new students on its platform.
The learning platform Byju’s was created in 2011 by BYJU Raveendran and it was developed by Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd. Byju Raveendran had a huge interest in the subject of mathematics and science, which led him to pursue an engineering degree. Byju is in the emerging trends in the field of education, especially e-learning has been made easy through visualized, animated video, and audio classes for grades 4th to 12th especially for mathematics and science subjects. It also extends its courses for CAT, JEE, NEET, and IAS.
GROWTH OF BYJU’S THROUGHOUT ITS JOURNEY:
|2012||Honored in Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India and also, Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific.|
|2015||Launched the learning revolution of India – BYJU’S App.|
|2016||Awarded by Google Play India as the ‘Best Self-Development App’.|
|2017||Created an online panel for the parents to track their child’s progress and BYJU’s Math App for kids.|
|2018||15 million registered users out of which, 900,000 were paid subscribers.|
|2019||Recognized as the world’s most valuable ed-tech company.|
|2020||Earned Rs 2800 cr in Revenue|
|2020||Witnessed the busiest three months due to the impact of COVID-19|
ABOUT BYJU’S APP
Byju’s e-learning App is one of the most used online learning mobile applications in India. Byju’s app operations began in 2011. It is launched by two business entrepreneurs Byju Raveendran and DivyaGokulnath. The Company’s head office is in Bengaluru, India. The app slogan is “Fall in love with learning.” It is India’s fastest electronics app, focused only on learning the concept by various methods and through various animated videos, more straightforward and effective content. According to media reports, it has over 100 million students on the app and 6.5 million annual paid subscribers. It uses a mix of video lessons and interactive tools to personalize learning for every student.
Byju’s- The Learning App came up with two other manifestations in 2017, viz. Byju’s- Math App and Byju’s- Parent Connect App. The Parent Connect App helps the parents keep track of their kids’ learning and progress.
MARKETING PLANNING TO THE EXECUTION
Now if we talk about the marketing then BYJU’s had faced a lot of challenges from the marketing planning to the execution but at the end it somehow faced those challenges and became a renowned name among its audience. An advertising strategy can be defined as a step by step plan or blueprint developed by businesses to reach and persuade customers to buy your products or services. Byju’s has recently acquired brick-and-mortar test prep leader Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL). From this strategic merger, Byjus aims to provide a hybrid of online and offline learning for students.
|04.||July 2018||Math Adventures|
|06.||August 2020||WhiteHat Jr.|
|08.||January 2021||Akash Educational Services Ltd.|
|09.||18th February 2021||Scholr|
|10.||29th May 2021||HashLearn|
|11.||13th July 2021||Gradeup|
|12.||13th July 2021||Toppr|
|13.||21st July 2021||Epic|
|14.||24th July 2021||Great Learning|
|15.||4th August 2021||Whodat Tech|
List of purchased firm by the Byju’s
BUSINESS MODEL OF BYJU’S
The business model of Byju’s revolves around Edtech (educational technology), distance education, and m-learning services. The revenue is earned from the subscription amount which is paid by the students for learning. BYJU’S also earns from product purchases from its website, offline career counseling, offline coaching, and live classes.
Since the launch in 2011, this edtech leader has raised over a billion dollars for multiple investors including Tencent Holdings Ltd., Naspers Ltd., Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed India Partners, and General Atlantic.Since the beginning of 2020, BYJU’s has been raising funds and in the current round, the company has successfully received $500 million from the investors.
In the fiscal year of 2018, Byju’s earned Rs. Four hundred ninety crores, and in the fiscal year of 2019, it earned Rs. One thousand three hundred forty-one crores as the revenue. According to financial data accessed by business intelligence platform, Tofler, Think & Learn reported consolidated revenue of Rs 2,434 crore, an 81 % jump since the last financial year.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
‘Byju’s The Learning App: An Investigative Study On The Transformation From Traditional Learning To Technology Based Personalized Learning (2020)’ from this study, researcher Sruthi and Sangeeta Mukherjee cleared that Byju’s app has transformed the Indian education scenario by effectively incorporating Constructive methods of teaching and learning. They said that the app is interactive, comfortable and effective. But on the other side also they said that some users are not able to effectively use this App for personalized learning as they are not regular subscribers of the app. Regular subscription is on the expensive side for average Indian students. Byju’s App is striving hard to transform the education scenario and will surely reach a mass audience if it can become more affordable.
In the study of ‘Byju’s Learning App in the COVID-19 Outbreak to Analyze Online Education-A Case Study (2021)’ the researcher Sigma Sathyan and Krishna Prasad found that the Covid 19 outbreak has delayed the students’ education and, in this situation, Byju’s app helped the children continue their studies during the Covid 19 situation. Byju’s APP has taken several proceedings to overcome the education crisis in India during Covid 19 outbreak and took necessary steps to help their students. It is also found that most of the students in the semi-urban area use Byju’s app for their studies during the Covid 19 pandemic.
- To study the business model and advertising strategy of Byju’s.
- To find out the most successful digital marketing tactics for Byju’s.
- To map out the behavior of tools used for the promotion of a brand.
- To describe the growth of Byju’s from startup to unicorn.
The exploratory and analytical study is carried out on edtech start-ups Byju’s through qualitative methods. The area of research for this paper is purposively Byju’s as we found in our initial research that Byju’s is a leading renowned name among all edtech startups.
The main purpose of this secondary data based research study is to figure out the marketing strategy of Byju’s learning platform. The main sources are Byju’s website, different journal articles, and different websites referred for finding the best result. Google Scholar and Research gate are mainly used as search engines to retrieve data related to the research-based case study.
- On-street marketing approach
In 2018, the company planned an on-street approach to reach out to individual potential customers in the small cities. The idea was traditional and very simple with a strong team of 1000 employees, BYJU’S planned to visit home-to-home and pitch-in their product to the customer.
- Understanding the target audience
According to Shawrya Mehrotra, Founder and CEO at Metvy, Byju has better understood the end user’s consumption pattern. “What millennials want?” and “what parents want?”. He said that Byju’s has grown from 200 employees to 1000 and are now set to enter the global market too. The success of Byju’s once again demonstrates how vital it is to understand your target audience to develop a marketing strategy that pushes your sales.
- Brand Ambassador
One of the most powerful marketing strategies of Byju’s is the brand ambassadors. As we can understand that having a brand ambassador attaches a face to the brand. Nowadays most of the companies choose the same strategy in the promotion of the business or product. In 2017, BYJU’s launched its official learning app available to children for free for a limited period and made Shah Rukh Khan (The King of Bollywood) its official brand ambassador which had left a huge influence on the audience. SRK is the most loved actor and superstar not just in India but worldwide. Shah Rukh Khan is the brand ambassador of Byju’s justifies the user base of the tech brand. When ShahRukh stated “BYJU’s haitoh progress hai” and “Download the app now”, the audience was easily convinced to download the app.
Another brand ambassador for Byju’s is the favorite of every child. ‘Disney’ is another brand ambassador of Byju’s. It is the most popular and loved company that has been entertaining children for years. Associating it with a learning platform brings together entertainment and education.
- Regional campaigns
India is a diverse country in terms of languages. When a brand runs marketing campaigns, it has to pay attention to the different regions and languages the people speak in India. This way, they can target customers from different regions in their regional languages. Byjus made a perfect ad film to pitch to regional customers in the regional language (Kannada).To top it all, the brand featured the Telugu movie star, Mahesh Babu. In two of its ad campaigns, Byju’s showcases how online learning in multiple vernacular languages like Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Malayalam and Gujarati have been introduced during the lockdown which is increasing the preferences among students nowadays. Byju’s has partnered with WhiteHatJr to offer courses in local languages to different geographies.
- Freemium business model
BYJU’S follows a freemium business model, where some content dealing with basics was made available to all for free but accessing further content requires a paid subscription. This method attracts many students. Once they get to know how good the app and the content are, they automatically feel the need for subscribing to the paid services.
- Collaborations and Sponsorships
When a brand collaborates with other brands or sponsors events, then it can pitch different customer bases of the brand we partner with. Byju’s app promotes itself with such collaborations and sponsorships.
- Sponsor of the Indian Cricket Team in the ICC world cup, and being a sponsor in the event gives Byju increased brand exposure because we know that ICC world cup has a large audience base .
- BYJU’S becomes the global partner of the ICC – International Cricket Council from 2021 to 2023.
- Sponsors of the HistoryTV18 show OMG! Yeh Mera India, which showcases Indian talents. Other than this, the brand collaborates with Osmo to offer a better learning experience to children.
- Video marketing campaigns
As we know if a brand creates a video marketing campaign, then it should be an impactful one. Byju’s pitched the customers with an ad campaign by associating the brand with India’s favorite sport, cricket. Byjus, in their ad campaign Titled ‘Keep Learning,’ features the Indian cricket players donning the new jersey Byju’s name imprinted in front. The ad features Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, and the players sharing their learnings.
Another remarkable video marketing campaign was the ad titled by Byjus stating that children do not use technology just for entertainment, but they can learn from it. The ad showcases how the children use various gadgets like mobile and computers to learn from Byju’s learning platform. The ad was surely a success and left a great impact on audiences.
- Bridging the gap between Gen Z and millennial
The marketing strategy of Byju’s is bridging the gap between the Gen Z and Millenials generation as they are the target users of Byju’s. Byju’s targets grown-up students who are aspiring to crack competitive or entrance exams as well. By offering them a way of reaching their dream to crack the exams, Byjus pitches the young generation.
Byju’s also targeted the parents by making them believe how the gadgets their children stick to these days can be a learning platform for them. It is also making the parent-children relationship better. So in different ways, Byju’s is bridging the gap between different generations.
- Search Engine Optimization
SEO is used to improve the website rank in Google search results. This leads to more people coming to the website which is good for lead generation and sales. The brands use SEO to bring traffic to their website and generate sales leads. It is not necessary that every strategy that a brand adopts work in its favor. SEO is the strategy that didn’t work pretty well for Byju’s compared with other marketing strategies whereas It works pretty well for the other ed techs like Toppr and Vedantu .
- Digital ads
Apart from SEO, another strategy that did not work well for Byju’s is digital advertising like Google ads and Facebook ads. Google ads to rank to the top of search results.
The Facebook ads of Byju’s generated leads, but the leads were of no use. Students looking for NCERT solutions or any other study material had no buying intent which makes them difficult to convert. The main issue was the discovery of the right keywords and implementation. The students were their target but, unfortunately, not the actual buyers of their courses. The students were the influencers and their parents were the final decision maker. So, the actual buyers were the parents who made the parent-children relationship better and therefore their marketers redesigned BYJU’s Digital Marketing Strategy. As a result, Google ads became a money drain for Byjus.
THE 4PS OF MARKETING MIX OF BYJU’S ARE –
- Product – The various learning products of the Byju’s App to capture potential markets.
- Price – Pricing strategy is on the various customer segments.
- Place (Channels of Distribution ) – Distribution mix of Byju’s with the emergence of Online Retailing & domination of players such as Amazon.
- Promotion (Communication Strategy of Byju’s) – The emergence of social media and online advertising has changed the landscape of Byju’s platform.
BYJU’s continued its traditional marketing and earned fame among it’s audience i.e., television. It started endorsing through television ads and gained a rise in customer’s base. Side by side digital marketing was also being implemented. So when you search for “online classes or tuitions”, BYJU’s name will come up at first and people will click on it as it has become a renowned name in this sector. Now, BYJU’s is a known name in almost each and every house. We have also understood from this study that not every marketing strategy a brand adopts can work wonders for them. The brand needs to find the perfect strategy by analyzing competitors’ strategies and performing market research.
If one strategy doest work for your brand, the other might counterpart. Just like the case of Byjus, their SEO and digital ads didn’t work, but other strategies are taking the ed-tech brand to heights. Startups like Swiggy, Lenskart and Paytm are using digital marketing to grow their business. But the same can’t be said for Byjus.
Byju has understood the consumption pattern of its end users. It’s “What millennial want?” and “what parents want?” This two-pronged strategy is working well for the company. The success of Byju’s once again demonstrates how vital it is to understand your target audience to develop a marketing strategy that pushes your sales.
- Agarwal, V. (2021, August 3). Byju’s marketing strategy: How it educates millions. MarqueEx. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://marqueex.com/byjus-marketing-strategy-how-it-educates-millions/
- Bhasin, H. (2021, October 13). Business model of Byju’s – how byju’s makes money? Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://www.marketing91. com/business-model-of-byju/#Goals-and-Vision-of-Raveendran-Byju
- Byju’s digital marketing strategy: Case study with examples. Digital Wheel. (2021, December 4). Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://digitalwheel.in/byjus-digital-marketing-strategy/
- Mukherjee, S., &Palliyalil, S. (2020). Byju’s The Learning App: An Investigative Study On The Transformation From Traditional Learning To Technology Based Personalized Learning. IJSTR.
- Sigma Sathyan& Krishna Prasad, K. (2021). Byju’s Learning App in the COVID-19 Outbreak to Analyze Online Education-A Case Study. International Journal of Case Studies in Business, IT, and Education (IJCSBE), 5(2), 75-86.
- What is Byju’s marketing strategy? – quora. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://www.quora.com/What-is-Byjus-marketing-strategy
Associate Professor, LNCT University, Bhopal
Assistant Professor, LNCT University, Bhopal