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Marketing 2020: We plan to strengthen our marketing outreach in 2020, says Karan Shroff, VP Marketing, Unacademy

Shroff says the brand’s focus would be on TV and digital along with other support mediums such as outdoor, radio, cinema and print’s special series ‘Marketing 2020’ reached out to online education platform Unacademy’s Marketing Head Karan Shroff, who is looking forward to new possibilities in the New Year after the positive response to the brand’s marketing initiatives in 2019.

What were your unmet expectations in the market in 2019 that you wish to achieve in 2020? And what factors would help you meet your goals?

As a brand, Unacademy started its marketing campaign and ATL journey in 2019. As the campaign is currently live, we have been receiving an extremely positive response for it. Therefore, we want to further strengthen our marketing efforts in order to gain top-of-mind recall among learners and eventually become a household name when it comes to education. We believe that a strong brand presence would definitely help in building recall and will propel us towards our vision. 

One thing in marketing that you couldn't implement this year but like to do it next year, and the factors.

In 2019, we initiated our marketing campaign called 'Let’s crack it' with an idea to motivate and support students preparing for any kind of examination. As a part of this campaign we recently released an anthem in the form of a rap song, an initiative never done before when it comes to the education sector. The anthem is sung and created by Bollywood sensation Naezy (Naved Shaikh) and Dub Sharma (Siddharth Sharma) from the Gully Boy team. The idea is to make a larger impact on students and motivate them throughout their learning journey. 

In the coming year, we want to connect more deeply with our students, and want to penetrate further and reach every learner in the country. We want to encourage and motivate students to believe that they have a chance at cracking their exam with Unacademy. Our focus is to bring educators closer to students and implement this over the next year covering the length and breadth of India so that every student gets the opportunity to move closer towards fulfilling their dreams.   

How do you see advertising and marketing trends evolving in 2020?

The industry is moving and growing at a rapid pace, more opportunities are opening up with digital and OTT players coming into play. 2020 would be an exciting year for advertising and the trends would involve conventional media in the form of TV and digital mediums and OTTs adding to the overall reach. 

Do you plan to increase your marketing budget for the coming year? If so, any rough estimate on the increase? Would your category behave in similar fashion?

With the positive response that we have received for our marketing initiatives in 2019, we plan to further strengthen our marketing outreach in 2020.  We will introduce more campaigns next year with students being at the centre of each campaign. The category is starting to get active and our efforts will be to push the boundaries when it comes to innovation.   

How would your budget allocation for various mediums change in 2020? Would it be different than your category? 

Our focus would be on TV and digital along with other support mediums such as outdoor, radio, cinema, and print. Unacademy is a modern age solution-driven brand and our marketing strategies will always reflect that. It will be our endeavour to break the norms and provide a solution to the problems students face nationwide. 

How do you expect your agency/communication/content partners to change in the next year?

We believe that brands should come up with quality content and compelling stories in order to reach out to the larger audience, to yield better results and drive better ROIs. Our efforts will be to work towards the same and we would further expect the same from our partners. Together, our aim is to deliver innovation and quality in 2020.

What's your brand's outlook for the next three years?

Our goal is to become a household name in the education space. We want Unacademy to become an indispensable name when one thinks of education, and create a top-of-mind recall for the brand. We plan to achieve this by making education accessible to everyone along with quality content. 

Social media and consumer behaviour are changing the dynamics of marketing faster than brands could even get a grip on the current trend. What would help you and other brands keep abreast with these quick changes?

We believe that every marketing effort should be conceptualised, keeping the consumer at the centre of it. The closer the brand is to the consumer, the more adaptable to changes they are. Hence, if you look at our campaigns, be it the TVCs or the recently released anthem (rap song), they are entirely focused on students who are our consumers. Connecting with the end consumer is the most important aspect of any marketing initiative and if the campaign is focused on consumers, it becomes easy to build a connection with them.

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