The coronavirus outbreak has led to strenuous challenges for brands in terms of manufacturing and supply chain. Marketing in the midst of a global pandemic is another challenge they have to deal with.
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As businesses change the way they operate, their priority of being visible is of great importance and worrisome at the same time.
Karan Shroff, Vice-President, Marketing, Unacademy, told BestMediaInfo.com that brand visibility is definitely something companies across the globe are worried about amid the Covid-19 outbreak. However, he said, a large share of that depends on the nature of one’s business.
As the lockdown has led to a massive spike in online consumption, he said electronic and digital mediums are where marketing efforts across categories would be concentrated.
Talking about Unacademy’s marketing strategy, Shroff said, “All of our current marketing efforts are concentrated towards the goal of ensuring continued learning amid the pandemic.”
Talking about the shift in consumer perception, Shroff said, “With people forced to stay indoors, people are increasingly seeing the value ed-tech platforms bring to the table. We are sure that as time goes by, people will be more receptive to the advantages we have to offer. The signs are already there, which can be validated by the exceptional numbers we have witnessed in terms of the influx of new learners on our platform.”
“We have witnessed a significant increase in daily active users to around 500,000 per day. We have also seen an exponential increase in viewers per week for the special free classes by 150%. Additionally, there has been a 110% increase in new subscribers, taking the total number to 1.5 million since the beginning of March,” he said.
In addition to the marketing initiatives, with an aim to reach as many students as possible amid the lockdown and ensure they can continue to learn, it has been conducting 20,000 free live classes every month, free mock tests for many high-level exams such as UPSC, SBI PO, etc., and have opened up the platform for other educational institutions to conduct their classes for free.
“We are a platform where learning never stops and now more than ever, we need to ensure we send out that message to students,” said Shroff.
The platform has been running its Let's Crack It campaign on electronic and digital mediums to reach out to students and effectively communicate to them.
Apart from that, it recently launched the ‘Legends on Unacademy’ campaign where Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Shashi Tharoor and Kiran Bedi have been brought in to provide live classes.
The campaign aims at providing necessary motivation to students and to help them gain fruitful insights from renowned personalities.
Talking about the core idea behind the campaign, Shroff said it is to nurture students and provide a holistic education.
“The overall initiative came into existence when our marketing team wanted to draw examples from their own experiences and realised that real-life learnings shared by renowned and successful personalities create a positive effect in the minds of young students. Which is why over the course of the two editions, we roped in stalwarts from different fields,” he added.
The March edition of the campaign had included live classes from cricketers such as Brian Lara, Brett Lee and Jonty Rhodes.
Shroff said the pandemic has been a great leveller and everyone, be it famous or ordinary people, is going through the same thing and are at home right now. Hence, students can be inspired and learn from what the legends and famous personalities are practising at home to keep themselves positive and motivated.
Both editions of the campaign saw phenomenal success, as it witnessed thousands of learners attending the session from across the country. Tharoor’s five sessions were attended by 30,000 plus viewers each and the joint session by Kohli and Sharma attracted more than 50,000. Bedi's session was attended by more than 20,000 viewers.
This programme is intended to continue to invite more well-known personalities and legends to take live classes, as the platform wants to reach as many students as possible with the goal of having a positive effect on their lives and providing them with this unique experience of learning from their idols.
The campaign was conceived prior to the lockdown with the first edition taking place in early March. However, looking at the current situation, the platform had revisited the campaign with an intention to motivate students amidst the pandemic.
Explaining if there was any challenge that the platform had faced while launching the campaign amid the pandemic, he said, “There weren’t too many challenges as our product is very easy to operate, the legends had to log into their class from wherever they were and the students logged in from their homes. After all, this is one of our key USPs — ease of access.”
With educational institutions being shut, the platform is offering over 20,000 free live classes every month where learners have access to top educators from across the country, all from the comfort of their homes.
Additionally, it has opened its platform to educational institutions to conduct their classes for free and without any limitation on the number of hours.
Shroff said these initiatives have been well-received from students across the country, allowing the platform to cross one billion minutes of watch time including its YouTube channels in March alone.
As it continues to run the free live classes, Shroff said the platform is always on the lookout to explore opportunities that can help it with its goal of ensuring uninterrupted learning for students.