Q] The adoption of Generative AI is at a nascent stage in the country. What is your approach, being one of the first movers, launching a slate of courses on this subject and promoting it with the new campaign?
The DNA of upGrad is to anticipate where careers will go and fill that gap. This is the first time technology is going to impact everybody directly, and there will be two kinds of people – those who will use Generative AI and those who won't. We will see different levels of efficiency in both these groups of people. We've developed over 25 courses, powered by Gen AI, or at least the courses and specializations or modules in various categories.
This campaign is trying to inspire people, to hop onto this bus of opportunity. But the idea is not to create fear of this new technology. The 'Bus of Opportunity’ is conceptualized in-house, there was no agency involved, it was produced in collaboration with Boathouse Media and directed by Shashwat Gandhi. We are seeing a 25% improvement in traffic from our organic campaign channels and a 2x growth in the number of people showing interest in our Gen AI courses after the campaign was launched.
Q] What is the brand’s media mix and which high-impact properties do you focus on?
We have been present primarily on Digital, barring one regional media campaign on TV which was meant to reach a certain demographic. Digital works well for us as our learners are digitally savvy. We did a first-party primary research and the audience of our TG in traditional versus Digital media was not very different. In a financial year when profitability is the goal, we try to capitalize on every penny that we have. We've been almost 80%, on Digital media this year. Our approach on social media has been to come across as trying to add value or tell you something that you probably wouldn't know. So, you would look forward to what's next, because it either intrigues your curiosity or it's fun.
We've also signed up for Shark Tank S3. We did S1 and now we are back. Context matters in Education, and when you talk about education on a show like this, people receive it better. Nobody wants to hear that you need to study when they're watching a comedy show. Hence the show fits contextually well, the consumer might listen because they feel inspired when they see somebody else succeed.
Q] How do you build affinity for higher education and establish upGrad as an evangelist of education while achieving the goal of profitability?
Five years back when online education did not exist, we learned everything on the job, and if we didn’t find a good mentor, we wouldn’t know how to succeed. The idea is to build trust towards online education and the credibility of the brand while supporting learning accessibility. The recent campaigns have been celebrating the success stories of our learners. We put these stories into our marketing communication with the hope that when we celebrate our learners, the brand also gets celebrated or accepted. This translates into commerce because people get intrigued to know more about upGrad or have more confidence in enrolling for a course. Education is life-altering, it's a big investment in terms of time, effort, and money.
Q] EdTech is one of the categories that is shaping up and reports by ASCI mentioned it in the list of a few of the top violative categories. What are some of the steps that a brand in this category may take to ensure that they're not curbing creative liberty, but also adhering to guidelines?
If your communication is going to mislead consumers, it must be avoided. Any kind of illicit marketing or misleading information is not just going to reflect poorly on the brand in the long term, but will also have immediate consumer backlash. In this day and age marketing is a two-way conversation. Immediate feedback is like a mirror for any brand to course-correct, especially in categories like education, and healthcare. We all serve a certain kind of purpose beyond just being businesses.