We will spend Rs 100 crore on our campaign #CannotBeLockedDown: Mark Moran, Simplilearn
Mark Moran, Chief Marketing Officer, SimplilearnSimplilearn
Mark Moran, Chief Marketing Officer, Simplilearn talks to us about its recently-launched campaign and the platform's fu...
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We will spend Rs 100 crore on our campaign #CannotBeLockedDown: Mark Moran, Simplilearn

Mark Moran, Chief Marketing Officer, Simplilearn talks to us about its recently-launched campaign and the platform's fu...
  • The edtech sector has witnessed a boom in the last 1.5 years and most players are trying to make space for themselves in a category that is increasingly becoming cluttered.
  • Simplilearn has launched its new campaign to celebrate the spirit of professionals working hard and up-skilling themselves despite being in the midst of a global pandemic.
  • Mark Moran, Chief Marketing Officer, Simplilearn talks to us about the campaign and more.
The Covid-19 pandemic has completely disrupted the world, and with it, the way we work and live. We saw thousands of people lose their jobs in the midst of the pandemic, making people realize the importance of up-skilling to stay ahead in the game.

The edtech sector has seen a boom in India in the last year and a half, not just for school and college students but also for people wanting to advance in their careers. More and more people are on the lookout for courses that can help them further their careers. And with the sector cluttered and many players spending big bucks on advertising, it is important for different players to come up with differentiated communications, to be able to capture its consumer’s mindspace.

Simplilearn, which calls itself the world’s No 1 online Bootcamp for digital economy skills has just launched a campaign titled #CannotBeLockedDown and is investing big to take its message to its targeted consumers.

We speak to Mark Moran, Chief Marketing Officer, Simplilearn who shares the platform’s journey so far, its plans around the new campaign and its strategies to capture a bigger market share.

The campaign

Simplilearn’s has come up with a high decibel campaign after quite a few years, but it plans to go all out with this new campaign. Titled #CannotBeLockedDown, the campaign has been conceptualized by creative agency Bluebot. The aim of the campaign is to celebrate the spirit of individuals from across the world that’ve steadfastly pursued their ambitions despite the pandemic and are now reaping the results of all their hardwork.

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On why this was a good time to come up with the campaign, Moran said, “In the last 1.5 years, whenever we speak to our friends or family, there is a certain feeling of losing control on one’s life and uncertainty about what the future holds, there has been a certain loss of agency. However, in the midst of everything, we have been fortunate enough to be supporting a community that's really out there, leaning into their careers and trying to make the best of the moment, learning skills while being stuck at home and doing their day jobs. We wanted to celebrate that spirit through this campaign while also talk about why we are good and why they should take a course from us. It just felt like a good time to spread some positivity and reset the conversation.”

While it is a digital-first campaign, it will also be launched across print and TV. OTT will also be an important part of the mix. “We are putting aside Rs 100 crore for the campaign. It's a fully integrated campaign where you'll be seeing a lot happening on social, some contests to try and get some user-generated content in the same vein as what we are saying in the ads. On the video side, what we already have should last us the year but if we do need some refreshing, we will do that as and when needed,” explained Moran.

Simplilearn’s journey so far

Founded in 2010, Simplilearn is based in San Francisco, California, and Bangalore, India. It offers access to world-class work-ready training to individuals and businesses around the world. Currently, it is present in around 160 countries. Close to 60% of its revenue comes from outside India and now, the platform is working towards increasing its share in the country.

“Around 40% of our revenues come from India currently, almost the same percentage comes from the US and the rest comes from APAC, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. We’re not present in China currently because we are an English-only platform for the time being. So we are quite global. We primarily address individual learners who are taking hold of their career, but about a quarter of our business is enterprise-oriented and B2B where companies are going through digital transformation or retraining large teams. A big part of our enterprise business actually comes from individual learners who have a great experience and recommend us to others,” he added.

Currently, the platform has been focusing more on technology-based learners, its core offering is digital skills. It has also added MBA to its list of offerings. On who their core audiences are, Moran said, “That would be people who are several years, around 4-5 years into their careers and we go all the way to people into their 40s and 50s who may have already started down the path of being a data scientist or digital marketer but they want to go deeper. And that's why they come to our bootcamps which are all designed around specific job roles that are needed in the market today.” The platform has partnerships with several universities and colleges including Purdue University, IIT Kanpur, Caltech and University of Massachusetts.

Simplilearn had also launched SkillUp, its free learning platform to offer learners short-term skilling programs in November last year. The platform aims to onboard five million learners on its SkillUp platform in the next two years.

But how is it working on making its platform more engaging, so that people do not miss out on the classroom experience? “We've spent the last 6 years building our online bootcamp. Our real differentiation is that we have, by far, the most interactive curriculum and pedagogy around our courses. Almost 60-70% of our curriculum is interactive in real-time. Our whole focus has been around super high engagement and we are sitting at the right place in the market. Research shows that people learn more efficiently by being engaged and active, it's hard to be a passive learner for most people. Most researchers expect that when this finally does go away, a massive amount of market share will remain online and they'll be consuming courses like ours that are super high engagement, highly personalized designed for a specific career that you're looking for,” said Moran.

The future

Currently Simplilearn is completely focused on offering upskilling programs. However, is there a chance of it offering courses to a younger audience? “We are now launching fully accredited degree programs. So you'll continue to see lots of additional partnerships announced with universities, both in India and around the world. The K-12 segment is not on our roadmap but the young adult right to people at the end of their career are more our addressable market,” he explained.

On what their key areas of focus will be in the future, he said, “The nature of work these days is such that if you're not formally trying to up-skill what you're doing every couple of years, you really risk becoming obsolete in a couple of years because things are moving so quickly. We've all read statistics that suggest that there could be around 15 million people displaced around the globe in the next 8-10 years. There will be millions of new jobs created but they're all going to be in these digital categories, which is exactly what we focus on. We've always been around digital, we will expand into related business categories, like MBAs and other technically-oriented skills, but its probably going to be a long time before we teach Spanish or cooking or playing the guitar. Other people are doing it, and doing it really well, but we're be fundamentally focused on helping you have a successful career and a successful life.”