Redefining Your EdTech App for the Next Normal

COVID-19 has left an impact on people from all walks. From personal to professional, there are significant transitions that we are going through in our routine, accepting them as the new normal. These transitions are reflecting even at the industrial level.

While some industries, such as travel, don’t find this situation fortunate, others may not have a similar experience. Since the impact of coronavirus, various verticals (including mobile gaming, entertainment streaming, video conferencing, and ecommerce) have seen growth in their userbase as well as revenue. Another category that is expected to drive valuable positives from this situation is the education technology (edtech) industry.

In more than 180 nations, over 1.5 billion learners are facing the impact due to the closedown of schools across the globe. It is almost 87.4% of the student population.[1] As WHO suggests that the novel coronavirus is going to stay and we need to adapt our lifestyle to live with it, the way we are educating our learners needs to change as well. And edtech apps have a pivotal role to play here.

Many school students are learning online as their schools started offering classes on Zoom. There are various markets where digitization of education has been prevalent, and switching to edtech mediums won’t be a tough ask for them. However, many schoolchildren do not have access to these facilities, or these pro-tem fixes won’t reach them. A majority of the population in different markets is still isolated from edtech solutions. Along with the lack of apt digital literacy, a stable internet connection is another challenge.

edtech case study

Pre-recorded lessons and lectures that are available on an edtech app can prove to the fitting solution. The current situation gives a platform for the edtech app to stand for a cause and offer more reliable and affordable solutions accessible to larger masses. In other words, it is an opportunity for them to expand their userbase. A gentle reminder, no opportunity comes without its share of challenges.

The crucial challenges that edtech apps face are expanding the userbase, quick deployments, content curation, and digital literacy. The right choice of technology and strategy can solve these problems at scale. Let’s see how:

1. Expanding the Userbase

While most top colleges and universities have always been welcoming to edtech ad and e-learning, most schools have seen it as competition for long. Things are changing now as schools will have to adopt the offerings of such apps. Educational institutions can use the help of edtech apps to streamline the timely course completion and to track student’s performance efficiently.

Developing countries, particularly their tier 2 and tier 3 cities, offer a readily available market with growing internet adopters and increasing smartphone penetration. In the Asia Pacific region, subscriber penetration is expected to grow from 60% in 2020 to 65% in 2025. In the same duration, smartphone adoption is growing even more rapidly from 64% to 81%[2]. By curating a marketing plan that delivers a message of support to the schools, edtech apps can expect faster growth.

Professionals looking to develop their skillset is another factor that can contribute to the growth of the target audience in this industry. In a survey by edX on the impact of COVID-19 on education decisions, 26% of respondents said they are more likely to seek additional education, hoping to find a recession-proof job[3]. As the economy is facing challenging times and job crisis may be looming large, various career professionals can take courses and certifications to enhance their skills, secure their job, and grow in their career. Levering the neural network layering of RevX audience modeling, you can target such users with your ad campaigns.

Even though the per user (student) earning might not be significant, the partnership with schools and educational institutes can drive long term stability. Meanwhile, professionals could prove to be high-paying customers to boost your Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU).

2. Quick Deployment

Several developing countries have many technological hindrances in the form of devices as well as connectivity. While laptops and desktops are not commonly available among mass students, the smartphone is a comparatively more feasible option to rely upon.

When we discuss the markets, such as Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East, where edtech has excellent potential to grow, the concerns revolve around patchy networks. As Zoom and other video conferencing may not sustain a live streaming class in some regions, edtech apps can offer a solution with pre-recorded content that can be accessed over low bandwidth even on unstable networks.

3. Content Curation

Eventually, it is the educational content that is going to get you users and revenue. Most leading edtech apps across the globe might like to believe that they have that in plenty. That’s until you take into consideration the language diversity that developing countries have.

Some of the popular languages in Southeast Asia are Lao, Thai, Burmese, Tagalog, Malay, Khmer, Vietnamese, and Indonesian. Coming to India, data from its Human Resource Development Ministry suggests that less than one-fifth of the schools in the country are English medium, leaving the rest being Hindi medium and other regional languages.

It would help if you had a plan to curate content that serves the educational requirements in regional languages. Moreover, you will need a marketing plan for vernacular language ads. Choosing the right ad partner, like Facebook offering multilingual ad targeting, allows you to build a marketing strategy to address the matter. Building a marketing partnership with someone who has ample experience in these regions will help further in understanding and tackling native challenges.

Even in the diverse language preference in these regions, there is a strong demand for learning English. You can utilize courses related to the English language (whether it is writing, reading, or speaking) as your prime offering to attract more users.

4. Digital Literacy

With the markets not sufficiently digitalized, the audience lacks digital literacy to a noticeable extent. The education method that students have been practicing for long will take time to be replaced, and not all of them will find the switch to edtech very appetizing.

Expanding digital literacy in the developing markets and particularly among middle school students can be a daunting task. In the current situation, critical aspects of education, such as communication, critical thinking, and creativity, are under threat. Lack of digital literacy will keep the edtech app from supporting educational apps. Building a footprint in tier 2 and tier 3 cities will need a multi-level approach, which will include expanding digital literacy.

Wrapping Up

Edtech market is expected to reach $341B globally by 2025[4], and that’s a stat from the pre-COVID-19 era. The remodeling of education methods is going to push more focus on the edtech app and might even attract more revenue in the industry.

With schools in suspension and uncertainty on when regular classes can start, the right strategy can gather the support of governments and other educational societies. Edtech has a huge potential for aggressive expansion and help the learners as well as educational institutes.

Are you looking for a futuristic demand-side platform for your edtech app that can help you scale user acquisition and boost conversions? Connect with our platform consultant to book a demo. Write to us at


[1] TOI
[2] GSMA
[3] edX
[4] Business Insider

Nishant kadian

Nishant Kadian takes care of content marketing for Affle. With RevX, he likes sharing his learning on the programmatic ad technologies that enable advertisers with branding, user acquisition and retargeting.