The state of EdTech Marketing Report (2024)


    • 5 min read

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Welcome to the first edition of the state of EdTech marketing report

The state of EdTech Marketing Report (1)

We believe that understanding how EdTech marketing functions are evolving as well as receiving meaningful insights into what’s happening on the ground are fundamental for both EdTech entrepreneurs and investors.

We surveyed 50+ CEOs and CMOs based mainly in Europe, US & Israel, all targeting different customer bases and we also selected 12 publicly traded EdTech companies* to contrast some of the results with our respondents’ answers. The results provide a holistic view of the state of EdTech marketing and we hope they will allow EdTech players to optimise their distribution strategies.

A huge thanks to all the CEOs and CMOs who took the time to provide their valuable feedback. 🙌

The state of EdTech Marketing Report (2)

*List of selected publicly traded companies: Pearson, New Oriental Education, K12, Grand Canyon Education, Career Education Corp, Bridgepoint Education, American Public Education, Chegg, Rosetta Stone, 2U, Cambium Learning, Pluralsight Instructure, 3P

**Self-report results - There might be an overlap between EdTech startups targeting government and schools

Download our report

Marketing budget

The state of EdTech Marketing Report (3)
  • On average EdTech startups allocated 11.5% of their annual revenue to their marketing budget in 2018, while publicly traded EdTech companies invested 24.8% of their revenue in marketing efforts last year (2017)

  • As companies grow in terms of revenue, it tends to become more expensive to fuel growth and the marketing budget as a % of revenue increases

  • Unsurprisingly, EdTech startups serving the consumer space (B2C) require greater marketing efforts to stand out from the crowd (15.8%), whereas the startups serving other customers are all in the same ballpark (7%-10%)

Organic vs. paid marketing budget split by customer segment

  • Across EdTech verticals organic marketing (i.e. SEO, inbound, etc.) is the most common strategy implemented – it is a healthy trend as organic marketing helps companies lower CAC and increase overall marketing efficiency in the long-run

  • Paid marketing tends to be higher for startups that are targeting consumer 👪 and schools 👩‍🏫 – a possible explanation could be that (1) these two verticals are more competitive and/or (2) these markets are still in their early life (especially schools) and are not consolidated yet, meaning that general awareness around EdTech solutions is currently being built and users are being educated about the category

The most effective channels

The state of EdTech Marketing Report (5)
  • Referral, organic search and social media are currently the most effective lead generation channels

  • While most marketing channels for EdTech startups are similar to those in other industries, events are an unusually effective strategy for EdTech startups, a channel which does not usually make it to the top 5 in other industries

  • Marketing channels involving human contact (i.e. referrals, events, partnerships, phone) appear to be highly relevant for EdTech startups in generating leads

The three most significant barriers to marketing success

I) Inadequate budget (19%) – Marketing budgets are highly correlated with annual revenue generated, which means that if revenues increase, marketing budgets will consequently increase and vice versa. EdTech is getting more competitive, putting pressure on marketing efficiency and increasing the importance of adequately allocating a marketing budget to deliver more efficient acquisition strategies.

II) Lack of automation of processes (13%) – Marketing automation platforms (i.e. HubSpot, Marketo, etc.) are powerful tool if implemented effectively. Marketers have rushed towards automation in the last few years but many have failed because (1) a large percentage of companies are simply not ready for such tools, (2) all leads tend to be nurtured equally, thus making the automation inefficient, and (3) the integration with existing marketing technology (e.g. Salesforce) usually requires complex procedures.

III) Lack of brand awareness (13%) – Brand awareness is an important factor that drives consumers’ decisions and in today’s crowded market, services/products need to be remarkable in order to stand out. A branding strategy is usually not a marketing priority at a company’s early stage (unless branding is part of founders’ DNA) as startups focus on generating leads in order to gain traction and prove product-market fit.

Marketing priorities for 2019

The state of EdTech Marketing Report (6)

While current marketing trends are leaning towards “playing it safe” by focusing efforts on customer retention over customer acquisition (thus increasing LTV and decreasing churn rates), the EdTech startups surveyed are following a different path by concentrating primarily on customer acquisition. With constant pressure on revenue and margins, it comes as no surprise that lead generation and funnel conversion made it to the top of the list as the highest priorities for 2019.

Revenue vs. marketing budget​

The state of EdTech Marketing Report (7)

There is no magic to it, spending a significant percentage of revenue on marketing is required to see growth in EdTech. Optimising marketing spending can drive real growth over time and it seems that reaching the 5M-15M€ revenue range represents an inflection point where revenue starts to grow faster than marketing expenditures.

On average, marketing to revenue ratio for a private startup is 8X while it is 3X for mature EdTech companies (i.e. publicly traded companies).

Revenue growth targets 2017 vs. 2018

The state of EdTech Marketing Report (8)

The average of revenue growth targets for EdTech startups between 2017 and 2018 was 2.9X. Surveyed EdTech startups tend to lower their revenue target growth as they grow and become more mature - Startups in the in the revenue range of 0-500k€, 500k-2M€ and 5M-15M€ were the ones with highest revenue growth targets (>3.5X) whereas those in the 2M-5M€ and 15-50M€ ranges, had the lowest revenue growth target (<2X).

In contrast, publicly traded EdTech companies grew their revenue on average by 1.05X between 2014 and 2017 and publicly traded non-EdTech companies (i.e. Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Facebook) grew by 1.30X during the same period.

EdTech marketing of tomorrow – Key trends

The past few years have introduced a level of disruption and competition never experienced before in the EdTech space, forcing players to fully embrace marketing to remain competitive. Based on general marketing trends and what we’ve discovered in this research, we expect that as companies grow, and as the EdTech sector matures, delivering frictionless customer experience and creating authentic branding will become paramount. These two marketing dimensions are already on top of the priority list of CMOs in other industries (e.g. FinTech, HealthTech, etc.) since they are increasingly important not only in attracting and retraining customers but also in SEO and other forms of organic marketing.

💁‍♀️ Enhanced customer experience

EdTech marketers will need to keep their customers’ feelings in mind in order to (1) create strong customer experiences that pleases them, (2) master customer journeys and (3) understand the intent, interactions and signals that increase conversion and drive long-term growth. Interestingly, SEO experts are expecting that the future of SEO will primarily rely on user experience. Therefore, ranking #1 in Google will require companies to provide great user experiences and achieve high user satisfaction, without forgetting classical ranking factors.

🕶 Authentic branding creation

Customer journeys are no longer linear and people are bombarded with tons of information so a brand equity can heavily influence the purchase decision making process. If people trust a brand, they tend to become loyal advocates, which contributes to organic growth. According to Google, mobile searches for “brands like” have grown over 60% in the past two years (2016-18), which indicates that branding is very important factor to consumers. As stated in the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, 70% of the worldwide population trusts the education sector, second only to technology. EdTech entrepreneurs will certainly want to surf on that trust wave by leveraging impactful branding.

We’d love to receive your feedback on this report and connect with EdTech players who deeply understand marketing mechanisms, so please reach out ( to chat and share your insights.

Download our report

#marketing #edtech #CMO #revenue

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The state of EdTech Marketing Report (2024)


How do you market an EdTech company? ›

Seven Critical Marketing Strategies for EdTech
  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Playing the game the Google way. ...
  2. Email Marketing. ...
  3. Content marketing. ...
  4. Video marketing. ...
  5. Social Media. ...
  6. Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) ...
  7. Customer Journey Mapping.
1 Dec 2021

What are the challenges of EdTech? ›

9 challenges edtech businesses face and how to overcome them
  • 1) Standing out in a highly competitive market. ...
  • 2) Partnering up with a relatively traditional industry. ...
  • 3) Keeping up with the ever-changing tech industry. ...
  • 4) Building a killer go-to-market strategy. ...
  • 5) Choosing the right revenue model.
3 Nov 2021

Which is the No 1 EdTech company in India? ›

HENRY HARVIN is the best EdTech company that provides personalized learning programs, their aim is to transform learning into fun through their interactions and 3D learning classes which will help the students to score better.

Which is the world's most valuable EdTech company as of 2021? ›

The world's most-valued edtech company Think & Learn Pvt Ltd which runs education platform Byju's has also become the world's most expensive edtech company for investors after a decline in its FY21 (2020-21) revenue that led to a surge in its revenue multiple.

How do I promote my EdTech course? ›

The Ultimate EdTech Marketing Strategies You Need to Know
  1. Develop and Test Omnichannel Campaign Concepts Rapidly with Creative Automation to Drive Engagement. ...
  2. Supplement your Digital Outreach with Direct Marketing to Boost Conversion Potential. ...
  3. Create New Upsell Opportunities with Interactive Video.
10 Aug 2021

How you can help an EdTech startup grow by digital marketing? ›

11 Powerful Ways To Promote Your Edtech Business Effectively Using Digital Marketing
  • Content Marketing: Content marketing works great, especially in the education industry. ...
  • Search Engine Optimization: ...
  • Digital PR: ...
  • Social Media Marketing: ...
  • Video Marketing: ...
  • Chatbot Marketing: ...
  • Testimonials: ...
  • App Store Optimization:

What is lacking in EdTech? ›

The Lack of Professional Development

Many of those who do have technology skills don't know how to apply those skills to the classroom, and they're not getting much help in this area. When teachers do get training in EdTech, they typically get training in how to work the technology.

What is the biggest challenge facing education today? ›

Underfunding is one of the biggest challenges in education. It is also one that gives rise to a host of other problems. In the past 2 years, school resources have been spread very thin because of the pandemic.

What are the advantages of EdTech? ›

One of the biggest advantages of using Edtech is the reduced amount of paper used in the classroom. Millions of trees are cut down each year to provide paper to schools. If more educational facilities used technology, the number of trees that would have to be cut down would be massively reduced.

What is the biggest EdTech company? ›

Top 10 edtech companies for business
  • Chegg.
  • Udemy. ...
  • Byju's. ...
  • Zuoyebang. ...
  • VIPKID. ...
  • 2U. ...
  • Coursera. ...
  • Unacademy. Launched as a YouTube channel by Gaurav Munjal in 2010, the first tutorial videos helped fellow students prepare for exams. ...
6 Sept 2022

How do EdTech companies make money? ›

Edtech startups can offer ads during a course to cover its cost. As producing courses and offering them online costs money, ads are a great way to showcase more courses to your existing customers in the form of ads or offer other third-party related product ads to them.

Which is the biggest EdTech in India? ›

List of Top EdTech Companies in India for 2022
  • Byju's. Byju's is aiming to make studying enjoyable for students through interactions and 3D learning classes. ...
  • Unacademy. Unacademy started their journey as a YouTube channel in 2010 by Hemesh Singh. ...
  • iQuanta. ...
  • TrainerCentral. ...
  • UpGrad. ...
  • Vedantu. ...
  • Classplus. ...
  • Embibe.
24 Aug 2022

How big is the global EdTech market? ›

The global EdTech market size was valued at USD 106.46 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 127.0 billion in 2022.
Report AttributeDetails
Market size value in 2022USD 127.0 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030USD 429.5 billion
Growth rateCAGR of 16.5% from 2022 to 2030
Base year for estimation2021
10 more rows

What is the best EdTech company? ›

Udemy is one of the hottest EdTech companies in the US. According to Udemy, now more than a decade old, they've hired thousands of instructors to teach roughly 50 million students in 75 different languages.

How many EdTech companies are there in world? ›

There are now 34 EdTech unicorn companies worldwide. Almost all the EdTech companies are in North America and Asia. In fact, fourteen of these companies are based in the US, seven in China, and six in India. The remaining EdTech unicorns have headquarters in Taiwan, Canada, Austria, the UK, Australia, and Israel.

How do I get customers in EdTech? ›

Below are some wonderful suggestions for getting new clients and growing your Education Technology (EdTech) business using Inbound:
  1. Write content frequently. ...
  2. Join expert networks. ...
  3. Create guest posts. ...
  4. Release testimonials. ...
  5. Provide solutions to common questions. ...
  6. Make use of “smarketing” ...
  7. Measure your efforts. ...
  8. The bottom line.

How do I sell my EdTech products? ›

Below are 6 excellent Inbound strategies to increase your Education Technology (EdTech) sales:
  1. Identify your potential Buyer Personas. ...
  2. Create content on a regular basis. ...
  3. Create a customer-centered website. ...
  4. Apply SEO methods. ...
  5. Use social media. ...
  6. Evaluate your work. ...
  7. The last word.

Who are the customers of EdTech? ›

Students, teachers, parents, or education policy makers all benefit from EdTech. Identifying your target audience and their needs will help you engage customers with more relevant content.

What is EdTech strategy? ›

When we say 'national EdTech strategy', we mean a plan to use EdTech in ways that support overall education system goals, including improving access, equity, and learning outcomes. Different terminology is used to refer to this, such as 'ICT in Education plan', 'Digital learning roadmap', or even 'EdTech policy.

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