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EdTech Marketing Guide #2: Data-driven branding - Antonin Delfino, CMO at Ornikar

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

EdTech marketing guides

Practical tips from leading EdTech CMOs

Purpose of these guides

Marketing is such a critical function for an EdTech start-up and we know that getting reliable marketing insight is not an easy task. In addition to The State of EdTech Marketing Report that we recently published, we decided to launch a series of short practical guides that we created alongside leading EdTech CMOs.

These guides are intended to not only recognise their talent and great work but also to help you craft your marketing strategy, stay informed and to inspire you. Think of these guides as an EdTech marketing resource that you can tap into whenever you need some high-level tips.

We hope you find them useful and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions and/or suggestions (We highly appreciate feedback at Brighteye!).

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We have launched a curated EdTech marketing Slack community, in which EdTech CMOs are able to exchange, ask questions and share experiences freely whenever they need it (e.g. advice, tips, recruitment, news, tools, etc.). If you're interested in joining, email us 📩 in order to receive an invitation.


How we created a data-driven brand awareness strategy

- Antonin Delfino, CMO at Ornikar

Ornikar* is the leading online driving school in France. It combines online learning and on-demand instruction enabling students to obtain a license at a fraction of the cost of traditional driving schools.

*Brighteye has been an investor in Ornikar since January 2018

Who’s Antonin and what’s his background?

Antonin is the CMO of Ornikar and he has been leading their marketing strategy for more than two years. Prior to Ornikar, he was a SEO and online acquisition ninja at and he spent some time optimising websites’ performance at the very beginning of his career. He’s from Paris, France and he’s a football supporter of his beloved Olympique de Marseille (Allez l’OM!).

What motivates you as an EdTech marketer?

The very first thing that comes to mind is “paradigm shift” by simplifying and revolutionising the driver education world. The driving licence exam is the most taken exam in France on a yearly basis (~1M exams/year) and none of the traditional players had tried to disrupt or even digitise this industry. In France and it’s most likely true in most countries, getting your driving licence is a very important milestone in someone’s life and it might be even considered as an emancipation. Being part of that ambitious adventure to allow people to get their driving licence in a more affordable and efficient way is something that makes me extremely proud and really motivates me.

How are you creating an effective data-driven branding strategy at Ornikar?

Putting data at the heart of the branding strategy is still not very common but having an analytical background, especially for SEO & SEM strategies, I truly wanted to apply the same ROI logic to our brand awareness strategy. This is a bet that is paying off so far - for instance our first offline campaign (TV) has been profitable from the very beginning!

#1 📣

We first launched strong (and sometimes controversial!) PR campaigns (e.g. TV, magazines, interviews) in order to raise awareness and visibility on the French market around our services. To be candid, since the driving licence market is a traditional industry, at first cutting through the noise was relatively easy but it then became quite challenging - traditional players were clearly playing against us, which made the advertising process more complex but at the same time allowed us to increase our reach.

#2 📊

Once we had created all this awareness (and noise) and people understood what Ornikar does, we decided to activate the data-driven and granular approach by doing deep A/B testing. We leveraged the PR campaigns’ content, especially TV interviews, by promoting it heavily it on different platforms. The results were impressive in terms of impressions, reach, frequency and the best part was the attractive customer acquisition cost. After experimenting and refining the ads for a short period of time, we finally obtained the right campaign equation, so we stepped on the gas by increasing our marketing budget and by targeting a larger audience. This allowed us to increase our brand awareness in a considerable way while decreasing our lead acquisition cost over time.

#3 🔎

Today, the Ornikar brand is well established in France and we’re now able to run offline campaigns (i.e. TV, underground advertising) with high impact. We track and monitor every single campaign through analytics tools such as Direct Response TV. The DRTV allows us to closely monitor every single TV spot, precisely measuring traffic and enabling us to optimise our media plan (e.g. budget allocation, ads frequency). I think the secret sauce is to be flexible and constantly run ad experiments to deeply understand the weight of every single campaign’s tweak. Today, I’m proud to say that the more we run offline campaigns, the more we are increasing our conversion rate while increasing our brand awareness.

It goes without saying that in parallel, we are also investing a lot time and effort in our SEO strategy in order to drive organic traffic and build our brand. Don’t forget that SEO and paid marketing strategies are complementary. Also, the marketing team members are given the freedom to test, iterate and be creative, as long as they are leveraging data-driven testing to make their case!

If we look at Google Trends - Ornikar (blue line) vs. competitors (see graph below) - our data-driven brand awareness strategy is proving to be efficient in terms of interest over time, at least in France!


In summary, these are the essential tips from the Ornikar’s approach:

#1 📣

Create brand awareness through a well designed (controversial?) PR campaign. At this point, don’t spend too much time on the data part, the objective is just to get your brand and services/products on the market

#2 👥

Once you’ve reached a critical mass, leverage and advertise your PR content on platforms where your customers are. Align your SEO strategy and clearly define the objectives of the paid campaign and the metrics to measure their success (e.g. # impressions, # leads generated, reach, etc.)

#3 🔢

Spend some time experimenting and analysing your ad campaign’s performance. You need to truly understand your ad campaign’s DNA. Be obsessed with metrics, especially lead acquisition cost, keep working on the SEO side of things

#4 💰

When you have found the right paid campaign equation, invest heavily to unleash the full campaign’s potential

#5 🏹

Monitor, analyse and tweak! It’s also important to know when to stop as every ad campaign has a lifecycle. The key is to build on top of previous ad campaigns so that you don’t start from scratch

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