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!).
Join our EdTech marketing community
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.
Note: To keep the Slack insightful, we've had to make the hard decision to restrict access to those who are in full time CMO roles at EdTech companies at the moment access.Thank you for your understanding!
The marketing playbook behind scaling our strategy across geographies
- Eva Peris, VP of Sales & Marketing at Ironhack
Ironhack* is a leading coding bootcamp that addresses the tech skills gap via short technical training programs in 11 cities across 9 countries in the EU, US and LATAM. Students from a variety of backgrounds acquire technical skills and gain access to junior level technical positions.
*Brighteye has been an investor in Ironhack since April 2019
Who’s Eva and what’s her background?
Eva is the VP of Sales and Marketing of Ironhack and she joined the team in 2017. Before Ironhack, she led the marketing efforts for Europe at Once and was in charge of the user acquisition strategy at Happn. She’s a legal practitioner by background and she’s crazy about food.
What motivates you as an EdTech marketer?
It’s pretty straight forward: helping people access new opportunities. Our mission inspires me every single day and all the marketing activities that we design and implement reflect this very ambitious promise that we make to our students. We empower them to not only acquire new skills but also to grow as professionals. Supporting people through a career change is a never-ending and very satisfying part of my day to day job. Besides, my mother is a teacher so I guess that I’ve the educational streak. 😀
How are you managing the marketing activities across 10 countries today?
International marketing is complicated and has many moving parts. Ironhack has been expanding rapidly over the last 3 years, growing from 4 locations to 9, so we spent some time defining a marketing playbook to standardize our marketing strategy and activities across countries. After tweaking our processes, shaping our organizational marketing structure, defining the marketing split between centralized and decentralized activities and automating part of the efforts, today we’ve finally reached a tipping point and have a solid playbook.
#1 Processes and team alignment
The very first thing we defined were processes in order facilitate the flow of information between team members. For instance, the reporting process is a critical piece that aligns all team members and ensures that everybody has access to the same data. The second part is about team organization – at our HQ, we shifted from a horizontally to a vertically organized team with clear marketing responsibilities and domains of expertise to better provide support to local teams (i.e. local marketing managers + general manager) in each country.
#2 Company’s DNA
We standardized our brand and marketing strategy. We internally created a brand book that includes everything from company’s value and mission to design kits and graphic guidelines. This brand book has become our marketing bible and every single employee knows that she/he needs to refer to it when it comes to marketing.
(Note: We did not want to outsource that process to a third party agency since it is the cornerstone of a company’s DNA. The two founders were deeply involved in the process as they are the only ones who have such a strong emotional understanding of and a deep sensitivity about their company).
#3 Local ownership
Injecting some flexibility and ownership into the processes is key. We promote a strong sense of local ownership and local marketing managers are free to experiment as long as they follow our branding and communication guidelines. Based on my experience, micro-managing local marketing activities doesn’t work because you don’t have the cultural and market sensibility that your local team does.
#4 Guidance and support
At HQ, we act as marketing coaches who provide local managers with all the support and help they need whenever they need it. We (HQ) tend to focus on adding value to local managers’ day to day and for that we have created an extensive knowledge base that is full of resources (e.g. templates, guides, design catalogues for campuses, etc.). On top of that, we constantly share best practices across locations, encouraging collaboration between countries’ managers. Undoubtedly, this strengthens the relationships between team members.
In summary, these are the essential tips from the Ironhack's approach:
Spend time understanding your team, overall marketing strategy and the countries in which you operate. This will allow you to design a new (and more efficient!) operating model with centralized (HQ) and/or decentralized marketing activities (e.g. acquisition strategy, CRM, etc.).
Adapt all corresponding marketing processes (e.g. reporting, budgeting, etc.) in order to increase efficiency, refine the decision-making process and improve the flow of information amongst your marketing team.
Build a marketing knowledge base and marketing playbook to (1) maximize productivity, (2) encourage collaboration & increase employee engagement, (3) connect team members who are distributed across countries and (4) prevent valuable knowledge loss.
Reorganise (if necessary) your marketing organisational structure (horizontal vs. vertical) based on your new operating model and the nature of your business.
Position the HQ marketing team as a coach and resource that will be helping (and not judging!) each location to succeed. This is a paramount factor.