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EP #63: Building an effective digital marketing strategy like Indonesia’s ed-tech pioneer, Sekolahmu

About this Podcast

With the podcast impacting the lives of people from all walks of life, students were left with no choice but to attend classes online. Edtech companies have been major beneficiaries amidst the prevailing situation as the lack of physical classes meant that students depended on digital platforms to enhance their learning. 

To understand how ed-tech brands have built solid digital marketing strategies to improve the engagement with their users, we caught up with Rhezandra Priatama, Chief Technology Officer at Sekolahmu. 

Sekolahmu is the pioneer of a blending education technology system in Indonesia. With a high standard and well-structured curriculum, this digital platform has been acquiring more than 2.5 million users within 15 months since the app’s launch on Google Play Store. They also reached a record of 12 million page views a day. 

 

Rhezandra also shared insights on:

  • The genesis and growth story of Sekolahmu being the first blended learning system in Indonesia
  • Challenges faced in adapting to the constantly evolving digital landscape 
  • Digital engagements across channels that led to user growth and retention
  • How marketers need to look at growth in digital marketing and the key metrics to be tracked to achieve business KPIs
  • Targeting customers according to their stage on the customer lifecycle. 
  • Tips to improve customer engagement and build loyalty 
  • Personalization and Customer Experiences as major trends in the digital marketing space and how they could help brands
  • Trends to look out for in 2021 and beyond

Tune in to gain actionable growth tips on how to build a solid digital marketing strategy by extracting the best out of each online channel. 

Episode Transcripts

Kresentia Chelsea (Host): Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the MarTechno beat podcast. So, excited to meet all of you again on these insightful sessions. My name is Kresentia Chelsea. I’m a customer success manager from Netcore solutions here in Indonesia, without any further ado, let me introduce you to today’s guest. So, today we have, so-called more the pioneer of a lending education, definitely your system in Indonesia with high standard and well-structured curriculum. This digital platform has been acquiring more than 2.5 million users within one year and three months since the apps first launched into the Google play store. Now not only that, Sekolahmu is a rich network of 12 million page views in a day. Wow. How exciting to learn more about them? Right. And right here with me, we have Rhezandra Priatama, the chief technology officer from Sekolahmu. Rhezandra has more than 10 years of experience in the IP-related industry. He has been the great mind behind Sekolahmu, leading the technology team to deliver this amazing education platform all across Indonesia. Hello, Rhezandra.

Rhezandra Priatama (Guest): Hello Chelsea! It’s an honor for me to be here, to be invited to join the podcast with net core. Thank you so much for that.

Kresentia Chelsea: Thank you so much for your time. We’re really excited to have you here on this podcast. So, before we begin, just out of curiosity, you were once told that even in your spare time, you like to learn something new about technology. Is that true?

Rhezandra Priatama: Yes, exactly. So, basically, in Sekolahmu, I think we are a group of long-life learners, including myself. So, I like to learn new technology, not only for software engineering but also for digital marketing and everything related to the technology itself. So, yeah, that’s true.

Kresentia Chelsea: I bet that’s the true definition of this particular quote, it’s a beautiful thing when career and passion come together.

Rhezandra Priatama: Exactly.

Kresentia Chelsea: Okay. So, can you tell us, are you still working from home, and what about the rest of the team?

Rhezandra Priatama: Yes. Basically, we have been working from home for more than one year, but in some cases, we have a content production team in-house. They still need to go to our studio because they need to create video learning content. So, everything we produce by ourselves, but then for the rest of the team, like the technology team product and the other team members, we are working from home right now.

Kresentia Chelsea: Oh, I see it. It’s more savior by and convenient for all of the members.

Rhezandra Priatama: Yes. Correct. As long as we have, as long as we have a good internet connection. So, I believe, we can deliver our quality works from everywhere.

Kresentia Chelsea: Correct? Correct. That is right. So, can you share with us some background stories about Sekolahmu? I mean, being the first blended learning system in Indonesia, what’s the story behind that?

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. So, this is interesting because education technology in Indonesia basically is an emerging practical industry. Like most of the startups in Indonesia focusing on eCommerce or FinTech like, but then in 2020, produced one report. It, so health tech and EdTech are the two top vertical industries that are private now. And like in, 2019 or the big tech, big education technology company in Asia, most likely they’re focusing on the online exam preparation or tutor, we just like an extracurricular not extracurricular from the school perspective. So, okay. So, basically, this is our game. We would like to create a solution to deliver quality education for everyone. And which means we have to collaborate with the schools with teachers and parents. So, not only for, specifically for the exam preparation, but the whole education ecosystem in Indonesia. So, yeah, that’s the thing because by having the kind of mindset and patience we would like, to provide the first blended learning system in Indonesia.

Kresentia Chelsea: Nice, nice. That is what we call there to be different and then making an impact, right.

Rhezandra Priatama: Yes. Correct.

Kresentia Chelsea: I see. So, considering the blended curricular, but a lot of learning structure, like having a stiff curriculum maybe, and house calls more overcome and a more flexible way of learning.

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. So, this is the uniqueness of Sekolahmu compared to maybe another technology platform because, in Sekolahmu, our CEO has more than 20 years of experience in the education sector. And then she also lists a school and the curriculum itself is really personalized. So, this is something that may be quite different, with the public sector, especially in education in the nation because in Indonesia itself, we have like one curriculum and everyone gets to obey it, but then for the personalized curriculum. So, and this is something new that we can elaborate on our students or our users. So, this is, more or less, most likely like the flexible way of learning. So, every student can learn, what, what, what makes them happy or, or what, what is the patient of, of our, of our user. So, this is the difference between the personalized learning and then like, the other curriculum.

Kresentia Chelsea: I see. Nice, nice. I mean, it’s really nice to know. There are certain kinds of curriculum for the offering. Okay. Now, coming to the topic of the digital world, as we’re shifting to a more seamless approach through digital engagement itself, like what, all the challenges that you are facing right now.

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. So, from the online education perspective, or maybe from the school perspective, this COVID era has totally changed everything. Yeah. Like if disrupt the way our students learn, like, like, if the student used to be going to school every day and learn from this, from the teacher like that, but then since the corporate era, everyone, or every student gets to just get done from, in their home and then they can open their laptop or mobile phone or a smartphone to do the online learning. All right. So, this is this kind of challenge that we face, especially during the first, first, or two months in the COVID era. So, the transition from offline and then to online, that’s the main challenge. So, but this is the right moment soon for an education platform like us to provide quality and then seamless learning activity to our students. So, yeah, basically the main challenges are how to make the seamless integration or transition from offline and then to online learning space.

Kresentia Chelsea: Right. Understood, understood. I mean, it’s really different, thanks. But then you have to make a seamless adaptation to the situation right now. Right. Okay. And, can you share with us what all digital engagements we have been using so far?

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. For digital engagement, we have a live streaming video on demand. And then for the communication itself, we have a chat platform, a real-time chat platform in our application. And then for the, like, if you would like to have a chat platform, of course, like the push notification emailing surfaces needs to be there because we need to find something that we can replace from the offline interaction into online interaction. So, that’s why most of the games that we use in education technology, we need to make it seamless, so everything that can be done offline, we need to do something in order we can be done on an online basis.

Kresentia Chelsea: Right. Right. Okay. So, that’s the thing, but if you had to choose, maybe like one, one digital channel that works best for support, what would you pick and why?

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. So, for the digital channel, you know, you got through the communication to our student. Well, if I can choose one, I might choose the video platform. I think because the video platform is really beneficial for our students in order to help them learn. And then this video platform, not only for the real-time, but also like an only man basis. So, the students can, really, really learn everything if they want, if they want to. And then from the communication using packs, I think it’s better for us to leverage the chat, but the first thing that comes to my mind is the video, I think.

Kresentia Chelsea: The video got it. So, you were mentioning video on demand if, for example, from all of the videos that you’re having. Right. And then, some students, they have this kind of demand, like more than one student may be, and then they like asking you, Hey, can you provide this video? Does Sekolahmu also provide that kind of video?

Rhezandra Priatama: Of course, because we have, our, our own internal, content, content, production team. Right. So, we can create content by our team, but then since our DNA is collaboration. So, we also collaborate with other external production teams as well. So, let’s say that Netcore has a lot of video learning activity, and then we can integrate it into our system. So, yeah, we can do that basically.

Kresentia Chelsea: Oh, nice. Nice. I see, based on that, what would you suggest, or at least a nurse, like as how an online marketer should look at the growth in digital marketing and what are the metrics to be tracked and how to connect with the business KPI, because this is not mainly only financial or e-commerce kind of industry, like how can you measure and track them.

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. In regards to digital marketing, which means it is related to the transaction or revenue. Well, for this specific topic, we need to track every panel that we have. Like, let’s say we have some channels for the marketing channels, from the emails, from Google, from WhatsApp, and then from, our lending pages. So, basically, we, we do have some channels too, as our acquisition channel and then to, in order to connect it with the digital marketing, we need to track everyone, every funnel, and then we can measure, and then we can improve which part that, still, you know, low and then which part, who have the high conversion rate. And then based on that best, from the metric itself, I think it is normal for us to track the revenue because yeah, you know, the digital marketing is that it’s really tight about the revenue. And I believe for the other company, also tracking the revenue and, and, besides our revenue, I think it is also beneficial for us to track the number of users, because the more, the more users that we have of course, which means that we are successful to bring the quality product to our market, which means like the students, parents, and teachers, the more, the more users that we can get, and then they can get the benefit of our product, the happier we’ll be,

Kresentia Chelsea: Get it, get it. Thank you for that, that is such a good insight into the industry itself, especially for the education technology that we’ve been wandering. Like, how are you tracking that? And how can you see that and the part of digital marketing and how you utilize that inside the funnel. Got it. Now, Sekolahmu having multiple layers of customer lifetime, get the goody buddies up, right? You have the new customer; you have the loyal customer to churn customers. How do you start getting into each of these categories with your marketing strategy? And, how about growing the customers to become a moral loyalty with users? Do you have any specific tips and information?

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay, so we, we, we do have our own definition of new users. Churn loyal users are or something like that. And we also divided into two minutes perspectives, the first one in regards to the revenue. So, basically in this is the revenue stream, and then we need to track the new users, churn appetite by the transaction. And then, on the other hand, we also, as the education technology platform, we would like to track everything based on the learning activity, because let’s say I, I don’t buy, or I don’t do any transaction in this small, but then I keep learning everything from the courses that I already have. So, we need to track down, in two separate bases, what our strategy is in order to make our users keep repeating, keep repeating for buying our courses or programs.

Rhezandra Priatama: Basically, we do have some specific strategies, like for the new user. We do have a specific strategy for the activation or the churn. Of course, we need to activate the users because they, they have, both our products, but then for some reason, they, they, they don’t repeat the sales, right. So, we need to figure it out. What is the reactivation strategy? And then for the loyal ones, of course, we need to track them only for the transaction, but also for the learning activity metrics. And then regarding tips, how-to, how to, maximize or optimize the conversion, I think we need to go back into our, men, men focus first, let’s say our, let’s say every company has their own stages, right? So, for one company, they focus on the activation strategy, but for no other company, they focus on their reactivation strategy. So, we need to figure out which markets are quite big so that we can focus on that one. I think that’s the tip for me.

Kresentia Chelsea: I see. Thank you, buddy. That’s really nice. Like, no one that you mentioned, right. There are two, kinds of separate things that revenue, okay. Maybe the transactions, but how much you learn right after all, this is a learning platform for everyone. Nice. Nice. Okay. Then, like lately we’ve been seeing these two major trends in digital marketing, but the very hits one. So, one is personalization and one is customer experience nudges, from your point of view, Berryessa, which one could help the industry such as Sekolahmu to stand out among the rest of the crowd.

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. So, yeah, we do have two different things in here. The first one is learning the personalization and then the one is customer experience. And I just, yeah. we do have implemented this to, approach us personalization, but then from our data, I think, the conference, the conversion rate is still, belongs with the personalization, I think because, because, you know, if, if you are a user of Sekolahmu or a student in Sekolahmu, we, we always send the email using the sender’s name in case from Sekolahmu, basically in case our seal name. And then she has a real person. And then when everyone meets her in an online basis, they shop and then they quiet, you know, because they thought that this is just an, a picture, but then it turns out that in case they’re a real person, then part of the, part of the communication basis, like from email and push notification, we, we, we always, address the person’s name, like the personalization. And then by having this kind of a personalized touch, they, their students or their users engage more with us. And then ultimately, they can turn out into a conversion for our revenue, something like that. So, yeah, but, in the long run, I think we can explore more about the Natchez itself because yeah, it’s, it’s quite new for us. And I can, I can say that we can explore more in the near future.

Kresentia Chelsea: I see, I see this is, this is so cute actually. So, it’s not just some chatbots, someone, some random name, but a real person. Oh, nice. Nice, nice, nice. Yeah, that is also, that is also the thing that I know. I mean, people, people can also be sharp and then like, realize, Hey, I mean, it’s really personalized based on their basic needs. And it’s a real person. Okay. Now, coming to the, maybe our last question for today, every marketer, every industry has an expectation of how 2021 and the rest of the future will be. So, from the EdTech perspectives, such as Sekolahmu, how do you think the future will be? Or if you also want to drop some hands about some next big thing, that’s what Sekolahmu wants to do in the future. Please go ahead.

Rhezandra Priatama: Okay. So, you know, because of this pandemic era, I believe in the future, the condition of how the people, how the students learn is, is quite different. If we take a look at like the two hours, two or three years ago, because most likely even when the school already opened, but then, the way the student learns, they can leverage the offline or online activity, which means they meet, we need to have a combination of offline and then online, that what’s, we are doing right now for the blended learning to combine the offline striking, and then online interaction. This is something that I believe will be really beneficial for our students or users, not only in Indonesia but also around the world, because they have the experience of learning using an online perspective. And then they can compare, Oh, I had to learn everything offline, going to school or going to the university compared to online learning, because they, they, they kind of feel, you know, the differentiation, the benefits, the protocols from online or offline. So, I’ve lived, this is like a game-changer in the future. So, basically, and this not only for the student, but also for the parents and then the teachers, and then this kind of way of teaching and learning, and then for guiding our kids, our students, is quite totally different. I think so, yeah. This is the trend in the future Sekolahmu would like to focus on. We need to focus on doing the blended learning, active hearing only for the online, but also, we need to combine with the offline. So, they are the students and already users. They can have more, most likely like a similar interaction or experience when they go offline or online. That’s what we need to be focused on.

Kresentia Chelsea: I see. Thank you for concluding that, but I mean, it really, gives us new, insightful, thoughts on how education and how to, Sekolahmu, like to combine those kinds of two things, right? And also, engaging with the students and all the users throughout this change. Thank you. Once again, for your time, we’re going to close this one. All right.

Rhezandra Priatama: So, sorry. I just would like to say thank you for having me at Netcore. So, it’s really an honor for me to be invited here and then share a little bit of my experience in the education technology industry in Indonesia. Hopefully, we are, as the education technology, we can spread our passion to people around the world so that we can be lifelong learners, no matter where our situation and then the condition is. Thank you so much.

Kresentia Chelsea: Thank you so much. All right. That concludes our discussion today. Thank you for your time and for sharing a lot of insights. So, all of us can have a better understanding of the ed-tech industry such as Sekolahmu from a digital marketing perspective. And thank you everyone for listening. We’re sending off and see you on the next episode of Martechno beat. Bye-bye.

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