EdTech Marketing — Delivering value to your customers

In this LaunchPad Essentials Insights Seminar, three thought leaders sit down to discuss EdTech Marketing.

In the second session from the latest LaunchPad Essentials Insights Seminar series, 3 experienced EdTech leaders sat down to discuss how they have built robust business through partnering with other companies to grow together.

We were joined by:

  • Fiona Boyd – Co-founder and Director Business Development at EdSmart
  • Chris Smith – Head of Strategy & Innovation at ReadyTech
  • Camil Torabully – AWS EdStart Program Manager.

The highlights of their discussion were:

What has drawn you to entrepreneurship?
How do you build long-term relationships with your customers?
How has your customer acquisition strategy evolved?
What type of content has been the most successful in engaging your customers?
What advice would you give to new EdTech entrepreneurs looking at integration?
Where do you see the future of education?
How important was social media in building the profile of your company?
Key takeaways

What has drawn you to entrepreneurship?

Fiona swears by Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – moving up the hierarchy. Once you have established a sense of belonging, what you really want to do is grow and self-actualize. This is what drew her to entrepreneurship.

“Doing something that has a value to schools and helps protect schools going into the future is important to me.”
Fiona Boyd, EdSmart

How do you build long-term relationships with your customers?

Fiona and Chris explain that:

  • In terms of working with customers, co-create with them from the outset
  • Build something that will be usable for them, and include as part of the creation process
  • See your customer as a partner or a potential partner
  • Offering the mechanisms for customers to provide feedback is really important
“The maturity of product management as a discipline helps capture an idea and convert that into some value in the system.”
Chris Smith, ReadyTech

How has your customer acquisition strategy evolved?

Fiona says that by using marketing data combined with a content strategy, they were able to bring in decision makers into their ecosystem of content.

Play at a number of levels. Approach ministries and tell stories about current customers in order to attract the next set of customers.​”
Fiona Boyd, EdSmart

Chris also dives into this topic, saying that:

  • The opportunity in Australia is to capture much more of the same market. One of the things that ReadyTech has done to extend the addressable market is to diversify the product in terms of who we are targeting
  • Using direct connection to customers to understand whether or not there’s an opportunity within the existing customer base
  • Your staff should be passionate builders of the product. How you recruit and how they share the values of the company and the founders is also important
Really landing on your points of differentiation is key.
Chris Smith, ReadyTech

What type of content has been the most successful in engaging your customers?

There is a lot of content out there. Which is why having a targeted strategy is important. Fiona and Chris advise that:

  • Your content should be compelling and relevant to your audience
  • Have a targeted strategy and specific roles within your organisation
  • Distribute your content to channels where you know those people might be. It’s all about targeting
  • Seminars are a great way of getting brand awareness out there and telling your story

Having a formalized partner strategy is also important, says Fiona. Focus on telling the story and continue to push the story of schools more widely.

Having strategic partnerships and strategies helps us be part of the EdTech Ecosystem and makes sure that value flows in multiple ways.​”
Fiona Boyd, EdSmart

What advice would you give to new EdTech entrepreneurs looking at integration?

If value is something that you want to deliver to your customers, then you have to accept that it might not necessarily come directly from you, says Chris. Here’s some of his practical advice:

  • Bring partners on and connect them with customers directly, provided that they are building something that will add value and have a significant impact on your customer
  • Know that the value matters more to the customer and they will stay with you for being introduced to that value

Where do you see the future of education?

There’s a new found appreciation for teachers and schools and how vital it is to society. It enables parents to work, enables the younger generation to develop peer groups and contacts for the future, says Fiona.

Collaboration – there seems to be a collective responsibility to restore Australia’s education system back to pre-pandemic level.”
Chris Smith, ReadyTech
The positioning of EdTech in schools is really important to society. Good quality EdTech will enable schools to run well and enhance their resources on the front line educating children.
Fiona Boyd, EdSmart

How important was social media to building the profile of your company?

Social media builds community. Having a social media presence allows you to build brand awareness, engage with customers, and attract new ones. Chris and Fiona advise that:

  • Engage with topics, engage with someone who has a viewpoint in the education space and could potentially lead you in the direction of a sale
  • LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting!

Key Takeaways

Fiona Boyd:

  • Integration was key from the beginning of EdSmart, when proprietary players did not want to integrate, perseverance ensured that EdSmart was aligned with the key school platforms
  • When you have those core first customers, focus on building those relationships, their recommendations and support will be more important than any cold call you will ever make
  • Email the premier of a state! Who knows what might happen!

Chris Smith:

  • Partnering with customers is as important as partnering with other companies
  • Identify the core areas of your business and concentrate on those. Other niches or expertise can be supplied by other companies or potential customers
  • Not everything that you do will generate revenue but providing value and expertise will ensure you are trusted and builds relationships and renewal


Camil Torabully

Program Manager – Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Camil runs AWS EdStart, the educational technology (EdTech) startup accelerator of AWS for APAC. This program is designed to help entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions on the AWS Cloud.

Fiona Boyd

CEO & Co-Founder – EdSmart

As the CEO and Founder of EdSmart, Fiona is dedicated to helping educators, parents and students worldwide by reducing costs, reducing risk and getting old fashioned paperwork out of the way to save huge amounts of time that can be reinvested into human connections.

Chris Smith

Head of Strategy and Innovation – ReadyTech

Chris is the head of Strategy and Innovation at ReadyTech, providing student management, LMS and attitudinal insights for education and training providers.