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Smartick vs. Khan Academy: A Marketing Strategy for Moving Free Users to a Paying Model

Published 29 Mar 2017
Reference 6289
Topic Marketing
Industry E-Learning
Region Europe
Length 9 page(s)
Language English

The case describes how Spanish entrepreneurs Daniel González de Vega and Javier Arroyo founded Smartick with the aim of tackling the poor level of math education in their native Spain. Smartick is a self-financed enterprise that combines social impact with profitability. The two entrepreneurs are up against stiff competition, notably from the education giant Khan Academy, who not only has major financial backing but also offers its service free of charge. After two years of developing and testing a mix of the leading offline methods and state-of-the-art web-based technologies, Smartick is ready to make a big push into the after-school math learning space. Javier and Daniel are mulling over three options for their long-term marketing strategy. They are looking to segment the market and find the right segment to implement the strong brand positioning necessary to impact Spain’s math education culture and society. The three options are to focus on B2B through schools, a combination of B2B and B2C, and a B2C-only approach. They must also decide on a pricing model and a communication strategy.

Teaching objectives

After the case discussion, students should be able to: - understand the value of a differentiated product, even in the presence of a popular free alternative, - apply a segmentation-targeting-positioning approach to online education specifically, and to any other market or category, - recommend a pricing strategy to match the overall strategy of the company.

  • EdTech
  • online education
  • branding
  • marketing
  • social impact
  • pricing models
  • e-learning
  • entrepreneurship
  • segmentation
  • targeting
  • brand positioning
  • software-as-service
  • brand identity
  • customer centricity
  • Q31617
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