We would like to pitch an idea for an innovative online learning platform designed specifically for computer science studies. This new service will apply a premium pricing strategy due to the high demand for such a platform and the fact that it offers several features, which make it stand out among its competitors. High margins will allow the company to spend more on marketing activities and include certain overhead costs. It is important to mention that our platform will utilize the advantage of entering a niche with relatively low competition rates in the industry, which is rather competitive. The COVID-19 pandemic as well as an array of measures taken by the governments to put an end to it present an opportunity for online education platforms such as the one we are offering.
SWOT Analysis of the Industry
First, it is important to understand how the industry works. The current business environment in the online education niche is quite favorable. It possesses multiple opportunities for growth and development because of the pandemic. Some of the strengths also include the opportunity for consumers to access a lot of materials and courses at once using an online platform as well as a variety of technological developments related to online education. Some of the weaknesses are a high drop-out rate from online courses and a lack of face-to-face communication. Opportunities include the improvement of online communication technologies and the fact that our people are forced to educate themselves more to meet the requirements of a highly competitive job market post-COVID. Threats are high competition and exclusive partnerships some platforms already have with top universities.
The Primary Competitors
The primary competitors in the industry are edX, Coursera, Khan Academy, Udemy, and various other local platforms. It is important to note that neither Udemy nor Masterclass offers extensive courses, which we are willing to do. In terms of partnerships with universities, edX and Coursera lead with the highest number of university-platform courses. Coursera is the main competitor to us since it has delivered services to almost 40 million people and started partnerships with over 100 universities. Despite that, it focuses on a variety of different subjects, while our platform wants to become the leader in one, which would make it instantly recognizable.
Consumers are the ultimate judge of our platform’s usefulness and effectiveness. The online education industry struggles to appear legitimate with so many people dropping out of their courses and so many platforms not offering certifications. In addition, learners are concerned with the quality of their online education experience due to possible technical problems. Another trend is affordability, which online learning platforms can take advantage of as they can use low prices and appropriate marketing to attract more people.
To design and market the new product efficiently, it is first important to establish the target market we hope to attract. The demographics of such a group are men and women, who are 18 and over. We do not want to design a product for school-aged children because we do not want to rely on donations or government grants to function. When it comes to psychographics, our future users are eager to learn more to improve existing or develop new skills to change their career path or get a promotion. Our platform will be structured similarly to a traditional class in college. Thus, we want to combine the perks of online education with the advantages of offline school, including engagement, a lot of feedback, and interactive environments. This is going to be the basis of our positioning.
Marketing Activities and Budget
As far as marketing activities go, we will deploy targeted advertising aimed at our preferred customers. Moreover, our company will focus on building a strong social media presence and collaborating with influencers to spread the word about our services. We believe that partnering with YouTubers to make content advertising our platform in the form of educational videos and study guides is one of the most effective marketing techniques. Offline marketing would be great for older people, which is why we will invest in billboard advertisements and possibly even certain promotional events once the quarantine is over. In terms of the budget, we will spend approximately $27,000 on launching two marketing campaigns: one during the Spring semester and the other one during the Fall semester.
We would like to mention that the pricing of our platform will be at the premium level. The justification for that will be a variety of unique features our service will offer as well as the high salaries of computer science graduates, which makes our offer have an increased return on investment (ROI). In addition, the demand for employees in the field of computer technologies will increase substantially, which essentially implies the deficit for skilled labor will become higher in the following years. Thus, the demand for quality and convenient education methods in the field is going to skyrocket as well. Although we will be newcomers to the market, we believe that our pricing strategy corresponds with our strong competitive advantage. It is mainly our teaching and support staff, who will engage learners and help any step of the way. Thus, customers will pay for a great learning experience, which is truly engaging and interactive, in addition to valuable knowledge.
In conclusion, we believe that our platform has immense potential to become one of the leaders in the industry. To successfully enter the market and grow into a big and respectable company, we will need your financial support. Consumers deserve a high-quality and engaging service for online education in the field of computer science. We want to make it easier for everyone interested in becoming a computer science specialist to learn a new skill or advance their career by improving existing ones.