EdTech companies: Are you hoping to graduate from offering a free product to actually monetizing it? Well, the secret is in how you position your education technology product for maximum sales success.
It is important for all edtech entrepreneurs, especially those who develop instructional technology for use by teachers and students in the K-12 grades, to understand how to position their products for maximum sales success.
Umang Gupta, a man who has experience in the enterprise software world as well as in education technology, offers some of his thoughts on how to go about doing this.
How do your customers see you?
It is helpful to first try to accurately categorize your product in a way that is consistent with how your buyers view it. If you’ve built an instructional technology product, does it solve an entire curriculum need in a school or district, or is it a supplemental educational resource?
Is it mainly a digital software tool for a specific instructional or administrative task, or a broad-based technology platform that an entire school or district must adopt?
Here are four statements you can make about your product. See which category you belong to—and choose only the one that best fits you.
1. My product offering consists of a comprehensive solution of educational content, tools and professional development that can fulfill the standardized curriculum needs for a particular subject and/or grade level for an entire school district/state/region.
2. My product offering consists of proprietary content and tools designed to teach a particular topic or skill but is not comprehensive enough in scope to be unambiguously included in Category 1 above.
3. My product offering consists mainly of digital software and tools that solve a specific instructional, administrative or infrastructure need for teachers and/or schools.
4. My product offering consists mainly of digital software and tools that solve a broad-based instructional, administrative or infrastructure need in schools and/or districts and is designed to operate seamlessly with third party tools and content.
If you picked statement #1, you are in the Curriculum Solutions category. If you picked #2, you are in the Supplemental Content and Resources category. If you settled on #3, then you are in the Digital Tools category, and if your work is best described by #4, then you are in the Technology Platform category.
Figure 1 summarizes this in a simple quadrant.
The Education Technology Products Quadrant Source: UGupta