Navigating New Realities: The Learning Economy in The Post-COVID Era

Companies in the Education and EdTech sector faced a pivotal year in 2023. The industry thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a spike in remote learning, generous VC investments, and sustained government support. However, it encountered a significant downturn in 2022. Funding and investment started to dry up, revenues plateaued, and investors pressured companies into showing financial discipline.

The year 2022 brought demographic shifts in the student population and engagement, a less favorable macroeconomic environment, and increased regulatory scrutiny around online higher education practices. The Generative AI revolution also provided challenges and opportunities that further complicated the sector’s trajectory. By the end of 2022, EdTech companies were compelled to undertake a difficult and sometimes painful reorganization, reprioritization, cost-cutting, and operational streamlining.

Fast-forward to the end of 2023, most companies in the sector show strong signs of improvement and a positive financial outlook for 2024.

According to a poll conducted by Evalueserve, targeting industry decision-makers, 53% are optimistic that 2024 will be better than 2023, a significant uptick from the 31% who had a favorable view of 2023 compared to 2022. Furthermore, there is consensus among independent experts that the Global EdTech market will sustain robust growth in the next 5 to 10 years. One such report from Market.us predicts that the sector's global market value will climb to $412 Bn by 2032 (versus $146 Bn in 2023), with an annual growth rate of 12.9%.

Heading into 2024, Education and EdTech companies will likely continue to face headwinds due to continuous investor pressure, ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties, evolving consumer preferences towards more sophisticated products, and increased competition due to market saturation.

On top of that, the critical role of technological adoption, particularly of generative AI, will determine a company’s success. To stay relevant, Education and EdTech companies will need to continue investing in technology, diversify their portfolio of products and content offerings, enhance their partner ecosystem, strengthen their market position, and even expand to new markets or segments while keeping a close eye on financial metrics and operational excellence.

The Critical Role of Competitive Intelligence (CI)

EdTech companies will need detailed product roadmaps and well-crafted go-to-market strategies to drive sustainable growth and differentiate themselves. Choosing the proper sales channels and pricing strategy is equally important, just as building a strong brand image and becoming a thought leader in their market segment. Keeping an eye on market trends and regulatory shifts is also vital.

Achieving these goals depends on cross-departmental collaboration coupled with a deep understanding of market dynamics. This underscores the strategic importance of a centralized Competitive Intelligence (CI) function to power the right decisions.

A central Competitive Intelligence function will equip each team with the essential insights for optimal performance. There are obvious business and strategic reasons for consolidating all CI initiatives into a single function:

  • Centralization: the whole organization has access to a single CI source of truth.
  • Unified Strategy: all critical decisions stem from the same centrally stored pool of competitive insights.
  • Rationalization: there is no overlap in the CI efforts, resulting in cost savings and a more efficient use of time.

Because of its all-encompassing nature, its value varies across business functions, as different teams need different sets of insights. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Executives need insights into competitors' strategies, visions, and focus areas. CI helps them identify, understand, anticipate, and respond to market shifts, emerging trends, and potential competitor actions.
  • Product and Content Development teams: use CI to analyze competitor offerings, including product features and functionalities, informing their own product roadmap and development strategies. Content audits are essential to differentiate from the competitor’s offering.
  • Marketing and Go-to-Market teams focus on competitor positioning, messaging, and targeting personas through social media campaigns and other channels. Understanding the regulatory environment is crucial for go-to-market strategies, as is identifying potential partners and assessing supply-demand dynamics, market concentration/fragmentation, and consumer demand.
  • Sales and Business Development teams leverage CI for insights into competitors' pricing strategies, objection-handling techniques, winning strategies, and sales playbooks. Conversely, business development people use CI to identify opportunities, choose partners, and assess white spaces or underserved consumer segments.

How Can Evalueserve Help?

Valuing the role of Competitive Intelligence in business decision-making, Evalueserve has developed a comprehensive 360 Intelligence Program that tracks some of the essential players in various areas of the Education and EdTech ecosystem: OPMs, Education management firms, Testing and Assessment firms, Upskilling and MOOC platforms, and Language Learning platforms. We track these companies regularly across the 20 most important regions for the EdTech landscape, covering 80% of the global student population and 60% of the global GDP.

Evalueserve has leveraged a perfect blend of its technological capabilities and domain experts to achieve this. Let’s investigate each one of the components:

1. The Technological Factor

Our advanced AI-based Competitive Intelligence platform, Insightsfirst, gathers and centralizes data from over 200,000 sources, including industry news, competitor websites, and leading market publications and think tanks globally.

The platform features an intuitive interface, promoting cross-functional collaboration with tools like tagging, notifications, newsletters, and custom integrations.

Insights are categorized using triggers and a complex mind map (a customized taxonomy), aligning with client needs for easy consumption. Users can provide feedback on the relevance and accuracy of the insights.

The latest upgrade incorporates Generative AI, allowing users to engage with our Researchbot for conversational insights derived from platform data.

2. The Human Factor

While we acknowledge the transformative impact of technology in gathering, centralizing, and distributing CI insights, Evalueserve recognizes that technology alone isn't enough for a holistic Competitive Intelligence function. Human expertise plays a critical role in interpreting and applying these insights. At Evalueserve, we blend cutting-edge technology with our experts’ nuanced understanding and analytical expertise. This combination ensures that our CI insights are data-rich, contextually informed, and strategically relevant, offering our clients a more comprehensive and actionable intelligence.

That is why, through their Intelligence Program, Top of Form

That is why Evalueserve provides a 360-degree view by deploying analysts from two different but complementary Centres of Excellence, The Competitive Intelligence CoE and the EdTech Centre of Excellence, thus offering our EdTech clients the best of two worlds:

  • Our CI CoE analysts have extensive experience developing detailed frameworks and methodologies to monitor and assess competitor dynamics. Our CI experts excel in systematically collecting, analysing, and disseminating competitive intelligence insights.
  • The Edtech CoE domain experts deliver specialized knowledge for our clients in the Education and EdTech sectors. They offer nuanced and detailed analyses of emerging trends, market shifts, and macroeconomic developments. Our expertise extends to crafting detailed Go-To-Market (GTM) research frameworks and conducting exhaustive studies for informed business decision-making in these sectors.

By combining our latest AI technology with our domain expertise, Evalueserve can provide Education and EdTech companies with the right CI program that will help them gather actionable insights for swift decision-making.

Conclusions

In today’s fast-paced, fiercely competitive EdTech landscape, where the adoption of new technologies is growing exponentially, companies must have a deep understanding of the evolving market dynamics, emerging trends, and their customers' ever-changing needs and expectations.

To navigate this complex environment while staying ahead of the curve, EdTech businesses require robust and strategic insights. Evalueserve's Competitive Intelligence Program offers a comprehensive, transformative solution combining AI technology and domain experts.

By partnering with Evalueserve, Education and EdTech companies will better understand their competitive arena, enabling them to make well-informed decisions. This partnership will provide strategic foresight into market trends and competitive strategies, which can guide them towards sustainable growth and success in an increasingly competitive, tech-driven market.

Talk to One of Our Experts

Get in touch today to find out about how Evalueserve can help you improve your processes, making you better, faster and more efficient.  

Alexandru Onojescu
Senior Manager, Education and EdTech Practice Posts
Mehvash Khanam
Senior Manager, Competitive Intelligence CoE, Professional Services Posts
Shreyash Kumar Sharma
Senior Analyst Posts

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