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Episode 49

Imagine 85-90% of learners actually finishing their courses and discovering unexpected career paths. It's not just about certification; it's about confidence. And upGrad knows how to keep their learner’s engaged for the long haul, with personalized interactions, clever tech, and ingenious reactivation campaigns. They're not just selling courses; they're adding value every step of the way.

53 mins

About the episode

Welcome to Episode 49 of The State of Retention Marketing podcast, hosted by Ankur Gattani, Chief Growth Officer at WebEngage. In this episode, Ankur sits down with Ankit Khirwal, Head of Marketing at upGrad, to unravel the secrets behind their remarkable retention strategies.

Ankit’s journey from a Marwari Baniya family to a seasoned marketer amidst the smartphone era gives him unique insights into the evolving landscape of education in India. He sheds light on how edtech platforms like upGrad have revolutionized learning, making it structured, disciplined, and accessible to all. Remarkably, up to 90% of learners complete their courses, a testament to the platform’s effectiveness in driving engagement.

But it’s not just about completing courses; it’s about the transformative impact on careers. Ankit shares anecdotes of learners transitioning from Supply Chain Management to Product Management or even pursuing a PhD after taking a Digital Marketing course. The confidence exuded by learners after upGrad courses is palpable, with 5 out of 6 reporting positive career impacts.

Ankit delves into the intricacies of retention at upGrad, emphasizing the importance of user acquisition stages and the concept of “articulation” – guiding users from foundational to advanced courses within the same domain. He reveals the consultative nature of engagement, where learners interact with peers and mentors, fostering a sense of community and driving retention.

Moreover, Ankit elaborates on the role of MarTech in reactivating leads and personalizing communications. He discusses upGrad’s innovative campaigns and their vision to train bots to assist learners at scale. Ankit emphasizes the value-driven approach to retention, steering away from constant selling to focus on adding value at every touchpoint.

As we explore how upGrad balances automation with personalized content across platforms, Ankit highlights the significance of understanding user life stages in conversion strategies, where online research often precedes offline transactions.

Join us as we uncover the intricate workings of upGrad’s retention magic and learn how they leverage the best in MarTech and content to drive engagement and empower learners on their educational journey. This is an episode you don’t want to miss!

Navigate through the chapters

00:49

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From Finance to Marketing: Ankit Digital Journey So Far

05:08

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The Online Education Revolution: Anytime, Anywhere, Empowered Learning

07:21

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Decoding User Behavior: Continuous Learning or Step Changes?

11:19

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Where Does Retention Fit in at upGrad?

15:13

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Human Touch Triumphs: Personalized Communication Outperforms Automation

18:22

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Finding Balance: When Frequency Meets Relevance in User Engagement

22:51

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To What Extent Does upGrad Automate Its Personalization and Communications?

26:59

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Capitalizing on Content: How upGrad's Free Courses and Blogs Give them an Edge

32:49

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Maximizing Impact: Data-Driven Relevance Mapping in Course Recommendations

40:45

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Creating and Capturing Demand: Innovative Course Strategies for Market Leadership

45:11

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AI and Data: Transforming Counseling with Technology

49:32

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AI-Powered Chatbots: Revolutionizing Customer Interaction and Retention

About the speaker

Ankit Khirwal

Head of Marketing, upGrad

Meet Ankit, a CA-turned-marketer riding the digital wave with upGrad. From his roots in a Marwari Baniya family to his journey as Head of Marketing at upGrad, Ankit’s story is one of diverse experiences and versatile expertise. Today, he brings his unique blend of financial acumen and marketing savvy to the forefront as he spearheads upGrad’s marketing initiatives. With a passion for innovation and a commitment to driving results, Ankit is paving the way for a new era of digital education.

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