CASE STUDY: eGlass
Launching a disruptive tool in a complex market during chaotic times.
eGlass was conceived during COVID to help reverse dramatically declining student engagement levels. The glass board and camera framed the teacher's face and writing in one screen, creating a powerful connection with learners.
eGlass was equally powerful in classroom settings - for the first time, teachers could write without turning their backs. A true hybrid teaching tool, eGlass made every student - online or in-class - feel they had a personal connection with their teacher.
The marketing challenges
Education buying is extremely conservative, and influenced by multiple stakeholders (district heads, district tech buyers, school boards, principals, teachers, parents and students) with often conflicting agendas.
Massive government cash infusions to curb learning loss during COVID didn’t produce the anticipated rush to invest in disruptive technology.
eGlass represents a completely new way of interacting with students. Educators had trouble envisioning how it worked, and how it would improve their teaching.
Pathway, the makers of eGlass, were moving from a reseller model to a direct sales model. They couldn’t rely on reseller relationships with districts to drive sales.
I was introduced to eGlass in order to make it a more effective, valuable brand – building awareness, creating conversions, and boosting sales. I worked with my own team, and a great team of in-house marketers at Pathway.
Some of our initiatives included:
The company that created eGlass – Pathway Innovations – was virtually invisible. We implemented a structure whereby eGlass (and other Pathway products) became part of a ‘house of brands’ under the Pathway umbrella. This would build value for the master brand, and make its fortunes less reliant on individual products.
The website was written and designed from the ground up. This entailed everything from shooting a library of new photos and creating videos to SEO work. Engagement with the site rose 1,540.96% because of this work.
eGlass, Pathway and HoverCam (Pathway’s best-selling product) all received graphic overhauls, including logos and complementary graphic palettes.
From brochures to new feature announcements, the team wrote and designed an extensive array of support materials for the sales team to use in virtual and in-person meetings.
Social media was the key advertising vehicle. eGlass used a modest social budget to leverage user participation, creating a barrage of teacher-made posts demonstrating eGlass. Social was also key to driving greater engagement during trade shows – teachers recorded themselves using eGlass, and posted their videos with eGlass hashtags to win prizes.
Brand ambassador program
A key element in winning trust was involving respected teacher thought leaders in the development of eGlass. Experts like Marcia Kish and Jon Corippo, outspoken proponents of methodologies that were enhanced by eGlass, became early champions. You can see Marcia and Jon in action in the video below.
Video and social proof
As a highly disruptive innovation, eGlass had to overcome the barrier of believability and trust. The team engaged with early adopters and had them send in videos of themselves using eGlass. These videos were then sent via social in geo-targeted campaigns to districts where eGlass sales teams were active.
Influencers and affiliates
The social team introduced eGlass to a host of education influencers. These influencers were given an eGlass to demo, and affiliate codes that enabled them to earn margins with every eGlass they helped sell.
The Pathway Innovations team were experts in trade show selling. Using the new brand and video streams of teachers demonstrating eGlass on massive video boards, eGlass won best of show at virtually every major edtech and education trade show in 2021.
New product innovation
The team collaborated with Jon Corippo to bring EduProtocols teaching templates to eGlass. eGlassLessons were interactive templates that teachers could write on, students could type their answers into from their laptops, and correct answers could be displayed on at the click of a button.
Funnels and email marketing
Not surprisingly, this activity led to an enviable funnel of leads. The eGlass team engaged these leads with email marketing and remarketing.
The eGlass marketing campaign was a success. The sales team funnel of leads is large, and growing. The team is building trust with all stakeholder groups, and eGlass orders are rising. As the sales cycle is long, the results of this campaign will become more apparent in late 2022 and spring 2023.