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The story of 3 Edtech Markets

Louis Havriliuc, Vanesa Shi, Marco Borges, Robert Jensen  //  20.12.2012

2013 finds us offering local service and support in Australia, China, and Portugal. These are fast growing markets for e-marketing skills training services and as such we will be turning to the people who will be responsible developing the marketing strategy to find out more about their vision for promoting an unique digital learning asset.

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Simbound is the world's first Internet Marketing Simulation technology.  The platform presents learners with operational and strategic e-Marketing challenges as it improves decision making.     

China Simbound Contact Vanesa Shi has a background in international business, having been part of large Chinese enterprises and multinational companies, working on investment cooperation projects and also in corporate recruitment. She believes the Chinese market for digital goods is a great fit for the Simbound dynamic content experience.  

Marco Borges is a postgraduate student from Portugal with a passion for Digital Marketing . Simbound has already met with an island of clients in Portugal so Marco will have more discoveries to make as he furthers the journey of disseminating relevant marketing knowledge through simulations and games.     

Robert Jensen Simbound AP partnerRobert Jensen has more than 10 years of experience in delivering business training and continuing education programs and with Simbound he takes on a new challenge as the industry is now shifting at great pace towards sophisticated systems that transform learning, assessment and decision making.  Rob’s partner Julian Gross is the Managing Director of the International Management Institute, and has over 25 years’ experience preparing and delivering corporate learning and development programs. Combined the Asia Pacific team offer over 37 years experience.  

What is the current landscape regarding new learning technologies in your markets ?  How do you see this evolving in the next couple of years?

Marco: Despite the crisis, Portuguese universities and schools have been evolving positively to use new technologies. The majority of educational institutions have made available to their students, laptops at low cost, student accounts on new learning management systems etc. Beyond the classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and video projector. Therefore it is expected that even more new technologies will be made available to students in the next years!  

Robert : The best way to describe the current landscape is one which has picked up the pace quite dramatically in line with the range of “smart” devices students now can use to access their courses and materials on the go. Blended learning and online solutions have been the main focus in the more recent years as providers look to control costs and provide access to students who are geographically disadvantaged. Technology is moving at a rapid pace, traditionally education does not move as fast when it comes to adopting new learning strategies, and there is usually heated debate within the education community. Education providers are under increased pressure from students to provide technology/flexible access options.   Cloud based solutions are the next big step forward using current and emerging technologies, interactive virtual programs and simulations will become more popular in the next 3-5 years.  

Vanesa : New learning technologies are changing how we process information and can improve how learning and teaching is carried out. Technology adoption in China will rise greatly over the next years. These technologies can promote deeper understanding for students who are fortunate to benefit from them.  

e-Marketing is a global phenomenon but every market has its own special characteristics. What are some unusual stats that are specific for your markets ?

Robert : Australia is quite similar to other native English geographies in terms of e-Marketing culture and innovation.  Social Media usage has picked up pace recently while the Search landscape is dominated by Google.  

Vanesa : China not only has a large number of internet users but it seems that Chinese demonstrate higher levels of engagement with digital content which has made the internet to be widely considered as popular as traditional media. Therefore, e-Marketing is definitely the trend of the times.  

Marco : In Portugal internet is used by over half of the population, and it is mainly used for sending and receiving email, using social networks and instant messages (Windows live/Msn). It then becomes fundamental that students all the way to corporate marketing professionals start perfecting themselves in e-marketing.     

What is your experience with simulation games ?  Have you played a simulation game that you just couldn't forget ?

Vanesa  Up until now I’ve played some simulation games which were just for fun. Simbound impressed me with the depth of the learning content and I will continue to play and meanwhile gain knowledge.  

Marco  Previously I had some experience with simulation games, and I can´t forget Age of Empires and Football Manager. I loved these games because they offered a competitive environment. When you play with or against other people over the internet you get an intense feeling due to the time and labor you invest in outpacing your competitors. This type of engagement makes us more confident in our decisions and reasoning capabilities.  

Robert  In the 12 years I have been involved in education and training there was one particular simulation which proved to have a lasting impact on a great number of students, and as I graduated from the same “Mini MBA” program, I also had the opportunity to “play” The Marketing Game TMG. Simbound contains many of the same principles as this simulation, however it does so in a much more contemporary and sophisticated way. I will always remember the fun times from TMG as the competition get’s quite fierce after the first few rounds and everyone gets the hang of the impact of their decisions. The game was so much fun I organised a game for all the staff at my employer at the time, and we had 36 players in very intensive competition across the company spanning NSW & ACT regional office. The ongoing camaraderie within the company after the game concluded is something all of us will fondly remember.     

How do you see Simbound progressing in the future?  In an ecosystem for digital marketing trainers and learners what are some cool stories you'll be looking forward to experience and share with others?

Vanesa  Simbound will bring together more professors from across the world while it will lead the development of active marketing learning. I am looking forward to Chinese professors and students using the future innovative simulation technologies.  

Marco  Simbound is positioned to have  huge success in the future. Simbound covers a topic that soon enough will be the basis of success for many companies! More and more people are connected online, through various devices, making internet-based communication a standard objective for companies that want to promote and sell their products. 

Robert  I see Simbound as being a market leader, already we have a unique product and content. The stories I am looking forward to are our first graduates from some of the local institutions here in Australia. I am looking forward to hearing from those students who really benefited from our programs and were able to make career moves as a result of the Simbound experience. Once we run our first open course there will be plenty of cool stories to share, so watch this space 

Vote for one content module that you think Simbound Labs should start working on in the near future: Social Media Marketing, E-mail Marketing  etc

Vanesa  E-mail Marketing   

Marco  E-mail marketing, because using information on the desires and needs of customers, companies can provide more relevant advertising with that personal touch.  

Robert  Louis I am strongly in favour of developing the Social Media Marketing facility a.s.a.p, mainly because I think it has the most market appeal and dare I say it, sounds “sexy”

Thanks everyone for your answers. How is edtech evolving in your geography ? Comments welcomed

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