Data Science · Machine learning

What is the best way to market an online Data Science and Machine Learning course?

Dmitri Adler Data Society Founder

January 21st, 2015

We just launched a new online education company and are trying to figure out the best marketing strategies for an online course in Data Science and Machine Learning using R. We have a couple of meetup groups and have done some outbound marketing but want to improve our conversion rate. Any thoughts from marketing or online education experts/mentors?

Shobhit Verma

January 21st, 2015

We have plans to do something similar.
My advice would be to go lean, do not invest in technology, simply put it on UDemy and advertise using facebook / retargeting and the usual inbound tricks. 

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

January 21st, 2015

There are a bunch of online machine learning courses - some free, some not. But it feels to me that the real opportunity is to create content that is domain-specific: e.g., "Into to Customer Churn Prediction using Data Science" ... this both differentiates you and provides much higher value because it's problem-oriented. It's a hell of a lot easier for a marketing analyst to get their boss to sign off on $499 to learn how to address a very specific problem than a basic skills class without immediate application.

Mike Masello

January 21st, 2015

Are you having trouble finding an audience or looking to convert more people you speak to at meetups, who hit your website, etc?

I get emails from TNW which often include promotions for products, software, and online classes around tech (design, coding, etc).  They've got me to sign up because a) I was interested in the subject matter, and b) the classes were presented as on sale for XX% off.  The prices were low enough that if I didn't use the coursework right away I was still happy to have it in reserve.

Tyler Martin Founder, Turf.ly - casual fitness gaming

January 21st, 2015

You might want to get in touch with my former co-founder, Vik Paruchuri - he’s doing an online data science course. But as for ways to promote it, I’m not big in the education space, however I’d get involved with any subreddits for beginner programmers, reach out to other online education platforms, places like Hackbrite, start a daily Data Science tips social media group (twitter, Pinterest, etc)… lots of stuff you can do! Good luck Tyler

Dmitri Adler Data Society Founder

January 22nd, 2015

Thank you all for the replies. Michael Masello, what price range were the products that you signed up for? I do have an audience but I've been having trouble converting people who have expressed interest and have attended free meetup presentations. So far I've been offering people $100 off but I suspect 25% off sounds more compelling, thank you for the suggestion.

We are also planning to offer domain specific courses in a couple of months. Our current courses touch on a few different domains to make them applicable to the broadest audience possible, narrowing down the focus is our next level of sophistication. 

Tyler, thank you for the reference to Vik. I connected with him and scheduled a conversation for later this week.

Vijay MD Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)

January 21st, 2015

We're putting together something mimicking Michael hartl's Ruby on Rails course for chefs/ catering company/ restaurant owners on lean operations.  

He allows you to publish a written course online and sell the pdf/ kindle / video bundles.  Check out softcover.io if you're interested


Mike Masello

January 22nd, 2015

The design course was stated at $499 retail, 90% off for only $49.  I think they always have "limited time" sales that basically restart once one ends.

Same formula for the coding class marketed as $998, 91% off for $89.  If I don't go through TNW the price is $149 to enroll.