Curious Case Study – Marketing Strategy of Cred

by | Jan 18, 2022

Cred is a phenomenal success story on the Indian startup horizon. Founded in 2018, it became a unicorn at a valuation of $2.2 billion in April 2021, in less than 2 years. That makes it the fastest billion-dollar startup in India.

Although Cred is a Fintech company and doesn’t quite fit into the definition of a SaaS product, its cloud-based app that provides the credit card payment system works much like a SaaS product.

Before we take a deep dive into Cred’s marketing strategies, new start-ups can learn from its success. They should avoid making some common mistakes and choose their marketing agency carefully.

Cred’s marketing strategy involves B2B Marketing and SaaS product marketing.

Cred’s marketing case study

As per the latest reports, the credit card payment processing company is again scouting for a fresh round of investment at a valuation of $5.5 billion. Cred has a staggering 7.5 million users on its platform and apart from facilitating credit card payments, it offers a bouquet of financial services that include instant personal loans, a D2C payment system, and more.    

The lightning speed at which Cred has grown as a Fintech enterprise is largely due to its marketing blitzkrieg. The company reported a loss of Rs 360.31 crore in 2019-2020, high due to high expenditure on marketing and advertising.

In this post, we will discuss some of the key marketing strategies campaigns that launched Cred into the big league of most successful startups globally.

Event Marketing

Cred signed up as a sponsor of IPL for 2020 to 2022 for a hefty Rs 120 crore. Event marketing is Cred’s calling card as it relies on this strategy to influence massive audiences. There is no better strategy than to promote brands using the vibrancy of events. Event sponsorship is coveted and cherished.

That being said, there are two modes—align brand campaigns with many events, or put all your eggs in one big basket! Cred’s vote has always been for and with the Indian Premier League (IPL). If the Cred App exists, it’s because you saw it on IPL ads and promotions.

Cred square drive 

During IPL 2020, Cred launched the 100% cashback offer to those making payments using the Cred app. The 100% cashback was for one lucky user. And there was no minimum payment limit to avail of the offer. Social media jousts, ads, and marketing drives during the IPL gave the Cred brand saturation exposure.

For Cred content is king 

Cred gets its heft from knowing finance. As it is, finance is not everyone’s cup of tea. But Cred does a great job in educating Indians on finance. Financial blogs and youtube videos on financial topics on credit cards are very much part of Cred’s marketing content. There is also a Cred YouTube channel called ‘On the Money’ which is dedicated to how IPL earns money. In short, Cred serves customers with content.

When Cred went viral 

Cred does its marketing such that it gets viral. Cred is known worldwide for its viral content. Trending is in Cred’s blood!

That ‘Dravid the Gunda’ ad

Now whoever thought Rahul Dravid is a ‘Gunda’? But for IPL 2021, Cred launched ‘The Great for the Good’ marketing campaign featuring a bunch of ads. One of them had Rahul Dravid doing the impossible. Mr. Cool, the Wall, loses his cool in a traffic jam! He yells, and he rages—he is not the man he is, he is the quintessential bad dude! The ad expresses incredulity at somebody getting rewarded for paying his credit bills using the Cred app. It is like saying Everest is a hillock. It is like insisting Rahul Dravid lost his temper! Impossible! Comic Tanmay Bhat thought it up.

Cake from Cred

Another time, Cred struck upon the cake idea! In a first worldwide, in 2019, Cred dispatched cakes for customer acquisition. Existing users were surprised with a cake apiece at their workplaces. “Who sent you this cake?” asked colleagues and the answer made droves of people install the cred app for making credit card payments—it was a bloodless coup!

Jousts and Jackpots 

Cred attracts users to its platform with contests and giveaways—exciting gifts plus rewards. A reward warms the heart. Cred lays out a spread of rewards and asks for only two things in return—install the Cred App, and don’t miss paying credit card bills.

How many of you remember Cred’s ‘Mega Jackpot Week’ during IPL 2021? The Mega Jackpot, a total of seven rewards! Harley Davidson—Fat Boys—iPhones for a decade—Free flights for five years—Gold—Tata Safari—Bitcoin—and a complete homemaker! Beat that if you can.  

Seen on TV

Cred’s target audience is Gen Y. Generation Y loves TV, they watch the idiot box like they are geniuses, the thing to do and how! Want to advertise to them, make a TV commercial. Way to go!

In 2019, the Cred app was a TV ad launched with Jim Sarbh doing the honors of explaining the benefits of Cred.

In 2020 Cred made 6 TV commercials featuring Madhuri Dixit, Govinda, Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Bappi Lahiri, and Anil Kapoor. Outcome: 700% hike in Cred App users.

Summing up

Cred’s backroom marketing experts leveraged many of the strategies typically used in SaaS marketing. It may not have hired a  SaaS product marketing agency per se, but it did engage a few reputed digital marketing agencies to plan and run its campaigns.

New startups both in Fintech and SaaS Product marketing can benefit from lead generation and marketing automation software OPAL CRM. Cred may soon be tapping public funds by listing itself on the stock exchanges. For new startups, ideation to IPO is a lot of distance.

However, it’s not impossible to cover in a short duration. Here are some tips from Kloudportal, a leading B2B marketing, and SaaS Product Marketing Agency. Cred’s curious marketing case study should inspire you to stay on the course and aim for big success.


About The Author…

Arun has been a print media journalist with wide-ranging experience. In search of solutions to everyday problems, he is drawn to technology and digital marketing. News and analytical insights fascinate him, and he passionately follows all that is new in the tech business. He writes for several news and content platforms. His areas of interest range from digital marketing to blockchain and digital currencies. He is dedicated, focused, and resourceful.

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