Vishal Korlipara (Credit Karma): Finding Product-Market Fit for Your Mobile App

By Anya Pratskevich | January 30, 2019

Vishal Korlipara is a Growth Marketing Manager at Credit Karma, a technology company focused on championing financial progress for more than 85 million members. At Credit Karma, Vishal is tasked with growing new business verticals and expanding globally.

Most recently, Vishal launched the digital marketing efforts for Credit Karma in Canada. We chatted with him at the App Growth Summit about his experience finding the right product-market fit for Credit Karma and managing media budgets while expanding globally.

What are the key steps in launching an app in a new market?

First and foremost, the goal is to establish product-market fit. When you have a clear product-market fit, you can promote your app with app store optimization, mass media and other channels. At Credit Karma, we take into account the differences between credit unions in different markets, which helps us narrow our target audience and choose the right channels.

How did you tailor your growth strategies to the Canadian market?

In Canada, your credit scores goes up to 900, so anywhere above 850 is prime. In the U.S., the majority of credit scores ranges go as high as 850, so prime is anything above 770.

The majority of the U.S. population is subprime, which means many people may be considered a high credit risk to lenders. In Canada, we see the reverse trend, with most people at prime. That means they fall into a higher credit score category. Our new ad creative in Canada will be more focused on the prime target audience.

Which media channels are the most effective for promoting your app?

We use both traditional and digital media channels. We have nearly 1 in 2 US millennials as members, so digital is a very powerful channel for us. The top digital channels are Paid Search, Display, Social, Retargeting and of course, we love Liftoff!

We are also fortunate to be able to test TV and radio. Many people know Credit Karma because of our ads — which means they work! I may be biased but I think it is because they are quite funny.

How do you approach building and testing ad creatives for your campaigns?

We are always testing and generating new ideas and concepts. Interestingly, some of our best-performing ads have been in circulation since 2016. When we were a small company we would make ads with little to no budget and surprisingly these ads still perform really well. Additionally, I often find that testing new design elements results in a higher performance lift than introducing new ad concepts.

With any new market or new vertical launch, you start with a blank canvas. And as a marketer, your job is to take that blank canvas, fill it in with ideas and test them — creative, targeting, everything. Then you find winners and keep iterating.

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