Why doesn't Zerodha advertise?
One thing I get asked the most and I’ve tweeted about this numerous times is that why don’t we advertise. Firstly I’d shared this sometime back.
Unlike buying a mobile phone or ordering a pizza, you don’t invest in stocks & MFs impulsively. Most often than not, we invest because of greed or because of our friends. And regulations don’t allow you to advertise greed.
Ads do help you create visibility and build credibility - two really important things in the business of money, especially the first few years. But after a certain point, it’s the law of diminishing returns. The incremental value from each impression reduces.
For us, the biggest benefit of growing organically is that the person who refers others typically also helps the user get through the tough initial phase of the trading & investing journey. This is important because you have maximum drop-offs at this stage.
We’ve seen that a lot of first-time direct investors who open an account on impulse struggle with the basics and tend to become inactive. These inactive users just end up becoming a compliance cost for us. This is much lesser if they’re referred by a friend/family.
Traders mature really fast. The things they need quickly go from just a buy & sell button to wanting other tools. The belief generally is that the more things you have access to, the higher the odds of winning. This is when a superior product can win even without ads.
Getting people in is just one piece of the puzzle. The real problem to solve, which we aren’t is to figure ways to help people make better choices with money, at scale. Not just for HNIs, but retail investors. The day we have an answer, we will advertise the hell out of it :)