We listen, we challenge, we work collaboratively, we are mad: Mad Influence's Gautam Madhavan

Mumbai: Mad Influence is a social media influential marketing platform where it connects brands with influencers across India and outside India. It also helps companies with their digital marketing, social media handling, content writing and other consultancy services. Mad Influence is all about connecting brands with influencers. The startup provides a platform to bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers and other social media users to connect with brands in order to promote them.

Mad Influence was founded with the vision of connecting people online and creating a sustainable community of content makers.

It offers companies with a dedicated dashboard, and with the aid of an integrated artificial intelligence (AI) tool built into their platform, Mad Influence assists clients in obtaining real-time information and tracking the effectiveness of their influencer campaigns. The tool also enables marketers to connect with thousands of influencers with a single click.

Consumers today are very cautious as to what to buy, and when it comes to these platforms and products, influencer reviews are one of the most important factors in boosting brand product sales, or at the very least, getting more people interested in the product and making the effort to go to a showroom or an official dealer to check it out. To run effective campaigns, the network offers and brings together talents, content creators, influencers, and brands.

Mad Influence has opened Mad Studios in Mumbai and Delhi for content developers. With the debut of Mad Studio, the platform hopes to revolutionise the notion of influencer marketing by benefiting its influencers and the businesses they support. The newly opened studio provides a dance studio, VFX studio, photoshoots, and a variety of other first-rate facilities needed to generate the greatest content that will capture the attention of influencers from the represented brand's intended audience.

Indiantelevision.com caught up with the founder & CEO Gautam Madhavan to find out more.

Born in Chennai, at the age of 25 years, Madhavan is sitting high with his own venture, Mad Influence, which is now considered one of the leading influencer marketing companies in the country. The company has grown to include an impressive client list that includes Puma, Vivo Smart Phones, Club Factory, Emami and many more.  It is India's fastest growing influencer marketing platform, with over 10000+ influencers on board. At MadCon Dubai, the platform was named one of the Top 100 Marketing Startups in Asia.

He was a student at Dyal Singh College (Delhi University), and before Mad Influence, he founded the famous reward-based crowdfunding platform firm, Go Dutch. Go Dutch organises a lot of events and recently organised India’s Largest Mannequin Challenge. Madhavan was in charge of AIESEC IIT Delhi before starting his own company. He was also in charge of AIESEC Ireland. He has also served as the vice president of the Delhi Youth Forum, which has further expanded as the India Youth Foundation.

Mad Influence was inspired by a conference held in Delhi in December 2017 that drew over 2500 people. For Madhavan, this was a watershed moment: if one speaker could persuade so many people to congregate in one place, more powerful individuals banding together could add value to the existing economy. And that’s how Mad Influence was born.

Influencers may assist companies in regaining footfall. In these pandemic-stricken times, brands have changed, and using influencers to generate confidence and a sense of security among potential customers is a terrific approach to get business back on track, added Madhavan in one of many interviews.

Madhavan believes that technology is the way of the future. "I believe that brief video integrations will be the way of the future. Gone are the days when you could interact with customers by writing lengthy articles and creating a one-minute video. They now want to absorb material in the simplest and quickest way possible.  These audio and video influencers will shape the future,” he explains.

The company is already developing a variety of internet products to help our business, such as AR, VR, and AI, he added and also started to work in the Web3 space.


On the market gap seen when Mad Influence launched in 2018

When Mad Influence was started it was one of the earliest platforms to enter in the space of influencer marketing. At that time influencer marketing was not that popular in India and many didn't believe in influencer marketing since it was a new concept. But now it's one of the most popular ways of marketing and Mad Influence is one of the leading players in the industry.

On the company’s growth since launch

In 2019, the firm handled over 500 influencer marketing projects. Mad Influence is home to 400 unique influencers that are signed with them and managed by them. With its unique influencer marketing approach, which assists them in promoting their films and songs in the Indian market. Since its launch in 2018, the agency has partnered with Dharma Productions, Alt Balaji, Vivo, Pen, Hotstar, Dettol, Parle, Emami, and Hero Motocorp. among others. Apart from these top brands, Mad Influence works for the top Bollywood movies and web series for their influencer marketing outreach. Actors like Shilpa Shetty, comedian Kapil Sharma, actress Jacqueline Fernandez, influencer Jannat Zubair, Daisy Shah are also among our clientele.

On the company's USP

We are a new kind of influencer network. We say this because we are not limited to our network of influencers. We listen, we challenge, we work collaboratively, we are mad. It’s in the name. Mad Influence is a company of experts of varied backgrounds, in technology, business strategy, creativity, data insights and operations. We’ve come together to help ambitious businesses differentiate and compete - to become successful businesses. We are strategic, analytical, insight driven but on top of all we are emotional.

On how COVID impacted the business

Even the pandemic couldn't stop us from reaching greater heights. Most companies were forced to focus on adjusting their message in support of the present circumstances and raising awareness among their customers during this period. People are seeking confidence and trust. Influencer marketing has always attempted to give the campaign/work a personal touch. Given the scenario and situation, it appears to be the best course of action.

As the public spends more and more time on social media, it is only logical that the content we consume has a profound impact on us and during the pandemic this has skyrocketed. These influencers play an important role, and Mad Influence encourages them to be the greatest version of themselves online.

On the advantages of influencer marketing vis-a-vis other forms of communication

One of the most effective strategies to swiftly establish your brand online and generate awareness among your target audience is through influencer marketing. According to Forbes, influencer marketing is expanding faster than digital ads, with an emphasis on utilising the followers of industry experts to drive growth in your own brand.

On what Mad Influence looks at before partnering with an influencer

Mad Influence has a research team who looks for the influencers which can produce quality content or have a specific outreach to their target audience based on that Mad Influence decides to partner with an influencer.

On trends being seen in influencer marketing

Livestream and commerce is all set to change the social media space for both brands and content creators. The biggest challenge and opportunity both is the plethora of options there are when it comes to creators. There is one new influencer every day. So innovating and making them grow is one big challenge that we work on every single day.

On recent done work done in terms of partnering influencers with brands that stands out

We have one project almost every month that we can call our best work so it’s really a moving target but there are two campaigns we put together in the last two-three months that were a huge success. We launched Sharechat Moj Live and we could help the platform garner more than one million users within the span of a week. Downloads is something but getting over one million daily active users says a lot. We were stoked to put together this campaign.

We also worked for the Influencer marketing of Akshay Kumar film Bachchan Pandey.

On measuring ROI in influencer marketing

You won't be able to extract reliable data on the performance of your influencer campaign without a defined KPI in mind, such as sales growth, loyalty programme memberships, the number of trial accounts, or simply clicks and impressions.

Here is a list of potential KPIs you could monitor:

1.     Engagement (which includes clicks and views) & impressions

2.     Shares and likes

3.     Followers/Backlinks

4.     Sales (conversions)

5.     Referrals

On deciding which platform is the best one that a brand should use in influencer marketing

Influencer platforms are resources that help agencies and corporations manage and work with influencers. An influencer marketing platform is a software system designed to assist brands with their influencer marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing platforms provide organizations and agencies with influencer discovery tools as well as massive searchable databases of potential influencers based on clever algorithms.

Others propose an opt-in approach for influencers, in which platform workers may examine potential influencers and ensure that they are credible and willing to collaborate with businesses. The functionality of influencer platforms have recently expanded to include relationship management, campaign management, influencer markets, third-party analytics, and influencer content amplification.

On the expectations from Twitter as a marketing and advertising platform under a new owner

While advertisers in India anticipate new opportunities on Twitter, other marketers are concerned about the platform's developments. With Tesla CEO Elon Musk taking over the platform in a $44 billion acquisition, advertisers in India anticipate Twitter to be a completely new playground. Marketers, on the other hand, are anxious about how the new leadership would affect advertising on the site.

On the strengths of macro influencers vis-a-vis micro influencers and vice versa

Obviously macro influencers have more numbers of followers than micro influencers which results in greater outreach of their content to their targeted audience and brands also want macro influencers for their product, but on the other hand micro influencers can take more risk in creativity and to try new ideas to reach new audience also they are more accessible to the brands.

On what one needs to keep in mind for an influencer marketing campaign to stand out

Here are four things you need to keep in mind when launching an influencer marketing campaign:

1.     Expertise: Would the content of your campaign be appropriate coming from this influencer, given what he or she is famous for?

2.     Reach: Can this influencer engage your audience? Does she specifically have reach on the social media channels where your audience spends its time?

3.     Demographic: Is this person's following similar to your company's buyer persona? Does he or she affect the same people?

4.     Notoriety: Is this influencer well liked? Is his/her fame split between admiration and condemnation, or are they a person of mass appeal? (The latter is what you want, so as to not alienate potential customers.)

On the challenge of fake news, bots

Individual efforts to delete content, notify platforms, or halt bots will not suffice to combat disinformation. We should also realise that social media and technology businesses are a vital contributor to the strength of our democracy, as these platforms are still used by the general public, the people we serve, and our citizens.

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