Note to readers: Valued at Rs 900 crore, influencer marketing is a fast growing industry in India. Be it brands, content creators or digital publishers, bringing them all together and curating a narrative for marketers are influencer management agencies. They are new-age agencies focused on influencer marketing. Storyboard18’s special series brings to you an exclusive behind-the-scenes view of what they do and how they work.
One gala event is all it took to come up with a full-fledged agency. After successfully putting together a corporate event with delegates from India and abroad, 21 year old Gautam Madhavan knew he was good at bringing together talent, resources and creating impact. That was December 2017. Cut to 2022, Madhavan, now 26, runs a full-service digital marketing agency that started with one client in 2018. Today, they put together twelve to fourteen campaigns every day. What is it that they do exactly? Well, they work with influencers and, while technically Mad Influence is an influencer management agency, they do more than just connecting creators and brands. They are into digital marketing, social media management, content authoring and provide consulting services to businesses.
Who are they?
“We are a new kind of Influencer network,” Madhavan tells Storyboard18.
“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,” he added.
Along with their expertise, what helps the team achieve their objective, is their wide network of influencers. They have an influencer for every brand and a brand for every influencer on board.
Year: December 2018.
Founders: Gautam Madhavan and the Mad Influence team
Gautam Madhavan with his team
Employees: The agency has 60 employees with a core leadership team that includes Aman Narula who joined as an intern and is now the national business head. Then there’s Abhilash Singh, the ex-business head of Social Samosa who is the business head - operations, Tanya Kundnani who is the business head for the west market and Manav Mehra who is the CFO.
Key Clients (Brands): Emami, Sharechat, Saregama, Nivea, Alt Balajee, Cipla, Beardo, Colgate, Bumble, Mamaearth, Myntra, Oppo, Tata Motors, Vivo and many others
Key Clients (Influencers): Surabhi and Samriddhi (aka Chinki Minki), Aadil Khan, Akshara Singh, Daisy Shah, Abhishek Nigam, Roshni Walia. The agency has 15 exclusive creators and an overall network of 10000 influencers.
Get To Know
Madhavan breaks down the day to day functions of the agency, what brands want, how they guide content creators and more.
What’s your best work?
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 1 million users within the span of a week. Downloads is something but getting over 1 million daily active users says a lot. We were stoked to put together this campaign.
What has been Mad Influence’s most challenging campaign?
The most challenging campaign we’ve worked on Bachchhan Paandey. It was not just an influencer campaign but a 360-degree campaign where we staged a kidnap. The narrative began with the disappearance of twelve Moj creators until it was revealed that Bachchhan Paandey played by Akshay Kumar was behind the abduction.
The campaign delivered 1.2 billion views in less than 28 hours.
What are the biggest challenges and issues facing influencer marketing agencies?
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.
What’s the biggest opportunity and how are you preparing to leverage it?
Our focus is now on non-lifestyle influencers especially creators in the tech, finance and crypto space. While short format videos have already changed the social media ecosystem, podcasts and live streams are the next big things. We haven’t capitalized on livestream but we should, to unlock its real potential.
What are the top trends that will change the influencer marketing ecosystem?
Livestream and commerce is all set to change the social media space for both brands and content creators
What are the most annoying things all clients do?
Payment delay is something that bothers the entire industry. While creators expect payment in a month’s time the average time taken to clear payments is between 90 and 120 days. Timely feedback and short deadlines are the other shortfalls of the ecosystem.
Any questions you have for influencers?
Have you started gaining financial knowledge? Do you know how to take care of your finances?
Do you know what your competitors are doing?
Have you started learning about the NFT space and its potential?