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Influencer Marketing Is More Personalised And Emotionally Driven, Says Gautam Madhavan, CEO, MAD Influence

In an interview with BW Businessworld, Madhavan talks about the new horizons of influencer marketing and more

Marketing has changed over the years in every manner.  Earlier, brands have to churn-out extra amount to get noticed on television screens. However, technology has flipped everything upside down. One of the best examples is the size of the screen (TV) has squeezed from 40 inches to 4 inches.  The 4-5-inches of the screen is working in a better way as per numbers and involvement. Many media-service providers have taken charge to provide better service over Direct-to-home operators. The scenario has started to change from the entry of social media platforms. Now social media has end numbers of user and bloggers to influence others.
To know more about this dense marketing style, BW Businessworld, spoke to Gautam Madhavan, CEO, MAD Influence. At the age of 23 years, Madhavan is sitting high with his own venture, MAD Influence, which is now considered one of the best running influencer marketing companies in the country.
He was always into social media and internet. In 2018, he being the Marketing Director for Global Partnership Summit he first encountered with the social media influencers and found it interesting. “Why not earn from the opportunity available in the market,” he said. “If we can see a huge pool of opportunity, why should we wait for others to jump in?”.
MAD Influence has grown to include an impressive client list that includes Puma, Vivo Smart Phones, Club Factory and many more.  It is Fastest Growing Influencer Marketing Platform working with over 10000+ Influencers across India. The company says that they bring talents, content creators, influencers and brands together to do awesome things together.

 How it is different from traditional marketing and other campaigns? 
The difference is like Ocean and River - Ocean being Influencer Marketing (pun intended) . Traditional marketing are mainly for the mass but with no direction of reach. To simplify this , I would say - traditional marketing forms you can reach to a million people but never know how much they actually engaged with brand or even read or consume it at the first place. Influencer marketing on the other hand - is a mix of traditional approach + the digital approach which basically means the Influencer connects with their audience in such a way where they are engaging them with the brand and ensuring it adds value to the entire ecosystem. The first step to influencer marketing is building out great content which their fans generally like. This way the brand is able to understand which kind of market to tap and which influencers can get them the best engagement and return on investment.
How influential do you think that influencer marketing is in comparison to online paid advertising?
Influencer Marketing is more personalised and emotionally driven. Influencer can connect with their audience and drive the brand image in their general lifestyle where their fans see them on a daily basis. This makes the communication more strong - if they can use it , I can use it too. It adds more validation to the product or service. Whereas , online paid advertising like Google ads are direct marketing which is like on the face marketing - This is the product - go buy it. The conversions might be great sometimes here - but you are not connecting with the emotions of the brand.
What is the cost difference between influencing marketing and other marketing?
Influencer marketing always proves to be more cost effective that other forms of marketing in most cases that I’ve seen. Here the brand spending on One Influencer - gets them to connect with the audience , their emotions , their visibility and validation of the brand - whereas - other forms of marketing you may not get all in one cost. The cost varies to influencer to influencer as per their niche and the number of followers but it will always be lesser than that of other forms if you take this in a macro comparison.

What are the latest trends that brands should be aware of in terms of influencer marketing?
I think , brands these days think Influencer marketing is successful solely by doing 1 post and 2 Instagram or Facebook stories , but there’s more to it. Influencer marketing is basically story telling - brands should engage the influencers to drive their emotional content and generate more loyal consumers. Influencers are not salesmen. They are content creators who can influence your sales. They can drive traffic to your website or your store , but if the product is not good enough then eventually they will back out. 

TikTok - the short video application which has over 120 million users in India is still an untapped marketing solution for brands in India. This is one of the best way to interact and promote any product or service when you want to engage with the masses. YouTube will come second to this - because youtube is the video google for problems. If the brand presence is there for every problem as a solution , YouTube can be really a great support in terms of Influencer marketing.

What is the future of influencer marketing in India?
I think the future is going to be short video integrations. Gone are the days where you write long articles and make a 1 minute video to engage with the consumers. Now they want to consume content in the most easiest yet fastest manner. Platforms like InShorts , TikTok are a great example for that. The future will be lead by these influencers through audio and video. Podcast marketing will hit India very soon and the power of audio content can break all records. 

How social media platforms taking it and investing in influencers?
Influencers create content - Content is shared on Social Media Platforms. Thus , the platforms have realised the importance of these emerging and the top creators who are now influencers. The platform supports them in various ways like organising workshops , planning meet ups etc. For example - TikTok recently organised a creator summit in Mumbai where all top influencers of TikTok were invited to make them feel as a part of their community and it does add value to both. This way the influencer also stays close with the platform. 

How Big is Market
According to Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2019, more than 320 new platforms influencer marketing strategies have emerged in last 12 months. Instagram is one of the most favorable platform used by various brands. The number of posts using popular hashtags of known brands raised from 3.1 million to 4.1 million in 2018-19. About 69 per cent of influencer marketing campaigns are related to Business to Consumer (B2C) sector. The challenges for such marketing are finding influencers, managing the contracts, data management, payments to production houses or influencers.

How it Works?

Influencer Marketing involves the three parties working hand in hand. The three parties are: Company or Brand, Production House and the mandatory part, Influencers. It is more consumer based approach focusing on content creation for the influencers. There are basically three category influencers: Celebrities , Macro Influencers, Micro Influencers. In the end all are content creators divided into multiple horizons as per their reach and scalability. 

Micro Influencers are preferable by  start- ups as these influencers are cost effective, still growing with low engagement rate, their audience trust them more which is uncommon to macro Influencers, go above and impress the clients, opportunist for them. 

Celebrities and Macro Influencers create Awareness for the brand , whereas the engagement is maximum generated through micro influencers.

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MAD Influence Gautam Madhavan marketing

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