Mad Influence started as an influencer marketing startup two years ago with the initial investment of Rs 1 lakh. Today, its revenue is over 50 lakh per month.
Gautam Madhavan, the CEO & Co-founder, tells us how it is bringing over 10,000 content creators, influencers, and brands across India together.
The platform recently won a place in the Top 100 Marketing Startups in Asia at MadCon Dubai.
Tell us about the genesis of Mad Influence
I started Mad Influence on January 1, 2018. It is a complete 360-degree influencer marketing company. We have over 10,000 registered influencers across India from various categories like food, travel, tech, automobiles, fashion, etc., in our network.
We help the brands to select the right influencers, design and execute the marketing campaign using the influencers.
Your Eureka moment?
I was the Director of Global Partnership Summit 2017 held in Delhi that had around 3,000 delegates from 25 countries.
My department was responsible for 1,500 of them and 10 speakers.
It was then that I realised, if 1,500 people were coming from various countries to witness 10 people just because of their influence and impact, how about I create an army of 10,000 influential people with me and impact the world?
It was a ‘mad idea’, so I named us Mad Influence. Our goal is to become the largest influencer network in the world.
How does the platform work?
From the amplification of content to the creation of content for the brand, Mad Influence does it all. It brings together talents, content creators and influencers to create amazing influencer marketing campaigns.
We provide the brands with a dedicated dashboard. With the help of an integrated Artificial Intelligence tool, Mad Influence helps brands get real-time analytics of their influencer campaigns and track performance. The platform helps brands access between thousands of influencers with just one click.
What challenges did you face?
Two years ago when I started Mad Influence, it was very difficult to source new influencers because this concept of influencer marketing was fairly new.
There was a lack of trust. The market knowledge was so little that even hiring new people meant hiring freshers, even though they were doing advertising for years. Influencer marketing was not a priority for brand strategists.
Even now it’s not, but things have changed drastically over the years. Cash flow is always a struggle in our field.
We have to pay the influencers on time, but the clients end up paying us very late. If we don’t pay our creators on time, we lose credibility.
How did you solve these hiccups?
We conducted workshops across Delhi for influencers, teaching them how to create content, monetise and grow.
We replicated this in other cities like Mumbai and Chandigarh. We help influencers with their content production, which makes them speed up this entire process of influencer marketing.
About the cash flow, we figured out a financial cycle set up with each customer we had and made sure we worked on a mutual agreement. It has solved a lot of cash flow cycles compared to the previous ones.
In your perspective, how will the market for such platforms evolve?
I think the future is going to be short video integrations. Gone are the days when you wrote long articles and made a one-minute video to engage with the consumers.
Now they want to consume content in the easiest, yet fastest manner. Platforms like InShorts, Reels by Instagram, Roposso, etc., are good examples.
The future will be led by these influencers through audio and video. Podcast marketing will hit India very soon.
How was the journey before Mad Influence?
After a commerce degree, I worked with various organisations in marketing and business development roles.
I founded ‘Go Dutch India’, a reward- based crowd-funding platform, prior to plunging into the influencer marketing domain.
Technology is the future. We are already building various Internet products to support our business including AR, VR and AI.
A dedicated dashboard is being built for influencers and brands. It is completely automated, makes the process more reliable and gives real-time analytics too.