Maddie Amrutkar, Founder & CEO of Glad U Came, Discusses Adapting to the Evolving Public Relations and Communications Industry
StartupTalky presents Recap’22. This is a series of interviews in which we conduct in-depth discussions with founders & industry leaders to understand their growth in 2022 and their predictions for the future.
Marketing and public relations (PR) are important components of a company’s overall strategy to promote its products and brand. Marketing refers to the process of identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer needs through the creation, promotion, and distribution of products, while PR refers to the management of a company’s reputation and image, typically through the use of media and other third-party channels.
Both marketing and PR play critical roles in establishing and maintaining a strong brand identity for luxury goods, helping to communicate the value and unique qualities of the products to customers, and building customer loyalty. Effective marketing and PR can also help companies navigate challenges and maintain their competitive position in a rapidly changing market.
The global marketing and PR agency market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 5-7% from 2021 to 2026, driven by factors such as the increasing importance of digital marketing, the growth of e-commerce, and the changing needs and preferences of customers.
For this Interview, we invited Maddie Amrutka, founder and CEO of Glad U Came, and we talked about the growth, challenges, insights, and future opportunities in the Public Relations and Communications industry.
StartupTalky: What does your company do? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?
Maddie: Glad U Came creates Award-winning digital campaigns that get people clicking, sharing, and engaging the right audience at the right time. From innovative start-ups to global giants, we’re the go-to agency for contenders with a disruptor mindset. We understand that when you’re investing in something, you expect ROI.
We are a creative, focused, and trusted PR and influencer marketing agency that develops ROI-driven campaigns to help your business reach its full potential.
StartupTalky: What is/are the USP/s of your products?
Maddie: We offer services like PR, Celebrity gifting, Influencer Marketing, and Social media marketing, and what makes us different is that we are pioneers in celebrity gifting in India, and we create well-planned strategies for our client’s growth.
StartupTalky: How has the public relations and communications industry changed in recent years, and how has your company adapted to these changes?
Maddie: As we go towards a digital world, it is critical to be informed about what is going on around us. We launched our sister company, Glad We Met, a talent management company where we manage celebrities and creators, and we perform digital PR for our clients because of this. Moving further in the realm of influencer marketing was a necessary choice because it is a growing industry.
StartupTalky: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in your industry?
Maddie: For our clients, we act as a “Thinking Partner” and are dedicated to lifelong learning. We follow strict procedures and provide excellent work and high-level advice. Our team makes use of a variety of media to reach the right audience and generate engagement that keeps your business top-of-mind.
We understand the importance of SEO and hence we have optimized our website to garner the best clients.
StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company’s growth and performance?
Maddie: We have a Google Sheet where we track our employees’ progress and growth; the columns include what they achieve weekly, and we also have a RAG column to determine the progress.
We also conduct daily opening and closing meetings to discuss the agenda of the day and keep up-to-date on the progress. And heads of departments have a daily meeting separately to figure out the team’s growth.
StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges your company faced in the past year and how did you overcome them?
Maddie: As the Pandemic was a difficult time for all of us, especially as offices were in a complete work-from-home situation, it was challenging at the start, but after that, we also gave our employees the hybrid option of working so that their safety was also prioritized. We made meetings virtually possible for clients and employees so that nobody suffered.
StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack which you pulled off.
Maddie: We make sure to participate in awards and summits that help with networking and getting more business; also, LinkedIn plays a major role in getting leads because we actively post about our services and hiring. We also did PR for Lokmat Awards, which helped us garner 15 million views on Instagram.
StartupTalky: What are the important tools and software you use to run your business smoothly?
Maddie: We use apps like Razorpay to maintain all the employee activity like salary and holidays so that everything is well managed. Google sheets is another important part of our daily lives as it makes work easy and it is convenient to maintain trackers making it smooth and systematic.
We also have an analytics and discovery platform driven by AI called HypeAuditor which can be used to uncover relevant influencers, learn more about their audiences, improve the return on investment for advertisers, and protect the integrity of influencer marketing.
StartupTalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in your industry in India and the world?
Maddie: New technology can benefit in numerous ways. Startups focused on predictive analytics offer tools to help you adapt story angles for journalists based on interests, prior coverage, personalities, and trends, as well as anticipate the possibility that a journalist will cover your story. Tools for performing sophisticated sentiment analysis on media clips, social media messages, and other sources are also being developed.
StartupTalky: What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen within states in India?
Maddie: In March, e-commerce spending in Delhi climbed by 1%, while spending in Bengaluru increased by 2%. However, expenditure in Mumbai declined by 7 percent throughout the month. As the cost of living is comparatively high in Mumbai people end up paying more on rent especially post covid prices have gone extremely high, so you have to think about the target audience before implementing any strategies.
StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year and how will these inform your plans and strategies?
Maddie: There will never be a single day in which everything goes perfectly, and some days can be very difficult. However, if you can keep a positive attitude and continue to look on the bright side, the challenging days can be an additional opportunity for growth in both your professional life and your life in general. So, making mistakes at the workplace is normal but make sure you learn from those mistakes and plan better in the future.
StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the Customers, product, and team base in the future?
Maddie: We plan on tapping homegrown brands as well as luxury brands as our experience in both has been versatile. So we want our clients to get the right limelight in the digital space, and hence we plan such goal-oriented strategies. For our employees we provide leave, GUC is the first PR agency to give Period leaves. As women make up 90% of our workforce, thus we are aware of the need for
menstruation leave. Hence we granted special leaves for the same to provide a healthy environment for our employees.
Maddie: One of the most effective methods is to get ideas from other business owners in the early stage of development. Avoid competitive companies and trade your knowledge and expertise for theirs. This will make networking more mutually beneficial, maybe leading to future opportunities.
We thank Maddie Amrutkar for spending his valuable time and sharing his learnings with all of us.