Our tagline is ‘The Creative Misfits’ and we create direct hits that connect with your audience on a human level: Saurabh Gupta, Founder and Managing Director of Garage Group

Our vision is to be a recognized long-term partner for all organisations.

Mumbai: Garage Group was launched as Garage Productions in 2015 in Kanpur, and is now looking to expand operations. Garage Group today comprises Garage Productions, Garage Media and Garage Music which was launched in 2020. Eye Media Networks was acquired in 2022 to establish a presence in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, the integrated digital agency is operating from Garage Media and also establish a presence in the Middle East by end-2023. Garage Media bills itself as a full-service ‘digitally creative’ agency. Besides production (content, music and video) and technology support, the group also claims to have a presence in OOH, DOOH and ITES.

Gupta claims to have strived to remain profitable instead of chasing scale and valuation since launch. Now, being a ‘100pc debt-free and cash-positive company’, the group is also looking at the acquisition route to expand. spoke to Saurabh Gupta, Founder and Managing Director of Garage Group on the agency, its growth and their expansion plans.

On the market gap seen when the agency launched in 2015

In 2015, the market gap we witnessed was that the digital media industry in India was undergoing a drastic change as social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook provided a gateway for foreign content, and clients and companies in India should work accordingly. As a result, we formed our first company Garage productions to bring a new style and approach towards digital media.

On the agency's USP

Garage Group is on a mission to save the world from boring advertising, the type that's always on repeat and never paid attention to, in this ever-changing sea of white noise. Sharp, creative thinking outperforms expensive media buys every time. Forget about first impressions; we create direct hits that connect with your audience on a human level, which is why our tagline is The Creative Misfits.

 On brand budgets shifting toward digital

Yes, there has been an increasing shift toward digital in present times. There has been a change in how brands handle advertising in recent years. Instead of employing more conventional advertising channels like television and print media, many businesses are instead concentrating on digital platforms and social media. Several things, including the growth of e-commerce and the enormous amount of time people, spend online, are responsible for this shift in course. Digital advertising also enables more specialized and personalized messaging, which may be more successful in reaching the targeted audiences. Besides utilizing the data and analytics to understand consumer behaviour and preferences helps in formulating more personalized advertisements of their choices.

On the growth of digital marketing in India as compared to the global market

The development of digital marketing and its expansion in India is unquestionably fascinating facts. Before a few years ago, only about 8-9% of the public was familiar with the term "Digital Marketing," but the story has changed. The emergence of digital marketing in India is an intriguing tale of how the human mind has evolved to think technically about everything, even marketing strategy. Today, even politics rely on digital as the core medium of communication.

According to data, India comes in second place globally in terms of internet usage, right behind China. More than 650 million and 900 million internet users are expected in India by 2023 and 2025, respectively. This enormous number makes it possible to simply create a robust digital ecosystem in the nation.

 On a cookie-less world

When we talk about working in a cookie-less world we first need to understand how it exactly works. A "cookie-less" world is one in which the usage of cookies, which are small data files kept on a user's device, is either completely prohibited or certainly restricted. In this situation, businesses might need to adopt alternate techniques to track and target online customers. This can involve utilizing other technologies, such as browser fingerprinting, which identifies users based on their device and surfing habits. Additionally, businesses would need to rely more on first-party data, or information that they directly obtain from users of their website or mobile app. To understand and target their consumers more effectively, they might also need to apply more advanced analytics and advanced machine learning algorithms.

On agency's margins as compared to a few years ago

Marketing agencies are facing several challenges that are squeezing their margins. One of the main reasons for this is the increasing competition in the industry. As more and more companies enter the market, agencies are facing greater pressure to offer competitive pricing to win business. Additionally, the rise of digital platforms and the proliferation of marketing technology has made it easier for companies to do their marketing, which can reduce their need for agency services. This, in turn, can put downward pressure on agency fees and margins. Another factor that is contributing to the squeeze on agency margins is the changing nature of work. As more marketing work is done on a project basis or as part of a freelance gig economy, agencies may have to pay more for labour, which can eat into their margins.

On the lack of a single currency measurement when it comes to digital marketing

One of the challenges with digital marketing is the lack of a single currency for measuring the effectiveness of different campaigns. In the world of traditional media, such as television and print, it is relatively easy to measure the reach and impact of an advertisement based on factors like audience size and engagement. With digital marketing, however, there are many more variables to consider, such as the different platforms and channels that are used, the different formats and types of content, and the varying ways in which people consume and engage with that content. This makes it difficult to compare the performance of different campaigns and to determine which are the most effective. As a result, many marketers are struggling to find a consistent and reliable way to measure the success of their digital campaigns.

On reels and short videos on social media as compared to TVC’s and the growth of this

Instagram continues to pitch itself to brands and agencies as a supplement to TV campaigns, but experts believe that with lower prices and a more personalized offering, it could steal ad dollars if brands understand its points of differentiation. Having said that, in India, there is still a segment of the population that consumes TV more, so we need to determine which audience the video is aimed at. If it's aimed at millennials and Gen Z, Instagram is the platform to use, while TV commercials are still effective.

As short-form content creators may swiftly respond to trends, memes, and culturally significant news, short-form video production has several advantages that stimulate community building and engagement. Additionally, the creation of short-form films is arguably simpler and easier than that of long-form video content, allowing for faster repetition and the testing of new concepts.

Therefore, rather than relying on subscription fees, these videos typically rely on advertising.

Short-form platforms have quickly experimented with and improved their capacity to provide content that suits the requirements, demographics, and expectations of various audiences. This aids in making the content accessible worldwide.

On the evolution of effective tactics used in SEO marketing

Over the years, the field of SEO has evolved significantly, with new techniques and strategies emerging as search engines have become more sophisticated. In the early days of SEO, it was relatively easy to achieve high rankings by using keywords and other simple techniques. However, as search engines have become more sophisticated, the field of SEO has become more complex and competitive. Today, effective SEO marketing requires a deep understanding of search algorithms and user behaviour, as well as a commitment to creating high-quality, relevant content that will be valuable to users

On the role that influencer marketing in a company's digital marketing mix.

Influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach a large and engaged audience. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, influencer marketing leverages the relationship that an influencer has with their followers to promote a product or service. This can be more effective because the endorsement comes from someone that the followers trust and respect, rather than from the brand itself. Additionally, influencer marketing can be more cost-effective than other forms of advertising, particularly if the influencer is willing to promote the product or service in exchange for a free sample or other forms of compensation. Finally, influencer marketing can help businesses tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing, which can be a highly effective way to drive sales and engagement.

On the issue of brand safety and trustworthiness

As an advertising agency, we are aware of the value of enduring brand safety and trustworthiness. Every brand is different, so it’s crucial to preserve the distinctiveness and identity it represents. This is important because if a brand's ads appear next to inappropriate or offensive content, it can reflect poorly on the brand and potentially damage its reputation. Trustworthiness, on the other hand, refers to the extent to which consumers trust and believe in a brand. This is important because consumers are more likely to buy from brands that they trust and believe in. To ensure brand safety and trustworthiness, businesses should carefully consider where their ads are placed and strive to create high-quality, relevant, and trustworthy content that will be valued by consumers. We develop a trustworthy relationship as a result of that procedure, which increases the business partners’ and their clients’ credibility and dependability.

On the agency's goals for 2023

Garage Productions envisions itself as a well-known global leader in the digital marketing and video production industries, exceeding customer expectations. Our vision is to be an accredited, preferred, and recognized long-term partner for all organizations big or small, while also ensuring employee growth and satisfaction. In addition, we have acquired eye media networks to extend our presence in the market, and we plan to add more feathers to our hat in the coming years. Hopefully, by 2023, we'll be expanding into new markets, first in the East and then the South.

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