Change is the only constant & we embrace this each day: Amardeep Singh, Gutenberg

Amardeep Singh, COO, Gutenberg, shares his views on the role of integrated communication agencies, digital in the PR industry and their future plans

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Updated: Nov 25, 2019 2:18 PM
Amardeep Singh

Gutenberg, a digitally integrated marketing communications firm headquartered in New York, with offices in the USA, the UK, Singapore, and India. Its team of over 100 storytellers creates insight-driven ideas and narratives that transcend nine cities, four countries, and three continents.

Amardeep Singh, Chief Operating Officer, manages Gutenberg’s operations, responsible for the seamless running of accounts across its global offices. A leader with over two decades of experience in Consumer Finance, General Insurance Logistics, Marketing & Communications, among others, Singh enables the leadership team with the financial understanding of the clients’ businesses that help them in delivering stronger strategic communication strategies and client delight. 

In a decade-long stint with Gutenberg, Singh has played a pivotal role in organization-building, wearing multiple hats across Finance, Business Development, Servicing, HR, and Administration. He has been an integral part of the journey that led to Gutenberg’s transformation into a global digital marketing communications agency. Before Gutenberg, Singh held diverse roles in the transportation and the BFSI (Banking Financial & Insurance)sectors. He has also worked in a non-banking financial company and was an underwriter for general risks in the insurance sector.

An interaction with Singh on the role of integrated communication agencies in the PR industry, the role of digital and the future ahead.

Edited excerpts:

How has Gutenberg transformed from a PR agency to an integrated digital marketing communications firm?

Change is the only constant in life, and at Gutenberg, we embrace this each day. Gutenberg started off its journey in 2004 from New York City and since then we have expanded our wings to four different continents, i.e., USA, United Kingdom, India, and Singapore, with nine offices.

While working with our clients in different locations, we were focused on evolving ourselves since our inception and the emergence of social media, including, Facebook, which was also founded in the same year as ours. Then came Twitter and Youtube, along with the rise of mobile, which totally changed our content consumption pattern and also gave a new dimension to marketing segmentation. We also started embracing this change. We started thinking about what more could be done beyond public relations as the print media started making a more prominent presence on online platforms. During this change, however, we were firm believers that public relations will always remain relevant because it is the strategic backbone needed for communication. We first started managing social media services for our clients. This also gave us more insights and learning, and we kept on developing in house teams beyond public relations.

We rebranded in 2016 to become an integrated marketing and communications firm and added Digital as part of our offering, including developing websites, managing online and pragmatic ad spends. We continued to focus on content, which was always our focal point. We now offer content services that include providing case studies,  white papers, annual reports, short and long scripts for videos to coffee table books. We also have a fully-equipped video team. We also have experience in offering complete rebranding solutions, including logo design, brand guidelines and go-to-market management.

How is the functioning of integrated marketing in India different from the international boundaries of the USA and other countries?

India is unique from the rules of engagement as vernacular plays a key role in how we interact with our audiences. The way people consume their content is different, and even the context of setting up what they consume is very different. The English language might be the one common thing out here, but how we phrase our communication keeping in mind the local nuances make all these countries unique and different.

 Content has always been considered the king. What are the new tactics that are involved in making content even more powerful?

There was a time when content was usually restricted to text, but today content is more interactive and engaging. We talk about how videos have changed and how we consume our information in this mobile and digital world, but we need to take a step back and realise that only a well-written script--which is again content---will make one video more viral or engaging than the other. In all our earned, owned and paid initiatives, content takes the front seat. It also has the power to make your brand stand out in this digital world.

 How has been the growth spectrum for Gutenberg over the years?

As we increase our service offerings, we have also expanded our client base significantly. Globally, we have an addressable market size of about $224 billion which is growing with a CAGR of about 20% in the Asia APAC region. We want to keep growing our footprint in the region and also have a robust business conversion pipeline. 

How has the branding landscape changed over the years? What role do new generation marketing tactics like mobile marketing, content and videos play in it?

 The branding landscape has undergone tremendous change over the years. Two big things, the mobile revolution and easy access to the Internet, have led to digital disruption. We also see how technology has played a pivotal role in shaping AI and big data to drive changes in our marketing initiatives. Today we cannot imagine living without a mobile phone, which has become the most important platform for marketers. Creating good content with the power of video, which gets consumed on mobile and is segmented to extend to single pin code or to a single persona, has evolved the way brand think and use these mediums.

 What are your 5-year growth plans?

We want to keep building and adding more service lines. We recently partnered with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a bronze partner to develop and deliver AEM bases websites. We are also focusing on more partnerships and collaborations with our partners to develop new-age marketing solutions for our clients.

 What are the core issues prevailing in the industry?

There are no core issues. However, as the digital world evolves, there are challenges like finding the right integrated talent, upskilling, and knowledge-sharing

 How has your relationship with exchange4media been?

exchange4media has been a pioneer in its field. It has done a great job of creating awareness and thought leaders in this field. My relationship has been extremely positive, and I hope e4m keeps on doing the incredible work.

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