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Disruptive marketing is the future, and the stakes have been raised

Sonal Mishra
22nd Mar 2017
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Making an effective marketing strategy and then implementing it in an efficient manner is one of the important aspects of running a business. Disruptive marketing makes you revisit and rethink all the marketing rules you have heard and practised religiously. According to Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group “Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising; it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.”

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

A company opting for disruptive strategies has one of two goals: (a) To design its offerings to match the demand of an emerging market, or (b) To re-shape an existing offering to increase customer satisfaction

Geoffrey Colon, author of Disruptive Marketing says that “Disruption occurs because people want solutions and disruptive marketers are listening in order to help provide that,” as stated by Forbes. He explains that root of disruptive marketing lies in creative disruption and disruptive innovation. Creative disruption is doing things differently than before in the creative process. Disruptive innovation, as analysed by Clayton M Christensen, a disruptive innovation expert, is an innovation that creates a new market and a new value network eventually disrupting the existing markets and value networks.

Out of many brands that hit the market with disruptive marketing, the most common example is of Apple. Apple came up with iTunes after identifying the consumer’s need to purchase a single song and not the entire album. Apple fulfilled the customer’s desire of purchasing a single song and also the desire of not owning a lot of music on their device which they were not going to listen to. Apple came up with portable mp3 player when a Discman was considered the ultimate gadget in the area of portable music.

What makes a campaign disruptive is its ability to be daring and break the status quo. Disruptive marketing is loved by the customers because it changes their perception of advertising. Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear brand, created ads like ‘Don’t buy this Jacket’, ‘Don’t buy what you don’t need’, and ‘Think twice before you buy anything’. These ads posed a kind of unique challenge to their audience, which in turn lead to their earning of priceless brand affinity.

Creating an impact with disruptive marketing

In order to do disruptive marketing, a huge amount of data mining is done to understand the current and emerging patterns and parameters of the market. After determining the market, the design and marketing teams need to start building a strategy that uses effective media channels in the market. This includes developing a presence online, developing content, and creating a presence through social media. An important thing to remember is that if you are planning on starting a disruptive campaign, whether you are making a small change or completely redesigning the whole product, everyone in the company must commit themselves to the change in perception of their brand. Successful disruptive marketing requires a long-term commitment from both owners and employees’ end.

Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, Instagram, Virgin etc. are among the 25 most disruptive brands of 2015 according to Avi Dan, Founder of consulting firm Avidan Strategies. He says that disruptive brands understand consumer trends before they become trends and take better advantage of these trends compared to their competitors. Additionally, when it comes to adopting a disruptive approach to gain momentum in the market, it is a mistake to believe that what works for other brands is going to work for yours. There are ways that companies can keep their boat afloat even if their ideas look ‘bad’ to others. With right innovation strategies and structure, one can easily explore new marketing methods to make their products or services stand out in the market.

Often, it has been seen that technologically driven companies apply disruptive marketing strategies, but we have come to a place where disruptive marketing strategies are applicable to all businesses. In many cases, staying in the clear seems more comfortable, but after a while, this comfort can easily turn into grief and sustainability will soon become the biggest challenge. So keep building a strong brand identity and when you feel that the time is right, go and break the rules. The future of disruption is now!

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