Today, consumers are exposed to more than 10,000 brand messages every single day. This makes it incredibly difficult for brands to stand out and grab the attention of their audience. 

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The only way to stay ahead is by rethinking your marketing practices, your messaging, and how you’re serving your customers. 

This is where disruptive marketing takes center stage.

Because the ways customers react and respond to brands has changed, it’s down to businesses to find new ways to reach and connect with their audiences. And, while disruptive marketing might sound like the latest buzzword, it’s far from that. 

What Is Disruptive Marketing? 

Disruptive marketing starts with the product or service. 

It’s vital that what you’re offering is fully aligned to match the needs of an emerging market so you can serve the right content and the right messaging. Alternatively, your product can re-shape an existing offering that’s not providing the right levels of satisfaction. 

From there, your marketing team can put together messages that challenge the conventional ways of thinking around a product or service or speak to an entirely new market (or an unsatisfied existing market).

The most famous example of a disruptive brand is Uber. 

Consumers might not have realized that there was a better way to getting a cab than standing in the street and hawking one down. They might not have known they needed a service like Uber but, as soon as Uber came on the scene with their messages of quick, fast, and affordable transport, customers lapped it up. 

They essentially offered a new take on an old service model. This is what makes them disruptive. 

Top Tips for Disruptive Marketing

1. Know Your Market Really Well

Before you even start thinking about creating a disruptive marketing strategy, you need to know exactly what it is you’re disrupting. If Uber didn’t know the cab industry like the back of their hand, they wouldn’t have known what needed improving. 

You can use a tool like Think With Google to gain a deeper insight into your industry, the products that are available in it, and what services are the most popular. 

The key here is to find a weakness within the industry or a group of potential customers whose needs aren’t currently being met by what’s on offer. From there, it’s easy to determine where your brand can slide in and fill that unmet need. 

2. Be Incredibly Relevant

Research by Brand Relevance Index shows that the most successful brands are the ones that are making a difference in customers’ lives. To do this, they have to be consistently relevant. 

In order to ensure your marketing campaign and the product you’re selling is relevant, you need to know your customers inside out. You should be doing this for other reasons, too – 72% of consumers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations

If you’re not getting to know your customers, you’re already falling behind. 

Start by investigating what their key wants and needs are, how they spend their time, what they expect from you, and how you can surprise them. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to get deeper insights into your audience and their behavior. 

3. Rules Were Made to Be Broken

In order to disrupt an industry, you need to know what the existing rules and conventions are in that industry. Once you know that, you can redefine them – or throw them out the window entirely. 

Take IBM, for example. 

They changed the way we process data and have become a pioneer in forward-thinking technologies, always striving to be ahead of their competitors. They were the brains behind “Watson”, an AI machine, and have collaborated with NASA to maintain their title as disruptive and innovative. 

The world of data can often be quite dull, dry, and technical, but IBM goes against this and creates insightful campaigns that are valuable to a wider group of people than their audience. 

4. Do the Unexpected

When you can pinpoint your competitive advantage, really tap into that.

Remember that your audience might not know they need your product or service yet until you show them how it benefits them (think back to the Uber example). You can promote this benefit (a.k.a. what makes you different from other brands in your industry) and use that to fuel your marketing campaigns and messaging. 

Industrial IT solutions provider Hexagon did exactly this by creating an augmented reality (AR) annual report for its investors

Instead of sending traditional written reports that everyone else in their industry was doing, they reinvented to wheel to make a more engaging, memorable report that their investors would remember. 

Disrupt to Get Ahead

Disruptive marketing doesn’t mean you have to do something crazy.
Instead, it relies on you pinpointing what makes your brand different from your competitors and using that to fuel your messaging. It starts by knowing your audience and their unique wants and needs, creating a product that ties directly into those needs, and promoting it in an exciting and engaging way.