By: Ryan O’Hara
I’m not going to lie to you, you did good kid. You were funny, you were human, you were clever, you even did your homework. You did everything you were supposed to do. You connected with them in person, on LinkedIn, on Twitter, you even connected with them on Spotify after you found out that you both love Duran Duran. Even after you drafted those emails personally for them it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. Sorry kid, it was a heck of a run. It’s over.
Are you willing to go above and beyond? Call in the Wolf, so to speak? Alright, you’re going to need to put on your marketing cap and hold on, because we’re about to get disruptive.
What is disruptive marketing?
At its core, it is a marketing style that is usually built around a “stunt” of some sort, stopping the target audience, making them want to pay attention. It will be a very focused campaign that’s sole purpose is to get its audience to want to have a conversation with you because of itself that usually will lead to you having a deeper discussion with them about why you wanted to talk to them in the first place. In a lot of ways a disruptive campaign covers the same strategies and tactics as your standard sales cycle, but creates positive buzz and gets a lot of people talking about you in the process. A successful campaign can not only win you a client, but can also create excitement around your brand that it will attract others who saw it. But if we’re going to talk about taking a disruptive campaign, there’s a few things that you need to be aware of up front.
Know your plan
You can’t just wing it when it comes to disruptive campaigns. You need to be purposeful in every aspect of the stunt to get the maximum return from it. Having an attention grabber is always important (because, I mean…that’s why we’re doing this) but you need to be able to follow it up. Have a clear call to action for them so you don’t waste your time and money on an elaborate scheme involving a high school marching band on unicycles only to not have your name, logo or contact info giving them no way to tell you how well they nailed that trombone solo. Speaking of money…
Cost of success
Money is going to play a factor into the level of complexity to your stunt. Unless you can call in a favor, marching bands are going to cost a lot more than pizza for the office. You will need to consider your budget against the goals of the campaign and how you’re looking to accomplish it. You also need to consider the value of everyone’s time involved as well. Asking a team of five to spend their day off-task to star as extras in your video may cost you nothing, but it will cost the company a day of productivity times five.
Timing is everything
When you are setting out to do a disruptive campaign you have to take a lot of factors into consideration that all revolve around time. Will this stunt have impact on another campaign currently running? How long will it take to plan and execute it? How long before we need them to get back to us? The more complicated you make your stunt the longer it will take to pull off, leaving you with another question — how much time is worth it?
Your Triangle of Influence
It is critical that when using stunts to get a response that you make certain that the right people see it. Your viral cat video made with the company in mind was great, but if it wasn’t seen by the right decision maker there then it didn’t succeed. It’s important that you target their triangle of influence to get the most out of it.
Say you are selling a software service to a company, your primary decision maker may be a CTO or COO. In addition to them, you should also target a HR manager and a key marketing role. Depending on the stunt, the HR manager can share it internally with the rest of the company, while the marketer can share it external of the company. Targeting key people like this can have your campaign go from a handful of views to several thousand.
It is very difficult to pull something off overnight (trust me, I’ve tried) but with even with a few days time you can have some amazing results. It’s important to note that a disruptive campaign can have high risks, but can also result is some amazing rewards. Just remember to plan and price it out, have a solid goal in mind and identify their triangle of influence in order to have the most success with your stunt, no matter how crazy it is.
This post first appeared on our Medium Publication.