I was talking with a client yesterday, and when I asked them what had motivated them to book a call with me, one of their reasons was their desire to become a market disruptor. I talk to entrepreneurs every day, and this is the first time I had heard someone say this was something they wanted to do. Sure, founders have said they want to be a market leader, but a market disruptor; that's a whole different ball game.
So what is the difference between a market disruptor and a market leader?
The goal of a market leader is to be a business with the largest market share and have the highest percentage of total sales revenue and profitability from a particular market.
They use their domination of that market to change the competitive landscape and direction of that market. That usually means a market leader will have strong brand loyalty, are a business with a higher perceived value, deeper market penetration and a large marketing budget.
They may have been first to market, which allowed them to drive the market, set expectations about the product or service and be front of mind for consumers.
On the other hand, a market disruptor finds a gap in the market, called a niche, and creates an innovative way of meeting their customer's needs. Their offering can include a product, service, or method of doing things that displaces the existing market leaders.
These entrepreneurs aren't trying to be the first at doing something, but they certainly want to be considered the best at what they offer. And their message gives the impression that they are the only solution on the market that can meet their customer's needs. Being a market disruptor means constantly monitoring and measuring the market to ensure they meet those needs.
Interestingly, market disruptors are generally entrepreneurs, outsiders, and idealists rather than industry insiders or market specialists. As a result, they look at an industry differently and want to change long-standing market behaviours.
Being a market disruptor can be a slippery slope. Without ongoing innovation and strong leadership, competitors can quickly overtake them with lower prices whilst pivoting their businesses to meet this new market offering. As a result, competitors can quickly disrupt the voice of a market disruptor.
How can you continue to be a market disruptor?
The first thing is to have a rock-solid digital strategy to drive your business and digital marketing. That means not becoming distracted by competitors responding to what you're doing in the market. Believe me, when I say there will be a response to your campaign, and with digital marketing, it will happen fast.
You will need to conduct regular research into your competitors and figure out ways to innovate beyond what they offer. You will also need to regularly find a way to reach out to your customers to ensure you are delivering what they want and need. Meeting your customer's needs and innovation will be the keys to your success.
As a market disruptor, your goal will be to find solutions that make your customer's lives easier. That means all your content and the way you think will become customer-centric. As a market disruptor, you will be a business that intimately knows your customer's pain points best and finds an innovative way to solve them. As a result, you will make market waves and dazzle the market with your innovative solution to an existing product or service.
"Don't find customers for your products;
find products for your customers."
You also need to factor into your market journey the time it will take for your plan to gather momentum. A market disruption doesn't happen overnight and takes time and resources to heat up.
My advice is, don't start your journey to being a market disruptor until you have an effective digital strategy. Once it is complete, you will have a thorough understanding of your market, competitors and messaging. In addition, you will have created objectives and goals that meet your business needs and be ready to start your digital marketing campaign to become a market disruptor.
So gear up entrepreneurs, you will need a strategy, vision and be ready to move quickly because being a market disruptor isn't something you can do by the seat of your pants.
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