What is Digital Disruption in Marketing?

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digital disruption in marketing

Digital disruption is all around us. It’s the Uber you booked on your phone to take you to a meeting when you were running late. It’s the fitness tracker on your wrist that informed you of your heart rate spike at the realisation you were running late. It’s the app on your phone you used to pre-order a coffee so you could still get your java fix in.

Far more than just a tech buzzword, digital disruption encompasses any company changing the game by doing something different. And that doesn’t just mean tech start-ups — digital disruption can (and should!) apply to marketing, too. At Whitehat Agency, digital disruption is at the heart of everything we do. It’s how we get our clients exceptional results in a time where most industries are oversaturated with advertising. But what does it actually mean? And what is digital disruption in marketing? Here, we give you the lowdown.

What is Digital Disruption?

Digital disruption is when emerging technologies change the value of existing goods and services in an industry. In doing so, they “change the fundamental expectations and behaviours in a culture, market, industry or process”, according to IT company Gartner.

Back in 1997 when the term ‘digital disruption’ was first coined, it was considered a negative phenomenon. In The Innovator’s Dilemma Clayton Christensen called low-end products “disruptive technologies” because instead of contributing to technological progress toward better performance, they disrupted it. But by 2012, it had been reframed as an inevitable process business leaders must get on board with, or get left behind. In Digital Disruption – Harnessing The ‘bang’ Deloitte described digital disruption as “transforming the way companies and agencies operate and how they engage with their customers”

A great example of digital disruption is modern smartphones with an in-built camera. These have essentially made digital, snap-and-shoot cameras obsolete — so when you do occasionally see them around, they’re far cheaper than they used to be. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean digital disruption is something to be feared by businesses — it’s all about adapting.

For example, mirrorless DSLR cameras are still in big demand for bloggers and amateur photographers, but these can now generally be effortlessly linked up to your smartphone. Similarly, many people now read books on tablets and e-readers so publishers, but there’s still plenty who read traditional books — so publishers now accommodate for both.

Digital Disruption in Marketing

Digital disruption in marketing is when a new technology, platform or strategy comes along and challenges the status quo.  Of course, new tools and apps promising to revolutionise how you reach your customers pop up nearly every day. But in order to truly classify as a digital disruptor, it must change the playing field and lead you to reconsider your other marketing efforts.

Some recent examples of digital disruption in marketing include:

Chatbots: Whether it’s on a website or on Facebook messenger, chatbots have changed the way businesses provide customer service and collect useful data about their consumers

Virtual reality: VR has transformed the way customers can engage with and try out products before making a purchase decision

Artificial intelligence and machine learning: From next-level marketing funnels to self-managed social media tools, these streamline and automate the content creation process

Voice searches: With 50% of all searches predicted to be voice searches by 2020, many organisations have tweaked their SEO strategies to focus on more conversational phrases

These digital disruptors are transforming all 5 P’s of the marketing process: product, price, promotion, place, and people. They allow us to automate parts of our marketing processes while simultaneously making our digital communications more human-like — plus, they allow us to anticipate what our customer needs before they even ask for it!

However, this doesn’t mean businesses should jump on the bandwagon of every new digital technology that emerges. It’s all about determining which ones are actually going to move the needle in your business. As Andrew Frank, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner for Marketers puts it: “By identifying and prioritizing new technologies that will have a transformational effect on your business, you can secure a leadership role in innovation initiatives.”

How we use Digital Disruption Marketing at Whitehat

At Whitehat Agency, we use digital disruption to drive ROI for small businesses and enterprise brands. We do so through innovative marketing strategies and creative content production. Our goal is to capture the strongest media performance possible for advertisers based on the current marketing landscape.

Built on agile methodologies, our digital disruption framework incorporates elements of strategy and planning, creative content production and media buying, research and reporting. The process is driven by an ongoing “test and learn” approach, supplemented by internal, proprietary technology built to add additional, data-backed accuracy.

While most agencies typically charge client’s based on a monthly retainer for the services that they offer, we like to go with the flow and stay flexible. This is why we give our clients access to all of our specialist services under a single budget. This ensures that their resources are allocated to the highest priority tasks fluidly to support their business.

By having these disciplines all under one roof, we are able to tightly integrate creative and media delivery considerations in all media planning efforts, ensuring buys are as impactful as possible.

We believe that a small improvement made today can grow into massive positive change over time. This is why we love what we do. It gives us the opportunity to help brands unlock their untapped potential and thus create this positive change.

Want to learn more about how we can help your business? Book a consultation with us today.

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