Previously in our series on disruptive startups, we’ve spoken about how to make your mark and how to find the right talent to drive your business forward.

Now, it’s time to move on to what it takes to devise and execute a truly disruptive marketing model.

We’ve gathered insight from six executives from the Top 100 Disruptive Brands list, a report produced in association with Marketing Week.

You can watch the full interviews in the video below – or read on for a summary of what they said.

Focusing on the right channel

While startups are typically small in terms of budget and scale, Justin Basini, the co-founder and CEO of Clear Score, explained how this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to put limitations on your marketing model. 

Or, that digital channels have to be the only way forward.

What’s unique and different about the way we approach marketing at Clear Score is that we have focused from our earliest days on how we get to scale as quickly as possible.

Ironically, we didn’t do any of the normal startup marketing that you might expect, like Facebook, PPC, Google.

We went straight onto TV – and the reason we could do that was because we had a bunch of people around the table and we’d raised enough money to really go into the market hard.

Capitalising on word-of-mouth

Copa90 is a company that relies on the enthusiasm of its audience to further its own marketing. 

Building on word-of-mouth recommendations and online search interest, CTO James Kirkham described how it uses its own content as the biggest tool in its arsenal.

So much of Copa90's marketing is built around our own shows. They are flagship pieces that fans look to find themselves - they have their own viewerships and become marketing properties in their own right. 

For Eren Ozagir, founder and CEO of Push Doctor, the unique nature of his company’s product creates a similarly unique approach to marketing.

I know people think ‘marketing healthcare has been done for years and years’. 

Yes, as an insurance product, but not as a fully packaged digital experience. And so, there are very few people that have been pushing the boundaries on Facebook to directly acquire customers [in this way]. 

Using personalisation and education

Many of the executives interviewed spoke about how their marketing models are based on delivering something of value.

For Kirsty Emery, the co-founder of Unmade, this is creating promotional videos to help guide customers as well as raise awareness about what the company does.

For us, because the customer is involved in every single area... we have to be able to talk to them and show them how to go along this process.

A lot of what we do is very visual and dynamic, so we make a lot of videos to help our customers, so they can see how to use the site, where to click, what to do, etc. 

Similarly, Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder and CEO of Evrythng, focuses on tapping into people’s interest but lack of knowledge in the technology sector.

The way we approach marketing is shaped a lot by the market itself, which is in a certain stage of evolution.

So, because it’s emerging, and people’s understanding of the Internet of Things and the possibilities of smart products is changing all the time – part of what we do is rooted in education.

Investing wisely

Finally, Stephen Rapoport, founder of Pact, takes a much more measured approach.

Focusing on performance marketing, he explains how having a detailed and comprehensive plan for investment is the key to the company’s growth. 

I know exactly what the return on investment of every pound I spend will be and over what period of time. 

That is incredibly powerful because it means we can make trading decisions in real time, about where our next marketing pound is spent, and exactly what we need to optimise for at that point in time – whether it is payback, ROI, top line growth. 

If you look at the coffee brands with who we are competing and we are a speck of dust in terms of size and budget and resource. All we have is nimbleness and insight.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 17 November, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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