With so many companies competing for the same customers, it’s more important than ever to have a unique approach to marketing – one that’ll make you stand out from your competitors. Enter the exciting world of disruptive marketing!

The dictionary defines disruptive as “causing or tending to cause disruption,” or as “innovative and groundbreaking.” We think a combination of both makes for the perfect marketing campaign.

The first step to disruptive marketing: Create experiences that are relevant to the customer. Think from the their perspective – how can you bring value to them?

Remember, we sell music. We sell products that make people happy. That might sound a bit cheesy, but it’s true. Kids and adults alike dream about owning that guitar, that keyboard, that drum kit. There are plenty of potential consumers out there hungry to know your message. The mission at hand is telling a story that brings value to them – stylizing a brand that they want to support.

Here are 12 marketing tips that put new or disruptive technology to work for you and your products. Try them and let us know your results!

1. Unlikely partnerships.

Think outside the box! The local farmers market needs music. Have your students perform there, and have the market promote you in return. Your local gym wants live music for a popular yoga class. A local bank might like the idea of sponsoring a local outdoor concert series featuring your teachers and students. How about a tattoo parlor and a musical instrument retailer joining forces? Cool guitars. Cool tattoos…hmmm. Find partners whose goals are synergistic with what you can provide and you both can win! Think about local businesses in your area and how you can work together. Partnering with someone with large social numbers can really help you to get the message out about your brand or service.

2. Go guerilla.

Yes, guerilla marketing requires legwork. Lots of it. But that’s why you got into this business, right? Plaster a wall with posters, or hand out flyers at a show promoting your next hot in-store clinic. Create a contest or quiz (or both!) that shares knowledge and delights potential customers, and send it out to players, schools and music teachers.

3. Put artists in charge.

Have an endorsing artist take over your Instagram or other social media account, to share their life on the road or in the studio. Set guidelines to ensure your products are featured — but don’t make it feel forced. Your artist should be a natural ambassador of your product. Promote the takeover ahead of time to make sure your customers know so they can interact and ask questions. Be prepared for some crazy, fun communication! You can also encourage an artist to create a short video message that you can post on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Make sure the artists are promoting on their own accounts as well. When artists or others with a following share info about you, then you can get your message in front of a whole new audience.

4. Choose your issue.

Do you create coated strings that last longer? A flight case that’s lighter than anyone else’s but still tough? A guitar that fits the needs of female players to a T? Focus your marketing efforts on customers’ needs and desires. Message your unique focus in all of your marketing efforts. You want to become known as the brand that covers that issue. Even if your solution to the issue you choose is no different than your competitors, you will become the authority and synonymous with the best solution!

5. Hyperfocus.

Really look closely at one smaller market segment and address them in a way that not only shows you understand their needs, but delivers more than they could ever hope for. Have a teacher that seems to work really well with middle school girls? Get some testimonials from parents, create a word of mouth campaign, offer referral incentives. Ask current students what they like and build on that. You’ll be a tween girl go-to brand in no time! Make a guitar amplifier that you’ve been targeting to rock/pop players that would also suit jazz players? Focus on jazz magazines, websites or festivals that cater to that segment. Make your presence known, and earn the trust of that audience.

6. A better barter.

Partner with a local radio station and have them feature one of your students each month plus a plug for your store in exchange for gear that they need for their mobile recording rig. Offer backline to a tour in exchange for your logo on a stage backdrop. Sometimes you don’t need to spend cash to get results; you simply need to be willing to donate or rent your product or provide a service that someone else needs.

7. Fight for something.

Create a rallying cry for something you believe in. Tap into emotion. If it resonates with your customers, they will be on board to aid in the crusade. This raises your profile and brings in customers. Ask customers to donate old instruments, recorders, or percussion for underserved kids. Raise money for the local food bank through a benefit concert. By rallying for a cause you create loyalty through a sense of community and you empower customers to make a real difference.

8. Ask your customers for help.

Regardless of your budget, your customers and stakeholders should always be top of mind. Request customer testimonials; ask them to speak on-camera about their experience with your company. If your client is a pro audio company or lighting company, hire them for your next event. What do you think sounds best? You boasting about yourself, or having someone else brag about how awesome you are? You guessed it right, the latter!

9. Identify influencers.

Work with Internet influencers to form partnerships. Notice a guitar player with 100k Instagram followers? Offer to send them one of your effect pedals. They’ll genuinely appreciate your support, and your product will likely get in front of tens of thousands of eyes as a result. Identify a successful local show promoter in your town. Offer gear for use, in exchange for promotional activations and brand visuals at shows.

10. Metrics matter.

Most social media accounts include free metrics for you to measure your audience. Look into this data and respond accordingly. Notice more female followers than you thought? Cater to this audience with messaging that matters to them. Watch how your audience responds to your campaigns. Is a tactic not sticking? Try something new. Getting lots of response on a certain photo you posted? Study why is succeeded, and do more like it.

11. Go live.

Yes, live streaming is the hot topic. Invite potential customers into a unique experience with your brand by live streaming interviews, demos, behind-the-scenes factory tours and insight into a new product’s development. The list is endless. You can be pretty down and dirty with live streaming, just make sure that you have good lighting, a strong Internet connection and a way to capture great audio. It’s a good idea to practice before you go live to the world, but make sure your streams are fun, spontaneous and not too long.

12. Get personal and go deep.

Tell personal success or challenge stories of your customers and how your product fits into a solution that worked for them. Champion your customers! You can also dig deep into social media. Respond to comments and spark conversations. Look through hashtags associated with your brand. A drummer in Annapolis, MD tweeted that he broke a pair of drums sticks? Offer to send him three free pairs. This personal touch gets people talking. Which stick brand do you think he will recommend to drummer friends from now on? You guessed it. Spend an hour or two every night digging deep into social media. Over time, you win.

If you’re looking for marketing strategy, PR, artist relations, social media marketing, graphic design, websites, and all the rest for music and audio, you’ve come to the right place. With over 25 years in the music industry, we know what makes musicians tick. Contact Mad Sun Marketing today: info@mad-sun.com.

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