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What marketers can learn from disruptive business models

Bookshops have turned into Amazon, DVD’s to Netflix and running a B&B is now advertising your spare room online; disruptive business models are shaking up the marketplace and changing customers’ expectations and needs.

The way people consume products and services has changed dramatically over the recent years. There are many business models out there which have managed to disrupt the marketplace and spur on this transformation such asAirbnb, Easyjet, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, the Metro Bank, Aldi, Lidl, Tripadvisor, Shapeways and other similar ventures.

These companies have one common trait that has allowed them to be so successful; they have a flexible, adaptable approach to customer service which is key to keeping up the changes fuelled by technology. Though all have their own unique offerings to attract customers, they are uniform in that they fit around consumers’ changing lifestyle habits and needs. In an age where technology has enabled almost anything to be possible consumers expect much more, they need to be able to get in touch with a brand or organisation via the most convenient channel and have access to their account or help anytime of the day.

With all the access to information available at the moment, consumers can find the best deals easily, therefore they need to be in control and feel valued. Out of thousands of competitors, they have chosen to purchase from this brand, and expect to be appreciated by the company rather than being dictated to.

Take Amazon, if I pay a little extra to be a Prime customer, I can receive my order, often the next day. I have had deliveries on a Sunday which is perfect for me and even returns being picked up at 10pm, meaning I don’t have to queue at a post office which unhelpfully is only open during the hours I am in the office and even closes for lunch!

In the B2B sector business that have used a similar approach include; Google analytics, Google business apps, Wordpress, MailChimp, and Survey Monkey, all of which have come up with their own technologies that provide a platform for small businesses to launch and also to track performance and success rates from day one.

Certainly, without tools such as these many small businesses or start-ups would have remained no more than a ‘good idea’. A website can be launched for a very low cost using Wordpress and then marketed using tools such as Mailchimp which is easily integrated and monitored along the way with a number of these tools coming together.

The same tools can also be used for growing and larger businesses and can become as complex or expensive as required. These are all great tools for providing traceability and building trust and are simple and intuitive to use.

As marketers there is a lot we can learn from this approach with a key focus on tailoring whatever is on offer to the needs of the user whether that is a small business or a demanding consumer by constantly making the best use of the technology available. If we don’t our competitors certainly will.