The Content-Driven Guide to Disruptive Marketing [With Examples]

disruptive marketing

If you’re a marketer, you know it’s hard to stand out from the crowd these days! Technology, the internet, and continuous access to smartphones have made hard to get noticed by customers who are inundated with brand advertising and content. Set that with the fact that humans’ attention span has become shorter than that of a goldfish and you’ re met with a substantial challenge.

Disruptive marketing — or the process of transforming and also replacing industry status quos — is often necessary for new or smaller brands to obtain ahead.

But what does disruptive marketing actually mean? How can you learn to do it? Is the risk really worth the reward?

In the sections that follow, we’ll answer these questions and more. Let’s get started!

Quick Takeaways

  • Disruptive advertising has its roots in the business concept of disruptive innovation.
  • Like disruptive creativity, disruptive marketing makes products more accessible, is always customer-focused, and requires risk at the beginning.
  • Disruption requires challenging assumptions and committing to continual improvement.
  • Social media advertising and influencer marketing and advertising are examples of two substantial disruptions in the marketing sector.
  • Brands like Dollar Shave Club, Una Croix, AirBnB, and Wendy’s have leveraged content to implement disruptive marketing strategies.

What is bothersome marketing (really)?

Disruptive marketing’s innovative roots

Disruptive marketing and advertising has its roots within the idea of bothersome innovation , a concept coined by Harvard business professor Clay-based Christensen. Clay defined disruptive innovation as:

“a process through which a product or service requires root initially in basic applications at the bottom of a marketplace… eventually displacing established rivals. ”

In other words: it starts small, gains momentum, upends industry norms, and eventually creates completely new ones.

It below gives a quick and really helpful overview of disruptive development that I recommend watching prior to we keep going.

A few important takeaways in the video:

Bothersome innovation makes something cheaper or accessible.

The most obvious examples of this are technology innovations and mobile phones, which have democratized data towards the masses.

Troublesome innovation often seems like it is doing everything wrong in the beginning.

When Uber was founded, people scoffed in the idea of getting into a stranger’s car. The idea of AirBnB made people nervous in the same way. Today? They’re both ubiquitous parts of everyday life and travel.

Disruptive innovations are often low quality at first.

They require many iterations plus improvements over time. Think about the iPhones — every brand new model is better than the last, yet Apple doesn’t wait till they perfect every feature to release them.

Disruptive innovations focus on the customer.

Business creativity and marketing crowds concur: you can only find success by fulfilling customer requirements. Disruptive innovation looks at consumer needs of the future, often filling up them before customers even recognize they exist!

How does it all relate?

All of the over are true for bothersome marketing, too. When you consider these points from a marketing perspective, it’s something like this:

Disruptive marketing and advertising takes an innovative, novel approach to marketing products and services to brand new and existing audiences. It uses new stations , mediums, messages, and much more to accomplish something not carried out before by other companies.

Because of this, disruptive marketing and advertising is also inherently risky. You will find no past examples to work from. Marketers have to look at them know and make educated predictions about what’s more likely to resonate with audiences.

If all of this sounds kind of difficult — well, that’s because it is. If troublesome marketing were easy, brands would do it all the time to obtain ahead of the competition.

The good news is that you can easily find out tools and techniques (we’ll cover them in this article) to help you recognize opportunities for disruptive marketing and innovation. You can practice them all the time — constantly trying out disruptive methods and operating in a way that gets your content noticed.

And the payoff? It can be huge! Disruptive marketing helps new market entrants shoot before established competitors, boosts corporation growth, and increases brand awareness manifold.

How do you use disruptive advertising?

Challenge assumptions

The first method to uncover disruptive marketing tips is to challenge the assumptions that exist about current marketing practices and consumer choices in your industry. Challenging assumptions is another idea founded in the wonderful world of business innovation, and it essentially means to question what is presumed to be true.

When you do, you get one of two solutions: a confirmation that an assumption is indeed true, or a realization that it isn’t. When you obtain that second answer — that the assumption is not real — you know you’ve got the opportunity for disruptive marketing.

Truly challenging presumptions requires questioning the very core of what we think must be true for a given sector or market. Consider these types of business innovation examples:

Examples of companies who used disruptive innovation to transform their industries

Image Source: weploy

Picture what people’s responses might have been 20 years ago when they heard about banks with no money, or accommodations providers without property, or taxi businesses that don’t own cars.

The point: what seems impossible may not be so. It may, in fact , be an assumption. True disruptive innovators — and disruptive marketing experts — challenge assumptions continuously to find new opportunities meant for growth.

2 true marketing disruptions that may help you visualize how this concept plays out in practice are:

Social media advertising

It’s difficult to imagine now, but there is a time when the idea of companies using social media was unusual. As many a millennial think, it was once a haven mainly exclusive to high school plus college students. Fast forward in order to today, and social media advertisements have totally changed the way social platforms make money and how brands interact with consumers.

Influencer marketing

Regular people promoting items, earning a living from it, and getting increased engagement than celebrities along with millions of followers? This idea may have been laughed at simply by marketers even just a few in years past. But today micro- and mid-level influencers are being pursued by brands big and little. They are all but replacing traditional celebrity endorsements as people find them less relatable and authentic than influencer content material.

Continually enhance

The second essential concept to remember when you are implementing a disruptive marketing strategy is that if you wait for it to be perfect, you’ll end up being waiting forever (and most likely, a competitor will beat you out in the meantime). Part of being disruptive is usually launching quickly and then working to continually improve based on viewers response.

To clarify: this does not mean being careless. Instead, it indicates thinking of ways to get your concept out there, continually assessing its performance, and improving as you go.

An easy example is your social media content. A person post content, track the engagement and performance, plus adjust your strategy to get better results as you go. You don’t wait until every post is perfect to get active on social platforms since then you’d never get it done!

The same applies to a potentially disruptive marketing and advertising idea. Flesh it out enough to be launched, observe how your initial audiences respond to it, and make it better as you expand it. This strategy will make you more agile and help you test presumptions about your audience as you go along.

4 Samples of Great Disruptive Marketing

Okay — right now you might be thinking: is bothersome marketing really for me? We have looked at examples like Above all, Facebook, and Apple. What happened to disruption helping small brands get ahead? How can you really be disruptive in your own niche (and perhaps on a limited budget)?

Great questions. And here’s the answer: you can do it with content .

Content marketing is used today simply by 91% of businesses throughout industries. It has proven to earn 3x the leads plus 6x the conversions as other marketing methods, and at only 62% of the cost.

Your content is a huge opportunity for disrupting the marketing status quo. Let us find inspiration from 4 brands that have already performed it successfully.

Dollar Shave Club

While every other razor blade brand was trying to one-up each other on the smoothest and most luxurious experience, Dollar Slice Club came onto the particular scene in 2011 with a game-changing assumption: people don’t really care much about those things when it comes to shaving.

They also cut right to the particular chase about the currently inconvenient experience of buying a razor.

Dollar Shave Club’s first commercial — today viewed a whopping 24+ million times on YouTube — uses a healthy dose of snarky humor to pretty rapidly convince potential customers that they’ve got a better option.

They totally flipped the standing narrative in the razor industry and convinced the masses that much less is actually more. Today they have got more than 4 million subscribers.

La Croix

La Croix has been around since 1981 within the extremely competitive beverage industry. Celebrity endorsements are common in this particular industry (we can every name a few Pepsi or even Gatorade commercials featuring well-known faces, right? ) and when social media became a thing, influencers were just as common, too.

Rather than go after heavy-hitting influencers, however , Una Croix decided to take a different approach. They started partnering with micro- and nano-influencers (some with only a few 100 followers) to generate content that will felt more relatable for their audience. Then they began showcasing it on their own social media web pages.

La Croix Instagram post featuring micro-influencer content.

Image Resource: Instagram

It worked! La Croix’s sales doubled over 5 years between 2013-2018, displaying the power of micro-influencers to attract and engage their particular audiences.


AirBnB capitalized on user-generated content — influencer or not — to create a brand name now known for the authenticity (and for inspiring wanderlust in its audience). Remember that AirBnB doesn’t own one of the property for rent on their platform. To find and share content material, they decided to look toward their customers.

In 2016, well before user-generated campaigns became the norm, over 75% of AirBnB’s content was generated by app users.

In 2016, more than 75% of content shared by AirBnB on Instagram was generated by app users.

Picture Source: Pixlee

They moved far from the industry norm of discussing property photos and centered on selling the actual experience of staying in a place. As we know now, this paid off in spades.


What if I told you that will snark marketing was founded within the… fast food industry? You read that right. Wendy’s, specifically, spearheaded the idea that snarky, clever interaction with customers and other brands would be a great way to stand out on crowded social media spaces.

Their snarky replies to customers (many who quite literally ask for it) progressed into an annual #NationalRoastDay whenever Wendy’s roasts Twitter customers, competitors, and lots of other good-sport brands who get in in the fun. And they definitely do not miss a chance to get one within on their top competitor once the opportunity presents itself:

Example of Wendy’s using snark marketing on social media.

Image Source: Twitter

Wendy’s social networking snark has earned them followers, created a new part of their brand personality, plus kept their brand name active in online conversation. Worth the risk!

Over to You

Could your brand be a disruptor in your industry? From weblogs to video to social networking posts and more, your content is really a driver of new ideas and opportunities for your marketing strategy.

If you want to boost the quality and volume of your brand’s content, Marketing Insider Group can help. Our team of writers and SEO experts may deliver you optimized, ready-to-publish content every single week for just one year (or more! ).

Check out the SEO Weblog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation with me to get started.

The post The Content-Driven Guide to Disruptive Marketing [With Examples] appeared first on Marketing Insider Group .

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