Disruptive Marketing Cheat Sheet

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Table of Contents

Feeling a little stuck in your marketing routine? Maybe it’s time to shake things up. And with summer coming to a close, I thought it would be fun to get you thinking about coming up with some disruptive marketing strategies.

Customers love disruptive marketing because it’s fun, creative, and a great way to get your business noticed.

What is Disruptive Marketing?

disruptive marketing represented by a chainlink fence with a hole in it

Disruptive marketing is a creative and innovative approach to marketing that seeks to grab attention by breaking the status quo. It’s a way to stand out from the competition by doing something different.

This can be anything from a new advertising campaign to a unique product launch. It’s all about making an impact and getting people talking. And the best part is, it often leads to increased sales and greater brand awareness.

But beware, taking on a disruptive strategy can be risky! While these marketing campaigns get a ton of attention, it might not be good attention.

Disruption is a Marketing Tactic and a Business Model

One of the things I’ve noticed in the world of small business marketing, is our tendency to collapse the concept of disruption as a marketing campaign vs disruption as a business model. There is a difference.

When you think about disruption as a business model, think about Uber, AirBnB, Dominos, FedEx, Cirque de Soleil. These are companies that based their entire business on turning out expectations of what was possible upside down.

Compare that to disruptive campaigns like Nike’s Kaepernick ad or Dove’s campaign called “Real Beauty” where they featured real women, unfiltered, no makeup and with a variety of body types.

So, you can see that the difference is real and important. But that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with one or the other.

How to Add a Little Disruption to Your Business

First, you have to check in with yourself to see if you or your marketing team are up for the potential risks involved in creating a disruptive marketing plan.

As a small business, the risk to your brand isn’t going to be wide reaching, but you definitely want to make sure that whatever you think you’re going to do isn’t going to piss off your best customers.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet of questions you and your team can answer to generate some possibilities:

  1. When you think about your specific industry, what is the standard or expected way of doing business?
  2. What are some things that people would say would never happen?
  3. In what ways can you “do the opposite” of what’s expected?
  4. Is there something that your customers wish you offered or offered in a certain way?
  5. What would be unexpected in your industry?
  6. In what ways can you create unusual combinations of products or services?
  7. Consumers love it when you take a stand on an issue. What are some values or beliefs that you can leverage?
  8. Is there a way that you can reframe the conversation?

Read These Books to Get Ideas

Grab any of these books to help you answer some of these questions.

  1. Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal
  2. Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal
    $11.38

    Disruptive Marketing is a book that encourages you to think outside the box and to break free from traditional conventions. It shows you how our world is changing and how you can adapt.

    What you'll see inside:

    • Selling is dead, but ongoing conversation thrives
    • Consumers generate the best content about brands
    • People tune out noise and listen to feelings
    • Curiosity leads the marketing team
    • Growth depends on merging analytics with boundless creativity.

    This book is full of trends, predictions, interviews with big-think marketers, and stories from a career spent pushing boundaries. If you want to boost your brand into new territory, this is the book for you!

    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    10/03/2022 08:07 pm GMT
  3. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
  4. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
    $4.75

    A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD has been a leader in stimulating creativity and innovation for over 25 years.

    This special anniversary edition is revised and updated with new ideas, stories, examples, and exercises.

    The book teaches readers how to overcome mental locks and unleash their full potential, use the four roles of the creative process, exploit the power of discontinuity constraints, and much more.

    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    10/03/2022 08:27 pm GMT
  5. Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
  6. Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
    $15.71

    W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne's BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY is a global bestseller that has sold over 4 million copies, been published in 46 languages, and is a bestseller across five continents.

    The book challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success and argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool.

    Based on their study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes from creating "blue oceans"--untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.

    This expanded edition includes updates on all cases and examples in the book, two new chapters, an expanded third one--Alignment, Renewal, and Red Ocean Traps--that address the most pressing questions readers have asked over the past 10 years.

    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    10/03/2022 09:07 pm GMT
  7. Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation
  8. Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation
    $19.99

    Successful innovation starts with the customer, not a brainstorming session.

    In an age of unlimited data, more than 50% of new products fail to meet expectations because we ask customers what they want instead of examining what they need.

    Jobs to be Done is a theory that people purchase products and services to solve a specific problem. They're not buying ice cream, for example, but celebration, bonding, and indulgence.

    The Jobs Roadmap guides you through the innovation process by helping you gather customer insights; turn those insights into new product ideas; test and iterate until you find success.

    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    10/03/2022 09:16 pm GMT
  9. Frugal Innovation: How to do better with less
  10. Frugal Innovation: How to do better with less
    $14.68

    Frugal Innovation offers a blueprint for leaders and managers in companies of all sizes on how to profit from doing business in a way that develops high-quality products while creating more value with limited resources.


    With an estimated trillion-dollar global market for sustainable products, and with potentially huge cost savings to be gained, frugal innovation is revolutionizing business and reshaping management thinking.


    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    10/03/2022 09:37 pm GMT

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Embrace Disruption

Disruptive marketing can be a great way to get your business noticed, and the best part is, it often leads to increased sales and greater brand awareness. If you’re feeling stuck in your marketing routine, or if you’re looking for a new way to stand out from the competition, consider trying some disruptive marketing ideas. And don’t forget to have fun with it!

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