State of Disruption 2019

December 26, 2019

Facebook’s annual State of Disruption Report came out at the start of October, but it’s taken me 2 months to digest because it’s a hefty 72 pages long. Here are three of my fave Facebook tips for building businesses to break industries.

1. EASY PEASY:

Today’s consumers (especially Gen Z) really value their time, and 71% are interested in services that saves them time and effort. Companies can disrupt traditional industries by leaning into it. Case in point: alcohol delivery companies like Tipple charging $30 extra for a bottle of booze to bring it straight to your door/party/office so you don’t have to sober up and stop mingling. (I totally checked the price of Glen Fiddich to compare this. If you ever need to bribe me, you know what to Tipple in my direction.)

2. PULP FRICTION:

Consumers want a seamless, intuitive and easy consumer journey with you. Make it smooth and frictionless because 84% of US consumers said they’d be unlikely to shop with a brand after a neggo experience. As Facebook notes on their Zero Friction Future microsite:

“Every additional step or delay is friction and a threat to business success.”

Zero Friction Future, Facebook IQ

Disruptive offerings don’t always spark confidence in consumers, especially when they’re super new or unheard of. Adding unnecessary friction is only giving unsure consumers an opportunity to change their mind on you.

(Side note – Alibaba took the opposite approach for their Singles Day activity this year. Rather than concentrate on minimising clicks to checkout, they created a brilliant engagement campaign with a pre-sale online concert featuring Taylor Swift to get traffic up on their site before the sale even started. You can read about this via this excellent and very free WARC report here.)

3. LET’S GET PHYGITAL

Some of the best-known disruptors got big by really owning the online space, and shaped their business (and how they disrupted an industry) by digital limitations. Think ThirdLove and how they changed women’s attitudes towards bra shopping, but also used online quizzes to get bra fitting right in lieu of an awkward sales girl with a tape measure.

But disruptors don’t need to stick to their lane. The term ‘phygital marketing‘ has been getting some traction over the past couple of years. It’s all about integrating both marketing arenas for the end consumer.

Mattress disruptor Casper created their ‘Dreamery‘ concept, a space for New Yorkers to book nap sessions on their mattresses. 120-day return guarantees are great, but nothing beats an actual road test. Plus naps are magical.

Cult beauty brand Glossier rose to crazy levels of success through the power of Instagram, but even the iconic cosmetics company has set up two IRL shops to satisfy needs. (That’s a whole other story though – almost feels like their physical stores are a destination for ultra Glossier fans to experience rather than to find new consumers.)

Innovative start ups can start lean and focus on digital to being with, but can use clever physical activations to power up their relationship with consumers as they grow.


Those were the juicy parts I think are actually relevant to disruption and innovation. Read the full thing here if you have an hour spare, but be warned. It’s all incredibly thought-provoking, but a fair whack of it is just dressing up Facebook-owned products as a disruption strategy when they’re not. Leaning into Instagram Stories or setting up Facebook Groups can be smart, but they’re not an integral part of or exclusive to disruptive offerings.

Enjoy, and HMU if you want to learn more about that time I did some marketing work for a Federal Government-funded initiative to foster innovation and disruption in Australia. 🐨

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