Digital disruption / Digital disruptors

Digital media, digital technology and digital technology have all given opportunities for digital disruptors to have an impact on existing markets. Disruptors are typically online-only startups, although the term can also apply to technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

For existing companies, digital disruption is still possible, but it it isn’t so dramatic. It can be defined as

“Creating innovative omnichannel experiences by exploiting new digital technologies to drive incremental revenue by delivering relevant propositions, real-time contextual communications and experiences across
all touchpoints”

The challenge for existing businesses is to assess which innovations or digital disruptors are most relevant to their organisation and to seek to gain advantage through introducing them to a company such that the digital marketing techniques integrate effectively with traditional marketing communications. Reviewing the potential impact on a business of digital disruptors

Examples of digital disruptors in different sectors

It’s a good student activity to identify these in different sectors for example:

  • Retail disruptors: Amazon, Asos and Zalando
  • Travel disruptors: Trip Advisor, Expedia,
  • Financial service providers: UK-based banking apps like Mondo, Starling and Peer-to-peer lending services like Zopa and Funding Circle
  • Publishing disruptors: Huffington post, Facebook, Twitter and Quartz
  • Business-to-business disruptors: There are fewer of these, since more sector-specific. New entrants in retail B2B include Euroffice



Welcome to my personal site where I blog about the latest developments in digital business to help students, professionals or lecturers using my books in their studies or careers.

Visit my main Smart Insights Digital Marketing Strategy site to download planning templates, strategy guides and daily updates on the latest developments.

I also write about assistive technology to help others teaching the visually impaired as part of my volunteering work for charity AbilityNet.

My latest books

Full details on Amazon:

Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
8th edition

Digital Marketing Excellence
6th edition

About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

Free members can download our free templates and benchmark their digital capabilities.