Disruption vs. Assimilation

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For years in the marketing world we've talked about effective campaigns as those that have the ability to be disruptive. I read an article in the New York Times recently on marketing through Facebook that talked about, among other things, seeking to create a "thumbstopper," which is an ad that is so arresting it stops the user from mindlessly scrolling through their feed. I get it. And I can appreciate the thinking. But, I disagree. The world we live in is deafening with marketing messages and people are being hit from a multitude of channels and grassroots executions. Creating something that stops someone in their digital or real world tracks can make sense on the surface. There is value in disruption, but only if the objective is an impression. If the objective is ultimately true, sustained engagement with a brand or a sale at the cash register—and, of course it always is—then the ultimate measure of effectiveness should not be disruption, but assimilation.

The most effective campaigns should create marketing that actually understands the customer's pain point and delivers a helpful solution. The marketing should assimilate that brand into their consumer's life.

The Real Housewives of Orange County are disruptive. They create a hell of a lot of talk value and it's hard to change the channel when they're on. But there's nothing there beyond an impression. No value. It's a car accident on the side of the road. Shock value is a short-term hit. Seeking disruption in marketing is the same thing. I believe it's about developing programs that are creative enough to capture an individual's attention, but lives in a place where they see immediate value so as to assimilate the brand into their lives. It's what we hang our hat on at Curator.

Agree or disagree? Hit me up on Twitter @battishill or @curatorpr and let's talk.