Master in Marketing Disruptive Innovation Challenge 2022

2 May 2022
General management and leadership

01From April 20 to 22, EADA held the Marketing Disruptive Innovation Challenge 2022. During the challenge, International Master in Marketing participants used disruptive innovation to create new business ideas in partnership with TBWA – The disruption company. TBWA has been named as one of the World's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company for four years running (2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019) and Adweek's Global Agency of the Year in 2021. This creative company uses trademarked disruption methodologies to help businesses address challenges and achieve transformative growth.

On the first day, Dean Jordi Díaz gave a warm welcome to the Master in Marketing participants and introduced the basic framework of disruptive innovation. To him, “there are plenty of problems, which means that there are plenty of business opportunities”. After that, participants heard from Danilo Cascino, Strategy & Innovation Director at TBWA Spain. Cascino explained that “disruption is about making the impossible possible and the inaccessible accessible, but not about beating the competition”. To him, "companies disrupt a specific market when breaking barriers, overcoming conventionalism and focusing on the customer experience”.

02To the speaker, “a disruption roadmap always begins with the problem, never with the solution.” He added: “When we fall in love with a solution we are usually biased by our preferences, by our personal life, so it doesn’t work because there is no feeling of break, there is no disruption.” Cascino named TBWA's client Apple as an example of disruption: “Apple put technology at the service of human creativity, making it accessible to everyone and using it for creative purposes.” Another example is Playstation, which he described as "more than a simple game" because "it can be used for exploring a country or for educating children about social issues.”

To Marcella van Doorn, EADA’s Master in Marketing Director, “all those examples allowed them to really come with very creative ideas.” To her, “the Marketing Disruption innovation Challenge really fits within marketing, because marketers have to think about the three principles of disruptive innovation: making the impossible possible, the exclusive inclusive and inaccessible the accessible.” Van Doorn highlighted “the social and sustainable approach of all the final projects, which is very important in all the brands.”

Inspired by innovators

On the second day of the challenge, participants had the chance to heard from two successful entrepreneurs and business managers who have applied elements of the framework:

03- Giovanni Bernardi (International Master in Finance, 2018), Head of Sales at BizAway. This company disrupted the business travel industry by offering an all-in-one solution to book and manage business trips with just one click. To him, "falling in love with a problem is the key to innovating in a specific market; everything starts with a problem, not with the solution". This company solved common problems such as complicating the booking process, multiple documents, missing receipts and manual reporting and high management fees for each transaction.

- Sana Khouja (International MBA, 2014), CEO & Founder at Zeena. This company has disrupted the wine industry because launched the first organic and vegan Spanish canned wine. As Sana told our participants, “We believe that each and every individual has a responsibility to the planet and the society.” Sana has a wide experience in helping other entrepreneurs to develop new businesses, from social projects, health initiatives and wine ventures.

Final project presentations

On the last day of the competition, participants prepared their final pitch with the support of the EADA Alumnus Guilherme Parente (EADA’s Master in Marketing, Class of 2008), who acted as a mentor of them. Parente is the Co-Founder and CEO of Apptite, which is the largest network of homemade food in Brasil. In the afternoon, they presented their disruptive ideas to the jury composed of EADA's Dean Jordi Díaz, Strategy & Innovation Director of TWBA, Danilo Cascino and EADA's Program Director, Marcella van Doorn.

04The winning team of the first edition of the Marketing Disruptive Innovation Challenge 2022 was Ironic. The team members are Martina Möller (Switzerland), Alina Geck (Germany), Antonio Ulloa (Cuba), Ana Paula Méndez (Mexico) and Afna Ashraf (India). This team set out to find a solution to help Latin American children that suffer from anemia by combining health with play. The goal was to create a product with bubbles with the aim of providing micronutrients such as iron to help children that lack them. 

As they explained, the objective was to create awareness about this issue and tackle it: “We came up with the idea -how to connect something playful with the healthcare- and we created a product with bubbles, which is a very playful way to get the vitamins that kids actually need.” To them, the most challenging part was defining the problem: “The first lesson learned was that everything starts with the problem, not with the solution”. Apart from this, “it was really challenging to focus on a target group like this, people with not a lot of money and without access to the Internet.” Thirdly, to them was so difficult to solve this problem with a solution that was simple and understandable and it could be also accepted culturally.”

All the teams felt so happy after taking part in this challenge: “We have been doing a lot of presentations but this activity allowed us to work in such amount of time and it really challenged us, more than any other presentations that we did.”