Laura Joukovski, Chief Media Officer at TechStyle Fashion Group, is responsible for building TechStyle into one of the fastest growing fashion companies in history. She is a trend spotter in the media space, driving innovation in both attribution and ad formats deployed in customer acquisition efforts across TechStyles’ brands: JustFab, ShoeDazzle, Fabletics and FabKids.
How did you get into the industry?
My career was launching in the earliest days of e-commerce, as luck would have it. So, we’ve grown up together – e-commerce and I. I’ve always been fascinated by consumer facing businesses, and e-commerce was the disruptive force that’s played out in that game over the past couple of decades. Now it is both fairly well established AND constantly evolving. So, that’s fun.
Any emerging industry trends?
Data and empathy. There’s so much data flowing everywhere, and the best businesses are seeking to capture and harness the power of the data to create experiences that people enjoy. That’s empathy.
We live in a world that is bursting with both data and empathy. Businesses don’t always get it right. We make loads of little mistakes. But, a lot of us are really trying to build things that align with our observations and understanding of what the people want. I think that’s marvelous.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
The pace of change is dizzying. Speed is required. Gone are the days when you can methodically and meticulously plan and build campaigns, or even attribution systems to measure advertising effectiveness. Today you must be nimble and quick. Always on and ready for “what’s next”. All too often things must be broken and reconstructed in innovative ways. Again and again. Without end!
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
My hope and my vision for marketing at TechStyle is to build an agile engine that is highly attuned to the demand signals our customers are sending in real life.
What does this mean? It means capturing and analyzing the data to understand what ads drive people to our sites, and what merchandise gets purchased, and what drives the great product reviews, etc. It means iterating and optimizing endlessly to try to get a little closer to meeting demand. At the end of the day, it’s not about us, it’s about the customer. All the customers. At scale. Across brands.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We’re just getting started! TechStyle is a portfolio of digital fashion businesses. We just launched a new brand this spring, Savage X Fenty. We’re excited to partner with Rihanna to bring the world a very modern take on lingerie and intimates, in addition to our other brands, including: Fabletics, ShoeDazzle, JustFab and FabKids. Additional brand launches are on the horizon. Expect great things! We didn’t come this far to only come this far…
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
We’ve strung together a beautifully agile engine (even if I do say so myself) for testing creatives across media channels. We have an in-house team that runs from creative development to media buying through marketing science and measurement. To give a flavor of the velocity of our testing we ran 35k+ creatives on social channels alone last year. Some ads never get more than a couple hundred dollars, but the best ad creatives spend millions. Creative optimization is always in response to the demand signals we capture from the customers. We work across brands globally to drive customer acquisition at scale.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
Sometimes we get it wrong when the creatives don’t capture anyone’s attention or the fashion is not on trend. Or maybe even, the price or promotion is not quite right in the marketplace. We see it pretty clearly and quickly when this happens. Sometimes it’s less quick to make everything right, but we step up each time and do the work to identify and remove the blockers to ease the friction. Digital fashion businesses are not for the weary or the faint of heart.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Not everyone wants the same things. One of the best features of e-commerce is the ability to create personalized shopping experiences at scale. We’re constantly working on that front.
But, we can all agree on some things:
We want value. In each of our brands, TechStyle works to create a meaningful value exchange with our members. We want to earn your trust and to be the first (if not the only) place you shop for fashion. We offer flexible membership shopping programs, exclusive styles, and great prices.
Many of us also want to shop with brands built by cool people – all other things being equal. I can tell you that TechStyle is teeming with wonderfully passionate nerds and artists: designers, merchants, marketers, engineers, analysts and, yes, even accountants, who show up every day trying to build data-driven digital fashion brands for you. It is an honor for me to come to work with these folks.
How do you motivate others?
I try to show up with curiosity and humility. I challenge and support my team – and myself – to do the right work to move the business. We value learning, and so we test things, a lot of things, always and ever in pursuit of being better tomorrow than we are today.
Career advice to those in your industry?
When in doubt, try to give the people what they want. If you’re not sure what that is – try some things to learn from both your hits and misses. Pay attention, the signals are all around.