Topshop CMO: Marketing industry needs disruption

The marketing industry needs more disruption to shake off formulaic habits and keep up with consumers, according to Topshop CMO Justin Cooke.

Topshop’s interactive catwalk they launched with Google at London Fashion Week.

Speaking at Marketing Week Live in London yesterday (27 June) Cooke said: “I love disruption. It’s one of the most exciting aspects [of marketing]. Marketing isn’t what it was … marketing is an industry that needs disrupting more than ever because people do get very formulaic and that’s never a good recipe [for success]. You have to keep questioning what you do.

“I have a real fascination with companies that go through innovation cycles with startup mentality … but what invariably happens is companies start to slow down, forget all the things that were disruptive in the first place – it’s a good lesson for every industry to keep aware of what you’re doing, keep evaluating and always have someone looking around the corner for you.”

He advises marketers to look beyond their own sectors and markets to bring more disruptive thinking into their business, adding that a lot of his influence comes from outside of the fashion world.

The ‘model-cam’ initiative that saw mini cameras stream content from the model’s perspective on the runway as part of Topshop’s live stream London Fashion Week catwalk event earlier this year was inspired by Hawkeye technology used in sport, he says.

“[I keep my edge] as a marketer by not just having references solely from within our industry. I think a lot of people only do that. If you’re a marketer and you just look at other people’s campaigns I don’t think that’s good. You should look somewhere else. Go to the National History Museum, or go and see all the different amazing things around you and learn from that. There’s so much to take from that and it’s what I encourage my team to do.

“You have to not live just within your own world. It’s very easy to get sucked into that mentality of ‘we’re brilliant, we don’t need to change anything’.”

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