Maurice Powers, 29
Manager of digital content/video, Automotive Management Services Inc.
Achievement: Online campaigns for Automotive Management Services Inc. have driven showroom traffic
Receiving validation from a store manager that a digital ad campaign is driving noticeable increases in showroom traffic is a sweet feeling that Maurice Powers knows well.
Powers is the manager of digital content/video for Automotive Management Services Inc.'s Auto Ad Group in West Palm Beach, Fla. He manages the online content across all of Automotive Management Services' stores.
The general manager of a Volkswagen dealership once called him about a pre-roll video campaign that the ad group had implemented for the store. The manager wanted to know whether the campaign had been turned off because he noticed a sudden decline in showroom visitors.
Powers replied that the campaign still should have been going. But he later realized its budget had run dry around two days before, and so he restarted the campaign. The next day, he received another call from the store manager. This time, he asked whether the campaign was running again because store traffic had picked up.
Powers said this was an important episode because it showed the value of digital outreach without resorting to a number-filled data report. It was the physical manifestation of an online push: The general manager could see tangible results.
In another case, Powers said, his group ran a campaign for different VW store. While most stores would welcome an uptick in consumers asking about a deal they saw in an online ad, this dealership asked Powers' team to turn off the campaign. The problem? The store was being inundated with customers inquiring about the promotion, but the salespeople weren't properly briefed on the details. This led to a number of frustrated customers.
Powers has been with Auto Ad Group for nearly six years. He has learned that sometimes he has to test methods that he doesn't believe will work to find out whether he's right.
He cited a digital campaign for a Nissan dealership in which he targeted potential buyers of similar brands such as Ford and Honda. He noticed the campaign's success was tapering off. With "no idea" if it would work, he expanded the targeting to include those who were interested in luxury brands such as Infiniti, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover.
That month, the store saw a record number of leads from the campaign — with many coming from the luxury shoppers. Powers said those luxury consumers were looking for another vehicle for various reasons. Maybe they wanted to buy a car for their spouse or a child who was graduating from school.
Facebook has approached him directly, asking how it can better provide marketing support to its automotive clients. Google Ignite Auto has cited his work in its presentations.
The auto industry, Powers says, is great for those with creative ideas.
"I hadn't thought much about automotive at first, but the longer I've been in it, the more I realized with the amount of brands that automotive has, you can use all of the creativity and all the marketing materials you've got. Every type of customer and demographic exists in automotive," Powers said.
He added, "It's really easy to have a million ideas, and there's a place for each of them in automotive. That's a really great thing for someone who not only is willing to try new things frequently, but also who likes to utilize their creativity in a thought-provoking way."
Vince Bond Jr.