VP, Client Services
To outsiders, a Purdue University graduate with a degree in journalism making the leap into the automotive industry may seem like an unlikely career move. But for Marci Trares, VP of Client Services at Activator, her passion to inform and serve others was an easy one to translate.
Upon graduating from Purdue, Marci spent her early career writing for a few newspapers, covering government and business. Her desire to share information and help others make informed decisions led her to the automotive industry as a CRM trainer, a role that played to her strengths of being detail-oriented, and sourcing and connecting information.
“I traveled to a different dealership every week, training them on our software and consulting with them regarding processes,” Marci recalls. “It was such a great way to get acclimated to the industry. And just a couple of years later, we formed a marketing services team because we saw that dealers wanted guidance on how to effectively data-mine and market to their customers.”
Marci helped lead her team to expand beyond email marketing, encompassing other aspects of digital marketing. Much like her former role in the news industry, she found that the landscape of automotive is constantly shifting, too. Her ability to pivot and think on her feet prepared her for the fast-paced world of automotive marketing, but her customers are ultimately the ones that benefit.
"It is incredibly rewarding to orchestrate a marketing campaign for a dealer and see the success it brings to their business. I also love finding ways to speak to the customers’ needs through marketing approaches. Buying a vehicle should be an enjoyable experience for consumers, and educating them about the key features and unique amenities of each dealership turns into loyalty and engagement."
For Marci, success in the automotive industry lies in collaboration. The teams she has built and led have created a productive work environment. This has pushed her to be the best she can be, both for her employees and the clients she serves. She attributes this level of teamwork to her own success, especially having served multiple roles within the company. She believes that each new role is a new opportunity to serve, learn, grow, and help the company as a whole to follow her lead.
“One of the most recent accomplishments I’m most proud of is back when our offices were open pre-COVID. I started a community volunteer program at our Indianapolis office. Every month, I coordinated various community volunteer opportunities in our city, and my team members and I volunteered at places such as Keeping Indianapolis Beautiful and the Humane Society. Not only was it a great way to take a break from work, but I was able to bond with my team members.”
When Marci isn’t working alongside clients or fellow employees, she enjoys spending time with her husband Ryan, and son Anthony as they explore their home city of Indianapolis. She is also an avid Disney fan and has visited Disney World more times than she can count.