Strong Welcomes Bill Marefka

November 14, 2012 / Strong / 0 Comments /

Bill Marefka joins the Strong team bringing decades of automotive advertising experience in all three tiers of the business. Marefka is highly regarded in the industry for his ability to bridge the communication and technology gap between dealers and their customers. Bill firmly believes that keeping pace with the buying practices of customers via new media is a key to success in today’s automotive industry.

Bill Marefka

Marefka has served as the primary retail strategist for individual dealers, advertising associations and regional distributors during his 26 years in the business. His role within Strong is to provide senior level support to account services staff and help facilitate new business opportunities. His vast experience in marketing and strategic planning provide a unique skill set to the agency and to current/future agency clients.

Marefka comes to Strong via the Intermark Group where he served as Vice President of marketing/strategic planning for the Gulf States Toyota account, and the head of Chevrolet marketing and the agency’s individual dealer division. He managed all aspects of the Chevy groups and individual dealer business at Intermark including digital media, traditional media, broadcast production, direct mail and strategic planning.

Marefka began his career in automotive advertising with the Galles Organization and Competitive Edge in Tampa, Florida. Extensive tenures followed with J. Walter Thompson and McCann Erickson where he served as manager for Ford regional advertising accounts and the Buick national advertising account. He joined Strong Automotive Merchandising in 1987 (before it became Strong) where he worked with Chevrolet dealer associations/area marketing groups as well as individual dealers.

Bill and wife Connie are the proud parents of sons Adam, 29, Alex, 26, Aaron, 22, and Austin, 20. Away from the office, he enjoys beach time, hiking and watching Steelers football.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as an account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2018, Strong was named CEO of the Year by the BBJ. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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