Driving Influence

“Marketing builds brand awareness, but it can also increase sales and engage customers if it’s focused on the right target.” – Bill Swain

There are three things that stand out about Bill Swain, WilmU’s senior director of University Relations: he believes in the power of marketing; he nurtures talent; and he’s not afraid to express his opinion.

That was evident when he took a meeting with co-founders Mac Nagaswami and Greg Star of the Wilmington-based Carvertise, Inc., an advertising company that pays everyday drivers to place removable advertisements on their cars. The company was in its infancy then, and the founders thought WilmU would be a good client.

Swain saw promise in Carvertise and pointed out ways that marketing could impact its growth and brand. Not only was CEO Nagaswami listening; he also offered Swain a spot on his board of directors.

Nagaswami then created a mentor series to highlight leaders who inspired him. About Swain, he wrote: “Never had we met a marketer more sophisticated in their approach to getting their message seen by the right audience, in the right place, at the right time.”

Bill Swain and Mac Nagaswami

Today the two share a solid mentor/mentee relationship, which is not to imply that Nagaswami always heeds Swain’s advice. Avoiding the creation of a proper website was one example.

“It took me about a year to finally come to grips with Bill’s correct observation that our website’s landing page should actually be geared toward advertisers instead of drivers,” says Nagaswami.

Carvertise now has a presence in all major markets across the United States.

According to Swain, “Marketing builds brand awareness, but it can also increase sales and engage customers if it’s focused on the right target.”

Swain has the same passion for his work at WilmU. The 13-person team he leads is essentially WilmU’s own marketing firm, and it completes more than 5,000 projects a year.

“WilmU is always my first priority and marketing is my passion,” says Swain, “but I’ve also been thrilled to have the privilege of mentoring leaders of several new companies. It’s my way of paying it forward.” WU