CarLotz poaches The Martin Agency exec to be chief marketing officer
CarLotz, a used car and consignment dealer, has poached Michael Chapman, a longtime exec of The Martin Agency, as its first chief marketing officer, effective immediately. He reports to CarLotz CEO and Co-Founder Michael Bor.
“Michael Chapman is a brand builder, with unrelenting ambition and a track record of marketing success,” Bor said in a statement. "He is exactly what we need at this time and I couldn’t be happier to welcome him as our new CMO, to strengthen our position as a disruptor and industry leader."
Chapman has been serving as the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency's chief growth officer since 2019, when he was shifted into that role from chief strategy officer. He first joined The Martin Agency in 2000, as a planner. He briefly left in 2005 to be a senior planner for McCann London but returned to the Richmond, Virginia-based agency two years later.
“Creativity is essential in transforming businesses,” Chapman said in a statement. “I can’t wait to use everything I’ve learned over the years to help supercharge this next phase of growth for CarLotz.”
Chapman doesn't stray far from his former employer, as CarLotz is also based in Richmond. The Martin Agency credited Chapman with overseeing brand strategy for all of its clients as well as “being the lead architect” of its own brand identity during his time as chief strategy officer. As chief growth officer, the agency said he helped orchestrate a turnaround in how it pitched and won new business. The Martin Agency claims to have generated a 30% rise in new and organic growth this year as a result of this fresh approach, despite the pandemic.
“Michael brings light—to teams and to business problems,” The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo commented. “So, of course we hate to see him leave us. But his excitement about this opportunity is undeniable, and that’s been fun to see. We hope it’s everything he wants it to be. He deserves it.”
His appointment follows CarLotz entering into a merger agreement with Acamar Partners Acquisition Corp. in October, a deal that will allow it go public. In preparation for the move, CarLotz also hired Becca Polak as chief commercial officer and Tom Stoltz as chief financial officer. Founded in 2011, CarLotz operates nationwide with physical stores in six states. According to the company, CarLotz plans to open between three and four new locations each quarter in the Pacific Northwest, the Southeast and New England.
“Job number one for me will be driving traffic to all of the new CarLotz inventory,” Chapman added. “To win in this highly contested category, it will take a brand people can trust and want to talk about. That’s why I’m most excited about creating a brand that stands out and gets credit for being the disruptor it is.”
It's unclear what ad agencies CarLotz has worked with. A company spokesperson said CarLotz has worked with "various" agency partners in the past and currently "they are assessing their agency needs." The Martin Agency won't be a likely contender though, as the agency pointed out it has a conflicting relationship with CarMax.
Update: This story has been updated with CarLotz's and The Martin Agency's responses.