Kelley Joyner

Kelley Joyner’s first role model is her mother. But there are another two dozen or so women she draws inspiration from: The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. 

For Joyner, a former competitive soccer player who is now Director of Marketing Traffic Acquisition at Cox Automotive, the team members embody teamwork, support and goal setting in a society where their accomplishments remain undervalued. 

“They work well together as a team,” Joyner says. “But off the field, those women fight for personal values like integrity, equality, respect, and collaboration.” 

Those are values she carries through in her work at Cox Automotive. 

Joyner previously worked in performance marketing, specifically paid search for several agencies. After running the marketing initiative and the paid search campaigns for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book at a third-party firm, she knew that Cox Automotive was where she wanted to be next.  

“I kept a close eye on the job opportunities at Cox Automotive, and I have been here for three years,” she says. “It was one of the best career decisions I ever made.” 

As Director of Marketing Traffic Acquisition, Joyner oversees the team handling performance marketing for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book’s consumer campaigns. That means planning, tracking and adjusting campaigns to achieve car dealers’ online traffic and lead goals. She finds the immediate, measurable impact of her work immensely satisfying. 

“I love that for every penny my team spends in marketing, we know exactly what we get in return for it,” she says. 

Joyner says her leadership style is rooted in building relationships. She makes personal connections and gives everyone on her team a voice in how to achieve their shared goals. Kelley believes her experience, knowledge and demonstrated proficiency is what makes her stand out in the workplace. 

“In order to get people to listen, you need to prove that you're an expert in your field,” she says. “But you have to build the relationship so that they trust your opinion.” 

For up-and-coming leaders, Joyner recommends they show up prepared. She has seen far too many ambitious people attempt to schmooze their way through important conversations.  

“Come prepared, do your research,” she says. “Make sure you understand and if you don't, ask the questions to become the expert.” 

But above all, she warns against the dangers of getting too comfortable, too complacent. 

“Comfortable isn’t bad, but is comfortable where you want to be five or 10 years from now?” she says. 

“An average performer today without progression can be a subpar performer five years from now. So, you need to continue to make yourself better, to progress knowledge-wise, to push for innovation. That’s what success looks like to me.” 

Note: This March, Cox is highlighting some of the notable women we work with in recognition of Women's History Month. Building a diverse and inclusive workplace is a vital business imperative at Cox — and the right thing to do to reflect the world in which we live. Visit our Corporate Responsibility site to learn more.

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