Recognition: Doug Wilson receives international recognition for marketing his companies
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Recognition: Doug Wilson receives international recognition for marketing his companies

Charles Douglas “Doug” Wilson, a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Business Administration, has been named a 2024 Outstanding Marketing Practitioner by The Academy of Marketing Science® (AMS), an international academic organization.

This is the second year in a row that the Ole Miss Business School graduate has been selected for the award, which honors marketers who distinguish themselves in business and/or public policy through success, integrity and high ethical standards. The award was presented during the 49th Annual AMS 2024 Conference in Coral Gables.

Wilson gave a presentation at the conference on the importance of treating customers fairly. He offered insights into how to train and motivate sales professionals. In particular, Wilson was one of the first automotive salespeople to move away from a margin-based sales commission model to a fee-based model, giving sales professionals more reason to listen to their customers’ needs and desires.

“Doug was a perfect fit given the eligibility requirements for the award,” said Dr. Barry Babin, chairman of the Department of Marketing and the Phil B. Hardin Chair of Marketing.

“He has demonstrated significant leadership in the management of the dealerships he has owned and has a remarkable record of achievement recognized by his franchisors for excellence in sales and service. He also embodies integrity and ethics in his marketing efforts.”

Wilson replied, “Sales and marketing are the backbone of our free enterprise system, and as they say, ‘Nothing happens until someone sells something!’” As companies consolidate, entrepreneurs and innovators are hard at work creating new kinds of companies and even entire industries.

“This is especially true for marketing because we live in exciting times where artificial intelligence, targeted digital marketing, big data, social media marketing, and good old-fashioned personal selling are picking out the real winners through the greatest economic system ever created—free enterprise.

“My wife Melanie and I had a great time at the Academy of Marketing Science conference,” Wilson continued. “Seeing the best and brightest from around the world working hard to find marketing avenues that generate sales and therefore wealth in a rapidly changing, dynamic marketing ecosystem inspired us to believe that our market-based, free enterprise system is in good hands for many years to come.”

Wilson is CEO/president of Gulf South Management Inc., which operates Wilson Auto Group Inc.; Wilson Kia in Flowood; Collierville Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram in Tennessee; Wilson Real Estate LLC; Wilson Real Estate Tennessee LLC; and Gulf South Real Estate Development LLC. Wilson has won the Chrysler 5 Star Award for Service Excellence and the Kia President’s Club Award. Wilson Auto Group has been named to Mississippi’s Top 40 Fastest Growing Private Companies.

The business leader was born in Jackson in 1960, attended Jackson Public Schools, earned a degree in executive finance from Ole Miss in 1982 and currently lives in Destin. He started working as a young man at his father, Howard Wilson’s, car dealership, built four dealerships from the ground up and recently sold two of his dealerships.

The Melanie and Doug Wilson Entrepreneur Award Fund was established in 2023 at the University of Mississippi to benefit the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship by annually awarding a first-place prize of $20,000. The CIE awards this prize during the Gillespie Business Plan Competition to student entrepreneurs who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit through an endeavor driven by innovation in a product, process, or service.

Wilson also volunteers his time and expertise to the Ole Miss School of Business Administration, serving as a judge for “Shark Tank”-style entrepreneurship competitions and speaking to MBA-level classes on entrepreneurship and innovation.