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Who is the new Smartie on the block?

AutoTrader's Angelique Lynch - the new judge for the prestigious awards programme
Who is the new Smartie on the block?

Angelique Lynch, marketing director of AutoTrader, has been invited to join the judging panel of the 2020 Smarties Awards. These prestigious awards honour global innovation, creativity and success in the mobile marketing space. As the marketing head of southern Africa's largest online motoring marketplace, with a user spread that is 80% mobile-based, Lynch's inclusion comes as no surprise.

"The online market is an incredibly complex space, from phones to tablets to laptops, to AI to social media and the intricacies of gaming platforms," says Lynch. "It was exciting to see the innovative ways in which my peers have been tackling these areas."

Lynch was invited to judge the Smarties Media category, which includes campaigns submitted into the sub-categories of mobile gaming, mobile social and mobile applications – a role for which she is uniquely qualified. She completed a BCom in Marketing and Economics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Thereafter, she joined the team at AutoTrader, during which time she completed her honours in Marketing whilst working full time. Lynch went on to build the auto giant’s marketing department to the point where the brand enjoys a current digital audience of over eight million. In her time with the company, she has spearheaded campaigns such as #DriveChange, #ByeByePrintHelloDigital and the award-winning #COTYDragRace, SA’s first-ever virtual drag race. More recently, she led the team to a top-three placing on the SA YouTube ads leaderboard for AutoTrader's #WinAnyCar campaign.

"At AutoTrader, we have a mobile-first approach," says Lynch. "It’s a dynamic space in which to operate. People scrolling through social media on their phones, for example, are spending less than two seconds on a piece of content, which makes our work incredibly specific. Crafting a seamless consumer journey across multiple touchpoints from first interaction to sale is the real art of what we do."

For Lynch, work in the digital space happens "at the coalface", where practical effectiveness is key. Bringing her 15 years of experience at AutoTrader to the Smarties process, she focused on certain areas. "There are four elements that are vital to any campaign: strategy, execution, creativity and business impact,” she says. “Strategy, execution and creativity are major considerations when measuring how a brand has turned a business objective into a successful marketing opportunity. And then, of course, business impact itself is key; how are the campaign's metrics feeding back in terms of revenue, reach, awareness, conversion, salience and share of voice?

Lynch has been a part of the executive management team that steered AutoTrader through two separate sales to investors, exposing her to the inner workings of multiple global digital markets. But no process prepared her more thoroughly than that of taking the company from a print-only magazine to the digital giant it is today.

“Over the last decade, Angie has successfully built what is arguably the best marketing team in SA today. Her efforts have contributed to visits to the site doubling in the past few years. She has also orchestrated the launch of various social media and content marketing platforms. She is a true architect of change,” says CEO of AutoTrader George Mienie.

Lynch works with key partners both locally and abroad – for instance, she was selected to join the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) council as a Global Advisory Board Member. The CMO consists of an elite group of marketing leaders and innovators from some of the world's most notable B2B and B2C brands. Advisory Board Members are the experts who are turned to first in order to identify insights into market shifts and changes within each region. Lynch thereby plays a critical role in shaping the CMO Council thought leadership programmes and content emerging from South Africa.

"What excites me is innovation, creativity, and standing out from the crowd," she says. "I'm always looking for a better and more exciting way to reach the consumer. This is why I enjoyed connecting with peers who share the same passion through the 2020 Smarties Awards."

AutoTrader’s innovative bent is reflected in Lynch’s personal life. She is the holder of a 2nd Dan black belt in Shukokai karate, having represented SA numerous times, and is a breast cancer survivor and awareness advocate. Both experiences have shaped the way she leads and manages teams and partners to bring the AutoTrader brand to market.

"Hard work is the key ingredient when it comes to much of what we do," she says. "Being a martial artist and a cancer survivor champion has taught me resilience and tenacity. They have shown me that there is always an opportunity, particularly when you're in the process of getting back onto your feet!"

15 Dec 2020 16:04