STEERING AUTO TRADER ON THE DIGITAL SUPERHIGHWAYS: GEORGE MIENIE

Auto Trader is the largest brand of its kind by three times in South Africa, which has shaped the industry for the past 21 years. For six of those years, helping steer the brand and company ever more onto the superhighways of the online world is its Managing Director, George Mienie (twitter @georgemienie).

The industry-leading vehicle classifieds listing and digital marketing company Auto Trader owns the numberplate in South Africa, along with leading titles Commercial Trader and Auto Freeway.

Mienie, 38, bravely took charge of this icon and media giant in 2007, and has shaped its growth to not only increase its brand value and profits but has also pioneered the way forward for this traditionally print-orientated market to embrace the universality and reachability of greater online audiences. He has driven the brand into the clear online lead in South Africa, and the corporation bears his dedication foresight in each click of its webpages.

A much-loved and trusted name in South Africa, Auto Trader offers a safe and secure interaction between buyers and sellers. “Transparency and credibility is core to Auto Trader’s ethos, and it offers no barriers in this transaction,” says Mienie. “Investing in leading edge technology and research, Auto Trader is the first stop for buyers and sellers when searching for all types of vehicles and it has grown exponentially in online users as the market shifts and grows, having become seven times bigger online than it ever was offline.”

With a BCompt degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA) in 1999, following that up with a BCompt Honours degree in 2001 as well as currently studying towards his MBA, Mienie joined the Trader Media Group with a wealth of experience and an eagerness to exercise his skills.

Research and information play vital roles in understanding the marketplace in any industry, but it is at the forefront of this particular business to provide users with a service that suits their needs and demands.

“It is exciting to be Managing Director of a large corporation such as Auto Trader,” commented Mienie. “It is a privilege to be part of a business that is leading the way in the print-to-digital transition and a 21-year-old well-known brand in South Africa. We are not necessarily car lovers, but rather we love bringing buyers and sellers of cars together. This is why we have almost 70% market share in South African car sellers.”

Mienie reiterates that Auto Trader is not a car dealer, but a classifieds listing company which is actually a digital marketing company. Technology, and in particular digital technology, is what this businessman is most passionate about and it shows in pursuit for success. “We have a wonderful team at Auto Trader, with team members passionate about their role in their corporation. Communication is key to this successful spirit. To tackle this challenge, one needs to get people together on relevant topics on a regular basis. It is an integral ingredient in the ever-growing transition of Auto Trader from print-to-online media migration.”

With over 44 838 vehicles on the Auto Trader website at www.autotrader.co.za and at m.autotrader.co.za, what is Mienie’s advice for first-time car buyers? “Research properly, and we have gone to great lengths to make this function the easiest and fastest it can possibly be. Buying a car is a passionate endeavour, and often first-time buyers don’t do enough research. Consumer metrics and user reports clearly show that car buyers prefer to click on a car they like and then to call the dealer or seller direct.”

The next stage of Mienie and Auto Trader’s careers are aligned: Mienie aims to continue to lead the digital growth of a brand as iconic and prestigious as Auto Trader’s, and the brand grows with Mienie and his team. The first section of this new chapter will be taking Auto Trader to ever greater heights in the digital world, Mienie’s favourite playground.

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader South Africa, with an established track-record of success and business growth over the past 21 years, is a digital marketing company and a leader in the media market space for buyers and sellers across all types of vehicles.  Auto Trader develops platforms emphasizing enhanced consumer experiences using state-of-the-art technology to bring motor vehicle buyers and sellers together without any transactional barriers.  Auto Trader prides itself in conducting extensive research on consumer trends and ensures that their needs are incorporated into their publishing strategies.   Visit the Auto Trader website at www.autotrader.co.za for more information, m.autotrader.co.za or like the Auto Trader Facebook page at www.facebook.com/autotrader.

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