Angelique Fernandez-Clark’s rich experience with advertising agencies and the government makes her the perfect candidate for Brunet-García to hire as a senior marketing strategist to build its team in Washington, D.C.
Fernandez-Clark, who grew up in Baltimore, married soon after high school and joined her military spouse at bases around the United States and in Italy. She recently returned to Baltimore for its “amazing steamed blue crabs, beautiful inner harbor, blue-collar grit, and work ethic.”
She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in English and a master’s degree in marketing management from the University of Maryland University College. After graduation, she began her career providing public outreach and education for the U.S. Army, then worked for several agencies, including Planit, Sensis, and McCann Worldgroup. She is heavily involved the American Advertising Federation chapters in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
During her first week with Brunet-García, we asked her a few questions about her background and the future of advertising.
Describe where and how you grew up.
I was born and raised on the East side of Baltimore until my teenage years. Back then, I had the awesome opportunity to move to Baltimore County where I attended high school. When I was younger, moving from the city to the county was a really big deal. As an adult, I realized that this move was in reality only 15 minutes north. After high school, I was married and began the life of a military spouse, which afforded me the opportunity to travel to many states in the U.S. and live in Northern Italy for six years.
Baltimore lured me back after many years away with its amazing steamed blue crabs, beautiful inner harbor, blue-collar grit, and work ethic. Maryland is one of the few states where you can travel from the mountains to the coast in one day and never leave the state.
Where did you go to college?
I obtained both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland University College via online studies. This flexibility allowed me to take classes in Texas, Florida, and Italy while I traveled with my military family.
What does a marketing strategist do?
My overarching role is to manage performance for clients while providing oversight to the internal account teams with any issues that may arise internally or externally. As a strategist, I create and execute project work plans and timelines as well as strategic plans, while monitoring technical and contractual performance.
What is your experience in this field?
My government experience began with the U.S. Army, where I learned the best way to communicate strategic ideas at a grassroots level. As my career progressed on the agency side, I brought a holistic view of marketing by providing fresh insight and a framework that combines agency research with government process.
When I worked on the FDA’s smokeless tobacco account, I used all of my government and agency experience to lead a great team on a groundbreaking campaign aimed at rural male youths, a previously unreached segment for targeted education. Through thoughtful strategic planning, the campaign produced amazing analytics and award-winning creative.
Recently, my work has led me to email marketing and website development for government and financial clients needing assistance with strategic outreach and audience targeting. This work ensured their brands were understood while providing simplicity and ease for consumers across the board.
How has your background prepared you for this field?
Having worked intimately on government projects with large clients, I have the communication style and the understanding of contract requirements to lead a team to produce amazing work. I also have worked with private sector clients to build forward-thinking approaches for digital programs that standardize past processes. This has positioned me as a subject matter expert with my clients while maintaining a critical strategic planning role.
What are some of the projects that have most excited you?
I was very excited to work with the FDA on the smokeless tobacco account that led to a website redesign and a partnership with minor league baseball. Building an understanding of young rural male teens is something many communications strategists don’t have the opportunity to do.
I also enjoyed working with the U.S. Army to promote its first recruiting app a few years ago and providing pinpoint targeting through geo-location/geo-fencing tactics they previously had not used.
What drew you to Brunet-García?
From working with partner Hispanic-owned agencies and in-language advertising in the past, I’ve always had an affinity for agencies with roots in diversity. The outstanding work Brunet-García has done in Florida and with private-sector, nonprofit, and government agencies throughout the U.S. has positioned the agency for an amazing future—one I want to be a part of.
How has the industry changed since you first started?
One thing that has been at the forefront of my mind lately and more than likely on the minds of most all advertising/marketing professionals is the upsurge of consultancies playing in our space. The big names have been promoting their digital prowess as of late by showing companies that they can do what we agencies can do. They have the ears of the C-suite executives and have been, at times, successful at providing services that our industry has historically provided.
At this time, everyone on both sides is poised to plead their case for the best value to clients. I feel that this is a good thing for the industry; it pushes us all to maintain a high standard of service for our clients.
What are some trends you see in advertising?
Although everyone is touting that digital is the future, it honestly is the now. One trend that needs careful consideration is how to reach Generation Z and understand how different their media consumption is. I foresee more traditional advertising returning to the limelight, such as direct mail; Gen Zers love and want to touch authentic advertising.
What are some of your passions outside of work?
I enjoy duckpin bowling, reading on the beach, EDM (electronic dance music), and when I have the energy, hiking, camping, and running 5Ks. I have also been labeled as the “glue” that holds past friendships together; I love getting friends to meet up to watch sports (Go, Seahawks! Go, Orioles!) or play games. I am co-membership chair for the Baltimore chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), a member of AAF’s Washington, D.C., chapter, and a member of the American Marketing Association.