On Wednesday, FordDirect – a joint marketing venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchised dealers – announced a new mobile service that lets shoppers receive what Ford is calling “prompt, targeted information” about Ford vehicles by simply sending a text message from their mobile device.
Powered by mobile marketing and advertising company Hipcricket, the service integrates with Ford brand print and television advertising to deliver information specific to the vehicles of interest to the customer.
For example, customers watching a Ford Fusion television commercial can text “Fusion” to a short code to receive local offers. Customers are then prompted to text their zip code and applicable incentives are sent to the customer. Customers are then given the option to text their name if they would like to be contacted by their local dealer. Customers who submit names are sent to the local dealer for follow up.
“With consumers increasingly turning to their smart phones during their shopping process, it is becoming crucial for automakers and dealers to interact with auto customers through this medium,” says Valerie Fuller, Chief Operating Officer at FordDirect. “Our mobile service enables customers to engage with us immediately while their questions are top of mind. The service also delivers additional customer referrals to Ford dealerships, enabling them to quickly reach out to the customer regarding the specific vehicle they are interested in.”
“FordDirect had the vision to see how important mobile will be to their marketing efforts, and we were enthusiastic about helping them with such a unique deployment,” adds Doug Stovall, senior vice president of sales and client service at Hipcricket. “We look forward to working with FordDirect in its ongoing mobile program and continuing the strong results we’ve seen so far.”