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FordDirect Announces Consumer Texting Service

September 08, 2011

DEARBORN, Mich. — FordDirect has rolled out a new mobile service to subscribing dealers that allows them to deliver targeted information about Ford vehicles to their mobile devices via text messaging.

The consumer texting service, which integrates Ford-branded print and television advertising, is being powered by mobile marketing and advertising company Hipcricket. The service allows customers watching Ford commercials to text phrases to a short code to receive local offers from dealers. Customers are then given the option to text their name if they would like to be contacts by their local dealer. That lead is then delivered to the dealer.

"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," said 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."

So far, FordDirect's mobile marketing texting service has generated a 14 percent lead conversion rate, according to the company.

"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," said 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.”

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