DEARBORN — FordDirect announced a mobile service that enables shoppers to receive prompt, targeted information about Ford vehicles by simply sending a text message from their mobile device.

Powered by mobile marketing and advertising company Hipcricket, an Augme Technologies Inc. company (OTCBB: AUGT), the service uses processes that integrate Ford brand print and television advertising to deliver information specific to the vehicles of interest to the customer.

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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.

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“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, COO 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’s Mobile Marketing Texting Service has generated a 14 percent lead conversion rate.

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FordDirect is a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. Company and its franchised dealers to create a comprehensive Web presence for dealers and provide digital marketing services that help dealers sell more cars and trucks. Sales from FordDirect Internet referrals represent nearly 20 percent of Ford Motor Co. retail sales. FordDirect provides dealers new and pre-owned marketing services, call tracking, lead management solutions, dealer Web sites, search optimization and marketing, database marketing, marketing services for regional dealer advertising groups and other marketing services. FordDirect is headquartered in Dearborn.