DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DMEautomotive (DMEa), the science-inspired, results-based automotive marketing leader today unveiled Driver Connect(SM), a breakthrough, dealer-branded mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The most advanced and robust mobile app ever designed for dealerships and dealer groups, it represents a critical new solution for the automotive retail industry, given that mobile users are now spending 30% more time with mobile apps than they are with mobile websites.
Driver Connect provides consumers with a suite of cool, truly useful and personalized automotive tools – as well as features that keep a dealership's customers engaged and spending. It allows customers to browse new and used inventory, easily schedule service appointments, manage their vehicles' service histories, and receive targeted dealership alerts and offers on demand or as part of the integrated sales and service communications in DMEautomotive's Customer Journey marketing and retention program.
"Analysts agree that in 2012 and beyond, it's going to be all about mobile apps. Consumer behavior is undergoing a sea change as profound as the shift from mainframe to desktop computing," said Mike Walther, president of DMEautomotive. "Far more people now prefer to access info via on-the-go apps. DMEautomotive's mission is to bring science inspired marketing programs to the automotive industry; Driver Connect is all about allowing the dealer to deliver relevant communications via the mobile app. This is why we developed Driver Connect – to put dealers ahead of the marketing curve and keep them firmly in front of their customers."
The Mobile App Explosion: Driver Connect launches to dealerships just as smartphone, tablet and mobile app adoption has hit the tipping-point. Nearly half of all Americans (47%) report they now own a smartphone. In 2011 tablet sales grew 207%, smartphone sales 63%, while PC shipments fell 6%. And while most dealerships' mobile focus has revolved around mobile websites, versus mobile apps, a new wave of research reveals that people are now spending less time on desktop/mobile Web usage, and far more time with apps. For example, app downloading recently overtook browser usage for U.S. mobile users – and smartphone and tablet users now spend 94 minutes a day using apps, compared with only 72 minutes on the Web -- case in point: a billion mobile apps were downloaded just in the week between Christmas and New Year. Until now, dealerships have lacked an effective, multi-store mobile app solution that can keep their customers both engaged and spending, and Driver Connect fills that gap.
"With Driver Connect, dealerships and dealer groups can unleash a branded version of a truly useful mobile app and, because it is integrated with DMEa's Customer Journey, the most effective science-based marketing program in the industry, it can also deliver the crucial features and communications that will ensure repeat car sales and greater service retention," continued Walther.
Driver Connect Features:
Because apps occupy such powerful 'real estate' on a user's smartphone/tablet screen, Driver Connect is designed to be used regularly by offering practical, clever tools, and constantly updated, fresh, compelling info.
"My Cars": Consumers manage their vehicles' complete service history and appointment scheduling on the fly
- Add a VIN and vehicle service histories are automatically pulled from the dealer's DMS.
- Up-to-the-minute recall info and alerts.
- Easy 24/7 service appointment scheduling at preferred store, automatically added to user's mobile device calendar. Robust store locator, contact info and mapping.
Pro-Dealer Features: Keeps customers servicing and buying
- First mobile app that allows dealer groups to have one, branded mobile app strategy (not a confusing collection of single rooftop apps), so people can find rich, detailed info about every rooftop and all inventory.
- Users can search consolidated, up-to-date, new and used inventory across all a dealer group's stores (or by selected store), with detailed vehicle info and photos.
- Enables dealers to unleash super-targeted customer communications, including special offers/coupons, alerts and marketing campaigns based on a vehicle's service lifecycle, the customer relationship, or Program Business Rules. Because dealer alerts are sent directly to the device, the regulatory headaches of text messaging don't apply.
- Automatic DMS and DMEautomotive Loyalty Program integration, so users can easily manage/redeem their loyalty points.
- Driver Connect is an integrated part of the DMEautomotive Customer Journey, opening up the mobile app as another channel of marketing communication.
- Find My Car: GPS functionality ensures people can locate their car anywhere
- Find Local Parking: Location aware feature maps and highlights nearby parking lots
- My Parking Meter: Meter expiration alerts eliminate tickets, etc.
- Gas Station Locator: Identifies nearest, lowest-price gas stations
- Flashlight: One of the most popular iPhone and Android paid apps ever, now free for dealer customers
"We knew we needed an app solution, but when we looked in the marketplace we could not find one that provided real time service integration. In addition we were cautious in choosing our app partner because once you have done so changing vendors is a very difficult process. DMEa's Driver Connect is the first mobile app product that has shown us the ability to provide our consumers real time service scheduling and up to date vehicle maintenance records," said Chris Barthel, VP, Fixed Operations at The CAR Group. "Because of this we believe that Driver Connect will have a great impact on our customer-pay service revenue and our overall service and sales loyalty because consumers will be even more responsive to communications, offers and reminders that we send directly through the app -- making them much more likely to come to us for service and when they're in-market for their next car."
DMEautomotive (DMEa) is the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing, and provides turnkey marketing to the largest and most innovative automotive organizations, from automobile dealerships - including AutoNation, Lithia Automotive, MileOne, Larry H. Miller and the Van Tuyl Automotive Group - to many of the largest aftermarket companies in the U.S. DMEa's uniquely panoramic view of the complete automotive sales and service market, combined with its cutting-edge, science-based marketing programs, increases customer yield, conversion and retention.
DMEa does not take marketing performance on faith, and each product and service is measured by a simple, precise scientific approach: Is it true? Prove it. Will it work? Test it. Does it generate results? Show it! Supported by DMEa's proprietary, cloud-based Red Rocket Technology Platform, the DMEa product suite includes science-based, data driven, multi-channel customer acquisition and retention marketing programs; best-in-class campaign reporting; data management and analytics; auto-focused Customer Interaction Center solutions, and complete on-site mail and email fulfillment services. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, DMEa also has major operations in Jacksonville, Fla.
 Flurry Analytics report, 2012, comparing comScore data, Dec. 2011
 Yankee Group report, 2012
 Consumer Electronics Association data, 2012
 Gartner and IDC Research data, 2012
 Flurry Analytics report, 2012, comparing comScore data, Dec. 2011
 Flurry Analytics report, 2012