DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- FordDirect and Ford Motor Co. (FMC) today announced that Hines Park Ford and Lincoln of Plymouth, Mich., has been chosen as both the Ford and Lincoln Internet Dealer of the Year for 2012.
Given annually at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Exposition, the Ford and Lincoln Internet Dealer of the Year awards honor top dealerships for achievement in Internet sales. Internet Dealers of the Year are determined by a formula, ranking total sales along with dealer close rates for the year.
"Digital technology has become a key component driving dealer sales and profitability," said Stacey Coopes, chief executive officer, FordDirect. "Hines Park Ford and Lincoln has done an exceptional job building its online brand and we're thrilled to recognize them as Internet Dealer of the Year."
Hines Park Ford and Lincoln has continued to hone its digital marketing efforts, evidenced by its taking home the top prize for the fourth consecutive year. The Hines Park dealership has served the Detroit area for more than 40 years.
Other top internet dealers this year include Dean Sellers Ford of Troy, taking second place and Crest Ford of Flat Rock, taking third place for Ford Internet Dealer of the Year. For the Lincoln Internet Dealer of the Year, Crest Lincoln of Sterling Heights, Mich. and Nick Mayer Lincoln of Westlake took second and third place respectively.
As online sales and digital marketing have become crucial components of automotive dealers' consumer engagement strategy, FMC and FordDirect have placed a greater emphasis on recognizing those who excel through these channels and finding ways dealers can expand upon them.
Dealers seeking tips on creating or expanding upon a digital strategy should consider the following:
- Be visible – Don't make it hard for customers to find you. Be where they are: Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, etc. Also, consider going beyond a basic website and developing site content that is interesting and engaging, such as video.
- Mobile – As the adoption of mobile and tablet devices continues to climb and shoppers become more reliant upon them, dealers need to meet the demand for interactive, on-the-go experiences and information. Having a website that is mobile-optimized will keep you in front of customers while they are on the go.
- Engage – Customize your website, social channels and external communications to your local area and to your customers. Sponsor contests, giveaways and local events. These tactics allow you to engage with customers and encourage them to take action – whether it is an online conversation or a visit to your dealership.
"As more and more car buyers turn to the Internet to research vehicles, online marketing and referrals have never been more essential," said Coopes.
For more information on FordDirect and digital marketing, please visit: www.FordDirect.com/DealerCenter
FordDirect (forddirect.com/dealercenter) is a joint venture between Ford Motor 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. FordDirect provides dealers new and pre-owned marketing services, call tracking, lead management solutions, dealer Websites, search optimization and marketing, database marketing, marketing services for regional dealer advertising groups and other digital services. FordDirect is headquartered in Dearborn, Mich.
CONTACT: Deana Alicea, +1-248-304-1457, firstname.lastname@example.org, for FordDirect