Chapter 19

Mobile Gets Busy

The Rise of the Call to Action

34 Cars Sold after None Moved in More Than One Month

Like the retail space and the housing market, the automotive industry also suffered in the throes of the economic quagmire. In 2009 few were driven to think car buying, resulting in woeful sales numbers, the loss of tens of millions of jobs, and the shutdown of dealerships across America.

As it was around the country, the situation was grim near the nation’s capital. How dire? Well, one Chevrolet dealer in Timonium, Maryland, had failed to sell even one car during a period lasting more than a month.

Rather than stop spending in marketing, in the spring of that year, Fox Chevrolet turned to Hipcricket client Hearst Baltimore to get creative—something the U.S. government would finally do later that year with a Cash for Clunkers economy stimulator that was designed to rescue auto sellers.

The radio-combined-with-mobile program worked like this: Fox Chevrolet bought two weeks of airtime on Hearst’s 98 Rock radio station to run 10- and 15-second promotions encouraging listeners to text in to enter to win the chance to purchase a car for $98.

In total, nearly 500 listeners texted the keyword Fox to the station’s short code. Each was entered to win and given details on how to attend the drawing at Fox.

On a Saturday morning, nearly 300 showed up on the lot and two were given the opportunity to purchase a car for $98.

Although the foot traffic was nice, it doesn’t begin to measure ...

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