GM Lead Generation Program Prepares to Hit the Road

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General Motors Corp. in mid-August plans to e-mail visitors to its Test Track ride at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center in Orlando a computer desktop application of a concept car as a way to generate dealer leads.

About 15,000 people visit the General Motors Test Track daily. While there they can enter their name and e-mail address in an on-site kiosk. The effort is part of a GM initiative to stay top-of-mind when consumers consider buying a car.

Up and running for a year now, the touch screen kiosk already has attracted 15,000 consumers to sign up for mail and e-mail communications as well as setting up test drives at auto dealerships. The desktop application takes such marketing a step further.

"This desktop application that we'll e-mail will allow us to capture the names and addresses of people who are in the market for a car sometime in the future," said Joe McCambley, Boston-based chief creative officer at Digitas Inc., the ad agency on the account.

Still in development mode, the desktop application will feature a concept car. Consumers can use it as a screensaver and to play games. Another important element is the viral component. When consumers ask for the desktop application, they also can forward it to a friend while at Epcot or when they receive the e-mail.

And the application itself will be fairly futuristic, McCambley said.

The application takes advantage of GM"s 20-year sponsorship of the Test Track ride at Epcot Center. The automaker spends millions of dollars, the exact amount is not disclosed, on this feature but is always looking to improve the quality of leads generated.

For instance, once consumers are done riding the concept car through obstacles and weather, they wend their way to a crash test dummy, who holds the kiosk as the consumers enter their data.

Questions asked are standard fare for qualifying leads: name and title, mailing and e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, car currently owned and interest in buying or leasing a car next month or beyond for financing offers. More importantly, they are asked if GM can send information to a local dealer for follow-up.

"Dealers are used to having cruddy leads sent to them and so they don't believe in the lead management system, and they don't follow up on leads that corporate marketing sends to them," McCambley said. "This system has enough information so that dealers get really highly qualified leads, so that the people coming into the showroom are ripe for the cars they're selling."

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