Ford (NYSE:F) has been on a winning streak lately, improving vehicle quality, buffing its brand perception, and growing the company's market share. Now Ford has something new to brag about, thanks to a successful pilot program aimed to raise awareness about Ford's Sync telematics system. The program was also a win for Ford's partner in the program, Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and both companies have plans to expand the campaign in the coming months.
For 30 days, Ford set up Sync demos outside Best Buy stores in Dallas, Texas. Shoppers were invited to slip into Sync-equipped vehicles, where Ford staff provided walkthroughs of the in-dash system, which offers 911 assistance, turn-by-turn directions, hands-free calling and other services we've come to expect from telematics devices. Folks who already owned Sync-equipped Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicles were offered personal tutorials on the system. And all participants were offered a check of their mobile phones to verify compatibility with Sync. In all, 3,500 demonstrations were conducted, and 400 Sync owners took the personal tutorial.
The results were impressive: roughly 70% of participants indicated that they're now more likely to consider purchasing a Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicle, and 80% said that the demo improved their opinion of Ford Motor Company in general. Moreover, before the personal tutorial, only 28% of Sync owners said they understood the service; afterward, about 69% indicated that they understood and would use Sync regularly.
The pilot program proved equally beneficial for Best Buy: over 1,600 customers had their mobile phones checked for Sync compatibility, and afterward, nearly 72% said they'd consider purchasing a phone from Best Buy. (Prior to that demo, the figure was closer to 36%.)
Based on the success of the program, Ford will now offer similar demos at Best Buy locations in California and Pennsylvania.