Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Ford?s Spanish-language mobile site rivals English version's traffic

Ford Motor Co. claims its Spanish-language mobile Web site has achieved parity with its general market mobile site in terms of traffic volume.

The automaker decided to target the Hispanic community with a translated mobile site after seeing evidence that the demographic over-indexed against the general market for mobile use. The site, which first launched in April, has lived up to Ford?s expectations.

?We?ve been very pleased with the amount of traffic [Ford?s Spanish-language mobile site] has seen,? said Trisha Habucke, digital marketing manager of mobile at Ford, Dearborn, MI. ?It has neared or exceeded traffic of the general market.?

Coconut Creek, FL-based MotionPoint provides translation services for the site.

The company has worked with brands such as Best Buy, Citibank and Goodyear to translate their Web offerings into non-native languages.

The translation platform provides a convenient alternative to creating distinct Web experiences for several different languages.

?Our technologies allow companies like Ford, many of the largest brands in the world, as they attempt to penetrate markets that typically don?t speak English, or whatever the language of the native site may be,? said Chuck Whiteman, senior vice president of client services, MotionPoint, Miami, FL.

?The technology makes it very easy for these companies to localize and translate these Web sites for different markets,? he said. ?That applies to both normal desktop sites and mobile sites.

?We?ve been happy to work with Ford to Spanish-enable their mobile site ? that market has a real tendency to access through mobile rather than computers.?

Ford en Español
Ford?s Spanish-language mobile site at can be accessed from any Web-enabled handheld device. It is a translation of the automaker?s Ford Vehicles mobile site.

The site lets Spanish-speaking mobile users view Ford vehicles, obtain price quotes and find a nearby dealership.

The site also includes a few major features, including a large clickable image of Ford?s biggest promotion at the top of the homepage, a drop-down menu users can click through to browse different vehicle types or lines and click-to-call functionality for roadside assistance.

?We?ve often read through outside consulting that the Hispanic market is more inclined to use handhelds [for Web browsing],? Ms. Habucke said. ?So that was our natural next step.

?The challenge is, ?How do we reach these markets??? she said.

Here is a screen grab of the mobile Web site?s homepage:

Any new content added to Ford?s English-language mobile site is translated within 24 hours.

The process occurs automatically.

?Ford is able to managed its English mobile Web site without imposing or contacting Motion Point,? Mr.  Whiteman said. ?We automatically detect those changes and have all content translated by our team, day in and day out.

?It?s a really seamless process for Ford,? he said.

Ford is promoting the site both internally and through the Hispanic-targeted agency, Zubi.

Hispanic market and mobile
The Hispanic market has received a spate of attention lately because of its greater propensity for mobile use, encouraging brands to target the demographic.

For example, boxer Oscar De La Hoya?s Golden Boy Promotions claimed a 69 percent opt-in rate for its mobile VIP club during an SMS promotion for an HBO pay-per-view match (see story).

Likewise, Universal Music Group created a subscription ringtone service called Movihits specifically marketed to Hispanic consumers (see story).

?At Ford, we?ve had a commitment to the Hispanic market for a long time,? Ms. Habucke said. ?We have our [PC] Web sites, and one of them is, our large Ford-brand Web site.

?We?ve always had that translated into Spanish, so the next step was to leverage that onto emerging technology ? take the Spanish site and make a mobile version of it.

?What we do in the general market, we mirror in the Hispanic market.?