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Lincoln targets mobile shoppers with redesigned, interactive site

A redesigned mobile Web site for the Lincoln car brand that includes interactive features helps parent Ford Motor Co. reach out to increasingly Internet-savvy mobile car shoppers as part of an effort to launch a new era for the brand. 

Created by the mobile teams at Ford agencies Team Detroit and Hudson Rouge, along with the Enterprise and Brand teams at Lincoln, the new look of the mobile Web site is designed to appeal to both established and new customers while making navigation quick and efficient. It follows Ford?s naming last week of engineer Kumar Galhotra to succeed Jim Farley as head of the Lincoln brand, and points to an increased emphasis on designing automobile advertisements that can allow users to interact with the content.

"The new design was implemented to reflect the continued evolution of the Lincoln brand," said Michelle Opong-Owusu, mobile marketing strategist with Team Detroit. "We also wanted to make sure we were addressing the needs of the Lincoln customer.

"Our customers are people who aspire to be cultural change agents," she said. "They desire to be influential and love to take on challenges and new experiences. The site is reflective of these characteristics."

Personalized experience
The redesign blends elegance with interactivity and a more personalized user experience.

The homepage billboard showcases the vehicle lineup. Tapping or swiping upon a vehicle takes the user to an overlay and baseline information with options to build and price or dive deeper into vehicle content.  Commonly used shopping tools are presented through a carousel. An area at the end of the page highlights Lincoln promotions and initiatives.  

A swipeable gallery at the top of the nameplate homepage allows users to see the vehicle immediately. Baseline information is available at the top of the page. Space under the baseline information is provided for linking to specialized promotional content.

The sub-pages of each vehicle nameplate page follow the same template.

China launch
After years of selling mainly to North America and the Middle East, Lincoln, Ford?s luxury brand, will enter China by 2016. Lincoln's U.S. sales dipped slightly in June, but were up 16 percent in the first half. The brand still trails most of its competitors in the premium car sector. Segment leader Mercedes-Benz outsells Lincoln by more than three to one in the United States.

Lincoln's redesigned mobile site aims to blend elegance, efficiency.

Mr. Galhotra?s appointment was part of an effort by Detroit-based Ford?s recently appointed chief executive, Mark Fields, to launch a new beginning for Lincoln as it prepares to launch in China by 2016. Mr. Galhotra, who will start his new duties Sept. 1, will oversee the development of future Lincoln vehicles, as well as marketing and sales. His successor is Jim Holland, who was named vice president of vehicle component and systems engineering.

The interactive site redesign burnishes Ford's growing reputation as an industry leader in mobile innovation. 

"It is very important to include interactive features in  today?s mobile site designs," Ms. Opong-Owusu said. "People are becoming more advanced in their consumption of content on the mobile device and we have found that there is an expectation for the mobile site experience to be as good, if not better, than the desktop experience.

 "The Lincoln customer is very progressive in their use of technology and emerging trends, so we needed to make sure that we were meeting their needs and delivering a great site experience."

Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer, New York.