The Chrysler group says it has seen the future of marketing. And it's interactive.
The company has made interactive media an essential part of its marketing strategy. It has backed its initiatives with hefty budgets. It seeks to pull consumers into a voluntary, ongoing dialogue.
Chrysler's online ventures have included encouraging Internet users to nominate the Dodge Dakota "Ultimate Guy" and to play the "Snowboard Super Jam" video game at jeep.com.
Such innovations are unusual from an advertiser in an industry whose media plans tend to be conservative and focused on TV. But the Chrysler group says it is getting sales results from its work.
Jeff Bell, the group's vice president of Chrysler and Jeep marketing, says three factors account for the company's interactive interest. They are the splintering of traditional media, the relative affordability of interactive marketing and the measurable return on investment in interactive media.
"We get 40,000 (sales) leads per month from our sites and third-party sites," Bell says. The Chrysler group forwards those leads to dealers, he says.