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Text talk sells cars

Teletext Cars now has approximately 60 dealer groups on-board and has been enjoying call increases of around 20% month-on-month since launch, according to its partners in the venture, Data Media and Retail Ltd.

The company was formed in 1996 and owns several car properties, including Car Source, Find It Cars, Car Keys and Cars by Mail. It won the pitch with Teletext late in 2004 against competition such as Auto Trader and Exchange and Mart.

“It was our relationship with the key dealer groups that probably helped us clinch the deal with Teletext,” says Haydn Dibble, sales manager, Data Media and Retail. “We’re extremely pleased with the uptake by dealers and are looking forward to signing up more big names in the future.”

The service went live at the end of May, following months of preparation work by Data Media and Retail. Significant work was needed to prepare the back-end and systems integration. The telephone system, in particular, required special attention to ensure sufficient call generation and call tracking capabilities.

Reg Vardy and Perrys are among the dealers signed up to Teletext Cars, all of which pay a fee of between £11 and £50 per call received by prospective customers via the service. The level of fee charged relates to the value of the vehicle in question.

Data Media and Retail’s commitment to Teletext Cars is to provide the service with a stock of 65,000 cars. The inventory is capped at this number due to the operating limitations of digital television. Once the lead has been provided, Data Media and Retail’s involvement ends and it is down to the dealer to convert it to a sale.

Teletext Cars was launched following the success of Teletext Holidays and, although there is an online version of the service, the television pages generate far more interest and revenue, according to Dibble.

The service is being pitched to dealers as the only used car facility on television; a brand new medium, providing a brand new and exciting channel to tap into. And through a substantial advertising campaign on regional radio, Data Media and Retail is able to offer prospective dealers targeted and focused exposure within their specific region.

Although he would not be drawn on an exact figure, Dibble says that the Daily Mail General Trust, owners of Teletext, are investing a “seven figure sum” in advertising and marketing the service, with plans to significantly increase coverage across all television media next year.

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