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Mercedes Benz to Place Siri in the Dash

Mercedes Benz described plans to integrate Siri into its "Drive Kit Plus" program at the Mobile World Congress, currently underway at Barcelona. The integration will allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using only their voices while driving. (via the International Business Times).

Mercedes-Benz is also incorporating Facebook into its in-vehicle telematics system. The prototype was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year.

The Car As Marketing Channel

Mercedes-Benz’s move is yet another indicator that the automobile is becoming a de facto online marketing channel. BMW is adding Yelp to BMW Online.  The application will give drivers access to the typical content on Yelp, such as highly-reviewed local restaurants or pubs or banks or parking garages.

Concept Car

On a larger scale, Toyota recently unveiled concept car, Fun-Vii, at the Tokyo Motor Show that seemed designed solely to act as conduit to online content. It sported a sleek exterior that mimicked the look of a smartphone, with both the exterior and interior able to be adjusted to fit the driver’s mood. The exterior can also display motion video and a user interface. (via PC World).

A Tantalizing Concept

The concept of the automobile as another data source for marketers has become a tantalizing one. This is a user group already primed for outreach, at least based on findings from a report from Millennial Media and comScore.  Most notably, it reported that 63% of mobile auto campaigns lead to site search, about four times the 16% average rate. In addition, 58% of mobile auto campaigns lead to both dealer/store locator and viewing a map, compared to respective overall averages of 15% and 18%.

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