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After visiting many Independent dealers, i have noticed a huge graduation back to print advertising.

I thought the next big push was mobile marketing? The lower prices are driving them back to their local audience and using mediums

such as QR codes and reality augmentations via smart phones or pads.... Any thoughts on this?

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The great thing about both of these technologies is that they meld both the digital and print worlds together. Utilizing the print world and connecting it with the digital world in a great way to enhance your mobile marketing plan. A few examples include placing QR codes on the Addendum sticker or a physical mailer, all the way to a digital newsletters or a successful newspaper campaign. Their usefulness is only limited by creativity. (Actually Paul Potratz has a great Think Tank Tuesday video on this! Click here.)

As much as I love augmented reality (AR), I am going to focus on QR. Mainly because AR is not open source (yet). So, to utilize this in an effective way you must download a product specific app. For instance, the same AR app that works for Brand X's AR code will not work for every AR code. So the end result requires the client to download a different AR app for their smartphone. No one wants a phone full of different AR readers and trying to remember which one goes with which AR code. This should change in the future.

QR codes on the other hand are open source. They were developed by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. These wonderful little two-dimensional barcodes provide limitless information, only require one mobile app, and the content can be altered well after printing and distribution! One of the best parts, you only need a small area on any medium to provide endless amounts of information. 

Let's say you run a special on a service hang tag and the special ends. You don't have to reprint. Name your hang tag the "Weekly Service Special" and alter the final product. The QR causes the smartphone to take action resulting in a web browser to be opened and landing the customer on a page or coupon. This we know. But, you can then go in and alter the page, or coupon, resulting in one QR running that campaign. Thus, saving money and time by allowing you to print the QR code in bulk! You just need a very strong platform to handle that type of information.


Liqueo Overview Video from Allan Tone on Vimeo.


This is just one example of how QR codes can bridge the gap between digital and print media. We specialize in a QR cloud-based platform that generates VIN specific micro-sites when scanned. It ties directly to the already existing DMS and updates twice daily. So, I'm excited to see what useful ways people will start to incorporate them into their dealerships. Easter egg hunts with QR codes on cars and a revolving special has been the creative to date. What can you do with them?

As a side note, would it interest dealers to have a SMS text sent to the Sales Manager's phone when a car is scanned. Maybe the car is around the corner, or all salespersons are with other guests. Would you take them the keys of what they are scanning?


Scan this one to see our VIN specific micro-site!



For years print media was the advertising darling of dealerships.  Part of the reason was that you couldn't mess it up.  All you needed was a picture of the vehicle and a price or payment.  Even then, they anguished on their print advertising.

Gee, I wonder why print advertising is less expensive?  Might be that nobody buys newspapers any more.

The internet is still the most effective and cost efficient advertising tool ever available to the car dealership.  After more than a decade, most dealerships don't have a clue how to sell cars over the internet.  They take an Assistant Sales Manager and make him the Internet Director because nobody else wants the job.  From there, they become CRM watchers.  

I was the Internet Director for a large Import store.  Every month the GM would spend three times more money on print and TV advertising than my internet budget.  The internet department sold 70% of the new and used vehicles with an average total gross profit higher than the floor. 

Dealerships are looking for other avenues because they don't understand how to be successful with what they already have.


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