Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Dos and Don’ts of using QR Codes.
QR Codes came out in 1994, however only in the past year have they become more popular and widely used. We can thank the smartphone explosion for that– there are now more smartphones sold than personal computers. 90% of people keep their phones within 3 feet of themselves at all times! Now marketers are getting wise to the ease of use and customer-attraction provided by QR Codes. With all of this QR code snappin’ goin’ on, here are some important tips on how to use, and not use, QR Codes in your dealership’s marketing efforts:
DO make your QR code = a bonus.
A QR code should provide a behind-the-scenes look, exclusive content or unique experience that your
audience can’t access anywhere else. Think added value: try a QR code on a window cling that links to a YouTube video of a walk around or test drive of the vehicle… offer your QR code as the key that unlocks the door to a deeper experience with the vehicle.
DON’T use the QR Code to send people to your dealership’s home page.
Your website isn’t an add-on to your brand; it is part of your standard market presence. Also most
websites aren’t built with mobile browsing in mind. This makes them slow to load, hard to read,
and cumbersome to browse on a smartphone. To let people know about your dealership’s
website, just display the URL on your ads, marketing materials and vehicle stickers.
DO use QR Codes on display signs and vehicle stickers.
Many car shoppers have their smartphones on them when browsing a dealership lot. So instead of
crowding your vehicle’s window sticker with information, use it for eye-grabbing and engaging brand messaging and highlight only the vehicle’s top features. Then include a QR code that directs shoppers to more extensive vehicle details on your website. This is especially handy for price changes; instead of re-writing hang tags or re-printing stickers you can send customers to your website for prices that are easier for you to change.
DON’T replace your message with a QR Code.
A QR code should augment your marketing message, not replace the content of your ad. Surround the QR code
with clear and sufficient information so it’s not the only thing your audience sees. A good test is to ask yourself if viewers could still get the information they need to take the next step toward your marketing goal if the QR code were removed. Your ad speaks to your brand; the QR code simply enhances the experience.
DO follow QR Code best practices.
Print your QR Code in black and white on a white or soft pastel background. Print the code with a small border of white space around the outside. QR Codes should be at least 5/8” square for standard URLs. Use a URL shortener like tinyurl.com, bit.ly or goo.gl for longer URLs. Also try scanning your QR Code with different types of smartphones and different QR Code scanning applications before printing your code on your marketing material.
DO include a clear “call to action”.
People are more likely to scan your code if they know what they’re going to get in return. Give a short, inviting description of what your QR Code leads to, like “Get a Coupon Code for $50 worth of Free Accessories”, “Watch this Vehicle in Action” or “Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter”. People view their phones as highly personal devices and aren’t likely to randomly scan a QR code without some idea of where it will take them.
Now that you’re a QR Code expert, you’re ready to print and scan away! QR Codes are a great way to grab attention and engage your target market. Once your audience is interacting with you and you have their undivided attention, you can provide them with innovative, thought-provoking information or experiences that will place your dealership and its vehicles more prominently in their mind’s eye. Best of all, creating a QR Code is free! The only limit is your imagination.
Internet Marketing Specialist