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QR Codes Most-Used Mobile Channel For Engaging Car Buying Customers

For Car Dealers, QR Codes are the Most-Used Mobile Channel for Engaging with Automotive Consumers

1 in 2 auto industry marketers say they are using QR codes to encourage their customers to interact with their brand, per results [download page] from an Econsultancy survey released in June 2012, in partnership with Responsys. QR code usage by these respondents surpasses other mobile channels, including creation of applications (35%), mobile commerce (29%) and mobile optimized emails (29%). 


Roughly one-quarter are using SMS marketing, while less than 1 in 5 are employing location-based marketing. Just 7% have turned to MMS and 2% to NFC.


Automotive Advertising Agencies show some different patterns with regards to their clients. 54% say their clients use apps to encourage their customers to interact with their brands, while 49% indicate their clients use QR codes. Agencies are more likely than companies to report client use of mobile optimized emails, SMS, and location-based marketing.


According to a Multichannel Merchant survey also released in June, merchants are integrating QR codes into their marketing strategies .... 47% of respondents this year said they are using QR codes, a dramatic increase from just 8% a year ago.


Search Most Popular Ad Type

Data from Econsultancy’s “Cross-Channel Marketing Report 2012″ indicates that mobile search marketing is the most popular type of mobile advertising used by company marketers, at 35% of respondents, followed by push notifications (29%).


A plurality of agencies also say their clients are engaged in mobile search marketing (42%). Mobile display advertising (banner) is cited by 41% of agencies, compared to one-quarter of companies, with agencies also more likely to indicate their clients’ use of advertising on apps (37% vs. 22%), location-based targeting (30% vs. 22%), and mobile display advertising using video (19% vs. 12%).


Various studies have highlighted the growth of mobile’s share of search marketing budgets of late, with IgnitionOne most recently reporting mobile paid search spend growing 333% year-over-year in Q2, to reach 14% of total US paid search budgets.


Display Ad Engagement Sentiment Mixed

Respondents to the Econsultancy survey do not paint a clear picture when it comes to engagement rates with display advertising via smartphones as opposed to via PCs. Among company respondents, 33% feel that customers are more engaged with display advertising on smartphones than on PCs, while 40% say they are less engaged. Among agencies, 35% feel that engagement is higher on smartphones, compared to 33% who feel that it is lower.


Other Findings:

  • 1 in 5 car company marketers say they personalize mobile display advertising based on location, while 28% of agencies report their clients’ use of this targeting method.
  • Roughly one-quarter of car companies are using offline advertising to promote engagement on mobile devices, and a further 17% are planning to do so.
  • Automotive Advertising Agencies indicate slightly higher levels of offline ad use by their clients: 35% say their clients are using offline advertising to promote engagement on mobiles, and an additional 20% say their clients are planning to do so.
  • According to Google survey results released in February, two-thirds of US smartphone users who say they at least rarely notice advertising have used their device to run a search in response to an ad they have se....





The AutoConnections Conference and Exposition scheduled for September 5 through 8, 2012 at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas is an excellent resource for auto dealers seeking to develop a more effective mobile marketing strategy.  With an entire workshop and lab track focused on automotive mobile marketing, AutoCon represents a tremendous opportunity for car dealers to advance their skills and understanding about marketing to automotive consumers using smart phones and tablet computers while outside their homes or offices.  Shuki Lehavi, CEO of Gumiyo Technology, the auto industry's leading mobile marketing platform, is the Chairman of AutoCon's Mobile Marketing Certification Track for dealers and will be available for your direct connection.  Gumiyo supplies the backbone platform used by companies such as Reynolds and Reynolds, HomeNet, the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Buzzmedia and many others.  They are by far the auto industry's leading provider of carrier certified application, SMS messaging and mobile website products for companies serving car dealers.


Over 90% of Americans keep their cell phones within arms reach 24 hours a day. Mobile is one of the fastest growing consumption channels with smart phone adoption rates skyrocketing among consumers.


With more website visitors coming via mobile devices, it is increasingly important for dealers to have a strong presence in this area. AutoCon 2012 delivers key information about mobile topics such as responsive web design, creating custom mobile apps, SMS marketing strategies, and more.


Register to attend the AutoConnections Conference and exposition by clicking on the advertisement shown above... This is by far the best opportunity for American car dealers to develop a truly effective competitive advantage through the implementation of a mobile marketing strategy based on the correct information delivered by the right connections!


Views: 879

Tags: Buying, Car, Channel, Codes, Customers, Engaging, Mobile, Most-Used, QR, car dealer, More…mobile marketing


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Comment by John Possumato on July 18, 2012 at 4:26am

Don't forget something as basic as using text message marketing, that is, using a basic keyword "Text 'XXX' to (shortcode number) XXXXX" to use alone or in conjunction with QR codes.  I notice that Ford is now using this keyword/text message marketing in their national television advertising campaign ("Text 'Edge' to 63611").  

I think this is more effective for engagement for two reasons

a) still, only a little over half the population in the US have smart phones, an even smaller percentage have downloaded the proper qr scanning software, and, even then it's difficult to use a qr code on some media - television, billboard, etc.

b) you get back direct prospect metrics on a text message/keyword campaign, that is, when the prospect texts for more information, I, as the advertiser, instantaneously have the prospect's mobile number and the keyword they texted... according to the Mobile Marketing Association best practice standards, I can text back an immediate response message and one additional follow-up message...which can include a personalized "opt in" subscription for more text messages, if desired (the route Ford is taking).

I'm fascinated by the uses of text message marketing by the way, and think it very underutilized in the automotive retailer environment...if you want any more information or statistics on it, just let me know...

Comment by Kathleen Perley on July 13, 2012 at 1:06pm

What a great article on the importance of mobile with some great statistics regarding consumer usage of mobile devices.  Although QR codes do provide consumers access to vehicle information at the touch of a button, many of the dealerships we work with have seen a lot of success with custom mobile apps.  In a recent review of our dealership's mobile apps we discovered 6 Ways to Engage Customers with Your Dealership's App.  

Comment by Ed Brooks on July 9, 2012 at 5:21am

Ralph - It's important to note that the Econsultancy study was heavily biased towards the UK (where QR Codes have a far better utilization rate) - Only 7% of the respondents where from North America.

My sense is that Mobile is vital and dealers need to be on board, but QR codes aren't necessarily the best route.

Comment by Allan Tone on July 8, 2012 at 4:17pm

Hi Ralph,

Great article and stats! We (Liqueo) are currently supplying QR Codes and Mobile Optimized Vehicle Websites to about 60 Honda and Acura dealers with an inventory total of around 22,000 new and used vehicles. The response has been phenomenal! Our system allows dealers to print QR Code window stickers and Option Addendums labels with embedded QR Codes that lead to VIN specific mobile microsites.

QR codes are a fantastic gateway to lead mobile consumers to a dealers inventory and to dealer promotions and specials.

The thing to remember is that QR Codes are only a GATEWAY. If the gateway sends consumers to non-mobile content, to content that's just an ad, or to content with no real consumer value then the campaign will fail. 

It's a dance, but easy to master if you have a great partner.

Allan Tone

Liqueo Inc.

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