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Utilize QR Codes to Drive Leads to Your Car Dealership

Utilize QR Codes to Drive Leads to Your Car Dealership

If you keep up with the latest digital trends, you know about QR codes. They're similar to bar codes (only with a 2-dimensional pattern) and can be scanned by any smartphone with a QR reader. Once someone scans a QR code, he sees a coupon, special website, video, or whatever the advertiser chooses to use. The opportunities for automotive advertising with QR codes are endless, and we've talked about several ways to use them in the past.

Some car dealers might dismiss QR codes as a passing fad and insist on sticking with traditional advertising. But QR codes are being used everywhere from bookstores to movie posters, and (a bit closer to home for dealers) by auto manufacturers such as GM and service centers such as Jiffy Lube. A QR code in a direct mail piece, flier, window sticker, computer screen, or anywhere else offers great potential to engage consumers beyond just a passing glance for both sales and automotive service center marketing.

It's just a matter of time before QR codes become so widespread that everyone knows about them and is using them. Dealerships would do well to get ahead of the game.

Views: 279

Tags: advertising, automotive, car, codes, ideas, marketing, mobile, qr, smartphone


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Comment by Stan Bradbury on January 26, 2011 at 9:41am

Are there stats on what percent of the smart phones have downloaded the software to use QR codes?  Or what percent of the mobile audience have ever used a QR code in the U.S.?


I understand it is very early stage in adoption, but SMS is already available on 100% of phones, not just smart phones, and we haven't even gotten dealers adding keywords and short codes to advertising, which can deliver the same experience as QR codes but to a much, much, much wider audience.

Comment by Paul Potratz on January 26, 2011 at 9:04am
Hi Aj, We are primarily building specific pages since the pages are mobile landing pages and mobile information pages.  Thanks

Comment by Aj Maida on January 26, 2011 at 8:56am
Paul, You mention QR direct pages. Are you building pages specifically for these campaigns or our you using existing landing pages?
Comment by Vicki ONeill on January 26, 2011 at 7:30am

@David - thanks for the recommendations! I downloaded TheFind and will give it a try. Much appreciated!  I know where to go to for the latest and greatest technology - this group! You're way ahead of the curve in marketing technology tools you're implementing. How receptive have visitors been to the QR Codes vs. SMS/mobile?  And....from a dealership standpoint, how are you tracking QR Code usage?

Comment by David Jackson on January 25, 2011 at 8:10pm

@Paul Great post about QR Codes. I hope more dealers implement this idea. A great paper saver, time saver and like you said, another tool in the toolbox to drive traffic.


QR Codes are great for driving traditional magazine/paper traffic, in person promotions, or using them on the storefront window. I recently saw a store in the mall with a QR Code on the glass pushing people to a runway show. I am seeing more and more magazine advertisers using them too.


A few months ago we implemented a few QR Codes for a client that was celebrating a 25th anniversary and was running 4 special full page ads with contests. Depending on which ad you were reading, the QR Code sent them to a micro site for registration.


As of a few weeks ago, I created some using If you have a google account, it will create a short URL for you and even create a QR Code. You can copy and paste the QR Code on just about anything. Audi is using them to save paper, Dealers can use them to push people to micro sites, their own web site, landing page, facebook page, etc.


I can also envision dealers printing the QR Code on the window sticker of their cars, this way people visiting a dealership after hours or anytime a sales person isn't around could quickly snap the QR Code with any number of phone apps and send them directly to a landing page with more information.


@Vicki A few good apps I like on my iPhone are Red Laser & TheFind. Both have great QR Code readers. Mainly used for shopping, but work all the same.


@Scott Great to see you using the latest thing Scott. You are always on the edge of technology.


Comment by Paul Potratz on January 25, 2011 at 5:57pm

Hi Bill, As you and I know QR codes are still for early adopters and who knows it may or may not become mainstream.  Presently there are 61,000,000 Smart Phones and there has been 10% growth in the last 90 days.  Add to the fact Verizon will be selling a lot of iPhones and the number of smart phones will grow significantly....more QR reader downloads.


We are seeing some traffic 2-3% with a bounce rate of 37% to the QR direct pages.  I wonder if we would have received this traffic without a QR code...I doubt it. 


It is one more tool in the toolbox to allow car shoppers to reach our dealers in the manner they choose and it is really a call to action or ease of use tool. 

Time will tell and as for the demographics stay tuned since we are presently compiling the data from 10 dealerships and plan to have the statistics final within 2-3 weeks.


Side note: I love this stuff and the platform which allows us to share and learn

Comment by Bill Gordon on January 25, 2011 at 5:27pm

After posting my the last comment, I did a few web searches. I believe that to make the QR Code effective, the demographics need to be defined.  I am finding information but nothing is specific to the end users.  Here a link to a good case study on QR Codes.  I also glanced over an article earlier today, sorry no source, that said out of the top 20 countries, the USA was number two in usage.  Who is using it?

In ending, there's a ton of information available on Quick Response Codes, but if any comes across a source with age group statistics, please share.  The idea is great, a little more information is needed to make it work.  

Here's a link to the Qwiki Website, my recommendation of the week.  The cool thing about this site is that it is a Search Engine.  If you can find the right information, you can place a link on your webpage or blog and use it as another media source.

Comment by Bill Gordon on January 25, 2011 at 1:55pm

Like many I think the Quick Response code is an excellent idea.  So far I've placed it on print advertising, business cards, Facebook Post and on a few web pages.  It does work and it can be tracked, but I’ve had very few hits so far. The thing I'm concerned about is, is it a passing fad?  The QR Code was developed in 1994 in Japan.  It is finally reaching the US and we are calling it a new idea. Are dealership is 100% behind it, mainly because the


If the early adapters don't take QR Code and run with it, then we can't expect the majority of the people to use them.  Take a survey in your dealerships to find out how many people know what a QR Code is.  Overall it is a great idea, but finding the market appears to be tuff. So here is the question that needs to be considered.  What are the demographics of the QR Code Users in the United States and what type of information are they looking for? 

Comment by Vicki ONeill on January 25, 2011 at 5:57am

Great points, Paul! QR Codes are the latest and greatest way to share information (one way communication). They are easy to create, add to any marketing medium – including the back of your business card! (for the "green" dealership interested in reducing paper) – and shows a dealership is a change maker embracing technology in an effort to market their brand to the continuously fragmented and mobile consumer.


Any recommendations on good QR Readers? I use the free QR Reader for iPhone by Tapmedia which detects less dense QR Codes. I recently tried to scan a code in Website magazine to no avail. Perhaps it’s a matter of purchasing a higher quality reader or exercising my patience for the reader technology to evolve? :-) #justaskin Thanks!

Comment by Scott Falcone on January 24, 2011 at 4:34pm


Here is another idea on the QR Code subject:


These are at every salesperson’s desk and when a customer identifies that they are shopping for a certain model the salesperson will take out this “key ring” of all models that are laminated and hole punched, and have the customer scan it in case they want to receive more info on the vehicle. I’m not sure that it will actually close a deal, but it can help with time management while cars are pulled up to test drive and it’s a nice way to do even a bit of comparison shopping against the same make different models. It also sets a dealership apart from the one down the street.  If the customer wanted to take the deck of models home with them, no problem. I would suggest driving this to a features/spec page and not the price section on the site.

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