QR codes are all the rage, but do they work?
According to my Cobalt client, Lezley Pumphrey, BDC Manager of Motor City Buick GMC, the answer is yes. Her dealership started using QR codes in November 2011, directed at the Motor City Buick GMC Gateway page for GMC. To date, they have seen a total of over 500 visitors from this new marketing method, a nice bump in traffic.
Pumphrey states, “At Motor City Buick GMC, we strongly believe in mobile traffic. Consumers no longer wait for an email response from dealerships. They grab their mobile device, research the dealership, and walk-in. The more mobile presence we can get, the better. We are always looking for ways to increase our QR code and Mobile website traffic.”
Lezley is not the only one seeing more traffic thanks to QR codes. In general, I would say dealers have gotten an average of 50-100 extra visitors per month through QR codes if they actively use them. These numbers aren’t huge, but the traffic is relevant and over time makes an impact. In addition these numbers are only expected to grow as the rise of QR codes continues.
In fact, a June 2012 Econsultancy Survey reports that 1 in 2 auto industry marketers are using QR codes to encourage customers to interact with their brand.
As with any emerging media, the big challenge is how to educate your clients and successfully incorporate QR codes into your in-store processes. Here are a few ideas:
- Incorporate QR code giveaways at dealership events
- Add a QR code to the last picture of vehicles details page
- Incorporate QR codes on newspaper ads, monthly newsletters, direct mailers, etc
- Add QR codes on vehicle stickers
- Incorporate a QR code on signage in your service department so that people can scan while they wait
- Place QR codes on the back of business cards for the sales staff – this way they can see a live view of inventory right away if they need it
Making QR codes a natural part of all your marketing can pay off in unprecedented ways when it comes to closing individual car sales, but you have to put in the time and effort to educate your sales staff and your clients.
Just think: a man may be interested in purchasing a car, but he needs to go home and talk to his wife first. The salesperson should have him scan the QR code for that vehicle in inventory so he can quickly and easily show his wife the car when he gets home. In essence, the dealership controls exactly what this man sees when he scans. This can have compelling aftereffects if the consumer is educated on its purpose. The key is to ensure the sales associate informs the consumer on how to later use the QR code.
Remember, innovation and education go hand in hand. In order to be successful, you need to educate both your staff and your shoppers about how to use these new codes. Start internally at the dealership. Train your staff on how to use QR codes and make sure they are comfortable using them. The same goes for your customers; since QR codes are new to many, it helps to incorporate clear instructions like “Scan this code on your phone to see 327 fresh-on-the-lot vehicles!” You may even want to have a link with a guide on how to scan a QR code. The clearer and easier you make it, the easier it will be to integrate.
Note: Motor City Buick GMC’s QR Codes come from their Cobalt Digital Advertising Packages. They get one QR code per month per package that integrates with their current incentives. They have used these QR codes on mailers, websites, and in the dealership. Learn more about our QR code offering today.
Do you have a great QR story? Share your story below.
By Jessica Terpstra
Cobalt Digital Advertising Analyst II
Original article can be found here.