Using QR Codes at Your Dealership


Unless you have lived under a rock for a year or two you have probably heard of QR codes, the square box that resembles an artsy barcode that you see on everything from electronics to billboards. QR stands for “quick response”, developed by the Denso division of Toyota to quickly identify parts and now it’s found its way into the lives of millions of people every day.

I just want to sell cars–why should I care?

With the rush of mobile devices, QR codes are as important as putting your dealerships web address on all your marketing and advertising material. So if you want to sell more cars, pay attention.

In today’s fast paced environment, typing in a URL or dialing a number may be too distracting, time consuming, resulting no user action–in comes the QR code.

QR codes offer yet another time-saver for users; they can easily scan the QR code with any smart phone and the consumer can be directed to a particular product, text message, video or better yet, how about your phone number. In a basic sense, a QR code simply replaces a step for the mobile user. Instead of manually inputting a URL or dialing a phone number, a scan of a QR code can accomplish the same task. Simply scan the code using your mobile device and be taken to the virtual destination.

Many mobile devices already come standard with a QR reader application; others will require a free download by simply searching “QR reader” in your app store.

If you look all around, you will notice that other companies have embraced the QR codes to successfully inform, entertain or motivate a consumer in various ways– Now Quick Response QR code scanning is giving retailers like Macy’s, Target and Best Buy a competitive edge. Macy’s started a campaign with customized QR code and SMS technology to deliver exclusive and engaging video content to user’s mobile phones. The retailer is leveraging QR codes to extend its brand by bringing celebrity designers and fashion authorities more directly into every store location nationwide–could the same strategy be used on the dealer lot?

Now most dealerships do not have the budget that Macy’s does, but you can empower the QR code within a budget– let’s take a look at some examples.

Window Stickers: Window stickers with printed QR Codes help consumers while shopping, especially those browsing afterhours, are able to scan and check inventory right on their mobile phone.

Marketing materials: You’ve got fliers, brochures, programs, handouts and business cards. Add QR codes to direct viewers to a special web page with additional information, coupons or specials–get creative!

Print Advertising: Use QR codes in all your print advertising. Studies show that by coupling print media and internet together net better results than internet alone–use your print ads to drive traffic to your site, but don’t just point it to your main page. Driving traffic to your site is fine, but as mentioned earlier it is far better to direct viewers to special content.

QR code tracking: sounds really difficult but it is rather easy– simple use of traceable URL shorteners like can give you a basic analysis of your campaign. Use a unique traceable shortened URL as the destination of your QR code to get a singular view of your QR campaign’s effectiveness.

QR code effectiveness: you can increase the effectiveness by educating your audience– although QR codes are widely used in many other parts of the world, they have taken a while to catch on with US consumer, be aware that not all consumers know what it is or how to use a QR code. Include a brief description below your code on how to scan and how to obtain a QR reader.

If you are ready to give it a try, just do a search on Google for “QR Code generator” you will find plenty of sites like that will help generate one for free.

There is virtually no limit to the ways in which you might make excellent use of this technology to enhance your dealerships advertising and marketing efforts in order to achieve your goals–just as in any advertising you need to be creative!

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