As with most technology trends, this one started in Japan a decade ago, has been popular in Europe for years and is just now catching on in some major metro areas in the United States. No, I'm not talking about those tiny cubicle style hotel rooms for the highly stressed business person on the go. I'm talking about Quick Response Codes, aka QR Codes.
These small, black and white codes can be scanned by smart phones with QR Readers. Once scanned there are a few places the codes can take you. The most popular destination is the immediate hyperlinking to a mobile website, but other options include contact information, such as a digital business card, or even directions to specific location.
So how can you get in on the QR fun? It's simple...just go to the app store on your phone and download any one (or two) of the many free QR Scanners available. Some Android phones are already coming equipped with these scanners right out of the box and it is widely assumed that all smart phones will follow suit in years to come.
"What's great about QR Codes is that they allow for an interactive experience from what was generally a stagnant object, like a newspaper ad, yard sign or direct mail piece," says Douglas P. Scott, Marketing Manger for Scott Honda and Scott Select. "I see endless possibilities for these codes as long as they are embraced by the American public like they have been in Asia and Europe."
Scott Honda is expected to be the first ever dealer to use a QR Code in the Philadelphia Auto Show Buyer's Guide. The full page color ad is walk through the rich history of the Scott family's 80+ year history in the automobile business. So the code, placed in the lower left corner of the ad directs people to the history section of the dealership's blog for even more interesting photos and stories dating back to the 1920's.
Currently in the entry way and customer waiting areas of Scott Honda are "Sconda Mobile Links" (pictured above) which allows customers to first learn about QR Codes and then links them to our mobile website, as well as our social media pages, where they can learn more about the dealership and even find special gifts and discounts.
"By using web page shortening software, like bit.ly.com, the QR codes become trackable, so now you can know how many people are looking at each individual code," Scott told Sconda Blog. "My hopes are that this 'new' technology can be used to improve dealerships ability communicate effectively and efficiently, thus enhancing the customer experience."