The Next Big Thing?
The Next Big Thing?
Out of its 120 million population, over 69million Japanese people access the Internet via mobile phones. About the same number (66 million people) access the Internet using a computer.
And almost all of the mobile phones in the Japanese market now are equipped with a barcode scanner by default.
The QR bar codes allow users to scanÂ information with a swipe of their mobile phone and this feature has rapidly gained cult status in Japan.
They are mainly used by mobile-savvy twenty- and thirty-somethings leading them to sales promotions for products such as snacks and beverages. But the uses are very varied â€“ you can do anything from scan that poster for the Australia Movie for cinema times (if you fancy a 3 hour sleep), to scanning a pork chop in your supermarket to see which farm it came from, and how many dioxins you are likely to imbibe.
The posibilities for both technologists and marketers are infinite â€“ QR barcodes have pervaded Japanese society to such an extent that they even have QR codes for gravestones, enabling the bereaved to swipe a bar code in order to access tributes to the deceased and comments from friends and relatives. A tabloid in the UK has started insterting bar codes with print articles on football games:Â scan the code and you can watch video highlights of the game on your mobile.Â QR codes are also being viewed as a potential business card replacement. You will be able to use your mobile scanner to scan the barcode on your contactâ€™s phone and all contact info will be then relayed across . . . this would certainly streamline the dating process.
Once QR codes catch on here, which they inevitably will, and all handsets come with pre-installed scanners, marketers are surely going to jump all over this.
Marketing is becoming more and more about interacting with the consumer, and with doing this in a non intrusive manner. QR codes are more about the consumer pulling information from the company rather than the company pushing it towards the consumer; QR codes are a perfect platform for this. See that ad for Coke? Scan the code and it downloads the Coke ringtone.
I think this is something that is going to appeal to our inquisitive, hunter gatherer, mentalities, and we are going to be transfixed by products, always voluntarily delving for more information or promotions. No-one can deny that they read every word on the back of the corn flake box. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I know the ingredients of corn flakes off by heart. Donâ€™t believe me?
Milled corn, Sugar, Malt flavoring, High fructose corn syrup, Salt, Iron, Niacinamide, Sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), Vitamin A palmitate, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin B
Jim – Prosperity.