Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Technological Environment

Technological Environment means forces that create new technologies, creating new product and market opportunities (81). Japan is a good example of technological environment because it is known for its high technology and it has its distinct market. This is especially true when one sees the cell-phone market in Japan. Cell phones are must have gadget to Japanese, especially for people in Tokyo where they spend majority of the day outside of their home. Japanese cell-phones have thus developed as more than a phone and have their own features. This technological advance together with the high usage of cell phones caused Japan to have its own marketing system.

One of the major technologies is the barcode reader system (it is starting to become introduced in the United States but is not affluent as in Japan). The barcode is called QR Code (Quick Response Code) where once read through cell phones, it directs the user to a specific URL. Here, McDonald’s Japan has QR code both on its website and product where user can easily access the information about its products. Any user with a cell phone can instantly access to health information about the food they are about to eat at McDonald’s. McDonald can also put coupons on this website and users can show the coupons via cell phone screen and get discounts as well. Another example is where a firm has a giant QR code out in the street!

The QR Code enables virtually anyone who has a phone to connect to necessary information regardless of their location. In addition, the QR code diminishes the time and effort to type in the URL into a cell phone and thus is likely to have more people visiting the web page. This technology changed Japanese market a lot and has a potential to change the markets elsewhere in variety of ways. One additional example is travel: Currently travelers within Japan can access the QR code of their ticket through their cell phones and can travel paperless. As far as I know, other airlines are currently trying this method out at select locations!

Shogo Okuda
Section G

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