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Meredith standardizes mobile bar codes with Microsoft Tag

Meredith Corp. is cementing its mobile bar code strategy by using Microsoft Tags across its properties.

The Microsoft Tag initiative will go into effect for Meredith?s publications in 2012. This is the latest mobile move by the publisher, which also includes mobile Web and applications.

?As a media company that reaches more than 80 million American women, we feel it is important to create a user experience that is consistent across our broad base of content-driven brands,? said Liz Schimel, chief digital officer at Meredith, Des Moines, IA.

?Utilizing one standard system ensures that this experience will provide the greatest level of usage and engagement by our consumers,? she said.

?In addition, it provides us with clear and consistent metrics and benchmarks of performance for our marketing partners, which is critical as the technology expands across multiple platforms and devices.?

Universal code
Meredith has previously tapped Microsoft Tags in its publications, which include Family Circle, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies? Homes Journal.

The mobile bar codes will be used on both editorial and advertising content.

Using Microsoft Tag, Meredith plans to link digital content to print with lifestyle-themed videos, tips and ideas that match the publisher?s demographic.

By using one type of mobile bar code, Meredith hopes to increase engagement with readers using one application that they can use across all of their favorite magazines.

?We?ve used Microsoft Tag for a variety of purposes ranging from extending our brand content and editorial expertise to promoting special events and contests to offering our marketing partners a 360-degree opportunity to connect with our consumers both within the pages of our magazines and beyond,? Ms. Schimel said.

Mobile magazines
Using mobile bar codes has increasingly become used by publishers looking to leverage their digital and print content.

Additionally, many publishers are using mobile bar codes as an incentive to reward readers.

For example, Conde Nast?s Glamour magazine recently used Spyderlynk SnapTags to net 512,339 interactions that rewarded consumers with deals and offers (see story).

American Media?s Shape magazine also recently wrapped up a campaign that let users unlock prizes via Microsoft Tags.

Mobile bar codes can be effective, but with all the different types of the market it is difficult for consumers to differentiate them and understand how to use them.

However, by standardizing its bar codes, Meredith is making a smart move to help educate consumers about mobile bar codes.

?As a company that reaches over one in four American households, we believe this technology has the scale and usability that will appeal to mass-consumer audiences,? Ms. Schimel said.

?This is especially critical when you are delivering information to women about what matters most to them in their busy lives ? their homes, families and personal development,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York