National Post links print to mobile

The national daily is getting up close and personal with its readers through barcode technology designed to drive deeper engagement - and new ad opps.

The National Post is using 2D barcode technology to link readers from stories in the print edition to the paper’s mobile site. By snapping a photo of a 2D barcode – found on the pages of the newspaper – readers looking to dig deeper on a particular story can link directly to the latest info to get more context, analysis, related stories and content.

‘[The technology] allows us to really pull people from one medium to another,’ Jonathan Harris, National Post VP digital media, tells MiC. ‘It’s a direct link between two media, which is an interesting way of approaching a newspaper: you’re using a newspaper as a way to draw eyeballs from that newspaper and create engagement with other media.’

The information in the barcode directs mobile browsers to relevant content on the Post‘s mobile site at Any data-enabled camera phone (BlackBerry or iPhone) with downloaded free ScanLife software can take a snapshot of the barcode found on the Post‘s pages to get updated news from its mobile site uploaded directly to the mobile device.

‘When people are reading newspapers, they usually have a smartphone with them – especially our audience,’ explains Harris. ‘Your mobile phone is not going to drive you directly to the place you’re looking for. What this [ScanLife] application does is send you directly to the right URL.’

Harris tells MiC the paper is currently working with a partner to develop new advertising opportunities to help integrate clients’ brands with the National Post, including e-commerce opps that can drive directly to point of purchase, and sponsoring the barcodes in the paper. ‘Codes could be offered to clients to help people engage their brands on a mobile platform,’ says Harris, ‘and inserted in the pages to help drive engagement with advertising.’

Find out who else is using barcode technology in Canada here.