Have you noticed this symbol popping up on your television screen lately? You probably haven’t noticed it with all of the odd things like hashtags and other social media icons so commonly being dropped all over television screens lately. This symbol is the logo for a company named Shazam. Now, if you are over the age of 45, this isn’t the DC Comics superhero. Shazam is a product that is powered by a very cool audio recognition technology. For those of you who are familiar with it, you know its most common use to run on your smartphone and when you hear a song that you like but don’t know the name of it will “listen” to the song and, after a few moments, it gives you the name and artist of that song. It’s like magic – but that’s not really what’s great about this technology.
To the everyday consumer this technology can be so much more than “Hey, what’s the name of this song?”. The next time you see that logo on your TV screen, break out your phone (you’ll want to download Shazam before you try this, of course) and run the app; just make sure the sound is turned up so your phone can pick up the audio. What you will experience may vary but the essence is the same: you will be given a link or a mobile webpage that will allow the advertiser to more personally – and immediately – market to you. This could take many forms but make no mistake it will be something that makes better use of mobile technology.
There are 165 million people in over 200 countries that beg to differ. Shazam is responsible for selling over 300,000 music tracks EVERY DAY. It is the #4 downloaded app in the Apple store – of all time. Now, Shazam is broadening their horizons.
Yes, this could be viewed as a fancy QR code and essentially it is however there is something very nice about it – there is no obnoxious, confusing image. Also, you don’t have to be within a certain distance from that odd little image to make use of the technology. Why is that a good thing? Well, for one, it’s less intrusive. Secondly, it’s more functional. Consider this, you can make use of this in the kitchen if the TV is loud enough and an unlimited number of people can make use of it at once without having to wait their turn to point their phone at it. Lastly, and most importantly, it’s not print dependent – meaning that it can be used with just about any broadcast media. This far expands the reach of a single code and allows those that employ this technology to choose EXACTLY when they touch their audience.
Why this is so cool
The great thing about this technology is that you can record your own song, commercial, voice track, or Muzak and add a unique audio file specific to your business into the Shazam system along with the information you want displayed and then decide when that audio is broadcast and from what source. You can’t get much more targeted without a computer and it’s not nearly as fun. Oh, and did I mention it’s on demand and on your terms? As this technology matures the merchant may be able to manage and modify their campaigns themselves within the Shazam system. People who leverage this technology could customize their messaging specific to a holiday, sporting event, concert, or election. “If the Yankees beat Boston then Brooklyn Lager is $3 per bottle, if Boston wins pints of Harpoon IPA are half off.”
What does this mean for your business?
Picture these scenarios
- Let’s say you are walking around your favorite department store and at exactly 2:15 PM you hear an announcement come over the music they are playing directing you to open up Shazam and get a discount at that store of 25% for the next 45 minutes. This will allow the merchant to offer micro sales whenever they want and track the performance of each.
- You are attending a conference and turn on Shazam to find out that the music being played in the lobby brings you to the conference schedule on your mobile phone. You won’t be missing that session you were hoping to catch.
- You are walking through the mall and you hear an announcement that “Shazam shoppers” receive a free beverage with the purchase of any food item at one of the food court restaurants. How would that help their sales that day?
- A local retailer plays an audio track that unlocks the ability for their shoppers to enter to win a $500 shopping spree in their store, chosen randomly once per month – and every day you shop is another chance to enter.
- A kiosk that allows consumers to take a survey about a type of product that they are curious about and then are directed to use Shazam at the end of that survey to find out more information or get a discount on a product that is determined to fit their needs simply by pointing their phone at the speaker of that kiosk.
- A foreign tourist is in your store and may need just that little extra incentive to make a purchase. They hold their phone in the air and get special sales in their own language.
- A mom and pop restaurant is on the main street of a downtown area and is a little slow that night so they pop in their personal CD into the player and flood the outside of their storefront with a tune that yields a 15% savings on the dinner check for anyone that is able to capture it with Shazam. When the restaurant starts to get full, they kill the music.
There are any number of scenarios that you can probably think up on your own but you get the idea. This takes hyper local to a new level. You now have the ability to do a national campaign at any time you so choose to purchase the time for OR you can run flash sales for anyone within an earshot. All you need is a relationship in place with Shazam. **Note: I have no details on their specific pricing but this technology is scalable and capable of doing all of this. If Shazam doesn’t then somebody will.**
Is this technology for your business? Perhaps. If it’s not, it will be a good thing to keep your eye on. If you notice your competition is starting to use it, you may want to look into this type of technology a little closer.