How Visual Shazam can create a ‘richer customer experience’

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Tapped Mobile, a Canadian provider of ad technology solutions, recently announced it was partnering with MobileXCo, a leading mobile technology solution provider, to launch a Shazamable mobile coupon, called Visual Shazam. With more and more Canadians using their smartphones for in-store product research, this innovative partnership made perfect sense to all involved. And there’s also a B2B angle that B2B News Network explored in an interview with the two firms.

“Tapped Mobile has been a partner with Shazam for close to a year so the reason why we went with them is that we believe that in many cases mobile is the first screen (on which consumers view video) so we know that people are spending more and more time on their phones,” explained Tapped Mobile founder and president Jed Schneiderman. “We know in Canada that depending on the demographic anywhere between 83 and 90 percent of the population have mobile phones [and Shazam is] almost better than any app in the world because it connects online and offline.”

Visual Shazam is easy to use, enabling a highly customizable mobile experience with cutting-edge analytics. Shazam launched this visual-recognition tool earlier this year with partners including Levis, Guerlain, Hearst, Conde Nast, Time, Harper Collins, the Wall Street Journal, and Esquire.

The new partnership between Tapped and MobileXCo will allow brands to drive increased traffic to their retail stores, generate sales through targeted offers and measure the performance of various advertising media channels.

“Ultimately, this helps to better understand the consumer journey through the loop in terms of actually seeing whether or not customers have bought the product,” said Schneiderman.

Visual Shazam is a powerful tool and benefits greatly from MobileXCo’s proprietary offer verification and redemption process. Advertisers can create custom Shazam offers to lure tech-savvy customers who can access mobile coupons with a couple of quick taps on their smartphone screens. It’s a new twist on an old marketing tool.

“Couponing is a hundred-year-old tried and tested tactic. It just works,” said MobileXCo co-founder and CMO Peter Pinfold, who added that one of the most innovative elements of Visual Shazam is the elimination of the need for special point-of-sale hardware or software.

“The biggest challenge is, the second you need some sort of POS integration, or you require a consumer to become familiar with a new piece of software or download another app, it becomes a barrier,” he said. “But [now] the entire redemption process actually happens on the consumer’s phone.”

B2B News Network asked Schneiderman how Visual Shazam will help brands increase ROI and measurability with their coupon programs.

“Ultimately, the consumer marketing journey starts with some marketing message or communication either in-store or out-of-store, perhaps a print ad or shelter poster or a poster in a movie theater, [then] they can visually Shazam it then when they interact with the coupon you basically have both data points mapped sequentially, the first being at exposure, the last being did they actually convert in store? In an almost perfect world it does what a lot of people are trying to solve for, and that’s attribution.”

B2C marketers have long understood that in-store traffic, conversion and sales matter more than metrics. But what about B2B marketing executives?

“They more than understand it,” said Pinfold. “I think B2C marketers are actually catching up. B2C marketing is, in my opinion, infinitely more complex because driving an engagement or closing a purchase at point of sale is the final mile. So getting someone from an ad into retail, a brick-and-mortar store, is a complex challenge that no one’s really solved yet.”

Although most applications for Visual Shazam fall into the B2C realm, Pinfold says he sees some B2B potential.

“I think it could be applicable,” he said. “MobileXCo is a B2C mobile marketing solution provider so we really focus on the B2C space, but I certainly can think of several applications in the B2B space. This is an image recognition app, so you can trigger any experience you want. You can create a richer customer experience, whether B2C or B2B.”

What Visual Shazam promises is a revolution in functionality, creating a world in which everything from movie posters to packaged goods and print media are enhanced and transformed from static images to dynamic content.

Companies from Disney to Target to HarperCollins and the Wall Street Journal have embraced Visual Shazam, a testament to the highly flexible and customizable nature of this exciting new technology.

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.