Setting The ‘Mood’ With Shazam

Mood Media leveraged its Presence technology to target shoppers in-store — through their Shazam app.

Mood Media recently announced its partnership with music-identifier app Shazam, which includes the launch of the new Shazam In-Store tool.

Ken Eissing
Ken Eissing, President of Mood Media, North America

Shazam In-Store incorporates Presence technology, Mood Media’s “digital watermark” that sends an inaudible cue that is detected by a consumer’s smart device. In this case, when a customer activates Shazam while in-store to detect a song or audio message, the app will recognize the Presence signal and deliver both song information and the business’s desired targeted content to the consumer. For retailers, serving ads or other specialized messages while knowing a customer’s exact location can prove invaluable.

With brands engaging with location-based targeting in a plethora of new ways — seemingly successfully, as 60% of consumers welcome beacons — Ken Eissing, President of Mood Media North America, feels that Shazam In-Store is debuting at the opportune time.

“We recognized the real opportunity in front of us as location-based marketing and beacons have really begun to really generate connection and interest; we really focused our efforts on making this tangible [now],” Eissing says.

GeoMarketing: How did Mood Media’s partnership with Shazam come about? How was Shazam In-Store Born?

Ken Eissing: We’ve been working with Shazam in different forms over the last few years. I think we saw, some time ago, there was kind of a natural fit between the two companies given how our retail location footprint and their very large user base. Things really fell into place within the last six months.
What [made Shazam In-Store possible] is that we developed our Presence technology. We worked with Shazam on that and they actually incorporated recognizing the Presence signal into their app, and it was fully integrated into Shazam, I believe, in May. Office Depot is the official “launch” sponsor and has been the first to deploy the technology in its stores. How’s it going so far?

We’ve actually run two [Shazam In-Store] campaigns with Office Depot. We did one over the summer in conjunction with their back to school effort, and [we’ve been] doing one recently with their holiday promotion. I don’t want to speak for them, but I believe, by virtue of the fact that we’re doing a second campaign, that they’re very pleased with the results. But we wanted to make sure that it was working first, which clearly it was, and then once we knew that we felt the timing was right to more formally announce the partnership [in November].

The location aspect of Shazam In-Store is key to this technology. How and why is this so important?

I think the importance, based on what [we’ve heard from] our retail clients, is that it’s critical to figure out how to communicate with customers while they’re in store. A segment of consumers actually even expect it now, and the trick is how to do that in a way that isn’t intrusive and that actually adds value to the shopping experience.

The Shazam In-Store offering is a really compelling way to do this, because the consumer has to actually engage with the app for it to work. People love ‘Shazam-ing’ and it has become very natural…you ‘Shazam’ to get more information, and by doing that, it’s a form of opt-in. If someone actually actively engages with and ‘Shazams’ a song or audio message, it means that they want to know more. If we put signage up around a store that says “Shazam to learn more,” we think that’s a true value add because you’re not pushing a message to a consumer, they’re actually opting in to receive it. That’s critically important.

So is that the pitch to retailers for why they should consider using Shazam In-Store? What all does this offer marketers?

As far as the pitch, if you will, to retailers, I think it’s very simple in that the Shazam In-Store solution will give you a way to communicate with and potentially influence customers while they’re actually in-store, and the ability to do that has always been perceived as somewhat of the holy grail of retail.

We think our the tool gives our retailers, or restaurants, or anyone who’s a client of ours, the ability to interact with and promote a message or communication that’s relevant to that consumer, and it doesn’t require any hardware to install. [Presence] runs though the existing sound system that is operating in the retail location, and then, in this case, connects to an app that a hundred million people every month.
It has very low barriers to entry because of that, and we think it’s kind of a turn key way to get into the location based marketing world.

Any plans to integrate the Presence technology into other apps?

[We want] to bring Shazam In-Store to other retailers, certainly yes. The technology certainly can be integrated into other apps, [but] I don’t really have anything to share there. We’re very happy with out partnership with Shazam and committed to making that work right now.

As far as the future, our platform also has the ability to integrate with what I’ll call ‘aisle level beacons’ so if [a retailer] wants to do more hyper-targeted messaging within the store, we can do that as well. But what we’ve seen so far is, because the space is so new, is that retailers are interested in learning [the basics] first, and then over time we can get down to more hyper-targeted aisle level communication.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.