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Fred Wilson VC from Union Square Partners and a blogging hero of mine was quoted today on AVC as saying “…it hasn’t been that easy for a seller to be creative on social networks. Posting a link to their shop on facebook, or tweeting or pinning their latest item is fine. But doing that over and over quickly gets boring for everyone.”

Social networks are template based mediums. You know what else is a template based media? Broadcast advertising: TV and radio. And they tend to suffer a similar fate. So how do advertising agents break the broadcast template? I think we try to make it twitch-able. (A twitch being a media move from one device to another in search of clarification.) Shazam is something that can do this. Twitter too. But no one has done a great, breakthrough job with these technologies in broadcast yet. It’s coming.

So what’s the Idea? Send me your thoughts ( so we can break out of this broadcast boredom cycle.




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Do you know your product’s top 5 twitch points? You should.  Customer journey is a new age marketing tool used by comms planners to find better ways to intersect with and influence customers. The journey maps out awareness, activities, research, purchase and out-of-box experience. (Chart courtesy of Frog Design.) Some use the old school taxon AIDA (awareness, interest, desire and action), a dumbed down version.  It’s truly good stuff and a lot more valuable than a simple DILO (day in the life of) media planning approach, but if you follow the Frog Design rigor (chart) you may also end up a little dizzy.customer journey

Twitch Points are moments when a person twitches way from one media or device in favor of another in search of clarification. Kindle to Google Earth. Newspaper to Wikipedia. Car dealership to JD Power. Best Buy to Amazon. Car radio to Shazam.

Twitch Point Planning is simpler than the above Frog Design learning scheme. Less complex. Understanding, mapping and manipulating customers closer to a sale is its goal. It needn’t be overthought.  Don’t get me wrong, it needs to be thought, just not overthought. If you find your top 5 twitch points, your five most commerce producing twitches, you don’t need a road map, journey, or KPIs.  You need a good accountant…to count da monies.

Peace be upon you.

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Fast Twitch Media is exactly what it sounds like: media that is reactive, quick and available in bite-size chunks.  The problem with Fast Twitch Media (and the opportunity) is with the twitch. A twitch often results in a transfer from one media moment or type to another. When I’m reading an article on All Things D about Shazam, and click on the link in the middle of the article it takes me to a demo on YouTube, drawing me away from the article itself.  A twitch.  As the publisher of All Things D, I may have lost the reader because the YouTube demo might twitch me elsewhere.

A key goal in marketing and advertising is reducing the space between consumer and a transaction. Temporally, spatially, emotionally. Not soft metric stuff, hard metric stuff.  Take the air out of the space between the consumer and the purchase and you win. 

What’s exciting about today is that there are many ways to do this, thanks to mobile and the web.  What’s scary about today is that there are many ways to do this, thanks to mobile and the web.  Enter Twitch Point Planning — the ability to map and manipulate fast twitch media and behavior to your product’s advantage. Many are already doing it, but not by design. 

Shazam, the app that lets your phone listen to an unknown song and identify it for you, is very cool. And useful.  The ability then for Shazam to sell you that song in a click or two is an example of reducing the space between consumer and transaction. A Twitch Point gone right. 

Go forth and Twitch my people.  Peace. 

PS. Thanks to Chris Kramer and Netx for the Shazam article.


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Tired of hearing my self-deprecating “I’m a simple man” spiel?  Hey, it’s a living.  The latest simplified observation in the land of black and white has to do with mobile applications and Web apps. I’ve been selling selling for enough years to know some of the web’s first apps were online calculators.  “How much will your company save if you use our product?  Click the calculator?” Well, fifteen or so years later the premise still holds. Calcu-lay-sh is one of the two primary apps in mobile.  The other is plain, stupid fun.

The big question is “Which app-set is bigger?”  Calculation apps or fun apps? (Search and geolocation are both caculations.) So what do you think marketers?  50/50?  70/30?  With the answer hanging in the air, I’ll suggest there just might be a gray area to consider – and that’s the fun calculation.  Shazam is one such — an app that listens to music and tells you the name of the song.

Smart digital markets know that combining calc and fun is a way to reduce the barrier between a consumer and a product. But be careful here, there is a difference between fun and consumption. Knowing where the taco truck is not necessarily fun, not after the first time.  Fun up your calculation, make it add value to the brand and you’ll have yourself a winner. Simple. Peace.

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