Combining Physical and Digital Experiences for Customers

Our mobile phone is now the way in which most of us interact with digital content each day. Because of this, we are developing our multichannel customer communications strategy to fully encompass mobile usage and digital experiences.


Multichannel means much more than just digital, so how can companies who still rely on predominantly paper based communication move towards digital channels; or how can customers gain digital information from a static point of sale product?

One method in which companies have tried to do this is through the ability to scan a barcode or a QR code with your smartphone. This is something that’s been around for a while, but it has generally relied on the user having a specific app installed on their phone to read the QR code, which can sometimes lead to a poor user experience and low uptake.

Recently, we’ve been working with Shazam on one way of doing this. Created in 1999, you may know Shazam as the app that identifies songs when you can’t. In 2006, when the iPhone was launched, Shazam was approached by Apple to become a ‘founder’ app member. It quickly became the most downloaded App Store product, and now has over a billion downloads to date, 500 million of which happened in the last two years.

Recently, Shazam has extended the ability of their app to enable visual content recognition. You might have seen examples of Shazam enabled marketing campaigns all around you. For example, the current TV advert for retailer Simply Be, featuring the track Changing by Paloma Faith and Sigma. Travelled on the tube recently? You may have seen the BMW campaign where customers could buy a BMW car simply by scanning an image of the model they liked.

The new image-recognition ability means that Shazam provides a perfect way to evolve from ‘physical to digital’ experiences. Users can scan anything from printed material to tattoos (yes, someone actually has a ‘Shazamable’ tattoo). Once the content is scanned, the user can be directed to either a generic digital experience (such as a company website) or to a personalised, highly dynamic experience – it all depends on the overall campaign objective and budget.

So – what does this mean for RRD?

We have been working with Shazam to look at how we could best leverage their technology and user base to provide digital experiences for our clients. This means that a printed Direct Mail campaign could contain a ‘Shazamable’ image that would direct a user straight to a digital experience, and as more of our clients look for ways to take their customers from physical to digital we can offer this service based on the knowledge that the app is used by a massive number of existing and potential customers.

Once people have used the app we can then also provide analytics and insight to show our customers who has interacted with their collateral – which means that we can start to prove how effective this medium is within their overall marketing activity.

If you would like to know more about how Shazam could work for you business, or for more information about our marketing services, please get in touch with our team.