Co-innovating rich messaging solutions for small businesses

Learn how rich messaging solutions can enable small businesses to deliver conversational experiences that drive growth.

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Martina Ivanović

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Conversational experiences are on the rise. In fact, according to Accenture, the conversational AI market size is expected to reach $13.9 billion by 2025.

At its core, conversational experience involves allowing customers to interact with technology more naturally, just as they would do when talking to another person. And at the base of every interaction lies reliable channels that make it easy for brands to attract, engage, and retain customers in the spaces they prefer.

Rich messaging plays an integral role in this equation. Sharing media files, leveraging features such as carousels and buttons, and setting up branded profiles are all elements of an end-to-end experience that converts.

Until recently, technologically advanced channels with such features and functionalities were only imaginable for large enterprises that dominated their markets. But with today’s accelerated need for digital transformation, new solutions have enabled these channels and popular use cases for small and medium enterprises too.

To better understand the evolution of messaging and the adoption of technology for businesses of all sizes, Infobip’s Nikhil Shoorji sat down with BT’s Alexandra Foster to share the trends they’ve seen come to life first-hand – and how our partnership can help these businesses fast-forward to digital growth.

The transformation of messaging from SMS to rich media

For over 30 years, SMS has been the reliable channel of communication everyone depends on. Whether used for notifications from your favorite brand or to send a simple text to your grandparents for the holidays, consumers around the world can rely on the channel to get their message across.

As a channel, SMS has an unparalleled reach and high open rates and it is trusted by consumers – making it perfect for use cases such as authentication. However, for more sophisticated marketing communication, SMS lacks elements that enable consumers to interact with a brand. With new channels such as Google’s RCS Business Messaging, the stage has been set for the migration and transformation of messaging to become much richer.

Now, brands can differentiate themselves with branding and blue ticks for verification, different types of content, and various sorts of media to enhance and deliver marketing campaigns that drive results.

This doesn’t mean that SMS has or will become obsolete. The reliability and deliverability of the channel makes it the perfect failover option. In fact, it was the most used channel in omnichannel combinations on our platform in 2022 – being used alongside WhatsApp, Viber, and MMS.

Using SMS as a failover channel gives us that confidence that no matter what happens, the message will be delivered.

Nikhil Shoorji

Director of Operator Partnerships at Infobip

Using traditional messaging options in combination with rich ones will be the key to a successful long-term communication strategy for brands. This foundation will make it easier for them to later add on automation and cloud technology – helping them enter the conversational experience space that we’ve recently seen come to life.

Democratizing technology for all businesses

For a long time, this type of advancement in customer interactions was unimaginable for small and medium enterprises. Extensive and costly training seemed to be the only way these businesses could set up such experiences.

However, developments in technology have also led to its democratization for businesses of all sizes. Click-to-play solutions have made communication technology more accessible, whether in the form of an API integration or a platform.

This means small, medium, and large enterprises can all use various communication channels to set up digital experiences that meet demand. Now, brands can automate and personalize every interaction without the need for previous coding knowledge or education.

There is a democratization about technology, which means that digital solutions that were only available for large, global, multinational corporations are now available to the whole gamut out there.

Alexandra Foster

Solutions Director at Division X, BT

Using solutions that are adaptable to your business needs minimizes costs, increases productivity, and leads to data-driven decisions. An example of this is setting up a rich messaging channel such as RCS with SMS as a failover option on a cloud communications platform – then leveraging a customer data platform to personalize campaigns and monthly reporting to improve future ones. The right solution enables you to do all of this from the same place.

How BT and Infobip help SMBs become digital-first

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) wanting to build robust customer communication strategies rely on these solutions to make it possible. Although many new startups within this segment are already digital-first with their platforms, communication platforms are an extension that makes building conversational experiences with customers easier.

We’ve seen SMBs implement use cases that much larger companies previously did with a larger customer base. Those same use cases are now being deployed by smaller companies – although, the organizations we place under the SMB umbrella are not entirely that small. Very often they are significant in size but are just now finding the solutions that enable them to implement rich communication and bring value to their customers.

Telecoms and communication providers need to ensure these businesses know what’s available to them. Communicating the different ways they can use rich messaging, how certain features can enhance customer interactions, and which technologies can help them further develop these experiences in the future such as chatbots and AI.

The first step is to help them understand the benefits of adding on these channels and technologies. Then, to explain how they can be supported at scale while using these platforms.

Combining the power of a global communications platform with one of the most connected mobile networks gives SMBs the opportunity to set up interactive, personalized messaging experiences at scale. Advanced CPaaS solutions open an entirely new market up, helping small and medium enterprise clients better engage with customers through increased deliverability on the most popular channels.

Working together, Infobip and BT are able to give a very simple, easy-to-use, quick solution for SMBs, so they don’t have to invest a lot of time and energy. They have a set platform which they can easily integrate with their systems and deploy quickly.

Nikhil Shoorji

Director of Operator Partnerships at Infobip

Co-innovating to deliver rich messaging solutions

Infobip, BT, and Google have been working and investing together to bring rich messaging to life – with a goal to drive new, digital, modern channels for our collective customers.

With messaging as our core business for many years, this continued investment through our partnership has led to co-innovation that opens a new world of messaging through platforms, APIs, legacy systems, and cloud technology.

Our joint customers have the opportunity to take on this modern platform to digitize their channels.

Alexandra Foster

Solutions Director at Division X, BT

Since the beginning of our partnership, BT’s business customers operating in banking, finance, logistics, and the public sector have had the opportunity to implement rich messaging channels including RCS, WhatsApp, and Messenger with SMS as a failover using our platform.

Our customer engagement solution, chatbot building platform, and customer data platform also enable these businesses of all sizes to automate, personalize, and orchestrate communication according to their customers’ behavior and preferences. These channels and cloud solutions coupled with BT’s network make improving engagement, payments, shopping, and any other interaction across the customer journey simple and attainable for small, medium, and large enterprises.

Co-innovation, however, does not stop. As new channels and technologies become available, so will new use cases for businesses. We expect our partnership to continue to expand to new industries, opening up more opportunities for brands globally.

Ready to explore more messaging trends?

Download the report to learn about the current trends in business communications based on interactions that took place on our platform.

Aug 11th, 2023
6 min read
Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Martina Ivanović

Senior Content Marketing Specialist