CEO of Infobip
The next generation of SMS is here. Rich Communication Services (RCS) is fast becoming the go-to messaging technology for businesses who are looking for new opportunities to engage customers and promote their brands. And it’s not just hype.
GSMA Intelligence estimates that 86% of smartphones will be RCS-enabled by 2020, and the market for business messaging is projected to be worth approximately $74 billion by 2021.
If you’ve been following the RCS landscape, you’ve no doubt heard about the early runaway successes of major brands such as Subway, Citi, Virgin Trains and Overstock.com, which have found innovative ways to engage their customers with rich communications. Now, the time is ripe for other brands to follow suit and share their stories so that the benefits of RCS can be fully realized by consumers and enterprises alike.
One region that is leading in RCS adoption is Latin America – particularly in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico but also in a number of Central American markets.
What’s all the fuss about RCS?
RCS is a new, visually appealing messaging channel that offers rich functionalities to enable more engaging customer journeys. Businesses are using RCS to build strong relationships with their customers through branded two-way communications.
Here are just a few of the features that make RCS so revolutionary:
- Rich media (photographs, video, audio, rich cards, and carousels)
- Improved location functionality
- Configurable buttons
- Open URL button
- Longer messages
- Branding opportunities
- Real-time analytics
- Fallback to SMS
Plus, this ability comes native on customer phones, not as individual apps that must be downloaded. As more phones have their default, pre-installed messaging apps support RCS straight out of the box – we’re likeley to see further adoption of the platform.
GSMA Business Messaging Lab
Earlier this year, Infobip was proud to participate in the GSMA’s Business Messaging Lab, designed to bring leading stakeholders in the messaging industry together to further enable RCS to become an industry-leading business messaging platform. Infobip is working with a number of brands in Latin America to help them make the most of RCS messaging. Here are two noteworthy examples.
Club Comex: Paint manufacturer glosses up their loyalty program with RCS
Comex, a paint manufacturer and distributor, is the second largest retailer in Mexico, with 5,000 retail locations. Club Comex is the company’s loyalty program. Customers can accumulate points, or “brushstrokes” for every purchase they make using their Club Comex card, which can then be redeemed for discounts on product purchases or prizes listed in their prize catalog.
Before RCS, Comex sent loyalty club messages via hyperlinks through SMS messages. They wanted to find a way to communicate with their customers that was similar to SMS, but more engaging, so they turned to Infobip to get started with RCS.
We recently published a case study in cooperation with Club Comex that details the success RCS has brought to them.
The gift that keeps on giving
Their first RCS campaign, “Regalon Regalitro” aimed to generate direct sales by giving a liter of paint per gallon purchased. The campaign, which was activated countrywide for three days, included images, videos, audios and appealing buttons, along with web links.
The “Regalon Regalitro” campaign more than doubled the click-through rate from their SMS campaign a year earlier, and realized a 115% increase in revenue. Rebeca Gonzalez Huerta, Comex’s Senior Marketing Manager Loyalty and CRM at Club Comex pointed out that RCS is a natural medium for a paint manufacturer. “It’s a new experience for our customers, giving them clear ideas of inspiration, colors and products through photos, videos and interactive buttons. It helps them easily understand our value proposition when they can visually see the possibilities.”
UTEL University: Connecting students across time zones to improve educational opportunities
UTEL is one of the top five online universities in Mexico. With alumni in 32 countries, their aim is to bring quality education to any place. The university is always looking for impactful ways to engage their students and keep them updated on new online classes and curriculum changes.
The objective of their first campaign was to generate new class signups from users that had registered but not enrolled in any academic programs. The promotion included a messaging bot flow with images, carousels and buttons to increase engagement.
They also ran an additional campaign, targeted to the same audience, in which a discount was offered to students who expressed interest in any of the academic programs. This campaign used a simplified RCS flow with only one carousel, images and buttons.
UTEL’s inbound marketing coordinator, Ana Gabriela Barrera Garcia, believes that the responsive two-way communication enabled by RCS is imperative to communicating with their students and prospects. “Being an online university, our students may be time zones apart and we need to reach them over the channels they use and prefer. We take advantage of RCS features to promote new academic programs to boost professional development in an innovative way.”
Shaping the future of business messaging
Infobip, along with the GSMA are working to communicate the opportunities for business messaging made possible by RCS. Our enablement of RCS helps enterprises to improve customer experience and enhance customer retention, genuinely enriching and extending any business’s omnichannel marketing approach.
Customers have come to expect genuine, personalized, meaningful and transparent communications from companies. Are you ready to develop stronger relationships with your customers through branded, engaging two-way conversations?