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What are rich communication services and how do they impact your business?

Communicating with customers has never been more important for businesses. With a suite of messaging apps and instant outreach methods at their fingertips, consumers have come to expect speedy, high-quality, and personalized experiences with brands. The businesses who succeed in providing engaging interactions with their customers are rewarded in turn with a more loyal base.

That’s why Infobip enables Rich Communication Services (RCS) Business Messaging, a cutting edge, two-way branded communication product that allows businesses to incorporate multimedia with the reach of SMS, or texting, to communicate with consumers. According to a 2019 survey by Harvard Business Review, mobile messaging is highly important today, and will only grow in importance in years to come (1). RCS Business Messaging is only getting started.

What makes up an RCS message

When it comes to messaging, RCS combines the best of both worlds: It incorporates the global ubiquity and efficiency of SMS messaging with the rich, multimedia features of chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — hence its nickname: “SMS 2.0.” When used by businesses, that means the engaging messaging styles consumers use with their friends — from sending GIFs to emojis — can be utilized by brands to connect more meaningfully with their customers.

Rich messaging is expected to become the norm. GSMA reports that the number of monthly users of RCS Business Messaging has surpassed 215 million and is expected to double. By 2021, the organization estimates that RCS messaging services will reach a market value of $74 billion. In January, the system was enabled for Android users in the United States, further increasing the reach of RCS (2).

Effective branded communications for any industry

Infobip’s RCS Business Messaging gives businesses in any industry the tools to connect with their customers. Their cloud communications platform includes a rich feature set that lets users create branded messages that incorporate various multimedia useful for brands, such as barcode delivery, click-through options, suggested reply buttons, location sharing, and more.

International pizza chain Papa John’s was one of the first to unlock the potential of Infobip’s RCS solution, when the franchise used RCS messaging to promote their vegan pizza menu in celebration of World Vegan Day in 2019. The three-day campaign, which included communications with predefined replies, action buttons, and interactive multimedia content, resulted in an increase in sales of 23% compared to SMS outreach. Several stores sold out of the promoted menu. “It shows that RCS offers a more engaging experience to our customers,” said Giles Codd, Papa Johns’ Marketing Director in Great Britain. “Interactive, branded content and images are very appealing, and it allows us to broaden our offer by giving customers choices.”

Better metrics mean better marketing

Thanks to the capabilities of messaging apps, such as read receipts, marketing with RCS gives brands higher quality metrics and analytics data than other forms of digital marketing. Businesses are able to verify whether their customers have seen their message, and to evaluate the resulting interaction.

On a larger scale, the time and volume patterns of consumer messaging can be observed as well. That information can be used by brands to better tailor their campaigns based on their findings, whether in real-time or down the line. Brands can get to know their customers better, adapting their marketing in step.

No unnecessary bells and whistles for consumers

Of course, RCS messaging isn’t just a vehicle for businesses to grow their bases: It’s also easy to use and efficient for consumers. Unlike email blitzes, which consumers often neglect to open, or a plethora of irksome branded apps that frequently require downloading and updates, RCS comes natively installed on customers’ phones, making it effortless to engage with on the consumer end.

Currently, all Android phones come preinstalled with rich messaging capabilities, and RCS can be enabled on older models through a download from the Google Play store. Globally, that amounts to hundreds of millions of RCS users — a number that will only rise. As of November 2019, RCS was available through 81 carriers in 55 countries; by the first quarter of this year, that number is forecasted to exceed 100 (3).

How can it all be implemented?

Despite the myriad features and benefits of RCS messaging, it remains simple for businesses to adopt and implement. Infobip offers a clear visual interface that allows businesses to create and customize customer journeys with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop tool. For those with more technical chops, users have the option of using a single unified API to integrate programmable communication channels and features. 

Whether you code or not, Infobip offers an efficient onboarding process and consultancy services. The result is strengthened customer communications and relationships, without a headache for anyone involved.

1. Mobile Messaging Blazes a Path to Consumers
2. Android Users In The US Finally Get RCS Messaging
3. Future Networks