Modern-day communications rely on a wide range of solutions to get people connected with their friends, family, or with the brands they use. From SMS to messaging apps, email, or social media platforms, these channels offer us the ability to stay in touch no matter where we are, with only the help of a mobile device or computer. Technological advances in the communication industry, most of them based on customer demand, have made it possible for messages to be exchanged within seconds, between people from all corners of the world.
It is estimated that the number of mobile phone users will pass the five billion mark in 2019. As people are becoming more and more interested in mobile technology and the way it shapes our day-to-day, it is only natural that communication services work towards bettering themselves. A major step in that direction was taken by the GSM Association with the introduction of rich communication services (RCS) and the technologies developed around it. RCS is meant to add new capabilities to text message communication, such as multimedia sharing, and can even let you know if the person you are trying to reach is available.
Given customer demands for a more personalized communication with the brands they love, RCS strategies have been embraced by marketers, and are already being tested by companies all over the world.
The Current Stages of Rich Communication Services
In its current stages, RCS technology is being developed to encompass both person-to-person and application-to-person communication, and is presently tested in almost all corners of the world. With SMS being one of the most used channels of communication, it is expected that RCS will provide people with the new features they have been asking for, without compromising on text messaging features that made this channel more loved than other messaging platforms.
But RCS brings more to the table for marketers than any messaging or communication app ever did, as it allows for a more collaborative communication between a brand and its customers. With RCS in its current development stages, you can offer customers the possibility to interact with various features such as call-to-action buttons for expressing their needs and desires. Further, we are going to go over the main 5 differences between rich communication services and messaging apps, and how these difference will influence your decision for choosing RCS in your marketing strategies.
Differences Between Rich Communication Services and Messaging Apps
Discussions and reports in the tech industry speak of RCS as the replacement of SMS technology, but its growth has also had an impact on messaging apps and the way people interact with them now that RCS is available. Having reached a point in which RCS technology can be used to cater to the needs of both marketers and customers, knowing the differences between RCS and messaging apps will help your company better prepare all future strategies.
1. RCS is Always Tied to a Mobile Number
Developed for mobile carriers and networks, rich communication services technology is meant to replace SMS and provide people with a more intuitive and all-encompassing messaging channel. And even though there are some messaging apps that use your mobile number, such as Telegram or Whatsapp, RCS offers a more robust connection, since it is developed to function as text message channels do.
2. RCS Allows for Call-to-Action Buttons
One of the most exciting things about rich communication services is that you will be able to interact with a company from the messaging interface, without having to deal with calls, emails, or sending in forms in the mail. Because RCS allows for the use of interactive call-to-action buttons, you will be able to perform a wide range of activities, such as: signing up for loyalty programs using personalized options that vary in real time based on your preferences, make and change reservations, plus many others.
3. There Are No Downloads Required
Given that RCS is not only tied to a mobile phone number, but it is also a built-in feature, there is no need for additional downloads as is the case with messenger apps. When you download a third-party app, aside having to worry about your storage space, there are also privacy concerns when installing an application from an untrustworthy source. Not to mention that with the wide variety of messaging apps existing today, there is a high chance you will need to install them all, as your friends and family might be using different apps.
4. Developed on an Open Network
Unlike messaging apps such as iMessage, RCS is being developed on a more open platform, giving businesses and carriers the opportunity to create their own interactive experienced based on this new technology. This will enable companies to emphasize brand identity and also personalize relationships with their customers based on goals and objectives. The main concern in the case of using messaging apps for digital marketing was always related to the impossibility of truly making it your own, thus offering your customers an experience which they could associate with your brand and products. With the launch of RCS, this will no longer be a problem, regardless of industry or the messages you are broadcasting.
5. RCS Does Not Currently Offer End-to-End Encryption
While RCS does come with TLS encryption, offering end-to-end encryption – although possible – will most likely not be an option as carriers are governed by laws which require them to disclose message details in the event of a warrant. Messaging apps on the other hand can provide end-to-end encryption, however this is not something of concern for regular users.
When deciding whether your company should consider RCS, keep in mind that this new technology is already being tested and implemented all over the world, and staying one step ahead of your competitors means always being in touch with emerging services such as this one. These 5 differences between rich communication services and messaging apps will help you better understand how you can implement RCS to your benefit and offer your customers the experience they desire. Don’t forget to always gather feedback from all your marketing campaigns and draft your strategies with complementary marketing solutions in mind.