In a world driven by innovation and the need to manage our time as best as possible, the relationship between brands and customers will always be subject to change. Companies that don’t keep up with these changes, and that don’t upgrade their strategies, solutions, and technologies based on industry and customer demands are having a hard time with seeing the growth they were expecting, and some even struggle to stay in business. Text message marketing is providing companies with a channel of broadcasting their message to their customers, one that is not only simple to use and desired by both parties involved, but also cost-effective. Nowadays, text message marketing is even used for providing customer service, with impressive results. But is this all there is for the future of text message marketing?
What is Rich Communication Services (RCS)?
With Americans spending more than five hours per day on their mobile phones, text message marketing is just beginning to leave its mark on the industry. In years to come, mobile technologies will become even bigger parts of our lives, thus meaning that companies and marketers need to keep up with trends and technologies if they want to keep their customers satisfied. Rich Communication Services, (RCS) is not a mobile application, but an IP-based carrier service, which, upon general implementation, will change the way we interact with voice calls, text messages, contact management, text message marketing, and more. Bringing to the table a powerful collection of solutions for messaging, this form of advanced communications already has a wide range of implementations, combining the best of both email and text messaging.
RCS is a mobile engagement tool that comes with the phone when you buy it, and that allows text messaging to become more than the simple lines of text and emoji it currently is. With RCS you can:
- Track the delivery of messages
- Benefit from multi-device messaging of text, voice, and media
- Enrich voice calling services
- Engage in live sessions such as sketching or media sharing
- Make use of rich media cards, carrousels, custom color palettes,
- Send conversations and messages that are branded and richer in brand identifiers
- Engage customers with suggestions for replies or call-to-action
- Broadcast things that you can’t share via simple text messages, such as documents, images, and more
- Make use of details analyses and reports for further improving future communication
- The broadcasting of coupons, boarding passes and more straight into the messaging up, without needing to open a browser
The Advantages of RCS
With RCS, you no longer need to turn to third party applications or external platform for conducting your text message marketing needs. Through RCS, a wide array of services become available to those using it right in the messaging application, such as engaging with virtual assistants, doing online shopping, making reservations, and many others. Reports are showing that 159 million people are already using RCS monthly, therefore not making it part of your digital marketing strategies means not keeping up with industry changes and demands, a thing which can become harder to correct with the passing of time. According to Google, by 2020 86% of smartphones with be RCS-enabled.
How to Use Rich Communications Services
Text message marketing is an excellent way of engaging with customers through an intimate channel, but with the help of RCS, your engagements will gain more depth, allowing you to share more, and allowing your customers to get more benefits from their favorite brands.
If you are a retail store, you can use RCS to provide messages that are more rich in information, such as detailed sales campaigns, branded loyalty programs, product details, even advice or ideas for customers on how to pair your products, online shopping, user-friendly mobile payments and more. If you are a marketer for the restaurant business, RCS can help you provide more information about menus, events, new items you are about to launch, and special programs or discounts in a more visual manner, so that your customers and visitors find it more appealing to come to your venue. You can also use RCS to have your customers reserve their visits or order take-out.
The key behind RCS is that with it, you will be able to offer more of the same relationship your customers count on, the relationship you’ve built via text message marketing, in a way that opens more visual and interacting possibilities.
What to Expect from Future RCS Solutions
RCS is a solution expected to replace the current text messaging systems on our phones, but also provide a more thoroughly integration with other services, such as being available for PC, thus making it easier to communicate no matter the recipient or situation. Since it looks a lot like a text message, it will be simple to integrate into current marketing strategies, without having to invest into drafting and implementing new strategies from scratch.
With the technology being new and still in development, there are numerous paths it can take in the future, but the one certainty is that marketers, customers, and brands are embracing it as the new text message marketing. Getting a head start in an industry that will most likely develop to become an important branch of digital marketing will not only give you a competitive edge over other businesses in your industry, but also a chance to take part in testing and become a connoisseur of a cutting edge technology.
The GSM Association has conducted RCS case studies which you can consult for a better understanding of what this new technology is, and how you and your customers can interact with it. Regardless of what your digital marketing needs are, and of the industry you are operating in, being involved with Rich Communication Services from its beginning is not only a wise business strategy, but also a strategy that will guarantee your business a place at the table when it comes to keeping up with new technologies and giving your customers what they already want.