An interesting up-and-coming trend in mobile marketing has arrived: the next generation of text messaging, Rich Communication Services (RCS). Rather than using a cellular platform, which SMS messages are based on, RCS uses data connectivity to deliver high-tech messages and features.
So what are those features? While the list will expand rapidly, features for customers include things like being able to see when another person is texting, sharing your location, and sending large files like video without wifi. From the business perspective, the new platform allows for rich media, customized branding, and more value to subscribers.
Google recently announced its own RCS service, which experts say is its effort to compete with Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Given that 85% of smartphones are Android-based, brands using mobile marketing stand to reach a sizeable portion of the smartphone market through Google’s new product.
Why RCS Matters to Brands
Rich Communication Services will enhance the standard messaging experience on Android devices with rich media, interactivity, customized branding, and improved analytics. Marketers can leverage RCS to engage with customers using group chat, images, video clips, and GIFs for the first time, thus expanding their database of mobile subscribers and driving sales within Android Messages, the native messaging app on Android.
Staying at the forefront of mobile technology means good things for brands who are early adopters of RCS. Mobile users may migrate toward RCS-compatible messaging apps to take advantage of their features, and doing so will get them even more personalized and engaging offers from RCS-friendly mobile marketers.
Those rich data features can provide lots of value to subscribers, which makes the brand all the more sought-after. For example, a QR code for a ticket can be sent directly via text with RCS, rather than sending a ticket holder a link to click to get to the QR code (and possibly requiring login to access it). Brands also appear as a verified sender, which reduces spam issues, and they can leverage customized branding to reiterate their brand message. Additionally, marketers can utilize suggested replies and actions in a text message, such as “upgrade your ticket” or “call to reserve,” making it even easier for subscribers to take action with minimal effort.
What This Means for Vibes’ Customers
Exciting things are happening here at Vibes. We recently announced our new partnership with Google, which will allow us to provide our customers access to the new standard messaging RCS experience on Android devices.
Together, Vibes and Google will help marketers leverage Rich Communication Services business messaging to deliver richer mobile engagement experiences that deepen relationships and drive business outcomes.
Vibes will offer its customers this upgraded messaging experience through Google’s RCS Early Access Program (EAP). In addition to being early to market with RCS, Vibes’ EAP participation allows you to start learning and building with the technology and provide feedback to influence the roadmap and standards.
RCS is where text messaging and text marketing are headed. Starting out early using this new tool will ensure your place as an industry leader, and help you build your mobile subscriber database in new and exciting ways.