SMS marketing is a medium that is defined by its limitations. In the bright multimedia technicolor of digital marketing, the text only and length-sensitive nature of SMS can seem a little drab and limited.
Having said that, many agencies and brands still have a high-degree of success with SMS marketing. There are a tonne of statistics and case studies that demonstrate this, but Onereach has provided a good collection of different sources.
So it seems that the medium is far from dead, but could probably use a technological tune-up.
Rich Communications Services (RCS) seems poised to provide the foundation for the next stage of SMS marketing.
What is RCS?
Put simply, RCS adds a range of features to SMS that you may recognise from social media and internet-based messaging apps. As well as text, RCS allows users to send videos of up to 10MB, group chats, location information and video calls.
In theory, RCS should remove the need to use a third party platform for the kind of content rich group and video chats that we all know and love on Messanger and Whatsapp.
In reality, both sender and recipient need to be using a compatible app and network, and coverage is not universal as yet. However, the list of telecoms companies that is adopting RCS is growing, including Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom. On the hardware side, HTC, LG, Lenovo and Samsung are amongst those that have publicly supported the medium.
Is widespread RCS adoption incoming?
Ovum and CLX Communications have surveyed 100 companies spread over seven countries, and has found that the appetite for RCS is growing.
36% are planning to adopt RCS when it becomes available for them to do so. 94% said that they wanted to use the technology to deliver richer content to their customers or prospects. 89% are excited about the technology’s potential to have chatbot-based conversational interactions with customers.
86% wanted to use RCS to enhance their branding in SMS messages, such as displaying their full logo as the sender ID.
Robert Gerstmann, Co-founder and Director CLX said:
“The continued growth of A2P (app to person) messaging demonstrates just how trusted and valued SMS still is as a channel for enterprises, but as well as its many strengths, SMS has always had its limitations.
“Therefore, it’s encouraging to see a significant demand amongst brands and businesses for RCS, which goes beyond text to include app-like interactivity and rich media. It’s everything MMS promised but unfortunately failed to deliver.”
Pamela Clark-Dickson, Practice Leader, Consumer Services, Ovum, added:
“The survey suggests an appetite from enterprises to use richer forms of mobile messaging to engage with their customers. The pressure is now on the telecoms industry to ensure that their business-to-consumer messaging services remain relevant and attractive, especially as Apple joins other chat apps in engaging with the enterprise market.”