A Richer Customer Experience: The New Frontier of Mobile Messaging
The landscape of customer communication is undergoing a profound transformation, and at the heart of this evolution is the rise of rich messaging channels. Rew Golding, Senior Director of Product and Product Marketing at Upland Software, took centre stage at the recent Technology for Marketing session to delve into the intricacies of this fascinating shift. The session underscored the paradigm shift from mere automated and personalised messages towards a more immersive and engaging experience for customers.
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1. The Evolution of SMS as a Marketing Tool
Rew Golding commenced the session by providing a succinct overview of the historical trajectory of Short Message Service (SMS). From its humble beginnings, SMS has evolved into a powerful marketing tool, witnessing an impressive 50% increase in adoption by businesses in the past year alone. Currently, 86% of businesses utilise SMS for marketing purposes.
2. The Rise of Rich Messaging Channels
The discussion swiftly pivoted towards the emergence of richer audience engagement facilitated by messaging applications like WhatsApp, Messenger, and RCS (Rich Communication Services). Golding emphasised that consumer expectations have evolved beyond mere automated responses, with an increasing desire to 'chat' rather than just 'talk' to brands.
3. WhatsApp's Dominance in the Messaging Arena
Golding shed light on WhatsApp's unparalleled adoption rate in the UK, standing at an impressive 100%. This global messaging giant has successfully penetrated various markets, demonstrating the universal appeal of its platform. Insightful comparisons between WhatsApp and RCS adoption rates across different countries provided a comprehensive understanding of the global messaging landscape.
4. Messaging Apps as Utilities
A noteworthy observation from Golding was the transformation of messaging apps into utilities. The assertion that WhatsApp aims to replace traditional apps by offering a more integrated experience within the Meta ecosystem hints at the platform's ambitious vision for the future.
5. Unlocking the Potential of WhatsApp for Brands
Rew Golding elucidated the myriad opportunities that messaging apps, particularly WhatsApp, present for brands. Beyond marketing, these platforms can be utilised for customer service, surveys, and transactional messages. The potential for brands to engage customers in a multifaceted manner on WhatsApp was exemplified through real-world use cases.
6. Audience Queries: WhatsApp Penetration and Customer Expectations
The session concluded with an engaging Q&A session. The audience's queries spanned topics such as WhatsApp penetration in diverse countries and the nuanced challenge of managing customer expectations, especially concerning responses outside regular business hours.
In the realm of customer engagement, rich messaging channels are proving to be the catalyst for a more profound and meaningful interaction between brands and consumers. Rew Golding's insightful session underscored the imperative for businesses to adapt to this evolving landscape, where the integration of personalisation, automation, and AI is no longer an option but a necessity. As rich messaging channels grow by 17% year-over-year, brands must embrace this new frontier to forge deeper connections, foster loyalty, and unlock greater returns on investment. The era of 'chatting' with brands has dawned, and those who embrace this shift stand poised to deliver a richer customer experience.
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