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    CPaaS remains an under-utilised engagement platform; but market showing strong growth worth $52.8bn in 2026

    New research reveals that in 2022 80.1% of total CPaaS spend globally by brands was on one-way channels (SMS, MMS, email, in-app push notifications, and video) that will not drive interaction with the consumer. Just 19.9% of CPaaS spend was on two-way engagement channels (voice, social media, rich messaging channels, and WebRTC), creating a potential engagement opportunity with the consumer. Mobilesquared projects this will increase to 31.2% of total spend by 2026.

    So finds the latest study from Mobilesquared – CPaaS 2020-2026: The path to brand/consumer engagement – which goes on to say that, while brands in the US have the most engagement driven CPaaS strategies, just $1 in every $5 spent by brands in CPaaS in 2022 globally had the potential to drive consumer interaction.

    “CPaaS is not the engagement platform everyone believes it to be… yet,” says Nick Lane, chief insight analyst at Mobilesquared, and author of the report. “Right now $1 in every $5 spent on CPaaS by a brand in 2022 had the potential of generating engagement activity with the consumer, with $4 in every $5 spent on non-interactive, one-way channels.

    “This,” Lane continues, “will increase to $1.5 in every $5 invested by brands in CPaaS by 2026, but this shows that brands are playing safe and spending the mainstay of their CPaaS budget on reliable and robust one-way, channels, like email, SMS and in-app notifications, that will not generate a truly interactive experience with the consumer.”

    The Mobilesquared data reveals that brands’ existing CPaaS investment strategy will generate, on average, one engagement opportunity with a consumer per day in 2022, this will increase to twice per day in 2023, and will be 3.6 time per day by 2026.

    The brand-consumer engagement opportunity over CPaaS varied greatly around the world in 2022, with brands generating one engagement opportunity every 65 days in Africa, one engagement opportunity every 2.5 days in Asia, and 6.7 engagement opportunities per day in West Europe. Brands in North America had the most effective CPaaS engagement strategy, generating 11 engagement opportunities per day.

    “It’s all relative, and the more a brand invests their CPaaS strategy in engagement channels, the more engagement they will potentially drive with the consumer,” Lane adds. “There has been so much hype associated with CPaaS in recent years, that we think expectations need to be revised in the short- to medium-term as brands’ evolution to truly engaging strategies will be a slower-than-expected process. On average, brands spent 20% of their CPaaS on engagement channels, and this will only increase to 30% by 2026. CPaaS remains hugely under-utilised by brands.”

    Mobilesquared’s report and accompanying dataset, which covers 14 channels across 200 markets[1], states that CPaaS was worth $29.7 billion in 2022, up from $16.9 billion in 2020, and will grow to $52.8 billion by the end of 2026. Brands will increase their spend in CPaaS by 212% over the forecast period (2020-2026), generating a CAGR of 17.7%.

    SMS dominates CPaaS spend throughout the forecast period, accounting for 75% of total spend in 2020 and then sequentially dropping year-on-year to 50.1% by end-2026. SMS is one of the “4 pillars of CPaaS”, which also includes Voice, Email, WhatsApp (which can be abbreviated to VEWS). These are the four core channels used by brands around the world. VEWS accounted for 91.2% of total CPaaS spend, and that will drop marginally to 89.4% by 2026, highlighting that brands are reluctant to shift their CPaaS spend onto alternative channels.

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