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Unofficial MWC 2020

EDITORIAL Messaging: the interaction opportunity not to be missed

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Messaging is one of the core interaction services in telemedia and, increasingly, businesses are seeing the importance of being able to connect with consumers on their terms – and so are consumers.

According to research by Sinch, consumers are 35-times more likely to open and read a message from a company than an email, while a separate study by LivePerson finds that 62% consumers want to message with brands in a conversational way using messaging – rather than email – channels.

90% of US consumers want to talk to brands using messaging channels and they are much more likely to do business with companies and brands that offer this form of interaction than those that don’t.

And that is the key here: interaction. Today’s consumers don’t want to be messaged at, with marketing emails no longer being seen as useful, rather they want to interact with brands and retailers. They are just as likely to initiate contact – to solve a problem, ask a question or offer suggestions – as they are to respond to a marketing message pushed at them.

All this is great news for the telemedia sector, but the industry still has quite a job to do to get everyone using messaging.

The Sinch study shows that, despite the massively increased open rate seen with messages compared to emails, many businesses are very slow to adopt SMS and OTT messaging as a means of contacting consumers.

This paradigm shift offers a massive opportunity for telemedia, offering the chance to offer the complete ‘soup to nuts’ service of messaging provision and distribution, as well as managing the in-bound interaction.

It’s funny really, back in the 1990s, one of the main money-making channels for telemedia was contact centres, handling in-bound calls. Now there is an opportunity to do the same but with messaging.

With RCS coming down the pipe too, the range of services that are on offer to help brands create, run and manage these interactions is huge.

The nexus of messaging, carrier billing and value-added services is also going to be driven by this need for these two-way interactions between consumers and brands. Being able to build in payment into messages – particularly in RCS and next generation text – is going to be a huge opportunity to knit together the core competences of the industry to create some really interesting offerings and services. Interesting times lie ahead.

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