I had the pleasure of attending the MEF RCS World in association with Google at the Google HQ, called The Foundry, in Dublin 12 / 13 July.
It was the first ever RCS World where Rich Communication Services ecosystem for business communications was discussed and demonstrated.
As the whole Live Events space is returning after the Lockdowns it was very well attended with people from across the world who had a wide range of interests in RCS, or more precisely, Rich Business Messaging (RBM). It was a two-day event in the wonderful Foundry which was ideally located for this. I will just mention some of my personal highlights from across a galaxy of very good speakers and Use Cases showing the power of RBM
The proceedings were opened by Dario Betti, the CEO of MEF, with his usual Italian charm and flair, asking us to step out of our comfort zones and challenge our thinking a little.
Next, Jan Jedrzejowicz, Product Management for Messaging and Telephony – Google, talked about “Conversational Channels or Google’s vision for business messaging”.
The most surprising number, for me, mentioned here was the number of Active RCS Users – currently at 500 million worldwide. This is expected to grow to 800 million by year end. You can see that Google is still open to working with Operators in individual markets to drive adoption but increasingly the Over-the-Top option is being deployed to ensure the service continues to grow globally.“
The most surprising number, for me, mentioned here was the number of Active RCS Users – currently at 500 million worldwide. This is expected to grow to 800 million by year end. You can see that Google is still open to working with Operators in individual markets to drive adoption but increasingly the Over-the-Top option is being deployed to ensure the service continues to grow globally.
The celebrity Keynote Speaker was Alastair Campbell – Communication, Writer, Strategist – in person. His theme was “Talk to Me – What can 1990’s political communications can teach businesses today”. As an expert on Communications, he pointed out that the industry really didn’t have a strategy to help grow the RBM as a channel and that it really was a collection of individual efforts.
The sessions were co-Hosted by brand expert, Lynn Lester, Managing Director – The Drum, who also led on her own session “Jumping into conversation – is conversational commerce the answer to the challenges in today’s customer’s experiential journey?” Lynn, apart from her glorious Scottish accent, illustrated how clever brands are engaging customers with a stimulating series of classic adverts.
Next up was the always intriguing Nick Lane, Founder & Chief Insight Analyst – Mobilesquared, Nick talking about “The ROI of RCS Conversations – Is it really a success, metrics, benchmarks and comparisons”. I happened to know Nick was on the way to the British Open later that day, so it was great to see him take the detour to Dublin and share his research.
I don’t want to spoil Nick’s presentation by giving exact numbers here but he had some powerful illustrations of the power of engagement from RBM – where the “sell through” rate is considerably higher compared to the usual SMS experience. Also, he compared RBM to other non-Mobile Channels (TV, Radio) and you could see that RBM is already a contender on the basis of cost and customer engagement.
If you contact Nick I’m sure he’ll be glad to share the details with you. (or you can see his presentation in full over here! – Ed)
Finally, we started to work through the Use Cases of which there were many, so I’ll mention just one that was very powerful.
This was “Conversational Commerce – “Sold out” Samsung & Orange Spain” presented by Maria Soledad Martinez, B2B Sales Manager – Samsung and Mayte Martin, Head of RCS – Orange Spain.
As a test in Spain, Samsung, in association with Orange, compared three channels to sell the Samsung Galaxy S22 – the Channels were SMS, Email and RCS. And the convincing winner was RBM by a strong margin. I won’t share all the details but the Interaction Rate for RCS was at least double the next channel. More intriguing, other Samsung products, which were co-marketed as part of the interaction and the total portfolio sales were six times the next channel!
This was due to the conversational form of marketing enabled by RBM.
There was a lot more to come – but for the purposes of this short Blog, these speakers mentioned above captured the power of RBM.
The highlights to me in Summary are:
- RCS Active Users is heading for the Billion next year
- RBM is becoming a viable and effective channel, particularly in comparison with other traditional channels
- A well run RBM Campaign will outstrip Email and SMS, particularly in Portfolio Sales or Cross Selling
That’s it, it was a great event and hopefully we’ll see more of these types of events as we return to normality. Thanks to the MEF team, who, as usual turned out a very professional event and welcomed everyone and made them feel at home.