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MEF members and guests from around the world gathered in Google’s striking Paris headquarters on October 3rd for RCS World 2023. The event explored the growth in Conversational Commerce and how RCS Business Messaging (RBM) is playing a pivotal role in advancing this exceptional business tool in the communications ecosystem. Here, MEF Member netnumber share their key takeaways from the event.

Conversational Commerce, also known as business messaging, is one of the most dynamic areas in the telecom industry today. The ability to engage customers over text messaging is enabling businesses to create authentic conversations between their brand and consumers with many more touch points along the customer journey.

These touch points — from answering customer inquiries to facilitating payments — bring brands much closer to consumers, which can positively impact sales, customer retention and more.

  From mega food chains like McDonald’s to huge consumer brands like Huggies Diapers, an increasing number of enterprises are adopting the RCS channel to enhance their business messaging strategies and customer engagement

During the event, attendees learned about the latest innovations around RBM technology while also hearing about real-world RBM experiences and success stories from various presenters.

The overriding message was clear: the use of RCS in business messaging is growing by leaps and bounds. From mega food chains like McDonald’s to huge consumer brands like Huggies Diapers, an increasing number of enterprises are adopting the RCS channel to enhance their business messaging strategies and customer engagement. In fact, in 2023, there were 800 million active RCS users on Google’s Cloud platform and over 1.2 billion handsets worldwide supporting the technology.

RCS as a Digital Marketing Channel

From netnumber Global Data Services, Catalin Badea, VP of Product Management, participated in an insightful panel, “RCS as a Digital Marketing Channel,” where participants talked about how the rich features of RCS are being used for maximum impact.

Other panelists included: Kerstin Trikalitis, Co-Founder & CEO of Out There Media; Maxence Bataille, Advertising Director of Ad Mobility, Orange Advertising, France; and David Creasey-Benjamin, Future Messaging Evangelist, Webex CPaaS Solutions.

During the discussion, panelists outlined various trends, including the power of pairing geofencing with RCS business messaging – which are enhancing the ability of retailers and other businesses to better target customer messaging.

Geofencing uses GPS, mobile data (or other forms of location tracking) to create virtual geographical perimeters that allow businesses to send offers and ads to potential customers based on their location and proximity to a store.

Panellist Maxence Bataille of Orange Advertising said geofencing is another example of creative approaches being employed to advance customer engagement in business messaging. “Data and location are key assets for personalized messaging engagement,” he said.

Panellist David Creasey-Benjamin discussed the best way to transition businesses from SMS messaging to the RCS channel. “It’s about simplicity,” he said, noting that Webex’s enterprise and business customers already sent out lots of SMS marketing campaigns, so making the switch to RCS was easy once they heard about its advantages. “By simply taking the same SMS content and pushing it out through the RCS channel, he said customers can “gain 25 to 40% extra on their click-through rate.” He added that this improved click-through rate translates into better ROI, so customers readily recognized the benefits of moving to RCS.

Catalin Badea of netnumber GDS said the tremendous growth in RCS business messaging has, unfortunately, also made it more attractive to fraudsters. “They will, in my opinion, want to play an increasing role in this area,” he said.

However, the good news is that RCS messaging has brand registration and other tools that are excellent for fraud prevention. In addition, the industry has access to excellent tools in phone number verification, which are key to preventing phone number scams, which are proven to be effective by the long experience using them in SMS and voice.

In closing, Badea noted that the MEF fraud prevention working group is a good source for organizations seeking to learn more about effective measures for addressing various types of fraud.

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