Stop investing in Apps! Invest in Business Messaging

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Business messaging in 2020 will be quite different from what you’re used to. Different, both from a business and a consumer perspective. Questions raised on both ends are “Will you notice?” and “Will it matter?”. In both cases the answer is: “Yes, it will!” And this is how.

Communication between businesses and consumers is all about mobile. Your customers, employees, stakeholders, patients, fans or whomever you want to target, all have a smart device in their pockets. How convenient is that? You can reach your audience in person directly on their phones with flashing lights and sirens they can hardly ignore. This is not a pipe dream, it is right now and will stay the same in coming years although mobile devices might differ in shape. But what’s new then? 

Let me give you a quick look into the future. And please, don’t drop out because of the buzz words I’m using. I’ll clarify why these actually matter.

2020 Business messaging is “Less mobile apps and more Conversations at the same time”

1. Omni-channel

Although the device to reach will be mobile for sure, the channel used to reach that mobile device can be diverse. You simply need to support all channels, so your recipients can use their favorite way of communicating. Some flavors: WhatsApp, RCS (= Rich SMS), Voice messaging, good old SMS or voice calls, Viber, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, iMessage and many more. You might even send outbound with one channel and receive responses in other channels. Messaging apps come and go, make sure you integrate a one-to-all connectivity partner.

2. Conversational

Communication in its core is Two-way. Whenever you send out a marketing message, receive a customer complaint, authenticate a user or give work instructions, it never really ends with one message, right? Many conversations are started by the consumer instead of the business. And consumers likely have various chats open at the same time, with various companies and several conversations in one. You as a business act and react, learn and improve, support and enable yourself to go beyond your customer’s expectations.

3. Machine learning

If all your communication is two-way, the pressure on both your IT and Human resources will be huge. Help is coming from chat bots. Simple bots will handle “if this, then that” scenarios, while the advanced bots will be powered by machine learning. Machine learning is worked on for decades, and now the era has come in which tools and computing power are widely available to actually getting it implemented. Machine learning and artificial intelligence includes speech to text solutions, sentiment analysis, contextual formatting, facial recognition and more. Also the smart devices of consumers will use virtual assistants that communicate on their behalf. It’s funny but true, in some cases bots will be talking to each other to solve problems, plan meetings and buy goods.

4. In-channel commerce

Please re-read the previous titles. Omni-channel, conversational, machine learning…it looks like messaging is getting pretty smart. With all this smartness, you and your business applications know a lot about your consumer. So, the smart messaging application will be one of the best links in your commerce chain to identify and match the needs of your consumer. Modern channels provide solutions for the consumer to buy directly, in-channel. Think of smart voice assistants (Google home, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana) that order goods when you ask them to. And think of RCS (rich communication services) showing special offerings by using picture carousels and enabling simple checkouts with one-click payment methods like Credit Card, PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Nice, all these connected cloud services around business messaging. But what about privacy and security?

Privacy will definitely be an item that gets more attention from business and consumers, as well as governments and regulators. There is a challenging balance between convenience and security. Hosting your messaging solutions in the private cloud of CM.com will give you the necessary peace of mind. And together with CM.com’s partners we can guide you in getting ready for the future of messaging in a secure way. 

Summarized

The evolving messaging capabilities and changing customer behavior will lead to a total new way of communicating with your customers. Customers will not install apps to order a cinema ticket, they will just ask, get the options in the conversation and purchase the tickets in one go.

For this reason, businesses will invest more in Messaging and less in app development. Quite an evolution if you ask me. Are you ready to kill your app and start communicating? Start a conversation with CM.com and let us guide you through this process!

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About the author

Jan-Willem van Vugt