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CM Inspires: Innovation in Messaging

It’s January 22nd, 2020. Time for a new edition of CM Inspires, hosted at the Campus. With a full house, people were ready to hear all about the latest messaging innovations. Which just so happens to be the title of this edition. And from an exclusive seat at the back of the room, I’m now sharing the highlights of CM Inspires with whoever could not make it to Campus.

Start the conversation

Jeroen van Glabbeek, CEO

Jeroen was the first to take the stage, kicking off with a moment of celebration. Just a few days ago, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of “This company has gone through some name changes since its foundation in 1999. And so has our world. Back when we were called Club Message, we needed to explain what our innovation in messaging was and who it was for. Now, the need for mobile no longer needs explanation.”

“Our initial product, SMS, was just the beginning. 20 years later, we’ve combined all messaging channels into one solution for enterprises around the world. Though many of you may still only use one part of our platform, future customer interaction goes beyond messaging. As a global telco provider, we’re here to facilitate Conversational Commerce, combining mobile messaging with in-channel payments and rich customer data profiles. Let’s start the conversation!”

And if you’re looking for conversation starters, the next speaker Gilbert Gooijers was here to provide you with plenty of those!

A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world

Gilbert Gooijers, COO

COO of, Gilbert Gooijers, regularly travels the world. In these travels, he learns about the latest global trends and messaging innovations. And at this edition of CM Inspires, he’s sharing them with us! “To understand what you can do with the platform, you need to understand what is happening in the world. I’ve condensed everything I’ve learned on my trips to America and China into one half hour.” And to be frank, Gilbert speaks faster than I can type (and that says a lot) so I’m sticking to the highlights of the highlights.

“I’m starting this off with a little calibration session.” I thought I was pretty well up to date on the latest tech innovations. Until just now. “Who knows what ML means? Or PEC? How about MVP?” Some hands are raised “Yeah, you think you know! And OTT?”

These are just a few of the things Gilbert learned about during his travels. But the most important lesson? “A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” Time to dive into what Gilbert learned on his expeditions.

“Did you know Silicon Valley isn’t about technology? It’s about disruption. They look at business models in the ‘Open-air museum’ know as Europe, and change the market. How? In Silicon Valley, all bright minds and companies are in close proximity of each other. That means, ideas move faster. Or as Gilbert calls it, it’s ‘ideas having sex‘. The physical proximity, of course, is crucial in that sense. In Europe, ideas are widespread over a larger geographical site.

Evolutionary speaking, the prediction that the, let me interpret that as the ‘Panda-way of bringing ideas together in Europe’, will ultimately lead to the end of this continent, starts to make sense.

Another thing that will end? “Google. Consumers no longer look for pixels on a screen. Amazon Echo, a great example of Conversational Commerce, has disrupted the way we interact with brands. Our kids are already growing up with this new technology.”

“Talking about kids. In Silicon Valley, I also saw the end of people above 35. They just don't seem to exist over there. Why? Young people are not poisoned by company structures, they’re still close to what they’ve learned in school, and their minds are still as open as the blue skies. This is why ageism is (legally) exploited in America.”

And the end of mobile - the way we know it in Europe - is also coming to an end. “In China, they created a super chat with mobile, combining conversations and payments for the 'Power of Commerce'. Its name? WeChat!”

If the use of customer data, messaging and payments into this highly convenient ‘redesign of the internet’ is new to you, I can only say, read in on it today! It's wild!

Back to the presentation. From the mobile-focused strategy in 2018, busineses moved their focus onto Living Services 2019 (there you go, the LS from the pop quiz in the beginning), understanding that time is the only true commodity. Now, in 2020, this is moving towards People. "Being successful is not about product specs, but about the impact this has on peoples lives."

Want to be good at marketing? Offering consumers an exceptional experience becomes more important than the product itself. "Companies that focus on experience design will outperform those that don’t. Listen to young people." The digital natives. Why? Take these girls as an example. ‘People ask me about brick and mortar stores, but I can't find their website? I’m a digital native, and I want it now.’

Gilbert’s bottom line? “Make sure you’re the first to adapt your business model to the consumer of 2020. Because those who don’t, and those who aren’t first to do it, well, they’ll die.” So hurry up, and get cracking!

Ps. I don’t want to leave you hanging. Here are the answers to the 'Pop Quiz'

  • ML > Machine Learning
  • KOL > Key Opinion Leader                                                                        
  • PEC > Personal Emotional Contact
  • MVP > Minimum Virtuous Product         
  • OTT > Over The Top

Delivery platform with 200% growth: Red je Pakketje

Renno Welberg, CCO & Product Manager

And then, it was time for Red je Pakketje to take the stage. And this may be a difficult name to pronounce in English, its message was clear. Put your customers first! Renno Welberg, CCO & Product Manager at this fast-growing parcel delivery company, explained how messaging innovation drives their growth. Part of Red je Pakketje’s success is in the high level of customer satisfaction. And the main predictor of that customer satisfaction is offering information when they want, where they want! 

“Red je Pakketje started about four years ago. It all started with Sam, who had a Webshop in powdered food. Mixed with water, that shake serves as a meal. A popular meal, with customers in 86 countries. That means Sam was in business with a lot of carriers around the world. Still, none of them offered the service quality Sam expected. “I can do this better”, he said, and he started the story of Red je Pakketje in Amsterdam.”

Same day delivery and timely notifications were at the root of this business model, starting with SMS. And with one very small car.” Whoever said starting small and growing big wasn’t the way to go? Still, it is expensive to deliver 50 parcels a day, nationwide. So, they needed expansion.

"We started contacting webshops. 2018 was a milestone, when we signed This is not just an important customer, but this shows trust. A trigger for the rest of the market to start using our platform. By 2019, we grew to 500 couriers. W continue to grow exponentially. And we expect even faster growth in 2020! “

Sounds great! But how did they become so successful? “Our most important principles are our closed networks, delivering parcels ourselves. It is the most expensive option, but it gives full control. This lets us inform customers exactly where the parcel is. This way, we can even give customers a time window of 30 minutes. Also, we give drivers three minutes at the door, giving them time to talk to the customer, and give them a smile. It might seem like a small thing, but it’s not!”

I thought it was nice to see how the strategy of Red je Pakketje intertwines with the talk Gilbert just gave, saying customer value experience over product. So if you want your business to grow, customer experience once again proves the way to go!

But there’s more to Red je Pakketje’s experience than making the time to smile. It’s about keeping the customer informed on when his iPhone is delivered. And what if the customer knows he won’t be home when the driver is coming by? How convenient would it be if he could just send a message to change the address? And this isn’t just convenient for the customer!

“Many carriers see the consumer as the customer of their customer. Answering consumer questions just takes time and costs money. Right? Wrong. Proactive communication reduces costs. As long as the consumer is happy, that’s all that matters. We don’t care about the webshop that much to be honest. And I don’t say that to be rude, but if the consumer is happy, the webshop is happy.”

How does Red je Pakketje use the platform to achieve this customer happiness? For starters, there’s SMS. But also Apple Messages for Business and WhatsApp Business are used. "Channels we’re quite happy with! We need our channels to get us closed to the consumer. Therefore, in the near future, we’re also thinking of using Abbi Insights for rich customer reviews, iDIN for super quick and easy age verification, and iDEAL to pay for their parcels. The next step will be Conversational Commerce, making consumers part of the chain.”

Want to learn more about the growth of Red je Pakketje using the platform? Or want to keep up to date on their latest developments? Check out their Success Story here >

Surprise performance

Finally, a special guest took the stage. However, this was so exclusive, that this was under non-disclosure. So, I cannot write anything about it here. But what I can say, is that if you want to learn more about the latest innovations in Messaging, you will not want to miss our presentation at the next upcoming event: MWC Barcelona! Keep a close watch on our blog and social media channels for a world premiere of Conversational Commerce!

Are you inspired?

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Are you inspired?

Meet us at MWC
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