As marketers look to enhance and develop their customer communication methods, traditional SMS messaging is rapidly making way for the more dynamic and feature-rich Application to Person (A2P) platform. Despite these messages being delivered in a similar way, they are much more interactive, personal and customizable than an individual text message. As the industry gets bigger, it becomes more saturated with other technologies. The main one among them is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The History of A2P
Before the name became well-known, A2P was a platform mainly used as billing tool for recurring payments or to assist one-off services such as voting. Companies did utilise the services for marketing initiatives to an extent but it was mainly reserved for alerts or to deliver basic content.
But as economies move in the direction of more app-based solutions, it comes as no surprise that mobile messaging is now following such a trend. Customers do not only expect to get mobile alerts from the companies and brands they follow and support, they also want these messages to be as contextual, relevant and content-rich as possible. As a result, A2P has proliferated the mobile application sector and helped to push the change of SMS to RCS (Rich Communication Services).
In a recent industry study, revenue from RCS messaging is predicted to reach $9 billion by 2022. In 2018, revenue reached $126 million. How will the Google-backed technology view such an increase? This can be found in the type of content delivery it allows, and how this service can relate to an increasingly skeptical base.
RCS messaging enables companies to send text messages to their customers and also perform file transfers, video shares and more. Standard SMS messaging and mobile alerts are still present in the Business to Business (B2B) world as they ensure both convenience and professionalism. Business to Consumer (B2C) companies are slowly moving to an RCS platform to deliver rich data that doesn’t require an SMS solution. In the whole RCS sector, the study predicted that A2P applications will make up for more than 90% of overall traffic.
New Mobile Messaging Platform
To make the move easier and to inspire user adoption, it is predicted that mobile carriers will start pushing RCS messaging at an affordable and measurable rate, charging a basic amount as per the event or message delivered and then keep the overreaching pricing models cost effective and attractive. Such steps are necessary to ensure a more seamless and undisruptive switch from SMS to RCS.
There is still much exploration to be done in the revenue potential from such a transition and while introducing this technology may initially cost much more at the start, the total payout could be much more substantial. Therefore, it is wise to work with users to facilitate the adaptation. Previous attempts to make RCS a more commonly used platform did not work well and when used in the world of B2C and more specifically as a solution for an A2P, there is a larger opportunity for success that comes from advertising revenue.
In order to earn the reward without flooding the networks, this study suggested that operators create and implement a fair usage policy to make sure that one text-happy business will not overcrowd and overwhelm the server to its limits.
Integrating AI into A2P Messaging
Mobile messaging is becoming much more interactive and innovative as result of A2P technology. Customer will view this platform as a conversational community and a means whereby they can interact with businesses, ask questions, complete surveys, pay bills and more – and all from the same application. So to keep up-to-date with such a large influx of data, it is anticipated that b2C companies will commence implementing AI technologies into their A2P solutions.
Automated responses like this will simply copy those carried out by a human, however, can be performed at a much faster pace and with substantially higher accuracy. As an example, if a client got an A2P message asking if they were happy with a recent purchase. The client replies with a question about installation and requests follow-up support. If one day passes with no response, that company could be facing negative feedback or even loss of custom. However, an AI-driven response could locate keywords or sentences in the message and direct that customer to a quick and efficient solution.
Until AI capability is completely integrated into these solutions, progressive B2C companies with an aim to expanding their customer outreach potential and improve their image are still able to leverage A2P messaging across the RCS platform. The answer lies in ensuring that the content is interactive and media-rich, encouraging more discovery and pleasing recipients at the same time.