I’m Derek Johnson with tatango.com and I’m answering the question, “What is RCS marketing?”
So first off, what does RCS stand for? It stands for Rich Communication Services, RCS. RCS is a new protocol, similar to text messaging, and actually could be actually put into the majority of text messaging apps already on mobile phones. And what RCS allows is a more richer communication channel. There’s a bunch of new features that RCS will allow brands to use when marketing to their customers. So I’m gonna go through these one by one, kinda tell you what they are and maybe how they’re gonna help, I think, the industry.
So the first one we have here is RCS custom colors. This is going to allow a brand to use their own color palette and customize the color palette of the messaging experience. So right now, with SMS or MMS, you’re stuck with Apple colors, you know. It’s the standard, default colors. With RCS, each individual message from a different brand will have its own color scheme, which could be pretty cool.
The next one is RCS-branded Icons. I’m excited about this one, because in my text message stream, I have all my friends’ faces, but I don’t have the brand logos when I’m interacting with a brand via text message. So if you’re interacting via RCS with a brand, you’re now gonna see, instead of just a blank face, you’re gonna see, actually, the logo of the brand. Pretty cool.
Then there’s RCS-verified sending. So there’s a lot of phishing attacks that are happening right now via text message. You’ll get a text message from presumably what could be your bank, but it’s actually not your bank. Well, with RCS, they’re gonna be able to launch something called verified sending, which is going to allow a brand to be verified, so that on the receiving end, a consumer knows that it’s actually the brand that is messaging them that says it is. So it’s gonna protect a lot of consumers with the RCS messaging.
The next one is RCS suggested actions. These are actually like little buttons, as you can see, in a text message. So instead of just putting a link, which is kind of boring, it’s going to allow you to build more of an experience, like an email or a website where you can actually have buttons that, when clicked, open up a map, open up a video, open up a mobile website, maybe even click to call somebody. So a huge innovation, I think, for messaging is instead of just having links, you can now put links behind buttons. People like clicking on buttons much more than just a static text link.
Then there’s a thing called RCS quick replies. This one is pretty ingenious. What they’d done is they’ve again, taken the button concept, so the consumer clicks on the button, and essentially what it’s doing is on the backend, it’s sending a specific message, the text of a message, to the brand. So you can almost kind of think about it like, you know, let’s say Yelp messages you or OpenTable, let’s say they message you and says, “Your table is ready.” And by clicking on the button, you’re actually sending a new message back to the brand with the response, “Yes.” It doesn’t say that, obviously, on the button. It says, “Confirm your table, click here,” and they click it, but then on the backend, it’s sending actually a message that then can be processed by the software provider and then they you could either send the message back or do whatever they want with that message. So this has a bunch of cool applications for mobile messaging.
Then there’s things called rich cards. We don’t know much about these yet, but we kinda have an idea from some of the demos we’ve seen. So rich cards could be things like, you know, in the messaging steam, you’d be able to select the seat on an airline that you want to sit at. Possibly, it could be, you know, an interactive map within messaging. So currently, with text messaging or MMS, you would, if you wanna see a map or you wanna have some kind of interaction, you gotta go click on a message and go to another app or go to a mobile website, this would actually allow you to do a lot of those things right within the messaging stream, which would be really beneficial for mobile marketers.
Next one is RCS high definition images. So if you ever got a text message, you know, the image is good, but it’s not excellent. Same with MMS, it’s good, but it’s not excellent. With RCS, you’re gonna be able to send high definition images to your subscribers, so think about the opportunities for things like retail, being able to send high definition images.
Another one is RCS high definition videos. So with RCS, you’re most likely gonna be able to send extremely long videos and high quality videos, where MMS messaging right now, you’re limited to a certain size and a certain length of videos. So MMS is most likely, the video quality and the size capability of RCS is gonna be much greater than MMS, which is another great one for companies like retail where they wanna show off their product.
So that is what the features are coming out, hopefully. Again, we don’t know much about RCS at this point. It’s more of a…something that is coming and being developed currently. But the demos we’ve seen, the examples, some of the features that had been talked about, those are what we’re seeing and what were actually hoping for because if they can pull all this off and then embed all of that within the actual messaging app that we currently use, RCS and marketing is gonna be pretty amazing for mobile messaging and the whole mobile industry as a whole.