The Power of Conversation: How Messaging Apps Will Drive Marketing in 2023

Viber limor-bailey
Limor Bailey
Partnerships Account Director
The Power of Conversation: How Messaging Apps Will Drive Marketing in 2023

The shift to messaging-first mobile apps is real. Rakuten Viber has over 1 billion downloads on Android, making it one of the best platforms for brands to connect with their audiences in a relevant and effective way and playing into its superapp strategy. It's exciting to be in this space, as we are all witnessing how marketing approaches change and audience engagement continues to evolve. 

This article will explore how brands can leverage messaging apps to communicate with their audiences and get the most out of their marketing efforts in 2023.

Messaging apps are becoming a primary marketing channel for businesses

Since the launch of the first messaging app, messaging services have become increasingly popular as a way for people to connect. Recent studies show that people spend on average 2,5 hours on messaging apps daily. The same studies also found that the younger generation, 16-24-year-olds, spends nearly 3 hours on messaging apps every day.

Customer service, shopping, entertainment, and even payments are now being made through messaging apps. And there are no signs of deceleration as messengers’ capacity to utilize rich media and enhance customer experience keeps evolving every day. More and more people are turning to messengers to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues. Subsequently, messaging is already a significant driving force in brand communication as marketers connect with customers where customers are.

There are many reasons for the traction of messaging apps. To name a few: 

  • The convenience of having a conversation anywhere and at any time.
  • The ability to send multimedia messages, such as videos, images, and different types of files that can be more engaging and informative than text.
  • Being less intrusive and giving the option to communicate via calls or messages.

We have seen true growth among messaging platforms in the last decade. Some major companies quickly caught up to this shift in user behavior, and today it’s absolutely common to talk to brands through the means previously reserved for personal communication. Businesses adjust how they engage with consumers, switching from a distant, corporate communication style to a more personalized, friendly one. Modern-day customers respond much better to simple, genuine conversations from business accounts in messaging apps.

The adoption of such a connection with the target audience is already taking place for many  businesses, with such industries as retail and financial services being among the first to embrace the shift.

Examples of using messaging apps in retail industry

Based on the trends we are seeing at Rakuten Viber, many companies will connect with customers primarily through messaging apps, augmenting traditional advertising channels such as TV, radio, and print. 

Brands from different industries using Rakuten Viber

Personal, one-to-one connection

One-to-one interaction is one of the core benefits of marketing and connecting with customers through messaging apps for brands.

One-to-one communication via Rakuten Viber Business Messages and Chatbots

When you have a direct conversation with clients, you are more likely to be heard and to showcase all the value you can bring to them. You can personalize some (or all!) of the message elements to your audience’s specific interests and needs, and make people feel cared for. Customers are more likely to trust you and be comfortable doing business in the future, already knowing what they can expect.

Personalized marketing via Rakuten Viber

Make the most of your first-party data. Today, marketers have a unique opportunity to tailor their content and communication strategies to each subscriber. Connecting a CDP or a CRM for personalization is a norm in 2023, and allows taking your campaign performance to the next level.

By leveraging the latest technology in both martech and messaging, brands can now reach out to customers in a more personal, meaningful, and cost-effective way. Build relationships with an individual, understand their needs and preferences, and create customized experiences. 

Connecting with audiences through engaging content

Because of the personalization possible through a messaging app, the more data insights you use when creating your marketing content, the better your performance is.

As the market matures, users are becoming more selective and particular about the content they want to see in their feeds. Brands need to be creative with their messaging strategies and marketing techniques, focusing on producing content that will stand out, catch the user’s attention, and be relevant to each individual customer.

Some of the ideas include creating branded stickers, interactive quizzes, and engaging AR lenses. By focusing on storytelling and customer experience, brands can create content that will be relevant and interesting for the audience. 

Coca-Cola's creative brand communication using Rakuten Viber for Business

Embrace the advantages messaging apps offer to brands

Even though messaging is gaining momentum today, many brands have doubts about whether to include this channel in their marketing tool kit.

Apps like Rakuten Viber offer many benefits for marketers, including a diverse suite of Rakuten Viber tools and solutions, reaching target audiences, delivering relevant personalized content, and helping to measure campaign effectiveness. 

Learn more

With the ability to segment audiences, send relevant and timely messages, brands see a notable increase in engagement rates. As a marketer, you always want to be able to create the most accurately targeted interactions with your client. And with messaging apps, you can finetune multiple parameters to receive the best outcomes for your brand and your audience.

Here are some of the brands that successfully used Rakuten Viber for Business tools to increase engagement:



Shafa and Auchan via Yespo 

What’s next in the messaging apps for marketers

The industry is moving faster than ever. Here are some tendencies to be on the lookout for in 2023:

  • More personalized messaging: As messaging becomes increasingly popular, and brands are increasingly adopting first-party data strategy, we’ll see more customization with content explicitly designed for customers or audience segments according to their interests and preferences.
  • Increased use of chatbots: With a major recent breakthrough in chatbot technology, chatbots will become much more commonplace in apps as businesses look for ways to automate their marketing and customer support. And it is best to start now and be on the frontline of the new approach. Reach out to our team to talk about Rakuten Viber Chatbots and how they can help your business.
  • AI takes the wheel: AI will play a more prominent role in messaging apps as businesses look to use it for personalization and understanding user behavior. Chatbots already use machine learning elements and develop in understanding more complex human language. We are still in the very early stages of the technology adoption and will continue seeing more use cases frequently throughout 2023.
  • Greater use of rich media content: Rich media, like videos and branded stickers, will continue to be used in messaging as they offer a highly engaging experience for users and create a coherent vision of you as a brand—your voice, recognizable design elements, and faces that stand behind the business. Also, adding features such as AR masks and games helps immerse your audience into the atmosphere you’d like to create, thus prolonging and enhancing their involvement with your content.
Engaging branded Rakuten Viber Lenses and Stickers
  • Laser focus on customer service: Consumers expect immediate interaction, and businesses continue improving how they communicate with buyers. Providing excellent customer service through the help of apps like Rakuten Viber is becoming increasingly popular. Brands will need to learn to resolve issues faster and with a higher success rate, always be a step ahead of their clients’ needs and desires, and be ready to engage in real-time conversations.

Rakuten Viber is an excellent example of a messaging app that can be used by brands to connect with their customers one-on-one and at scale at the same time, thanks to Rakuten Viber’s reach, audience, and rich suite of business solutions. 

Contact our team to learn more about products and solutions that can maximize your brand’s marketing performance in 2023.