Akshit Pushkarna

Airtel launches marketing communications platform Airtel IQ Reach for small businesses

The telecom company bids to further penetrate the SMS marketing business with this platform by focusing exclusively on smaller businesses with the CPaaS offering.

Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of Airtel IQ Reach, a marketing communications platform, which will enable brands/ companies to drive targeted customer engagements through personalised communications.

Airtel will be looking to engage small and medium businesses with this offering. The Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) will enable businesses to send personalised communications to a pre-defined customer segments.

The platform will offer real time insights and comprehensive analytics on a centralised dashboard, allowing businesses to measure their campaign effectiveness.

Airtel IQ Reach will help SMBs identify their target audience, track campaign effectiveness, managing multiple channels to reach their audience, amongst others.

The enterprise Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS market size in India expected to grow to USD 64.24 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 4.6%. Abhishek Biswal, business head - digital products and services, Airtel Digital, shares that 20-25% of this market is small and medium businesses.

The company currently focuses on larger businesses with Airtel ads. The CPaaS offering is its bid to build an engagement with small scale businesses.

"We have designed this product keeping the small business in mind. We have simplified the entire platform, the user interface as well as the payment models, for the ease of use of these platforms," he shares.

The platform will offer three channels of communication. "One is WhatsApp, which is a conversational channel. Second are calls and third is text or SMS. We are going to live with WhatsApp today. We will shortly follow it with SMS and calls," Biswal informs.

The company estimates to charge SMBs Rs 10,000- Rs 150,000 per month looking to avail the service. The company is also planning to launch the service in regional languages.

With this, businesses will be able to create messages in multiple languages, to connect with their target audience in their local language.

Biswal adds that the company plans to reach the local business with their Go to market (GMT) teams. "We have a large GTM team, which is our account management team, which has accessibility across the country. They are going to be our first port of call in communicating this product to the end user, that is, the SMBs."

"We've simplified the product to an extent where the account manager can onboard the customer, including collecting money using an online payment gateway and setting up the campaign for that end customer, swiftly. Further, I think it's a it's a product which has a high retention. We feel, if built correctly, enterprises and small businesses will want to keep using this product for all the communication needs," he says.

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