Just like in Formula 1, the engine with which you power your business vehicle is critical to your success. Like it or not, you are in a race with your competitors to win over a particular pool of customers - and may the best one win! A formula one engine combines sheer power with fuel efficiency, precise control and reliability - you cannot win the race if you suffer engine-failure midway. What you have in these engines is the very cutting edge of hybrid technology with every function, parameter and part tuned to the finest degree.
Still increasingly your customers are approaching you via digital devices, and via your digital presence. For most companies - the digital part of the company is a significant component in how business is conducted and resources managed and empowered - very much a key tool and often the most potent weapon in your arsenal. Google is now the universal Yellow Pages, and instead of feet on the ground, for most businesses -your customers will likely land a session or two on your site instead.
Once an existing or potential customer hits your site, there are varying degrees of what you can do with them and for them. For the majority of businesses, owing to technologies like Ad-blockers, they’re not even aware of how many customers - real and potential are connecting with them. And if they have the ability to identify and connect with all, they are often limited in how much of the relationship they control. Truth is that most digital platforms out there are very singular in their approach, and businesses typically rely on a series of 3rd party plugins to give them the full spectrum of services and functionality.
This in turn means that as a business you are often too far removed from your customers, and don’t exercise full control over your pipeline or supply network. You’ve handed over subscriptions to one company, mailing lists and automation to another, a third covers your customer forums etc. etc. Your key customer activities are happening once-removed from you, and you are really not in control - none of that is under your own jurisdiction.
For the Affino Unified Digital Business Platform, our vision has always been one of ultimate hands-on control, and about owning the full customer relationship. Being wholly connected and in touch with all your different customer types, and being able to provide them a full range of services from a single seamless system. This is why Affino combines Analysis, CMS and CRM, CDN and DAM, Ecommerce and Funding, Collaboration, Community and Engagement, Events and Recruitment - all alongside Process, Sales and Marketing Automation. You may find it quite difficult to discover the equivalent of so much on-tap power, particularly contained in a single solution.
So these are 10 key reasons why replatforming could be and would be a good idea for your business:
Responsive site provide a better, more uniform and seamless customer journey across different devices, platforms and touch-points. Moreover Search Engines give preference to them in the Rankings / Results - so if you’re not Responsive, you’re less discoverable.
Various 3rd Party systems make up most of your significant connections to your customers - you subscriptions are handled by another platform, so are your mailings and Sales and Marketing Automation - means you’re never fully in control, and more at risk of security and data exposure.
If you are using a 3rd party analytics component, then likely it can be switched of by ad-blockers, which means you are unable to monitor and track the activities of customers with blockers, and you overall customer intelligence is compromised.
Various software platform have a ’seat’ or per user limit, and are not set up for all company staff members to make use of. Affino is specifically engineered so that Commercial, Marketing, Editorial etc. can all be empowered and can work together to build your business.
This means ability to ramp up capacity in terms of growing the business organically and reacting quickly to new opportunities - as well as ease of taking on new markets - multi-language and multi-domain ability for instance. How flexible is the hosting infrastructure - does it have auto-scale and auto-recovery?
For some Platforms you need to do a lot of work on SEO and Link Building to get any kind of decent organic traction on Google. Affino is structured in quite a different way - with proper user-friendly URLs and clear content hierarchies and header level formatting which naturally reinforce likely search strings and keywords throughout the site structure.
Most platforms don’t have the ability to easily personalise customer journeys on and through their sites - they often rely on 3rd party systems, which of course compromise control and ownership of the customer relationship.
Relatively few platforms have built-in engagement. Social elements and automated prompts which connect with customers and elevate your site experience above the two-dimensional. We’re talking about a number of social utilities here that allow customers to easily interact, participate and collaborate even with your and each other.
System costs can manifest themselves in several ways, the most significant though is what is your ongoing / residual cost - i.e. what are your monthlies. Not only can differing solutions have hugely varying start-up / set-up costs, many are almost prohibitively expensive on a monthly basis. This is also a question of how much of your system functionality is really on-tap and can easily be released and ramped up by yourself, and which needs agency input for any slight change in course.
This is really about Sales and Marketing Automation - how far does it go, and how significant is it on a business-wide basis. Systems like Affino go beyond Sales and Marketing through to business workflows and business process automation - via the Automated Customer Ladder with its 50+ daisy-chainable Conversion Events.