The above schematic is a loose 2-dimensional interpretation of much of Affino’s customer-facing functionality with a few of the underlying processes. Its purpose is in part to illustrate just how much power is contained within a single Affino deployment, but also to demonstrate how many of your own business’s activities can be handled by the Affino platform. Note that various admin processes - including Affino’s ingenious DIY Design Centre interface have been purposely omitted from this overview.
There are in effect 7 key major systems we will focus on here, even though we often encapsulate the central CRM within ’Social’.
The Activities and purposes each serve are as follows:
This is the brain of your business - the central facility for tracking, organising, processing and automating your various business workflows - we include within this the Affino Automated Customer Ladder and Conversion Events - as the CRM is the sum total of all those activities.
Affino often gets likened to a CMS but it’s not really a fair comparison, as CMS is just one integrated solution within Affino and is part of a dynamic business system. There will be other CMS systems out there with more individual granularity in just that part of the system, while there is nothing out there which comes close to doing everything that Affino encompasses. Affino’s virtue is in how all this functionality is seamlessly connected together for single screen overview and dynamic interaction between all parts of the system to better qualify, service and incentivise the customer. That said Affino CMS will give you the necessary Article and template functionality with workflows, and ability to roll out multiple Article Types including Events, Awards, Seminars, Directories, Blogs And Job Ads.(distinct from Ad Campaigns).
This covers all customer communications and interactions, networking and collaboration. This is hugely significant in owning and controlling your own customer networks. Several media companies are already starting to remove their commercial feeds from Facebook and the like as they cede too much control and revenue over to the social media utility rather than fully controlling their own customer experience. Affino gives you the full power to grow and support your own business and customer network - as well as the means to commercialize and monetize it so sustain its onward growth.
For much of the last 18 months our focus has been on the CRM, hands-on-control and automation. More attention is now being turned to Affino’s Ecommerce side - in terms of building and supporting Social Commerce and Social Marketplaces. Singular stand-alone Ecommerce is not really enough in today’s connected global market. You need to be able to activate and motivate your business network - such that members of the community can be elevated to advocates and can support the purchase decision-making process. Of course Affino combines digital and physical goods across numerous different purchase models including on-demand, subscription and membership.
A particular emphasis for us in the latter half of this year is to evolve and grow the ’Dashboard’ - to better help our Clients to identify and maximize leads and opportunities. It’s not just about a huge pool of Big Data - it is how cleverly you identify patterns and trends within it - which can feed back into your business model and business cycle, to improve your bottom line. Businesses these days are overwhelmed with data and statistics - while the key consequence is what you do with your analysis. It’s not necessarily about having myriad metrics and filtering options, but more importantly to be able to identify those patterns of behaviour that matter.
On Affino Control side these sit under the area called ’Promote / Promotion’ which may be updated in the future to just be ’Campaigns’. Currently the mainstays of these are Message Campaigns (Newsletters and Messages) and Ad Campaigns - often the two are used together. Going forward we will need to integrate more of the evolving Campaign methodologies - Topic / Area Sponsorship, Product Placement and of course Native Advertising. These all exist and can be actioned to a large degree, but may need more homogenising for ease of use as well as ease of extracting patterns of consumer behaviour.
The Media counterpart to Content Management is still seeing the transition of Adobe Flash - which is still surely on the way out, but somehow still seems to be hanging in there. We have already seen increased use of SVG type imagery and more use of smart embeds - which we integrate cleverly into Affino’s site-wise local media libraries. This will be increasingly about making these Digital Assets easier and more seamless to use and deploy right across the Affino platform. We all know how important the video format has become, and we need to innovate clever ways for simplifying and enhancing the display and viewing of such.
You should have often heard the saying about something being greater than the sum of its parts, and considering just how many parts there are to Affino this has never been truer. Affino is typically able to replace a large number of incumbent technologies with its single platform formula - all for more powerful as well as more efficient control over your business’s key activities. Be under no illusion that it won’t take a wee while to unravel, re-structure and enhance your business digitally. There are various ways to do this, and while many of them can look attractive on a short-term basis, only Affino truly can give you significant operational efficiencies over the long-term.