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Forget Everything You Know About CRM - Introducing the Affino Core-Connected CRM


Core-Connected CRM is the future of Customer Engagement

Most professional services organisations, and indeed business to business publishers, membership organisations and events companies do not have a huge daily volume of prospects. It means that every prospect interaction is that much more precious, and you need to make the most of each one.

You will most likely be familiar with a CRM solution of some description - typically a database management system that helps businesses keep tabs on their customers and match up latent customer needs with evolving products and services. You will know about Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics and the like, and how each requires a healthy dose of systems integration to connect to the company’s other core systems and processes - digital-front-end and back-office. The integration route is an inevitable expense, and a time-consuming one - with substantial ongoing overheads.


But it does not need to be so - what if there was another way? A CRM which was fully and persistently connected to your customers and all their key activities, and was already baked into your core business processes and through to and including your digital-front-end?


With such a solution you could track the full spectrum of activities right along your customers’ journeys and clickstreams, and get immediate intelligence and insights into what was happening right now, and how customers at different stages of progress / along the customer ladder, may be more or less susceptible to certain types of incentives and promotions.


The Affino Unified Digital Business Platform has evolved into just such a system, with a Core-Connected CRM at its heart, managing your business processes and digital front-end, wholly dynamically and in real-time.


Here are the key characteristics and benefits of such a system:


Connected CRM


We have at times called this a Social CRM or a Core CRM - meaning that this is the beating heart of a holistic solution, the conduit of all your customer activities, data and analysis. Affino is a unified system with myriad built-in configurable workflows and Sales & Marketing Automations - using 50+ conversion event types to incentivise, track, recognise and reward every key customer contact and onsite activity (and automatically assign them to accounts and lists and follow-up actions). Everything is already baked in and seamlessly interconnected, giving you a superior Single Customer and Single User View - which ties together your valuable digital-front-end with your essential back-office activities.


Content Management


Affino is of course also a CMS, it just happens to use the Core CRM as its main admin engine - seamlessly consolidating all your activities right along the activity chain - from content and media publishing through to customer contact, interaction, reaction, up-sell and incentivisation. While traditional CRMs need significant integration investment to only get to a fairly superficial level of interconnectivity - Affino provides deep-level fusion between key business units and tasks. Your Content and the management thereof, tracking, analysis and interaction is in no way a separate activity in Affino, it is fully connected with the whole, giving you unsurpassed levels of targeting, personalisation, analytics and insights. Moreover, as everything in Affino is served up seamlessly locally and natively, it has a very high level of resistance to ad-blockers and similar privacy tools.




We touched on the Social nature of the CRM - handling every action, interaction and transaction enacted by your customers, but equally importantly - encouraging and incentivising those customers to keep their accounts fully up-to-date (something which remains an impossible task for conventional CRMs). Affino combines social networking, with collaboration and user-generated-content, events management, and various advanced forms of messaging, notifications and alerts - to bring customers closer to the business. It yields more opportunities to connect and convert, while as at the same time revealing more intelligence and insights.




Much like high-level urban planning - when you engineer the whole infrastructure yourself from a single masterplan, you are able to achieve far higher and deeper levels of connectivity than any incoming or outgoing secondary or third party integration ever could. The broad spectrum of intelligence that Affino profiles in real-time simply cannot be matched by any third party integration solution. Everything in Affino is served up seamlessly and natively, meaning that is is resistant to ad-blockers and similar privacy tools. As a unified system, there is no real distinction between the different parts of the system - e.g. articles and advertisements are served up via indistinguishably different code, meaning that everything is served up natively, locally and universally. Even were you able to integrate the same number of trackers Affino has, you could still not achieve the same level / degree of data capture or persistence in content and information delivery.




When you are gathering data right along the clickstream, and storing all your customers’ activities, you get a far better overview of exactly what is going on, and a far more accurate insight of developing patterns and trends. You can set trigger points in the system when certain milestones and benchmarks are reached, these can add users to prospect lists, message them, incentivise them, and present them with relevant content. With Affino’s Single Customer / User View you simply get a clearer and more precise gauge than anywhere else.


Only by streamlining all these different functions and activities and funnelling them all through the Core-Connected CRM are you able to get this quality of data and insight - which can dramatically increase the level of automated qualified leads and improve customer engagement.



Notes on the above Visual

The visual at the top of the article is a screenshot of my own Single User View from - with some sensitive parts concealed, and the page squeezed a little on the vertical to fit into our standard picture format.


The key components here are the many tabs in the centre band of that visual - which reveal everything said user has been up to on your Affino site / platform, including:

  • User Security
  • User Audit
  • Details
  • Demographics
  • Communications
  • Analysis
  • Commerce
  • Digital Assets

In the visual the ’Analysis’ tab is selected which yields all the Engagement activities the user has enacted with - these are indicated by badges awarded for specific tasks, actions and activities - some of them daisy-chained or workflowed together, as well as an ongoing points total based on the accumulated respective values of those total activities. You can set specific milestones which indicate exactly where each customer is on the Customer Ladder, and what stages of evolution come next. A significant part of the Customer Ladder / Conversion Events - captures the essence of Abraham Maslow’s ’Hierarchy of Needs’ or indeed the need for people to feel recognised and rewarded for their every endeavour...


Stefan Karlsson Profile

Stefan Karlsson, CMO | Founder, Affino

20+ years of high level Branding and Advertising, in Digital since 1999 and have worked with brands including: Audi, Bausch & Lomb, BBC, Champion Automotive / Federal Mogul, Eli Lilly / IVAC, EMI, Diesel, Filmutea, Gill, Humanity Direct, IMRG / Peermap, Kimberly-Clark, Lanes Health, Loctite, MasterCard, Procurement Leaders, Rovio / Angry Birds, Royal Opera House, TSG, Wrigley. Key expertise in Brand Strategy and Brand Origination.


Email or Call +44 (0)20 3393 3240

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2013 PPA Awards - Procurement Leaders awarded Business Media Brand of the Year
2013 PPA Digital Publishing Awards - Procurement Leaders awarded Business Media Digital Brand of the Year