Affinity ID acts local, thinks global after client hat-trick

Direct and digital specialist Affinity ID has a proud history of boxing above its weight – both in its home market and internationally.

Direct and digital specialist Affinity ID has a proud history of boxing above its weight – both in its home market and internationally. And it’s now helping a trio of new internationally focused clients: Les Mills International, publisher PQ Blackwell and magazine stable Trends – do the same by taking their ideas into the global marketplace.

Affinity’s role ranges from building an online roadmap in overseas markets for Trends, redeveloping Les Mills’ online platform and developing a high-profile US media enterprise that’s still under wraps for PQ Blackwell, the publisher of the acclaimed M.I.L.K pictorial coffee-table books amongst other top-selling, visually-led titles.

Affinity ID co-founders Angela Day and Geoff Cooper believe enterprising Kiwi exporters realise that online sales growth, particularly beyond New Zealand, doesn’t just come from building a good website.

“They’re increasingly aware of the need for a well researched digital strategy, based on sound strategic thinking – to support expansion into new markets or help drive stronger returns from existing offshore operations,” said Day.

“It’s not good enough to think that if you’ve got a successful online business base in New Zealand, then you just open it up to global markets and watch the dollars roll in. You need a complete end-to-end approach, everything from eCRM to transactional capability to build confident and relevant relationships with offshore customers.”

Cooper said Kiwi companies serious about international online sales are savvy enough to do their homework and understand that a world-class digital strategy can be created and driven from New Zealand.

“But it needs serious strategic grunt, integrated marketing and sophisticated technology to make any impact in a cluttered, hugely competitive arena.”

On the technology front, Affinity ID, which opened an office in Australia late last year, is building software, ecommerce and transactional engines for both PQ Blackwell and Les Mills International that will enable them to better access existing and open new markets. And it’s developing a digital marketing strategy aimed at attracting and retaining offshore customers.

“We’re proud, like those ambitious Kiwi businesses we’re working with, to be locally global. Our thinking and capability is world class, like the products and services we’re helping promote.”

In another recent international project, Affinity, which scooped the 2010 best-in-show Platinum Award at the US Direct Marketing Association’s National Centre for Database Marketing award for Progressive’s One Card, helped KEA, the expat network, to launch the first unofficial survey of New Zealanders living offshore. The survey is aimed at pinpointing how widely Kiwi talent is scattered around the globe and enabling those living away to link up with KEA and each other.