Affinity is an award-winning provider of technology and digital communication solutions, specialising in software development for today’s needs and tomorrow’s dreams. We work in web, CGI and app development - most often a combination of all three.
The primary remit was to remove Lotus's existing dependency on a proprietary third party CMS and for Lotus to be able to easily add and customise their own content. An innovative approach by Affinity saw them taking Drupal 7 (one of the leading open source CMS products) and add to the ‘core’ system a number of distinct custom modules – each bringing additional features and benefits. Lotus were given full control of, and access to, all the modules so no external work was required to manage the site.
One addition was the comprehensive Workflow that sits behind the CMS, allowing Lotus to delegate content creation to their network of journalists, communications specialists and other content creators, whilst retaining tight editorial control.
Another innovation included auto geo-detection and geo-localisation so that users can see a very personal view of Lotus instantly, on a regional basis, down to their own town if needed (important for locating a dealer or booking a test drive).
All told, the new site has the ‘wow factor’ that is so important to the customer retention yet behind the scenes is a combination of technical expertise and a well-researched understanding of Lotus key requirements. The site delivers on a significant number of different levels.
The new extranet facility designed and built by Affinity allows controlled access from outside Lotus’s intranet. The facility drew on Affinity’s deep expertise in building B2B and B2C extranets to provide a password-protected media one (effectively a ‘B2M’ facility). It provides full media-centre resources including an extensive library, videos and engineering specifications as well as useful PR resources and brand guidelines.
Naturally the extranet is easily updated by Lotus’s own media team. Feedback from Lotus to Affinity was universally positive (see below) and following the launch of the new site and extranet there was an immediate 20% increase in usage of the website and a 5% improvement in the ‘bounce’ rate.