Marketing Cloud, Trailhead...
AFDigital is using Salesforce to enable data-driven human connections
AFDigital helps companies put their customers at the centre of their world. The company began as a digital marketing agency, however quickly evolved into a full-service Salesforce implementation partner in order to fulfill its customers’ rapidly evolving needs.
Founded in the Philippines in 2011, AFDigital subsequently expanded into Singapore and serviced customers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Then came offices in Australia, in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.The company is soon to open a new office in Brisbane.
Today, AFDigital is a multi-cloud Salesforce and MuleSoft implementation partner. The company also offers DX services to lead and support their customers in providing full digital and CX transformation.
The company’s innovative delivery model is behind its impressive growth and ability to scale. AFDigital Co-Founder and CEO, Robin Leonard, describes the company’s ‘glocalised’ approach as supporting a physical on-the-ground presence in key markets with a well-resourced Philippines-based delivery centre.
“Our strategy is to put boots on the ground in all the main cities across APAC, while investing in our army of experts in our Philippines delivery centre that enables us to deliver at scale,” he explains. “We’re all about localisation within a global consulting model.”
Pauline Pangan, Founder and Managing Director of AFDigital, believes this model has been particularly effective in meeting their customers’ rapidly evolving needs.
“We really believe that because our customers’ needs are evolving so fast, we need to be multi-specialists across multiple disciplines,” she says. “We want our customers to feel that we’re physically there if they need to meet with us, but we have global industry practice underlining everything we do.
“Our goal is to help our customers redefine the human experience with Salesforce technology. That’s why we are constantly investing in building our capabilities.”
Digital transformation starts at home
Part of building those capabilities has involved an internal digital transformation with Salesforce at the core. Leonard explains that the company started with Zoho, Pipedrive and Google Sheets for project, sales and customer relationship management, before investing in a full Salesforce Customer 360 deployment.
“We expanded our use of Sales Cloud over time, and started using Service Cloud to service our customers,” he explains. “Then we had this turning point where we started to use the single customer view in Salesforce as our platform for delivery, sales, service and marketing.”
AFDigital also uses Marketing Cloud to power all the company’s nurture journeys targeted at employees and partners, and social listening powered by Social Studio informs new business pitches.
“Social listening has always been an integral part of our strategy,” says Leonard. “It gives us insights not only into the challenges our customers may be facing, but also into their industry as a whole.”
Pangan says maturity assessment surveys delivered through Marketing Cloud and Form Assembly are also key to identifying — and solving — performance gaps for prospective customers.
“We measure across about 30 data points and are able to identify where a prospect is below the industry standard or ahead of it,” she says. “This enables us to identify gaps and recommend how to close them at pitch stage.”
AFDigital also deployed Experience Cloud and built an ecommerce platform with Store Connect during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That was all driven through Salesforce,” says Leonard. “We wanted to make it easier for our customers to work with us. Account executives can raise cases with us in Experience Cloud, and they can help their customers choose a partner easily without needing to have too many meetings.
“We can also expose the data we’re already tracking in Salesforce to account executives, and put a spotlight on the information they need so there’s no more frustration.”
“A lot of our customer lifetime value growth is to do with consistency in our approach. Formalising and automating sales processes through Sales Cloud forced us to sell consistently.”
Technology enables human connection
AFDigital is also using Tableau for data analytics and reporting, and Pangan says tracking key metrics has been critical to the company’s continuing evolution — both internally and externally.
“I am a strong believer that what you cannot measure, you cannot manage,” she says. “Salesforce enables us to measure and manage the metrics that matter to our shareholders, our customers, our employees, and our partners.”
Pangan says the company is putting a strong, data-driven focus on employee wellness through regular wellness surveys and reporting.
“In the beginning we didn’t have awareness about what our employees were experiencing, because they wouldn’t necessarily come to us and say they’re struggling,” she explains. “The survey is a safe, anonymised platform our employees can use to share their challenges.”
But Pangan is quick to point out that the company’s wellness initiative is not just about improving productivity. She says it’s a critical tool the management team uses to stay focused on the human side of the business.
“We are prioritising wellness as a business not just because we care about productivity. But because we want our team to be the best humans they can be,” Pangan explains. “When they are given the tools and awareness to nourish themselves and increase their wellbeing, that’s when they are able to do their best work in service to our customers. This hopefully creates a ripple effect in the community.”
Read more about AFDigital’s laser focus on employee wellness on the Salesforce Asia Blog.
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