Whether you call it CEM (experience with an E), CXM (Experience with an X), web engagement, digital experience management, customer lifecycle management or Susan  -- read any contemporary marketing writing and you’ll discover that there is a business imperative to pivot your organization around the empowered consumer.

This means you must somehow manage that customer’s perceptive of your business, service or products through their customer journey, from their initial awareness, through a purchase or engagement to them raving about you on Twitter.

Here on CMSWire there are some great contributions to this conversation and I’d like to distill this down to three areas of focus, which for the purposes of a punchy headline -- I am calling the 3 C’s of CXM.

The first of those C’s is rather obvious -- it’s Customer and in parts two and three of this article I will focus on the other two C’s: Control, or how you orchestrate this customer experience and our favorite C as CMSWire readers, Content.

CXM is a Strategy Not a Platform

The first C being customer means that CXM is a business strategy, not a technology platform today.

By making customer the first pillar of CXM, we are talking about more than what a digital marketer can control over the web; it extends to every touch point a customer has -- from the initial brand awareness, through to purchase and then to the post sale service and support.

As a business strategy, this is a broad task, bringing together all of the parts of the business that touch the customer. This is only emerging in some businesses and there is no single technology platform that can do this.

CXM is Beyond Attract and Convert

The typical focus of a digital marketer is in two stages of the customer journey: attracting them to your product or service and then converting them to an engagement objective -- perhaps a product purchase. CXM addresses an important third stage in the customer's journey -- that of retention.

CXM, Retain -- from Customer to Advocate

The purpose of the retain phase of the customer journey is not just revenue related to future cross and up-sell purchase, but the importance in this socially connected world of creating advocacy. This means bringing together the pre-sales marketing activities with those of customer care -- to change this relationship from being a loose hand off to a symbiotic relationship. The level of service offered to this customer could be a significant influence over the next customer in their purchasing decision.