• bbocalegna

Customer Engagement Framework

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

What exactly is a Customer Engagement Framework (CEF) you ask? As companies and marketers increasingly move towards a customer view of their business and marketing activities, the traditional strategic and planning views of their marketing activity have lost relevance.

A traditional marketing strategy and plan looks at companies marketing efforts over a chronological timeline, usually 12 months. Or, over the period of a specific campaign. But customers come and go every day, and what's relevant for a new customer may not be the same as an existing customer or a customer who's recently had a poor experience at the hands of the company.

A customer-focused marketing strategy and plan aims to have a one-to-one conversation with every customer, using the right message, at the right time, and through the right channel. To do this, companies, brands and marketers need new and more appropriate tools.

To learn more about customer marketing and the strategy behind it, download our strategy white paper.

What is a customer engagement framework

A CEF is a high-level marketing strategy overlaying a traditional customer lifecycle. Off the back of a CEF, the marketers within a business should be able to fully map out specific customer journeys, campaigns, automations, triggers, and customer service plans.

A CEF maps out each critical point of the customer lifecycle across;

  • Awareness,

  • Consideration/evaluation,

  • Purchase/subscribe,

  • Engagement,

  • Retention,

  • Advocacy, and

  • Re-engagement.

Typically, when AM-i maps out a CEF for clients, we'll review and refine for each of these stages, the;


  • Primary objective specific to this stage,

  • Focus areas of the business and its marketing, relevant to this stage, and

  • Key messaging and proof points for use across all marketing and communications pertinent to this stage.


  • All of the experiences, touch points and interactions between a customer, and the company,

  • The channels (bought, owned & earned) of relevance to this lifecycle stage, and

  • Company capabilities (platforms, systems, processes) utilised to deliver marketing and communications at this stage.


  • Key initiatives to deliver against the marketing objectives for each stage,

  • Horizon 1,2 & 3 roadmap to improve on the experiences, channels and capabilities of the company in being able to deliver marketing and communications in each stage, and

  • KPI's to measure the success of marketing and communications efforts in each stage.

Current state versus Future/vision state

The exact composition of a CEF changes from business to business and varies depending on the intended purpose. Generally, we'll use the framework to map out a business's current state, and then a second version for the future state.

Why? In a SMEs, marketers can know and understand all of the various What, How and Execution points identified above. But as a company increases in size, complexity and sophistication, it very quickly becomes impossible for people to know and understand the objectives, focus areas, messaging, experiences, channels, capabilities, initiatives, roadmap and KPI's across each stage of the lifecycle.

In this instance, the CEF acts as a single source of truth on all things customer. Without it, it becomes impossible for individual marketers and teams to understand the opportunities, implications and hurdles that might be associated with a marketing or communications activity.

To learn more about marketing strategy, download our strategy white paper.