Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

You Ask, I Answer: What are CAC and CLV?

Fiona asks, “What are CAC and CLV / LTV and why are they important?”

CAC is customer acquisition cost. CLTV, LTV, and CLV are customer lifetime value. These two numbers are the underpinnings of all marketing analytics. Watch this video to learn more about them, how to calculate them, how to use them, and how to apply them to the measurement of everything in software like Google Analytics.

You Ask, I Answer: What are CAC and CLV?

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Fiona asks What are CAC and LTV and why are they important? These are two very important metrics, their business level metrics and what they stand for is customer acquisition cost and lifetime value is typically see Lv or cltpa customer lifetime value. The reason these things are important these metrics are important is because this is the basis on which all of your marketing analytics are should be founded on so customer acquisition costs is pretty straightforward. What does it cost for you to acquire a customer from the moment you first a person first becomes aware of your brand all the way to when a person is a paying customer What does it cost to do that and that is something that a lot of marketers do really wrong because they typically include only the hard dollar cost and not everything so consider what it takes to get someone in the door there is the obviously any hard dollars you spent on like a

For example, there is the salesperson salary and time there’s the marketers salary and time there is the marketing automation software cost the website hosting and it costs, the electricity it takes to run all of the things, the utility bills that you pay everything that you could have, as part of the cost of acquiring a customer goes into that CAC number. And it is a lengthy computation that’s why most companies only do it once a once or twice a year if that but it’s a vital number. So what does it cost to acquire a customer do not make the mistake of simply taking hard dollar cost like hey, we spent this much on ads that’s that’s only return on ad spend here you’re going to get that kind of number, you’re not going to get true customer acquisition costs. Let’s take into account everything it took to get that customer so that’s what the second is what is the lifetime value of a customer so that is

the revenue that they spent the first time around any incremental revenue.

And if you have a really sophisticated model what is the value of a happy customers evangelists meaning the marketing that they’re going to go do and tell their friends about your company that will essentially reduce your marketing costs if you do a great job of getting people to love your company then you’ll be able to improve that customer lifetime value was the value of a happy customer so those are the first two numbers now those numbers form the basis of your marketing analytics computations every time somebody says what’s what’s a wish we set for our goals and go and gold values and Google Analytics that begins with CIC, NCLB so let’s do some math here if you took see Lv the customer lifetime value and you subtracted CAC, the customer acquisition cost you have the net customer value that is essentially in some ways like your your your your revenue, or shouldn’t be very close to your revenue.

If that number is zero, you’re going out of business, right? Is that numbers negative, you’re going to business. And even if that number is less than the overhead for the rest of the business, you’re going out of business, right? Your customers have to be so valuable that it it offsets not only the cost of acquiring them, but also the cost of the rest of the business, because that’s just such an essential part. So see a CL b minus CAC has net customer value. Now this is where you start building out your sales operations, sales and marketing operations follow so think about every step in the funnel. There’s audience when someone first becomes aware of you there are people who are in the consideration phase right there they’re thinking about you they’re subscribed your emails and newsletters and stuff there is evaluation where they have a demonstrated purchase need and then there’s of course the purchase and we see this laid out in marketing operations software with things like

audience suspects, prospects, marketing, qualified leads, sales, qualified leads, deals, opportunities, proposal negotiation, closed one

Close last you’ll see those terms a lot in sales CRM is

every step of that funnel. And this is for an operations perspective because the customer journey is rarely so linear but every step of that funnel internally there’s a rate of change between steps so this there’s a rate of change between marketing qualified leads and sales qualified lead marketing says the leads qualified sales as it’s not so percentage of marketing qualified leads will not be sales qualified leads. So what you want to do is take that

net customer value and amortize it up the funnel so let’s do a quick example. If the lifetime the net customer value of one of your customers is 10,000 and it takes 10 sales deals

or Yeah, so due to sales deals, set 10 sales deals to get to one customer. That means the effective value of a sales deals1,000 right because it takes 10 to get one new customer and for the value of a new customers. 10,000 divided by 10. You have a 1,000 deal value now

From deal value if you go up one level and you go to something like sales qualified leads which is a very popular metric what percentage of sales qualified leads turn into deals Let’s call 10% again right so that thousand dollar deal becomes100 sales qualified lead now we go up one more levels someone is on your website and they become a marketing qualified lead let’s say 10% of the marketing qualified leads or sales qualified leads so now that that the your value is 10,000 your deals 1000 your sales qualified leads 100 your marketing qualified lead is worth 10 right and if you go up one more level to like prospects you have like a1 prospect Well, guess what if you are tracking prospect generation and Google Analytics you would put in 1 value one right because every 10,000 prospects will turn into 100,000 marketing.

qualified leads will turn into 100 sales qualified leads will tend to 10 deals turn into one new customer and you know the value of that customer. So that’s how you would do those goals and goal values. Now why is that important if you are trying to do

the valuation of any individual channel like social media for example, in your Google Analytics Google Analytics needs to know what a prospect what a goal completion is worth. So if you’ve put that in based on your CAC, NCLB, and working your way up that ladder until you reach somewhere in that funnel, that Google Analytics contract like prospects, when someone fills out a form and complete something on your website. Now, Google condensed into its own methods spread out that value across your website. So you can say, hey, referral traffic is worth this much. search traffic is worth this much ad traffic is worth this much, and social media. traffic’s worth worth this much. That in turn gives you the ability to say our social media has a real ROI or it doesn’t.

Because we know from a prospect generation perspective, it’s a prospects worth1. And if we’re spending $1 and a half on on acquiring prospects through social media, we’re losing money. It’s an inefficient channel. So that’s why these numbers are important. It sounds very simple to walk through this. But this type of process that you go through, actually requires, it can take weeks or even months to boil down all the data. You have to get it from all the different departments in your company. You got to go talk to accounting, you have to talk to kind of sales, you got to get into the CRM and the PRP and all this stuff to pull the data together and then run this analysis. But if you do it, if you get in the habit of doing it, you will be able to have very very firm math behind your Google Analytics goals. Your marketing goals, your social media goals, doesn’t matter what kind but you will get real numbers that you can rely on and plan on it instead of at best educated guesses for the effectiveness of your marketing. So great question.

complex process but this is the structure of how you do it. As always, please leave comments in the YouTube channel and the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon. Take care.

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This