Find Your Ideal Customer – Part 5 :How could a customers’ “lifetime value” benefit your Business?

So far in this series we’ve talked about how it’s important that before you launch into any marketing campaign, you need to weigh the costs against the estimated benefits.

But in order to accurately assess those benefits, you need one critical bit of information… your customers’ lifetime value.

What is “customers’ lifetime value”?

Lifetime value refers to the amount of revenue and profit you can expect to receive from your ideal customer over the term of your relationship.

Knowing your ideal customers’ lifetime value gives you a tremendous advantage. This information drives all your lead-generation and marketing decisions, and allows you to focus your marketing dollars with far greater precision, accuracy and productivity.

Not knowing this number leaves many businesses floundering in their marketing efforts, making hasty and ill-informed marketing decisions, some of which can even prove fatal to their design businesses.  Launching a marketing campaign without knowing this number is like driving a car without knowing the direction you’re heading in.

How to calculate your customers lifetime value

Calculating the lifetime value of your customer is quite simple.

First, estimate the amount of money the customer will spend with you throughout his or her “lifetime” with your business.

In Australia, the average consumer moves about once every five years, so we typically use a figure of 5 years for the lifespan of a loyal customer, assuming that the customer will move out of your business’s sphere of influence in five years time.Given the particular nature of your business you may have typical customer lifetime of ten years, or three months; just give it your best guess.

Let’s say you sell a product for $100 and your customer purchases it once every 3 months (4 times per year).  Using the default lifetime of 5 years, this give us a lifetime revenue of $2,000 ($100 x 4 purchases per year x 5 years).

Once you have your lifetime revenue, simply subtract all the expenses involved in generating that revenue… Things like your total cost of goods sold, sales & marketing costs,  and any other costs involved in acquiring that customer.

Let’s say that $100 product you sell costs you $10 to produce and deliver.  Because your customer purchases a total of 20 times (4 times per years for 5 years), your total cost of goods sold is $200 ($10 Cost x 4 times per year x 5 years). Now let’s also say that you spend $90 in sales and marketing to acquire that customer. Plus another $500 cover 5 years worth of communicating with that customer.  That’s a total cost of $790 ($200 + $90 + $500). The lifetime profit for this customer would be $1,210 ($2,000 lifetime revenue minus $790 in total costs).

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About The Author

I am a Business LifeStyle coach who specialises in working with artists, designers, crafters and all creative professionals. Myself and my partner Stuart Horrex are here to help you to achieve your Life & business goal and dreams. We have had over 20 years experience in finance, retail,furniture,food,wine fashion,crafts and hospitality.