Leveraging Customer Lifetime Value to Improve Marketing ROI

Posted on by Ted Krantz

customer-lifetime-value-child-sunsetCMOs need to be more agile to reach their intended audience through premium media across channels and devices. Unfortunately, the insights that fuel agile marketing all too often get locked away within customer relationship management (CRM) systems, leading to missed ROI targets with a shotgun approach to digital marketing.

The huge investment your company has made in CRM data should provide competitive differentiation. Don’t allow your channels to manage your channels. Today’s digital-expert CMOs use agile marketing software from independent third parties to activate CRM data in innovative ways that maximize customer lifetime value (LTV) across channels and devices. In a world where all channels are moving digital, the question to ask about massive cross channel proliferation is not if, it’s when.


Customer LTV has long been considered a key performance indicator (KPI) for marketers. Think of the customer journey more as an hourglass than the marketing funnel of old, because in many ways, the journey really begins once the first sale is made. At that point, your focus and that of your teams should shift to generating growth by building loyalty, advocacy and LTV.

LTV can be tracked and measured through your CRM system to produce a closed-loop customer view, but maximizing LTV can only be done by integrating your CRM with agile marketing software that connects directly to key media channels. You may need to collaborate with your CIO/CTO who already manages this technology to set up the business logic, but the integrations today are quite painless with pre-built APIs.

CRM as true north

Don’t allow media publishers to dictate channel usage or the overall marketing mix. Only third-parties that understand the path-to-purchase of your most important audiences should do that, and there’s no better unbiased way to ensure media optimization than by connecting your CRM with independent agile marketing software. Your brand can also capitalize on the two biggest avenues available today for competitive differentiation: effective cross-channel marketing strategies and integrated CRM intelligence, while other brands continue to blindly trust publishers with myopic single channel strategies.

When you plug media campaigns into CRM systems, you get unbiased true north guidance in return. Decisions are based on what works by harnessing the unbiased insights of independent third party partners. This channel-agnostic approach not only leads to more effective, more informed decisions, but also enables you to choose the best, most agile components to run campaigns and turbo charge your CRM system to not only drive insights but perform real time execution. In digital, this heightened speed and precision can deliver a substantial advantage.

By matching customers to the campaigns, channels, devices and keywords that are acquiring and reacquiring those customers, CRM systems connect monetization and LTV data to granular campaign elements. The focus shifts beyond the last click and even past the most sophisticated conversion attribution models available today.

Connecting LTV to campaigns doesn’t just award credit for conversions; it leverages everything a business knows about a customer to measure true marketing performance. Today’s best and most sophisticated digital marketers will move beyond business intelligence use cases within CRM and begin orchestrating a symphony between insights and real time execution.

Ted Krantz is chief revenue officer for Kenshoo.


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