Best Tactics for Using Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) Data to Drive Digital Marketing

Written by on 7th August 2019

An increasing number of companies are putting a high priority on figuring out their customer lifetime value (CLV) and increasing this metric to maximize their profits. However, it’s important to understand that simply looking to maximize CLV is a two-dimensional strategy. There are many other things you can do with your CLV data to grow your business.

Here are some of the best ways to use CLV data to drive your digital marketing:

1. Outspend Competitors in Advertising Channels

By figuring out your customer lifetime value, you can outspend advertisers in various advertising channels for greater exposure. Channels like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other display ad platforms prioritize advertisers that bid higher for clicks or actions. Most advertisers are optimizing their bids to turn a profit for the initial sale and backend, so you can go beyond that and set your bids based on the lifetime value of your customers.

While you are sacrificing your profit margin on the initial sale, you are also generating a far higher volume of leads and customers. In the end, your total net revenue generated from this tactic will far exceed the total net revenue generated from spending conservatively. The only thing you have to be cautious about is your customer acquisition cost exceeding your CLV or leaving too little profit.

2. Prioritize Marketing and Customer Service for Customers with the Highest CLV

American Express tells small business owners that “80 percent of your business comes from just 20 percent of your customers.” If you’re working with limited resources, then you’ll want to use this concept to target your best customers. Figure out which segment of your customers has the highest CLV. Then optimize your marketing campaign and try to further maximize the CLV of these customers.

You’ll also want to go the extra mile for your most valuable customers. Try offering them exclusive rewards for return purchases, loyalty-based bonuses, and gifts just for being a valued customer. Is shows that you really do appreciate their business. As a result, you’ll find them coming back to purchase from you again.

3. Take a Different Approach with Customers with Lower CLV

If you have enough resources to focus on all of your different customer groups, then you want to use the CLV data to redesign your marketing. What appeals to the customers with the highest CLV may not necessarily appeal to your other groups of customers. This means you’ll have to pay attention to the behavior, interests, wants, and purchases of your other customer groups.

The goal is to move these customers up to becoming loyal customers with a higher CLV. The CLV of many customer groups may not get as high as your most valuable customers, but your efforts may still help to increase their average CLV. You can try different things, like improving customer lifecycle management, trying different marketing messages, changing the path of your marketing funnel, testing different offers, and promoting different types of products/services.

4. Use Your CLV Data to Prioritize the Top Performing Channels

Companies are limited by time, budget, and their workforce. That’s why it makes sense to dig deeper into your CLV data and learn which of your digital marketing channels are generating your most valuable customers. This means that you’ll have to do things like tagging your leads, looking at traffic source, and identifying important attribution points in your marketing.

Once you figure out what the best performing digital marketing channels are, you can start shifting your resources in the right direction. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon channels that aren’t the top producers. You can still run and manage campaigns in other channels, but you’ll want to make sure your team isn’t over-committing to them.

5. Focus on Audiences with the Highest CLV

Another way to use CLV to drive your digital marketing is to compare the CLV of the different audiences you’re targeting. For instance, a B2C company may offer a service to regular consumers, nonprofits, and small businesses. They may have started their business focusing on meeting the needs of regular consumers. But by comparing the CLV of each target audience, they may discover that the CLV of small businesses is the highest.

This should make the B2C company realize that they should be putting a stronger focus on securing small business clients, especially if these business owners tend to make many repeat purchases over their life cycle while regular consumers purchase at unreliable rates. The lesson here is that you should go beyond customer segments and start to look at the CLV of different audiences as well.

6. Develop New Products and Services for Customers with the Highest CLV

Many companies develop new products and services for the mass market. But if 20 percent of your customers are generating 80 percent of your profits, doesn’t it make sense to develop products and services specifically for your most valuable customers? 

So how can you find out what your most valuable customers want to buy?

While you can always use online surveys, try making it personal and get customers with the highest CLV on the phone with you.

Ask your most valued customers which of their needs and wants are unfulfilled. Find out what they’d like to see being sold. This may lead to some interesting ideas for new products and services. And since the new product or service is based on them, you can expect to generate a reliable source of revenue from your creation. Many companies focus too much on traffic, leads, and sales when they could be opening up many new opportunities by expanding on their offerings.

7. Spend the Marketing Budget to Quickly Expand to Other Channels

Many companies wait before shifting some of their budgets into new channels. This makes sense because it’s important to ensure that there’s a surplus cash flow to keep your business running when revenue slows down. But if you know the average CLV of all your customers, you can predict the future revenue that will be generated many months down the line.

So instead of holding on to surplus cash flow as a safety net, you can decide to invest a good amount of your marketing budget into testing other channels. This approach will save you a lot of time and open up more options for scaling your business. Of course, it can be risky if you mismanage your cash flow.

So before making a big decision like this, make sure you have a proven marketing system in place. You also want to be aware of other things that may affect the outcome of your campaigns, like shifting market sentiment, trends, competition, and seasons.


To sum up, you want to go beyond just trying to increase your average customer lifetime value. There are many different ways you can use your CLV data to drive your digital marketing, like increasing your ad spend, focusing on your most valuable customers, and growing the right channels. Knowing your CLV allows you to take your business to a whole new level, but you also need to know how to take it there.

Author’s Bio : Lukas Sitar

Lukas is the SEO and Inbound Marketing Specialist contracted with Exponea – Customer Data Platform. Lukas’ main focus is to increase the number of sales-qualified leads generated from organic traffic, which he achieves by improving the UX, technical and on-page SEO aspects of Exponea’s website.