Take Me on a Journey: Achieving Customer Lifetime Value

May 29, 2018


Noodle on this: of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955, only 60 are still here.

Of course, times change, but it’s still a bit shocking. If this stat says anything about brands, it’s that staying ahead of the curve and pivoting strategies is absolutely vital to remaining relevant.

An amazing product that constantly meets the needs and exceeds the expectations of consumers is the primary driver for longevity for any consumer brand. But without the right people receiving a relevant message or offer at the moments that matter, even traditionally successful brands may get lost in the multi-screen clutter consumers face everyday. This includes wasting advertising spend on consumers who already purchased your product.

Today, it’s all about buying the outcome and driving the actions of the consumer. But there are ways we can do this better. How? By focusing on a customer’s “lifetime value.”

We’re going to see utilization of data that grows between the brand and the consumer, and the type of personalization that makes the consumer stay with that brand through their product lifecycle. What do I mean? If I buy an Apple watch, I don’t want to see another advertisement for that same Apple watch again. Show me ads to buy different bands for the watch, or show me ads for a different Apple product. When the next Apple watch is out, let me know. In other words, take me on a journey.

It’s about having that journey mapped out for the customer. The data to do this is here, whether it’s prediction or prescription, it’s available and waiting. However, there are hurdles to get to this next phase of digital advertising and measurement continues to be the biggest challenge. Today, quality is the hot measurement topic – think viewability – but you need to go further down the pipe than that. It’s ultimately about outcomes. Viewability plays a role, but in the end, performance is the ultimate metric – how many times did your customer transact with you over time?

What I’m sure many of the remaining 60 companies from 1955’s Fortune 500 list can tell you is while it’s important to stay ahead of the technological and strategic curves, success still comes down to the same unifying principles, as evidenced in the book, Be Like Amazon. Amazon’s unifying business principles include customer centricity; continuous optimization; culture of innovation; and corporate agility.

All four principles are incredibly important, especially the de facto number one, customer centricity, but corporate agility will also be key to finding future success in the adoption of customer lifetime value focused advertising.
To remain agile, your marketing cannot rely on static, outdated measurement models of just delivering the media, or ensuring its quality. Consumers are agile, and your advertising needs to be too to ensure you are branding, reaching, engaging, converting and creating advocates over the entire customer lifecycle.

Applying this outcome based approach within a longer-term vision of performance and success beyond clicks and leads lets advertisers and their marketing partners continue to learn, adapt and discover more about their market, their customer and what keeps those customers loyal for the long haul.