The Economics of Customer Businesses
This report focuses on the customer as the basic unit of analysis in understanding value. The idea of customer lifetime value has been around for decades, but we believe our discussion is richer and more nuanced than what many companies and analysts present. We discuss a framework called customer-based corporate valuation, which links customer economics to shareholder value and offers a more robust way to forecast revenues. We also show the limitations of common ratios such as customer lifetime value to customer acquisition cost (LTV/CAC), explore how companies can create consumer and supplier surplus, provide a case study, examine trade-offs in the drivers of value, and explore common errors.