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Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)


Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a key figure that quantifies the total value of a customer for a company over the entire duration of the business relationship. CLV estimates a customer's financial contribution based on past purchases, expected future transactions, and other interaction values.


Calculating customer lifetime value has established itself as an important strategy in marketing and customer relationship management. It enables companies to manage investments in customer acquisition and maintenance based on potential long-term profitability.

Areas of application

The CLV is particularly used in marketing, sales and customer service. It is relevant in industries such as e-commerce, financial services, telecommunications and the B2B sector, where long-term customer relationships play a significant role. The CLV helps to prioritize resources, whether in directly approaching customers or designing loyalty programs.


A profound understanding of CLV offers several benefits: It promotes more efficient marketing budget allocation, improves customer segmentation and prioritization, and supports the development of strategies to retain and increase customer value. Companies can invest more specifically in high-quality customer relationships to ensure long-term success.


The challenges of calculating CLV lie in precisely recording and predicting customer behavior over longer periods of time. In addition, integrating data from various sources and adapting to changing market conditions is complex.


A practical example of the use of CLV in industry are measures in a B2B retailer portal where top customers receive personalized offers and exclusive customer service. This strategy is based on the recognition that these customers account for a disproportionately high share of total sales and that their long-term commitment is crucial.


Customer lifetime value is a key metric for understanding the long-term value of customer relationships. It enables companies to make strategic decisions aimed at maximizing this value and effectively managing resource allocation within the company.