Journal of Marketing Research, pp. 7-18, February 2004
13 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2003 Last revised: 27 Jul 2011
It is increasingly apparent that the financial value of a firm depends on off-balance-sheet intangible assets. In this article, the authors focus on the most critical aspect of a firm: its customers. Specifically, they demonstrate how valuing customers makes it feasible to value firms, including high growth firms with negative earnings. The authors define the value of a customer as the expected sum of discounted future earnings. They demonstrate their valuation method by using publicly available data for five firms. They find that a 1% improvement in retention, margin, or acquisition cost improves firm value by 5%, 1% and .1% respectively. They also find that a 1% improvement in retention has almost five times greater impact on firm value than a 1% change in discount rate or cost of capital. The results show that the linking of marketing concepts to shareholder value is both possible and insightful.
Keywords: Customer lifetime value, valuation, forecasting
JEL Classification: C53, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation