Lifetime Value Segments
Businesses don't just stop marketing once the sale is made; when a customer makes a purchase the goal of the business is to get the customer to return and make more and more purchases.

Customer acquisition is an ongoing task; today we see a lot of businesses that have monthly membership fees, or subscriptions become very successful. This is because when they acquire a customer they are constantly making that sale every month, rather than the one time customer kind of business where a sale is made, but there's no guarantee that the customer will return.

The goal for many businesses is to stretch the longevity of a customer for as long as possible. Because of this businesses must approach marketing in two separate ways; the first marketing plan is the actual acquisition of a new customer, the second is directed towards keeping their current customers coming back for more, and keeping them satisfied.

A lifetime value segment is a system that businesses use to classify their current customers.

There are three classifications:

1. Gold Customers - Most frequent customers/ Biggest spenders
2. Silver Customers - Slightly less valuable customers
3. Bronze Customers - Occasional customers
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By using this classification system these businesses can develop separate marketing strategies for each of these classifications. The marketing goals differ for each type of customer; a company would want to turn a bronze customer into a silver customer, a silver customer into a gold customer, and secure a gold customer long term, and keep them satisfied.

Different marketing strategies are applied to these classifications; companies will try and develop marketing plans to get bronze and silver customers to buy more, but for gold customers they will instead focus on customer satisfaction to keep them coming back.

Many airlines will offer frequent flyer mile programs, this program might not necessarily influence a bronze or silver customer to take more trips, but it rewards its gold customers and keeps them happy with the airline. This would be an example of a marketing campaign that’s specifically aimed at gold customers. This same airline would also develop campaigns for silver bronze and also new customers. These campaigns will usually include media advertising, as well as travel packages, discounted rates, etc.
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Many companies will develop advertisements to specifically address one of these classifications, but the best ads tend to appeal to all three. A good example of a marketing campaign that addresses all classifications is the Tim Horton's roll up the rim; it influences bronze and silver customers to buy more, and also rewards gold customers. Many times when a company organizes a contest like this it addresses all three classifications.

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External Links
· Here is a link to an article further explaining the benefits of long term customers: http://140.118.5.28/MIS_Notes/96-1-Art%20Pre/MIS_first/group6/Data%20Mining~Customer%20segmentation%20and%20strategy%20development%20based%20on%20CLV.pdf
· Here is a second article with tips on how to apply the Customer Lifetime Value strategy: http://www.marketingmo.com/4-support-tools/how-to-use-customer-lifetime-value/
· Here is a article that explains in further detail the Customer Segmentation Process: http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/direct-marketing/your-mailing-list/the-art-of-customer-segmentation