Customer Acquisition Cost Formula | 4 mins read

Breaking Down the Customer Acquisition Cost Formula

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Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

Insight into the Customer Acquisition Cost Formula

Customer acquisition cost, commonly abbreviated as CAC, is an important metric. The customer acquisition cost formula is used for businesses to calculate their CAC ratio. The CAC ratio supplies insight on everything from business model to marketing spend effectiveness. As such, calculating CAC using the customer acquisition cost formula is an essential business objective.

CAC allows businesses to best acquire new customers which ultimately leads to customer success and growth. Beyond new customers acquired, customer lifetime value is also a significant focus for businesses. Customer success and customer lifetime value are foundational to consistent revenue with CAC ratio part of the larger equation.

Customer acquisition cost is the total sales and marketing cost necessary to acquire customers over a time period specified. Total sales and marketing cost figures incorporate marketing spend but also many other factors. Due to vast variations in industries and businesses, no one universal CAC formula is used.

The most basic CAC formula is the cost of sales and marketing divided by any new customer acquired. However, businesses must make sure to consider their unique CAC formula components. Gaining a more comprehensive understanding of what is included in CAC formula calculations helps these efforts. Common expenditures included in CAC formula calculations include-

1. Employee Salaries

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Employee salaries are an important component of the customer acquisition formula. Different employees bring different value to the company, from content marketing to sales team representatives. Money spent on employee salaries is never wasted if employees return investment through their activities. As such, businesses should consider employee cost relative to the overall CAC ratio.

Acquiring new customers depends on a variety of professionals working both separately and collaboratively. The sales team works within the sales process and sales cycle in order to acquire new customers. Additionally, the sales team helps make sure customer success and customer lifetime value are optimized. The sales conversion rate metric informs businesses on how effectively sales team professions are converting leads into new customers. The conversion rate crucially aligns sales and marketing team professionals.

Content marketing and social media professionals focus on marketing spend and ad spend processes. Great content marketing professionals strategically make sure that content attracts new customers for the sales team to engage with. Costs associated with employee salaries are critical to the CAC formula and CAC ratio improvements.

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2. Marketing Spend

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Ad spend and marketing spend are crucial customer acquisition formula expenditures. Marketing spend represents all money spent and costs associated with marketing activities. Marketing spend includes any money spent on everything from content marketing to social media advertisements. Search engine optimization and trade shows are also marketing spend components.

Ad spend includes all money spent and costs associated with advertisements. Ad spend is a crucial factor for the sales cycle that attracts new customers to sales team professionals. Ad spend must make sure to attract new customers within the target audience. Calculating return investment of ad spend and marketing efforts necessitates dividing revenue produced by money spent on the marketing campaign. Due to their importance, ad spend and marketing spend are foundational considerations of business model and business plan discussions.

3. Publishing and Production Costs

Publishing and production costs are both important CAC formula components. Publishing costs include all money spent and costs associated with releasing marketing campaigns to the public. Examples of publishing costs include paid social media ads or print magazine features.

Production costs include all money spent and costs associated with physical content creation. Production cost examples range from camera purchases to costs associated with set creation. Especially if third party companies are involved in physical content creation, production costs can quickly accumulate. As such, publishing and production costs are both critical aspects of marketing efforts and marketing costs to consistently monitor.

4. Technical Costs

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Technical costs are essential to consider when breaking down the customer acquisition formula. Any technology that sales or marketing team professionals utilize falls under technical costs. Technological tools can make significant differences to the sales cycle and the sales process overall.

Businesses often attempt to control costs associated with employee salaries instead of investing in technical costs. If content marketing employee costs are too high, pay cuts or layoffs are not a wise decision. Alternatively, money spent on technological improvements will increase content marketing and social media professional productivity. Examples of social media and content marketing supplemental technological tools include marketing automation and chatbots.

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Key Takeaways for Customer Acquisition Cost Formula

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  • Different businesses have vastly different customer acquisition costs.
  • Customer acquisition cost formula considerations range from employee salaries to technical costs.

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