In previous posts, I discussed the importance of customer lifetime value (LTV), its key elements (monetization, retention and virality) and how to calculate LTV; but it is important to also understand that there is not a monolithic LTV for your game (or product). You may remember that the practical value of LTV is to use it as a metric to determine whether or not an ad spend has a positive return. If the LTV is higher than the cost per install (CPI), it is profitable to advertise (and vice versa).
The key to success, though, is understanding the LTV of the customer you will be acquiring as opposed to the general LTV for the game. Some low cost user acquisition channels may bring in players who are effectively worthless (they leave your game right after they click on the ad) even in a game that has a high overall LTV, so understanding the lifetime value of these users would save you from wasting your money. Conversely, there may be a very expensive advertising channel that brings in great players who all monetize well and have a much higher lifetime value than their CPI.
There are four factors that you should use to calculate separate LTVs (and in different combinations): Continue reading “Lifetime Value Part 7: The importance of segments and cohorts to LTV”