Customer lifetime network value: customer valuation in the context of network effects
Nowadays customers are increasingly connected and extensively interact with each other using technology-enabled media like online social networks. Hence, customers are frequently exposed to social influence when making purchase decisions. However, established approaches for customer valuation mostly neglect network effects based on social influence. This leads to a misallocation of resources. Following a design-oriented approach, the paper develops a model for customer valuation referred to as the customer lifetime network value (CLNV), incorporating an integrated network perspective. By considering a customer's net contribution to the network, the CLNV reallocates values between customers based on social influence. Inspired by common prestige- and eigenvector-related centrality measures it incorporates social influence among all degrees of separation acknowledging its viral spread. Using a real-world dataset, we demonstrate the practicable applicability of the CLNV to determine individual customers’ value.