Marketing Glossary - Demand - Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

What is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)?

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) refers to the total cost of acquiring a new customer, encompassing all marketing and sales expenses divided by the number of customers acquired over a specific period.

How Does Customer Acquisition Cost Work?

CAC is pivotal in understanding the investment required to attract new customers. It includes direct costs like advertising, promotions, and sales team expenses. Efficiently managing CAC is crucial for profitability, emphasizing strategies that maximize return on investment.


CAC is calculated by summing the costs associated with acquisition efforts (marketing expenses, salaries, commissions, etc.) and dividing by the number of new customers gained. It's essential for evaluating the effectiveness of marketing strategies and ensuring sustainable growth.

Real World Example:

An event company spends $10,000 on digital marketing and sales initiatives in a quarter and acquires 100 new clients. The CAC is $100 per new client. This metric helps the company assess the efficiency of its marketing strategies and adjust its budget accordingly.

Key Takeaways/components/Sub-parts:

  • Marketing Expenses: Costs related to promotional activities.
  • Sales Expenses: Salaries and commissions for sales staff.
  • Customer Segmentation: Identifying specific groups to target more effectively.
  • ROI Analysis: Assessing the return on investment to ensure cost-effective customer acquisition.


What is CAC?

The total cost spent on acquiring a new customer.

Why is CAC important?

It helps businesses assess the efficiency of their marketing strategies.

How can companies reduce CAC?

By optimizing marketing strategies and improving customer retention.

Does CAC vary by industry?

Yes, CAC can significantly differ across industries and business models.

How is CAC related to customer value?

Understanding CAC in relation to the lifetime value of a customer is crucial for profitability.