There have been repeated calls from top management and marketing academics for greater accountability in marketing so that the financial returns of marketing investments can be more robustly evaluated. These are coalescing around the issue of whether or not marketing delivers shareholder value. One promising line of enquiry explores customer lifetime value and the profitable management of these relationships. Although helpful, this approach fails to make the final link with shareholder value since customer lifetime value is still essentially a profit or cash flow measure and does not fully account for customer risk. This paper describes empirical research which explores differing approaches to measuring customer risk and the creation of shareholder value through customer relationship management (CRM). We develop a customer relationship scorecard which proves an innovative tool for managers to use in determining the risks in their customer relationships and developing risk mitigation strategies. The scorecard is then used to forecast retention probabilities, from which a risk- adjusted customer lifetime value is calculated. Both the scorecard and the calculations have an impact on the CRM practices of the customer relationship managers. From a theoretical perspective, an enhanced consideration of customer risk and returns is an important additional step towards demonstrating that marketing creates shareholder value
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