Understanding CAC and its Role in Profitable Marketing Decisions

by admin, September 4, 2023

Guest blog post by  Backona, Certified Google Analytics Experts.



Achieving profitability goes hand-in-hand with keen financial oversight. Today, let’s delve deeper into how understanding marketing costs can significantly influence a company’s bottom line.

Every business leader knows that without strategic marketing, attracting new customers can be an uphill battle. Especially for nascent businesses, marketing often demands a substantial investment of both time and money.

However, by measuring the Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) from the outset, businesses can unlock two primary advantages:

  1. Accelerated Business Growth: Identifying which marketing channels generate the most leads allows businesses to swiftly discontinue underperforming campaigns and double down on the ones with proven results. This strategy leads to more efficient customer acquisition.
  2. Optimised Pricing Strategy: Knowing your CAC provides the foundation for effective pricing. By factoring in service delivery costs, accounting, staffing, and other operational expenses, businesses gain a holistic understanding of their financial landscape.

While many businesses opt for tools like Google Analytics 4 to measure CAC, others prefer manual methods.

How to Manually Measure CAC?

Manually measuring CAC involves a detailed tracking of all costs incurred during the customer acquisition process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Identify All Costs: Enumerate every marketing-related expense, including advertising, campaigns, promotions, marketing team salaries, tools, event costs, and more.
  2. Monthly Segmentation: For precision, track CAC monthly. This approach provides insights into fluctuating costs and helps in refining marketing strategies.
  3. Tally New Customers: Document the number of customers gained each month.
  4. Calculate CAC:

CAC calculation

Divide your total marketing expenses by the number of new customers. CAC=Total marketing expensesNumber of acquired customersCAC=Number of acquired customersTotal marketing expenses​ For instance, if you’ve invested £10,000 in marketing and acquired 100 customers in a month, your CAC is £100.

It’s crucial to understand that CAC isn’t a one-size-fits-all metric. Different companies will have different calculations for CAC, influenced by factors such as the length of the sales cycle, purchase frequency and value, customer lifespan, and even company maturity. To gain a comprehensive understanding and contextualise CAC appropriately, a thorough financial analysis tailored to the unique intricacies of the business is indispensable.

Measuring CAC using Google Analytics 4 (GA4):

Google Analytics 4 provides powerful tools for conversion tracking and evaluating ROI across marketing platforms.

  • Integrate with Advertising Account: Ensure seamless integration between your GA4 and advertising accounts, such as Google Ads.
  • Set Up Conversion Tracking: GA4 facilitates easy conversion tracking through event setups, like registrations or purchases.
  • Analyse Reports: On the GA4 dashboard, go to the “Acquisition Sources” report to ascertain user origins and the associated conversion costs.
  • Determine CAC: Just as with the manual method, compute CAC by dividing total acquisition costs by the customer count.

Yearly CAC

It’s worth emphasising that when correctly configured, Google Analytics provides not just overall CAC, but does so for each distinct campaign and channel. Such detailed insights are invaluable. By understanding which avenues yield the lowest CAC, businesses can make budgetary decisions that amplify their return on investment and bolster marketing efficiency.

For optimal results, continuously review and adjust marketing approaches based on CAC insights. A deep understanding of customer acquisition costs is paramount for elevating both profitability and marketing prowess.

Using CAC for Annual Insights and Future Budgeting

CAC isn’t just for monthly assessments. Viewing CAC from an annual standpoint provides a wider lens on your marketing efficiency, accounting for seasonal variances and long-term trends that might be missed with monthly figures.

  1. Annual Calculation of CAC: By totalling your marketing costs for the entire year and dividing them by the total number of customers acquired during that time, you gain a comprehensive view of your year-round efficiency. Yearly CAC = Total yearly marketing costs. Number of customers acquired over the year. Yearly CAC = Number of customers acquired over the year, Total yearly marketing costs​

This perspective is invaluable for businesses with seasonal sales patterns or those launching extensive campaigns around specific events, like Christmas or annual sales.

  1. Informing Future Budgets: Yearly CAC data can be foundational for setting your marketing budgets for the forthcoming year. Recognising how much, on average, you’ve spent to acquire a customer over the past year helps in more judicious fund allocation for the future. For instance, if your yearly CAC is markedly high, it might indicate a need to review your marketing strategies or invest in more cost-effective avenues.
  2. Predicting Growth and ROI: A consistent yearly CAC suggests stability in your marketing endeavours. Conversely, a decreasing yearly CAC might indicate growing efficiency, suggesting that you’re achieving more for less. This insight can be fundamental in setting growth projections and estimating the return on investment for upcoming campaigns.
  3. Aligning with Business Goals: Understanding your yearly CAC also aids in formulating realistic business targets. If the firm’s aim is to expand its customer base by a certain percentage, the CAC provides a rough estimate of the required investment. Alternatively, if there are budgetary constraints, the CAC can guide the aggressiveness or restraint of the acquisition approaches.

In conclusion, whilst monthly CAC insights are crucial for immediate adjustments, the annual CAC metric is vital for sculpting long-term strategies, forecasting growth, and shaping future budgets.


Understanding and effectively leveraging your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is pivotal for businesses aiming for long-term success and sustainability. Whether you’re assessing CAC on a monthly basis to make short-term strategic tweaks or evaluating it annually for broader, long-term insights, the value it brings to future budgeting and growth predictions cannot be overstated.

Moreover, with tools like Google Analytics 4, businesses have the advantage of deep, data-driven insights. When set up accurately, GA4 can be a game-changer: it helps pinpoint non-profitable marketing efforts, allowing you to divest from them and refocus your resources on strategies that genuinely bring in customers. This not only streamlines your marketing approach but can save a significant amount of money in the long run.

If you’re seeking to optimise your analytics setup and make the most of your marketing budget, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Our team at Backona.com is here to assist, ensuring you gain the most from your data-driven strategies.

Article written by Backona, Certified Google Analytics Experts.

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