RFM Analysis and Its Role in Customer Valuation

"Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer." - Scott Cook

Every marketer knows the customer is king. New age marketers know it is imperative to sift the best from the rest.

Deviating attention from customers who matter or treating them the same as the others can endanger customer relationships. Building a loyal relationship with the best customers or converting prospects into repeat customers can be pivotal in turning any business around.

But how can you evaluate customers based on the value they bring to the company? Enter RFM analysis, a popular and verified method of customer valuation.

Speculated to be introduced in a 1995 article by Jan Roelf Bult and Tom Wansbeek, RFM analysis has remained a marketer’s favorite in understanding customers.

What is RFM Analysis?

RFM analysis is an acronym for Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value Analysis that enables smart marketers to segregate their customer base. The technique borrows from the Pareto Principle, according to which 80% of a business’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers.

RFM analysis quantifies customers based on three key factors:

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RFM analysis helps marketers figure out:

The RFM Score

Customers are scored individually on all three aspects. The total tally is an average of all three scores. The best customers score high in each of the three specified fields and have a high RFM score.

Usually, each of the three individual scores is given equal weightage when calculating the average. But this can vary depending upon the types of business you’re engaged in.

Consider a retail business. It is common for customers to make multiple purchases in a small span of time, say a month. The transaction value of retail purchases may not be very high. In such cases, an ideal RFM score can be calculated by giving more weightage to Recency and Frequency.

Why is RFM Analysis Important?

RFM analysis helps businesses understand their customers better and engage with them in a bespoke manner. It can help you to:

In short, RFM analysis could make a tangible difference to your business in terms of profitability and customer retention.

RFM Analysis in Graphite Note

Customer Segmentation Based on RFM Analysis

Customers can be segregated into the following categories depending upon their RFM analysis scores:

Best Customers

Such customers keep on buying your products or services on a regular basis. They also tend to have a good spending capacity and make big purchases. They are most likely to try out your newest launches and even promote your business among their peers.

Prospective Loyalists

Recent customers who make repeat purchases but are not very frequent fall under this category. These customers, if cultivated well with loyalty programs, discounts, etc. have the potential of becoming loyalists in future.

New Entrants

There are some customers who score high in RFM analysis but do not make regular purchases. Such ‘new entrants’ can be profitable for your business in the long run. Engage with them through various means to increase the frequency of their visits to your website.

Endangered Customers

Customers who used to make big and frequent purchases but have stopped doing so in recent times fall under this category.

Almost Lost Customers

These are customers who were once among your best but have shown a decline of interest over time. You must communicate with them to understand their change of heart and make every effort you can to win them back.


RFM analysis is a surefire way of allowing marketers to make discernible changes in their practices to help retain customers.

Graphite Note strives to provide such marketers with data stories built with the help of predictive analytics to create a time-efficient, pro-tech solution to their data analysis needs.

Why Data Storytellers Will Be Invaluable For Defining The Next Decade Of Data.

Most businesses in today's world need data to survive and become a success. To understand trends, increase efficiency, keep track, data is needed. Hence, it's a crucial asset that must be well monitored and managed to avoid costly repercussions. Data has become more popular and used than before. The result? The need for more data storytellers.

 It is not enough for the stakeholders of a company to make decisions based on data they do not understand. 

They need a data storyteller to craft an understandable story of what the data means to them, to understand it, and make a decision.

What is data storytelling?

Data storytelling is the act of converting a set of data into visualizations and narratives. It's facilitating easier communication and understanding. The growth of online businesses and the use of data is making data storytelling the next big skill in the digital world.

Who is a data storyteller?

A data storyteller is someone who has knowledge about data analytics and can understand data, extract information from it, visualize it, and share it with others. There are three main skills that every data storytelling must master. 

Graphite Data Storytelling with notebook
Graphite Notebook for Data Storytelling

3 Reasons Why Data Storytellers Will Be Invaluable For Defining The Next Decade Of Data.

There are great benefits of data storytelling. For a data storyteller, that means a great opportunity in the business world. They get to win deals through an effective presentation. They communicate effectively and get through to their audience easily. 

Hence the growing need for data storytellers will make them invaluable in the next decade of data usage.

How Graphite can help with data storytelling?

Traditional business intelligence tools are talking about data storytelling, but what they really mean is just a sequence of charts with annotations. Charts that human beings so often have trouble interpreting and understanding!

We know from our experience that sometimes it is very hard for business people to understand even a simple chart.

Graphite is rethinking the whole business intelligence space by combining 3 essential elements: your data and traditional analytics, predictive analytics algorithms, and human communication.

 The main idea behind Graphite Notebook is to do your own Data Storytelling; create various visualization with detailed descriptions, insights, plot model results for better understanding, and share that story with your team.