Time to value is a golden metric for customer marketers. This concept is key to understanding the success and impact of your team’s efforts.

In this article, we cover: 

  • A definition of time to value
  • Different types of time to value
  • Time to value strategies for customer marketers
  • How cross-collaboration can improve times to value

Defining Time to Value (TTV)

Time to Value (TTV) is the time it takes for a customer to realize the benefits or value of a product or service they've purchased. 

In simpler terms, it's how quickly a customer can say, "Yes, this was worth my money and effort!"

Focussing on TTV is about making the transition from initial purchase to product advocacy as quick and smooth as possible. For businesses, accelerating TTV is crucial because:

  1. It increases customer satisfaction.
  2. It reduces the risk of customers abandoning the product.
  3. It can lead to faster expansion of product use and upsells.
  4. It often results in positive word-of-mouth and referrals.

Why TTV matters in customer marketing 

Hearing this definition, you can understand why customer marketing is a good fit for being one of the departments that nurture this concept. Not least because TTV impacts many metrics customer marketers use for measuring success:

  1. Customer satisfaction: When customers quickly see value in a product or service, they feel more satisfied with their purchase decision. This satisfaction leads to positive experiences and relationships with the brand.
  2. Reduced churn: A shorter TTV decreases the likelihood of customers abandoning the product or service before they see its benefits. This leads to lower churn rates and higher customer retention.
  3. Upsell and cross-sell opportunities: Customers who quickly realize value are more receptive to additional offerings, leading to increased revenue potential.

TTV matters in customer marketing because it directly influences customer satisfaction, retention, and overall success of both the customer and the company. By prioritizing and improving TTV, customer marketers can drive better outcomes for their customers and their business.

Different types of TTV (e.g., immediate, short-term, long-term)

The different types of Time to Value (TTV) can be categorized based on how quickly customers realize benefits from a product or service. Let's go through the main types:

  • Immediate TTV: Value is realized almost instantly after purchase or implementation.
    • Characteristics: Minimal setup required, intuitive use.
  • Short-term TTV: Value is realized within days or weeks of purchase.
    • Characteristics: May require some setup or learning, but benefits are seen relatively quickly.
  • Medium-term TTV: Value becomes apparent within a few months.
    • Characteristics: Often involves more complex products or services that require integration into existing systems or processes.
  • Long-term TTV: Full value realization takes several months to a year or more.
    • Characteristics: Typically involves products or services with strategic, long-term impact. May require significant changes in organizational processes or culture.
  • Incremental TTV: Value is realized in stages over time, with increasing benefits as usage continues.
    • Characteristics: Often seen in products with multiple features or capabilities that users adopt gradually.
  • Delayed TTV: There's a significant gap between purchase/implementation and value realization.
    • Characteristics: Common in products or services that require extensive setup, integration, or behavior change before benefits are seen.

Strategies for customer marketers to accelerate TTV 

Personalized onboarding experiences

This strategy focuses on tailoring the initial customer experience to individual needs, incorporating interactive learning and proactive outreach:

  • - Customize onboarding based on customer profile (industry, size, goals).
  • - Offer role-specific training paths for different user types.
  • - Develop a library of video tutorials covering key features.
  • - Offer live webinars for more complex features or use cases.
  • - Utilize chatbots for instant, 24/7 onboarding support.
  • - Implement an in-app guidance system with contextual tooltips.
  • - Use gamification to encourage feature exploration and learning.
  • - Send automated, personalized email sequences with usage tips.
  • - Offer live webinars for more complex features or use cases.

Regular check-ins and progress updates

This approach involves maintaining consistent communication to guide customers toward value realization:

  • - Schedule periodic review calls with account managers.
  • - Send automated milestone celebration emails (e.g., "30 days with us!").
  • - Use in-app notifications to highlight new or underutilized features.
  • - Develop and share ROI calculators to help quantify gains.
  • - Create product update newsletters focusing on value-adding features.
  • - Implement a customer health score system to track progress systematically.

Leveraging customer feedback

This strategy involves actively seeking and utilizing customer input to drive improvements:

  • - Conduct regular NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys with follow-up questions.
  • - Implement in-app micro-surveys at key points in the user journey.
  • - Schedule qualitative interviews with a diverse set of customers.
  • - Use social listening tools to gather unsolicited feedback.
  • - Use A/B testing to validate the impact of changes based on feedback.
  • - Develop a public product roadmap to keep customers informed of upcoming improvements.

Collaboration across departments to enhance TTV 

But what about internal successes? TTV is a concept that is prioritized by companies as a whole, and as such you’ll rarely find customer marketing is the only team working on improving this score. 

The overlap of TTV with other departments 

The four main teams outside of customer marketing, that work with TTV are as follows: 

Product development

This team works to ensure features align with customer needs.


Sales make sure to set accurate expectations during the sales process, prior to customer purchase.

Customer success

This team is usually the one responsible for onboarding and ongoing support.


For more specific and one-to-one issues, customer support aims to resolve issues quickly to maintain value perception.

Cross-functional collaboration and TTV

Customer marketers can work cross-functionally to improve overall Time to Value (TTV) by acting as a central hub of customer insights and facilitating collaboration between teams. Here's how they can work with each team:

Product development:

  • Collaborate on user testing and beta programs for new features.
  • Provide input on product roadmaps based on customer trends and requests.


  • Develop clear value proposition materials that set accurate expectations.
  • Align messaging to ensure consistency from marketing to sales to onboarding.

Customer success:

  • Co-create onboarding materials, welcome kits, and other customer education programs.
  • Collaborate on creating customer health scores and early warning systems.


  • Analyze support tickets to identify common issues for proactive marketing content.
  • Develop a feedback loop to quickly address emerging issues in marketing materials.
Ways customer marketers can work with their organization.
Customer marketers and product marketers will often make reference to the cross-functional nature of their role - it’s something that’s critical to ensure that the customer is at the beating heart of an organization.

Cross-functional initiatives

Some general cross-functional initiatives will include:

  • Creating a shared customer journey map, with each team's touchpoints clearly defined.
  • Developing a unified customer data platform accessible to all teams.
  • Organizing cross-team workshops to brainstorm TTV improvement ideas.

By fostering these cross-functional collaborations, customer marketers can ensure a seamless customer experience from initial interest through to long-term success, ultimately accelerating TTV and improving overall customer satisfaction and retention.

Time to Value is only a small part of the customer marketing whole. Look at our Framework to see where to go next. 👇

Customer marketing framework
For each of the five fundamental stages: Lifecycle and governance, educate, engage, understand, and expand, we’ve unpacked each of the cogs to arm you all the info needed to boost your understanding of pivotal topics, as you and your team strive to create something truly memorable.