Ignite | A B2B Marketing Blog

How to Catch Vanity Metrics: What to Look For to Avoid Metric Mayhem!

By Sarah Grace McDuff | August 18, 2016

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In today’s world of web analytics, measuring marketing and advertising efforts is easier than ever before. What was once considered guesswork can now be analyzed with quantitative data to provide solid reporting. But how can we know which metrics to measure?

Although all metrics may seem useful at first glance, a large percentage of these metrics are simply vanity metrics. Vanity metrics pose a large threat to businesses because they often give a false impression of how successful your marketing efforts actually are. As surface level metrics, vanity metrics often cover up more alarming insights and cause problems to go unnoticed for long periods of time. So what qualifies as a vanity metric?

Vanity Metric checklist:

            -Is this metric actionable?

Actionable metrics provide feedback that you can act on. They tell you how the metric got there, what change will create the outcome you want to see, and can help inform future business decisions.

            - Will this metric help you identify valuable customers?

A metric such as total page views only tells you a number. If the metric is too vague, it won’t provide any helpful insights into who your most valuable potential customers are.

            -Can this metric be easily manipulated?

Total page views and number of likes are not set in stone. In fact, people on your marketing team can open your website in their browser and easily mess with these types of metrics (although this is unlikely to actually happen). The ease with which these metrics can be manipulated dilutes the amount of helpful information they actually offer.

If the metric in question doesn’t inform marketing decisions, doesn’t help you identify key customers, and can easily be manipulated, you’ve got yourself a vanity metric! To find out which metrics are the best for providing useful, constructive feedback check out FitzMartin’s FREE guide, “This One Marketing and Sales Tip Will Change How You View Advertising Forever.”

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Posted in: Data, roi, marketing

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