The Power Of KPIs: How Do You Measure Success?

Non-data oriented founders and influencers often get overwhelmed with key performance indicators (KPIs) and where to start. How’s it different from a metric (answer: KPI measure success while a metric is a number within a KPI)?

What’s page depth?

Or bounce rate?

And how’s a unique user different from a view?

And what analytics tool should I use?

And, and, and…Help!

But the reality is, a compelling KPI will be exactly what you need to make an enticing case to potential investors by showing your killer idea is actually successful, and proving there’s an audience who genuinely values your work.

Mark Zuckerberg has said that you should concentrate on one specific goal, forget everything else, and check regularly if the goal is being reached.

I completely agree.

In order to measure success, you need to keep it simple & know what your “big win” would be.

But how do you decide on that “big win?” To figure that out, you need to ask yourself some simple questions:

  1. What’s the long term goal?
  2. What are the short term goals and how do they fit into the long term goal?
  3. What are you willing to experiment with? What can you amplify or do different?

With those answers, you can finally pick one simple KPI (simply put, “big win” KPI).

If we take the customer’s journey and look at the different levels of a 4-tiered marketing funnel (tiered with the goals to 1st drive awareness, 2nd educate & engage, 3rd convert, and finally, create advocacy) you’ll get a swath of valuable ones for each goal.

See below for some examples:

Kick@ss KPI Per Funnel Tier

  • To Drive Awareness
    • Unique Visitors
    • Repeat visitors
    • Views
    • Bounce Rate
    • Average Session Duration
    • Increase in search page ranking (just Google it)
  • To Educate & Engage
    • Visits by source: organic search
    • # of articles or blog posts read
    • Page depth (Google Analytics)
  • To Convert
    • Signups to mailing list
    • # of CTA (call to action) clicks to Contact from homepage
    • # of CTA clicks to Contact from article x, y, z
    • Completed contact forms
    • Purchases/bookings/reservations
  • To Create Advocacy
    • Shares
    • Mentions on social platforms
    • Referrals (via email)
    • Google Alerts (for specific keywords)
    • Credits in media (online publications like articles, other blogs, or the news)

KPI In Application: Case Study

The Brief

A Washington-based tech company is trying to create demand generation for a new product they just released, an augmented and virtual reality headset.

They ultimately want to drive sales to their online store, but are drowning in sophisticated corporate jargon, manager approvals, and dozens of KPIs. The million dollar question: what “big win” KPI should they concentrate on for 2018?

The Answer

It depends on the goal and stage in the customer journey. Using the same 4-tiered marketing funnel as above, you have to know if you’re trying to convert (drive a purchase) or you’re simply saying “hey, we exist!” (drive awareness).

Broken down per goal, here would be my recommmendations (and the respective tool for tracking):

  • To Educate & Engage 
    • KPI: shares (GA), page depth (1 page, 2 pages, 3 pages read, etc.) (GA), CTA consideration (heatmapping with Hotjar)

Have a “brief” you want me to work through and provide KPIs to? Please comment  below or Tweet me @jakub_kubicka.


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