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Defining and Measuring Success With Digital Business KPIs

Digital marketing campaign KPIs

Are you wondering what kind of progress your digital business has achieved? This requires a set of KPIs (key performance indicators) that are specific to your digital marketing campaign efforts. Your company needs to know if your digital strategies are paying off, but according to HubSpot's State of Inbound 2018, 39% of respondents believe proving the ROI of marketing activities continues to be a top challenge.

So, how exactly do you measure the success of your marketing efforts? Let's take a look at what KPIs are important to measure and tips to keep in mind when measuring their success.


Which KPIs To Measure

The necessary KPIs in order to track and measure success with your digital efforts will differ from company to company and across industries. First, it is important to ensure that KPIs are built into your digital strategy and are aligned with the organization's goals. Doing it this way allows you to measure the impact of specific digital strategies against your organizational goals, such as growth, improved customer satisfaction, etc. 

For the most part, KPIs can be defined as those valuable interactions that someone has with your online presence, most often in the form of a "conversion". They help reveal where and when you should be investing more time and/or money. Some examples of KPIs include:

  • Lifetime customer value
  • Conversion rate
  • Form submission
  • MQLs/SQLs
  • Physical store visit

It can definitely get a little tricky if you are a startup. In this case, keep in mind the use of leading indicators. These are often easier to influence, but more difficult to identify, and represent digital metrics that forecast a high probability of future success, such as customer satisfaction, brand recognition, and number of blog subscribers. You can see if you are tracking in the right direction and make any necessary course corrections fairly quickly for future success. 

Digital business KPIs

Image Credit: Smart Insights


Tips to Measuring the Success of Your KPIs

KPIs should shed light on the way your audience is responding to your digital marketing efforts, advising future marketing strategies. What really matters is that the potential customers sent to sales by marketing are the ones ready to spend money, not the ones that just liked a Facebook post. Measure and report on those KPIs that are directly aligned with sales. Those are the ones that determine success within your digital business. 

In order to measure the success of your KPIs, you need to make sure that they are clearly understood by everyone involved. Just as you would make overall company goals SMART, make your KPIs SMART as well. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). This will save misunderstandings down the line. 


Example: Increase the number of qualified product demos 75% by the end of the fiscal year. 


Since your defined KPIs are SMART, you know there will be a set time to achieve them. You can track how well you are progressing towards them before the KPI is due and see where the bottlenecks exist. If you are worried that you won't hit the KPI, you need to raise a flag immediately. 

Some questions to ask yourself when tracking KPIs are: How frequently do they need to be reported? Who is charge of reporting them? What will you use to track them? 

It will be helpful to have a tool, like Grow, in which you can track your KPIs and align the team around data. Having a visual representation allows you to gain unique insights, easily see when changes are occurring, and allows you to lead with confidence, increasing your chances of achieving your KPIs.  

Overall, you want to focus on metrics that tell a story. Your KPIs should not only boost ROI but improve customer experiences. Don't be afraid to tweak, fine tune, and experiment in order to see success within your digital business.


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