Webtek Digital Marketing isn’t the only digital marketing agency in Salt Lake City. There are others. There are still more throughout Utah and across the country. One thing we all have in common is relying on key performance indicators (KPIs) to tell us how we’re doing. But could we be chasing too many KPIs to the detriment of our own marketing efforts?
It is always possible. India’s afaqs!, an online magazine, recently published a post to that effect, authored by a digital marketing expert named Vivek Kumar Anand. According to Anand, chasing too many KPIs leaves digital marketers spread thin. They cannot possibly make sense of it all. So instead of concentrating on what really matters for each client, they throw things at the wall to see what sticks.
Digital Marketing Is a Complex Beast
The human desire for order often leads us to portray digital marketing as a black-and-white discipline with little variation. We tend to tell business owners that if they follow five simple steps, they will enjoy digital marketing success. But reality says otherwise.
Digital marketing is a complex beast. It has a ton of moving parts, so to speak, parts that are always changing and evolving along with the internet. Attempting to boil digital marketing down to a few simple steps supported by analytics and KPI tracking is to oversimplify a discipline that is anything but simple.
Not All KPIs Are the Same
Oversimplification leads digital marketing agencies to compile a lengthy list of KPIs they will track. Unfortunately, most agencies are tracking the exact same things. It is a static formula. We track keyword performance, keyword ranking, visitor engagement, inbound traffic, etc. Without context though, a KPI is meaningless.
For example, what defines engagement? Engaging with customers on an e-commerce site will look completely different from engaging potential volunteers on a not-for-profit site. And really, how important is retail engagement as long as customers are buying?
The Most Important KPIs
Anand believes that chasing too many KPIs actually defeats a digital marketer’s efforts. He recommends “identifying a ‘North Star’ metric, defining the one metric that matters (OMTM), and chasing it relentlessly.” He recommends chasing it with all the available digital tools.
We are not so sure that settling on just one metric is wise, given that digital marketing often encapsulates multiple goals. But we would agree that figuring out the most important KPIs in any given instance is better than trying to chase them all. If we can find the three or four most important, we can put all our energies into them instead of wasting time on meaningless metrics.
For us to do this, we need to know our clients and their businesses. We need clients to be open, honest, and transparent about what they want to accomplish. Working together with open lines of communication is the key to our mutual success.
KPIs Are Worth Thinking About
As a digital marketing agency in Salt Lake City, we are not sure if we can agree with Anand’s position 100%. Nonetheless, we can acknowledge that KPIs are worth thinking about. Perhaps chasing them all does not represent the wisest allocation of resources. Perhaps trying to be all things to all people, in a KPI sense, is only self-defeating.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe it is better to focus on a small number of critically important KPIs and forget the rest? Or maybe you believe it’s important to track every KPI on the standard digital marketing list. There is no single answer here. What is most important is that customers see the best possible results from our efforts.