Digital Marketing

What’s the Difference Between Metrics and KPI?

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We are curious individuals who want to be held accountable for our actions, whether at work or at home. But what does knowing metrics and KPI mean? It involves tracking our progress and understanding our influence.

It’s also critical to distinguish between metrics and KPIs.

When learning about business metrics and KPIs, you’ll find that each phrase has its own meaning. It isn’t simply semantics. Using the terms metric and KPI interchangeably might affect strategy creation and implementation.

Taking the time to distinguish between measures and KPIs will help you get an advantage over those who do not.

Example of Metric and KPI

We track Page Views in digital marketing. It can be used to track the views of a landing page for a marketing campaign. Is this a marketing metric?

No. That doesn’t mean it’s a direct path to attaining a corporate goal.

Instead, we use inbound KPIs to track organic search leads and wins. This directly translates to greater revenue.

So what?

Motivation is key. KPIs are performance markers that link to business outcomes.

Metrics, on the other hand, should be tracked daily or weekly because they relate to department or project performance.


If a metric improves business outcomes, consider making it a KPI.

Iterative business performance management Don’t be frightened to attempt new things. KPIs are metrics that affect company outcomes. If a goal isn’t accomplished, KPIs can become measures.

Not every metric is a KPI

Pretend metrics are individual players on a hockey team, but the goalkeeper is your KPI. Every member on the squad, including the goalie, has a distinct function.

The team has metrics that support your KPI. The expense of acquiring a new customer. These are the supporting metrics.

But your KPI is your goaltender. KPIs are the most critical measurements, highlighting your essential company objectives. In hockey terms, it’s preventing the opposition from scoring. You can’t win without an all-star team of metrics (or players) to assist you to reach your KPI.

Separating KPIs and metrics

Measuring everything means measuring nothing, as the old adage goes.

Prioritize what matters to you and your business. Anything that can be counted is metric. But what good is it if it doesn’t assist you to understand your business, manage resources, or set strategic goals? Measuring everything might be intimidating.

While you can efficiently measure a lot of data, too many KPIs lose relevance. Too many KPIs negates the objective of being β€œkey”—so use them wisely!

Define metrics and KPIs

The key difference is that KPIs are target-oriented. Metrics, on the other hand, measure processes. KPIs and metrics do not conflict. Metrics can exist without a target, but not KPIs.

Allan Wille, Co-Founder, Klipfolio

β€œA KPI is a type of performance assessment that helps you understand how your organization or department performs,” writes ClearPoint Strategy creator Ted Jackson. β€œA solid KPI should operate as a compass, guiding you and your team toward your strategic goals.”

A quick reminder: KPIs must include targets, a timeline for achieving them, and be related to business results. Not all metrics have all of the above.

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