The KPI. Key performance indicator. The main metric marketers use to push and pull different levers to optimize performance toward one specific goal. If it’s e-commerce, this could be ROAS or CPA or revenue. If it’s brand awareness you’re after, maybe the KPI is site traffic or impression volume.
No matter what it is, the KPI is the primary guiding light when determining the success or fail of tests, campaigns, or just overall channel performance. If something doesn’t perform to the KPI, you kill it, learn from it, and move on.
But what if you have multiple KPIs that are important to a client. I realize “secondary KPI” is sort of an oxymoron, but what if you needed to balance lead volume and share of voice? This is both a conversion KPI as well as a brand awareness performance indicator. It becomes a tough situation.
Looking at all performance metrics is important because everything works together in marketing. If the CTR isn’t great, your ad or audience targeting should be refined. If people are bouncing off the site quickly, maybe the landing page should be revised and optimized. But the KPI is how you determine success, and other metrics are more like tweaks to improve the overall performance according to the KPI.
What it then boils down to is properly educating and communicating constraints when trying to optimize to two different goals. Demonstrating that if you need to increase the share of voice, it will cost you in terms of CPC efficiency and potentially not an increase in sales or lead volume. Let the client decide what is most important to them. This could also mean setting different KPIs by funnel position. For example, an upper funnel campaign KPI should be focused on driving efficient traffic while a more bottom funnel campaign or channel will optimize towards sales or leads.
It is working together with your team and your client to find the most beneficial and valuable performance plan that will work for them and their goals. Having an open line of communication, education, and demonstration to bridge the gap between “in the weeds” marketers and strategy-driving digital marketing managers on the client side.
I don’t recommend having multiple KPIs within one marketing strategy, but sometimes there are special cases that demand it.