Digital Marketing KPIs: Quality vs. Quantity


Establishing and evaluating metrics for your business campaigns require a solid understanding of the differences between quality and quantity. The debate is age-old. Is it better to have a ton of web traffic and eyes, or better to have less traffic and eyes, but more sales and conversions? Some camps will tell you quantity is always better, whereas others believe quality is paramount. After all, isn’t the sale the whole point? Well, yes, and no.

Metrics are Goal Specific

The truth is that both quantity and quality are equally important metrics, depending on the specific goals of your campaign. While sales are always the main driver behind every successful campaign, there are different ways to go after that sale.

Running a branding campaign to raise awareness of your business is a way to go after the sale without actually “selling” something. Raising brand awareness ultimately helps create brand loyalty, which leads to more sales and a higher customer retention rate. The way that you raise awareness is by getting your message in front of as many eyes as possible.

Therefore, using quality as your sole metric when your goal is brand awareness, isn’t nearly as effective as measuring quantity. It’s also interesting to note that measuring quality isn’t actually a metric for performance. Quality is subjective and based on opinion. A lead that’s valuable for your business may not be valuable to another’s business. It’s more of an indicator that works better when paired with other metrics.

So, even though it sounds great in theory to have a ton of website traffic, it’s really only great when they stick around longer than a couple of seconds and take action in a positive direction. This is one of the biggest reasons you should never just set “website traffic” as the only KPI. You should instead combine it with a quality indicator. Try something like, “maximize sessions with a >10 second session duration.”

You’ll fair better because you’ll be driving traffic that is actually interested in what you have to offer, that’s consuming your content. If they are into you enough to stick around and keep reading, watching, or listening, then they are into you enough to possibly convert into a sale later down the road.

This same concept of “quality vs quantity” works across all digital channels. It’s entirely worthless to have a ton of video views, if they’ve been made by bots. Human views that spend more than a few seconds consuming your content are what matter. After all, what’s the point of a ton of likes, views, engagements, or shares, if none of it actually leads to sales at some point? You need a healthy balance of both quality and quantity to run a successful campaign.

The Goal is Growth

Ultimately, brand marketers and digital performance marketers all want the same thing. They want the business to grow. Perspectives might differ because a branding campaign can take longer to yield results than a seasonal sales campaign, but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other.

When well-executed, branding campaigns can help set the stage for long-term success. As a result, your business will begin to gain the most desirable form of traffic, direct traffic and branded search traffic.

Branded search traffic are visitors that arrive at your site because they’ve typed your brand or product name into the Google search feature. That’s a big deal because it means they are searching out your brand or products specifically. A direct or branded search leads to a higher rate of conversion with lower CPCs. Seems like a pretty sweet result to us!

See Also:

How to Measure What Matters: Stop, Drop & Roll Out Your Social Media KPIs

How Much Does it Cost Your Business to Get a New Customer?

Brand Strategy vs. Content Marketing Strategy

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