Identifying the Right Digital Marketing KPIs

March 17, 2016 by admin in Strategy KPIs Feature

When managing any digital campaign, it’s important to select the correct key performance indicators (KPIs) to properly measure each medium you’re running.

There are a multitude of media channels to choose from, and each has a specific goal and value. These include:

  • Social
  • Paid search
  • Native ads
  • Display
    • Affinity
    • In-market
    • Audience
  • Retargeting
    • Search
    • Display
  • Mobile

Today, more and more companies are realizing how important it is to be engaged with users along their path to decision, and how utilizing a variety of channels can help influence their decision-making. But it’s important that users realize each channel has its own strengths and should be measured on its own merits.

KPI Goals


Have you ever watched a video on YouTube or seen a Snapchat ad that piqued your interest or reminded you of your favorite brand? Awareness is getting in front of new people, or reminding users why they love you in the first place. It’s a very important part of any marketing initiative and it’s the one we see companies ignore the most. Awareness is tough to measure. Most advertisers measure how many sales they generate from a video ad, pausing it immediately if performance isn’t up to par with paid search. Not all companies can afford complex attribution services that show the impact of these channels for revenue. That’s why these channels need to be measured differently. Here are some KPIs Ethology recommends using with awareness campaigns:

  • Impressions — How many times people could see your ad
  • Views — How many times people saw your ad
  • Unique users — Unique people seeing your ad
  • Awareness lift — Lift in awareness
  • Ad recall lift — Lift in the number of users who remembered your ad


Think back to the last time you made a big purchase. Maybe it was a new car, or a new TV or laptop — some big-ticket item that warranted a lot of thought and weighing of options. Did you research brands on Google? Did you turn to YouTube for product review videos? Consideration is another brand goal that often goes ignored. It’s interacting with the user and trying to meet their needs, whether it’s helping them solve a problem or helping inform them before making a purchase. This is an important step in a consumer’s process, and it’s important that you’re there to help. Here are some KPIs Ethology recommends using with consideration campaigns:

  • View-through rate — How often users view your video to its end
  • Watch time — How long they show interest
  • Favorability lift — Increase in how they perceive your brand
  • Consideration lift — Increase in the likelihood of converting
  • Brand interest lift — Increase in the likelihood of searching on your brand


Now we get to the fun part: the sales channels. These are your bread-and-butter channels that churn out good returns — your paid search and remarketing channels. As we know, these are important to measure in a different way. For measuring sales, we recommend using the following KPIs:

  • Clicks — People who show interest in your brand
  • Calls — People who show interest in learning more about your brand/products
  • Signups — People who show interest in receiving ongoing information
  • Sales — People who want your product
  • Purchase intent lift — Higher conversion rate (CVR) through assists


Each KPI can give you insight into user behavior and interaction with your brand. After running ads on YouTube, did you see a lift in your brand searches on Google? After implementing a display campaign targeting lookalike audiences, did you see a lift in overall site conversion rate? Did you see an increase in direct traffic? This are why measuring different KPIs beyond sales is important.

And there you have it! Hopefully this gives you a better idea of which KPIs to use when measuring different channels based on their strengths. Reach out to Ethology if you need a hand determining proper KPIs for your campaigns.

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