I recently tripped over the idea of a Key Performance Indicator Hierarchy. It was one of those slap-your-forehead moments. the premise being so obvious I felt dumb for not having thought of it. But there doesn’t seem to be much floating around about the subject of a KPI Hierarchy for digital analytics.

Almost 7 years ago, Stacey Barr posted a simple guide to Building Your Hierarchy of Measures and KPIs (3 min read) and there’s not much else. I could have sworn this had all been put to bed by The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators by Eric T. Peterson (109 page PDF) more than ten years ago: ” In general, I strongly recommend that you adopt a hierarchical model when deciding which indicators should be sent to which employees.”

So here’s an even briefer read: Digital Analytics KPI’s from the top:

  • Raise Revenue
  • Lower Costs
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction
  • Introduce a New Competency

Alternatively; make more, spend less, make people happier, get it done more efficiently.

One of those will be the Top Dog KPI at any given point in time. Which one is a political question, but trust me, they are all important.

Next? Well, we’re in Marketing so the answer is a classic customer lifecycle:

  • Raise Awareness
  • Improve Affinity
  • Inspire Interaction
  • Generate Sales
  • Drive Endorsements

Do they know who you are and what you stand for? Do they like what they see? Do they intend to buy? Do they tell their friends?

Everything else is a proxy:

  • Email opens
  • Display ad clicks
  • Brand search
  • Non-branded search
  • Visitstop-dog-image
  • Depth and duration of visit
  • and (dare I say it?) Engagement

We hope that these things indicate that we are doing a decent job and our marketing campaigns will be deemed worthy.

In the meantime, make sure that everything you measure ties back to those Top Dogs or you may not be invited come back and do it again tomorrow.

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