Lessons Learned from 197 Metrics, 150 Studies, and 12 Essays: A Field Guide to Digital Metrics

Stephen D. Rappaport

Stephen D. Rappaport Consulting LLC


Lesson 1: Don’t Bite the Apple of Vanity Metrics

As Max Kilger, Experian’s chief behavioral scientist, warns, “Far too often, metrics are selected because they... may look good, but may not mean much of anything.” (Please see “Putting Big Data—and Big Data Metrics—in Perspective,” on page 114).

Most likely reports crossing marketers’ and researchers’ desks list one or more brand objectives—broad-based goals such as “Generate 10 percent increase in sales leads over the next 90 days” or “Raise brand awareness from 20 percent to 50 percent among mothers with children younger than 18 in one year.” Supporting charts or tables often will announce that “unique visitors doubled over last month,” “page views are up 50 percent,” “time on site increased from 15 seconds to 1 minute and 45 seconds,” or “ ‘Likes’ increased by 30 percent”—all resulting from the digital group’s (modestly proclaimed) “brilliant” new strategy or marketing adjustment.