What is Vanity metric

Vanity Metric


Vanity metrics are those that have little or no value for the development of a product or service within a business. They are the opposite of actionable metrics and are often used to impress a customer or third party with a false impression of growth. Any metric can be considered at any given time a vanity metric, based on its influence on a company’s decisions.

The greatest damage that this type of measure can cause is to highlight values that do not influence the results of a strategy to the detriment of other more important ones. To identify them, it is enough to ask if they are data that really help to make a strategic decision or if, on the contrary, they are useless despite their spectacularity.

Today, vanity metrics are closely related to the immersion of companies in social networks.

Examples of vanity metrics

Keep in mind that, as we have mentioned before, the same metric can be considered ‘vanity’ at a certain time or for a specific company and be actionable for another. It all depends on what the goals of the marketing strategy are.

However, the following can be cited as vanity metrics models:

  1. Number of followers or likes on social networks (Facebook,Twitter or Instagram). It is one of the most misleading. First of all, because followers can be bought, so the quality of followers has long since become more important than quantity. And, on the other hand, because a specific ‘like’ to a specific publication does not suppose any advantage for a brand. In this sense, it is more advisable to measure engagement (the average interaction of our followers)or specific actions, such as traffic to the website or other types of conversions.
  2. Number of visits to a web page. It is a very similar case to the previous one. What good is it for a business to have a lot of traffic to their website if their potential customers don’t execute the desired action? It doesn’t matter if it’s a purchase, a lead or a download. Factors such as the time the visitor spends on the site, the number of pages consulted, the bounce rate or if there has been an improvement in organic positioning should be carefully analyzed.
  3. The number of downloads from an app. Every developer knows that apps have a high uninstall rate. Therefore, a high number of downloads should initially be taken with caution and study their evolution in the medium term. On the other hand, if the download has a specific objective, such as getting records, it will also be necessary to quantify to what extent it has been successful.
  4. The open rate of an email. That a certain number of users open a message does not equate to the success of an email marketing campaign, unless the objective is to develop the brand image. If the recipients do not buy or access the website and stay only in the mail, the company will not obtain any profit. We must also consider the opposite case and conclude that a low open rate does not have to be negative if it involves another series of actions on the part of the user.

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