Priorities are critical to success, in life as in marketing.
Businesses concern themselves with inputs and outputs. How much was spent on marketing? What was the return?
When discussing marketing, these inputs and outputs take top priority. We must communicate in dollars and cents. How much was spent? How many leads? What is the average value of a lead? Ultimately, was the campaign profitable?
These are the measures we always seek to improve. Everything else — clicks, views, even form submissions — is secondary.
Secondary does not mean unimportant. Where primary metrics tell us what has happened, secondary metrics tell us how it happened. We do not optimize for secondary objectives; we use them as a means to optimize.
Think of marketing campaigns as a body. Secondary metrics are the symptoms of a disease, indicators of what's happening in that campaign and why. In some cases, we directly treat those symptoms. In others, we identify and address underlying problems.
Today, marketing involves so much data that we can easily lose sight of the forest for the trees. My advice? Don't fixate on what happens on computers and phones. Focus on what happens in our reality — purchases, enrolments, and outreach. Ensure your digital metrics serve your business metrics — not the other way around.