Metrics, Analytics, and KPIs: What is the Difference?



When it comes to marketing, it is important to follow up with the results of your strategy. Many data-oriented words are often thrown around when discussing marketing results. The three important words that are thrown around most are KPIs, metrics, and analytics– and no, they can not be used interchangeably. It may be simple to stick with one of the three terms and hope that you are talking about the right thing. But, as with anything else, it is important to know the definition of all three terms and be able to use them in the correct way. In this article, we are going to go over the differences between each term.


Key performance indicators, KPIs, measure success. Once you set your objectives in your marketing strategy, the KPIs will grow naturally. Then you use them to measure your progress as you begin your strategy. They simply mark your progress and tell you whether or not you are on track. Ignoring KPIs will cause you to waste your time in pursuing your marketing strategy without knowing whether or not you are reaching success.


Metrics use numbers to count and track your data in order to get a better view on what is going on within your business. They are focused on current and historic data points. They don’t look forward into future goals, but they do look at what is and has happened in your business. Metrics are tangible numbers that are collected internally.

There are three types of metrics to measure in B2B marketing:

  • Activity Metrics- Hard and soft costs related to production
  • Output Metrics- Results of products that you produce (conversions, traffic, etc.)
  • Operational Metrics- Costs per lead and other internal metrics


Analytics are answers to specific, business-related questions. They are future focused and used to determine things that should happen in your business in the future, using the data that you collect. There are many questions that analytics can answer:

  • What products should we continue to develop?
  • How can we grow our audience?
  • Which customers are most likely to buy our products?
  • What channels are most effective in reaching our audience?

Okay, so what is the difference?

KPIs are important in tracking the progress of your goals. They are the most simple of the measurement tools. Just set up your goals and objectives, and you will find KPIs that will show you your progress! Next, metrics number based data from your business’s past and current data points. You use these numbers to track the progress that you have already made, as well as track accountability. Finally, analytics look into the future of your business. Unlike KPIs and metrics, you can use analytics to look forward into your business to know what should happen if you continue down your current path.

Although these three terms are not the same thing, they are all reliant on each other. KPIs are based on the present, metrics focus on the past, and analytics focus on the future. So, this is just another reason why it is so important for you to know and understand the differences between all three of these marketing terms.

We hope to have helped you further understand what each term means and what you can use it for. If you have any questions about either KPIs, Metrics, or Analytics. If there are other terms that you need help with, you can reach out to us through email. You can also follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. We publish new blog posts every Friday, and we share posts from other digital marketing pages that can help you!

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