Updated: Nov 18, 2018
Vanity Metrics (n):
Vanity Metrics (common in marketing reports) are any measurements or statistics that look or sounds good but have no real significance.
The opposite side of the coin is actionable metrics - measurements that are true indicators of growth or concern.
As the name indicates, vanity metrics are used to make things sound good to those without a deeper understanding of what the metric actually means. Common examples of vanity metrics are page views, likes, and followers. Not only are these easily manipulable, but they move attention away from the actionable metrics like return viewers, bounce rate, click-through, or time engagement.
Vanity Metrics may be cool to show your friends, but any real investor or business interest will see through simply ploys and misleading metrics.
Be sure to check out The Vanity Metrics podcast in collaboration with Argona Partners, Inc. as we ask prominent investors about their investment stories, methods, and lives to try and find out what the gut feeling of good investors is really made of.
Eric Ries, author of Lean Startup, guest-posted this amazing article here: https://tim.blog/2009/05/19/vanity-metrics-vs-actionable-metrics/
where he discusses specific ways to start avoiding vanity metrics in your daily business life.
His book is a must-read for anyone looking to start or run their own company.