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Difference between OKR's and KPI's

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In the world of digital marketing there are many tools and metrics to measure results, detect problems, see the status of your actions and check if you are meeting your objectives. Some of these are OKRs and KPIs, which combined allow you to focus on the most important results and measure them, which leads to better decisions.

KPIs are performance metrics and OKRs are a working methodology, and although they may seem similar, and can sometimes be confused, by going deeper into each of them you will see that they are two very different concepts but complement each other. In short, both KPIs and OKRs are intended toestablish and plan objectives, and these are always for a specific period of time (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.).

Continue reading this post to learn more about them, you will see the difference, but above all, we will show you how to apply them in your company and how they can help you to improve the performance of your digital marketing strategies.

what are KPIs?

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are metrics used in marketing to measure the performance of campaigns. They are used to evaluate whether the actions you are carrying out are being carried out successfully and whether you are meeting the objectives you have previously set. They serve to observe and check that you are on the right track or need to make corrections and changes.

In short, KPIs are metrics used to track the results of the actions you carry out. KPIs are measurable numbers, in real time, that provide you with a lot of information to be able to make the best strategic decisions that allow you to improve and grow.

But one thing is clear, KPIs are metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs. KPIs are the most important metrics, so they are key indicators with which you can measure the performance of your business.

Here are some examples of KPI types, but there are many more:

  1. Social media KPIs
  • Number of followers
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • CTR (Click Though Rate)
  1. Digital Marketing KPI
  • Traffic
  • Recurring users
  • Leads
  • Time spent on a website
  • Page views
  • Duration
  1. KPI for e-commerce or sales:
  • Number of products
  • Average ticket
  • Cart abandonment
  • Purchase frequency

This is just a small sample, as there are many different KPIs depending on your company or sector. Within each of the examples we show you can find more KPIs that you are interested in measuring and knowing to check the performance of your actions.

what are OKRs?

OKR, Objectives and Key Results, is a working methodology that works by setting objectives and their key results. These metrics define the objectives of your company along with the results you need to measure to know if they are being met.

OKR will help you to define the objectives of your company or project, and this will be good for you and your team as the same goals are set for everyone. These objectives can be measured using the different KPIs. The difference of this methodology is that although all companies have set objectives, workers often do not know them, so OKR increases the participation of teams and helps to achieve more efficiently the objectives set. It consists mainly of organising and setting the same course for all members of a team or company.

To correctly implement OKR in your company , you have to ask yourself what objective you want to achieve and how you are going to measure it. And after being clear about these questions, you have to make your team understand what that objective is.

An example of OKR would be wanting to get more leads, so your goal is to make a strategy that allows you to get them. The whole team is aware of this goal, but each area of your company will carry out different strategies to achieve it. Remember that like all marketing actions, OKR has to meet deadlines.


Summarising the two concepts, KPIs are the metrics used to track the actions, campaigns or projects you are carrying out in your company, while OKRs are the methodology you apply in your company, and as the name suggests, the results and objectives you set and expect to achieve in a given period of time. So the main difference is that a KPI is a measurable numerical value and an OKR is the objective or key result.

There is an example that can help you to understand these two concepts together: Imagine a GPS, the OKR would be the best way to get to the destination, while the KPIs are the indicators such as how much fuel you have left, how fast you are going, how many kilometres you are driving, etc.

As you can see, they are two very different things, but are they related? The answer is yes, since by combining both you can achieve better results. They are complementary to each other, it does not mean that by applying one you can't do the other, since they are basically different things.

One important thing to keep in mind and not forget is that although the OKRs you set are the same for your entire team, the KPIs have to be specific to each area of the company. As we showed you earlier, the KPIs for a social media strategy are not the same as those used for sales.

It is true that once you implement OKRs, and your company follows a clear overall direction, focusing on KPIs to refine your project and look at the performance of your project is the best option.

The bottom line is that they work very well together, because KPIs help you monitor performance, identify problems and see the areas where everything is working well and has the greatest opportunity for growth, while OKRs help you solve problems, improve performance by keeping your whole team on target and drive innovation.

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