“Visionary companies will carve out new strategic options for themselves — those that don’t adapt, will fail.”
Jeff Bezos on Digital Transformation
Every week of the year dozens of new digital products are launched into the market – products that need constant maintenance to provide value to users and generate revenue for businesses. This requires a shift in behaviour/understanding from traditional businesses to ensure success. Digital products are never static, they grow and they morph to better deliver against customer needs and business expectations. But to know what's required beyond simple maintenance it's essential to track and understand user behaviour.
And while traditional businesses are typically well-versed in marketing analytics – using Google Analytics, for example – product analytics is a new skill that needs to be identified and learnt.
With this in mind, here are four key pointers that businesses launching digital products need to consider.
1. Think product analytics, not marketing analytics
Often traditional businesses will lean on existing resources to launch new products, especially marketing teams, rather than investing in a new product management team. This is understandable as it’s marketing who knows how to speak to their existing or prospective customers and what it takes for them to visit the website, download an app and so on. The danger with this is in launching a product that lacks the necessary tools and processes to truly succeed.
Google Analytics is a great tool to understand how marketing activity is performing, but it doesn’t do a very good job of tracking how a product is being used. It’s a common trap, trying to use a marketing solution to monitor the performance of a product.
Product analytics goes beyond marketing performance activity to give you information on:
- How user behaviours differ between groups. For example, what do loyal customers do that single purchase customers don’t?
- Why is one person converting when another isn’t?
- What are the key drivers for retention?
- What effect did a new element of your platform have on engagement or conversion?
Google Analytics is great for understanding how people find you, but it won’t give you information on these product points. Having both a marketing analytics tool like Google Analytics and a product analytics solution is essential in order to drive maximum value from your digital product.
2. Make product analysis an integral part of your tech stack
Product analysis should be a necessity, not be a nice-to-have – as important as marketing analytics. When making decisions on your tech stack and the integrations required to deliver the best customer experience and maximise business growth, the decision should be which product analysis tool, not whether you should or shouldn’t include it.
Product analysis can make other tools more effective too. Integrating usage data with other sources, such as attribution, A/B testing or messaging tools, can enable businesses to make better campaign decisions. For example, knowing which campaigns result in greater customer lifetime value, rather than just more app downloads, can make marketing campaigns more effective.
3. Create a culture of data, not a data cult
Data and analysis isn’t an obvious connector between different teams in a business, but with the launch of new digital products, that’s exactly what it can do. Sales teams will want to see data relating to prospective customers; relationship managers will need a view of how customers are using your product; marketing teams will want to know more about different cohorts, how they get to your site and what they do when there; product teams will want to have a view of how the product is performing, what barriers there are and what can be changed to break these down.
The point is, different teams want different information, but if this is managed correctly, it can ensure the business delivers maximum value from the product.
The best product analytics platforms allow this through the use of dashboards, reports, email updates and other methods that encourage a culture of data across a business. Rather than one team owning the data, if everyone has access to what’s important and is empowered to take action based on it, it’ll be for the greater good of the success of the product.
4. Choose the right product analysis tool
There are clearly a number of different tools available. At Candyspace, we of course want to work with the best.
After reviewing quite a few, it was clear that Mixpanel was our favoured partner. It’s designed to integrate into your tech stack seamlessly, it offers the best analysis on the market, allows for collaboration through its detailed reporting and is fairly priced in a way that it scales in line with business growth.
So if you are looking for your first product analysis tool or a replacement for an existing one, do ask about Mixpanel and we can discuss how it could be the right solution for you. At Candyspace we can ensure your KPIs and north star metrics are clearly defined, the platform is seamlessly integrated into your stack and your reporting is set up to give the whole business a maximum return from your product.