The 5 Most Important Onboarding Metrics to Measure

One thing all businesses have in common is that new users are required for growth and long-term success. But new users don’t often know all the details of your products and services so you have to educate them as to their benefits through a process called onboarding. The onboarding process looks different for every company and industry so you might have to iterate onboarding until you have the process that sits at the nexus of cost-effective and customer satisfaction.  

In order to make your onboarding process as efficient and effective as possible, it’s important to gather data to clarify what needs to change.

What is User Onboarding?

User onboarding is the introduction of users to your business and products. In this early phase, users will learn about your offerings and what value these products can bring to them. 

Onboarding also includes teaching the users how to navigate and implement your products and how to maximize their value. This can include helping them get products or services up and running or helping them transfer over from a competitor’s set of products or services.

Because this is the first phase in which users will start to interact with your business, it’s crucial that your onboarding process is well thought out, as it sets the foundation for their relationship with your business. The user onboarding phase will also consist of answering any questions or concerns your users may have while you guide them through the process of adopting your product or services. 

In a nutshell, user onboarding is the process of taking new users and transforming them into existing users. 

Why is User Onboarding Important?

First impressions are key when introducing users to your product or business. A poorly executed onboarding process is one of the main reasons users leave and move on to competitors. A well-executed user onboarding process will ease the burden of user retention and will increase overall user satisfaction. 

Another reason user onboarding is important is that it is a great opportunity to teach the users about your company’s different offerings and potentially upsell. Potential users may have arrived at your company because of one product or service, but that doesn’t have to be the only product or service they end up choosing. 

During the user onboarding process, you may discover that different products or services fit your users’ needs. Selecting the appropriate products and services for your users will help them get more value from your company. Learning the best fit for your users during the onboarding process will lead to higher satisfaction and consistent growth for your business

How Long is the Onboarding Process?

The length of the user onboarding process depends on your industry and business model. For a company selling simple products and services that are somewhat self-explanatory, the onboarding process will be simple and straightforward. Some new users may be looking for a quick and easy order process that will save them time. In that case, your onboarding process should be fast and efficient, providing the most value to the users. 

For companies selling complex products or services, the onboarding process should be detailed enough to give the users all the necessary details. The onboarding process should teach them the proper ways to use your products or services which will increase the likelihood of user retention. 

How is Onboarding Measured?

It’s critical you track the appropriate metrics for your business and situation.  Some of the most important onboarding metrics are:

  • Completion time
  • User progression
  • Product adoption rates
  • Escalation response time
  • User response rate

Completion Time

The length of time it takes your users to complete the onboarding process is measured as the completion time. A good completion time will vary depending on your product and service lineup but a good rule of thumb is the quicker the better. You want to get people using your product or service while they’re still excited about it. 

Additionally, a long completion time could mean a complicated onboarding process that may lead to lower user satisfaction. For example, a long completion time may result in a low completion rate, which in turn leads to a low growth rate. 

By contrast, a low completion time may mean users are not getting enough information during the onboarding process. This could also lead to lower user satisfaction and poor user relations. 

User Progression

User progression is a metric used for tracking a user’s progress during the onboarding process. If your company’s onboarding process is complicated or your user retention rate is low, user progression would be useful to track. 

Understanding where users are in the onboarding progress can help identify bottlenecks in your process. Keeping your onboarding process as efficient and easy for your users as possible is a smart approach to grow your business. 

By monitoring your user progression metric, you get a clear sense of how smooth your onboarding process is. 

Product Adoption Rates

When analyzing the number of users who successfully adopt your product, you are looking at the product adoption rate metric. This metric is a calculation of the percent of users who go from being one-time users to repeat users of your product. 

While one-time users may provide some quick wins for your company, they are usually not the users that will lead to the long-term success of your company.  Product adoption rate is critical for subscription-based businesses looking to convert users after free trial periods. Subscription-based companies need active users in order to maintain their user base and product adoption rates measure how many users are being converted to active users. 

Escalation Response Time

When your users are having an issue and open a case or ticket with customer success, it’s critical that their problem is resolved quickly. Escalation response time is a measure of how long it takes customer success to resolve or close tickets that have been escalated (typically beyond the first level of support). 

The first level of support could be a FAQ page or automated chat support, while the second level of support usually includes some type of human interaction (either chat or phone). 

Escalation response time is a useful metric to track if you have concerns about your customer success performance and how it affects onboarding and user adoption. This measure will be different for each company because it hinges on how well your customer support system is set up.

User Response Rate

User response rate can give you a real look at the percentage of users invested in your products. 

When sending out surveys or feedback forms, the user response rate is the percent of users that respond to your inquiries. While it’s essential to track metrics about your user’s behavior, it’s also important to get real feedback from users about how your company is performing. 

The user response rate indicates how many users are currently active and how much they value your product. If users are not responsive to your company’s attempts to reach out for feedback, they may not be invested enough in your products or services. 

How Do I Track User Onboarding Metrics?

There are many options when looking to track user onboarding metrics. Gathering data and understanding how to set up metrics that align with your business model is key.  

It’s important to monitor your onboarding performance to grow your company and increase user satisfaction. Kissmetrics has excellent solutions for tracking onboarding metrics for your online business. 

Why Do User Onboarding Metrics Matter?

User onboarding metrics provide insight into what it’s like to become a new user of your products or services. Maybe user onboarding is a strong performance area for your company, and you’re looking to maintain its positive impact, or perhaps user onboarding may be an area your business is struggling so you need to understand where the process can be improved. 

User onboarding can be a complicated process to track depending on your business model. Despite the difficulties, user onboarding is a critical process for any company looking for long-term success. The new user onboarding process sets the tone for what the experience of being an active user for your company will be. 

Having the right metrics in place is critical to make sure that the first impression your business makes is the right one. 

Conclusion

User onboarding metrics provide essential information on how your company first greets its users. Onboarding can be a long process depending on your products and services, making it vital that the process is smooth and valuable for your users. Ensuring your user onboarding process sets a good tone and creates a positive experience is a key to growing your business and creating positive user feedback. 

 

Sources:

Customer Onboarding | Gitlab

User Onboarding: Not Just for HR and Growth Hackers | Huffpost.com

Growth Hacking: Creating a Wow Moment | For Entrepreneurs

The Importance of Understanding Qualitative Data

Qualitative data is a non-numeric measure of data best used for describing characteristics or qualities. Qualitative data is most frequently obtained from surveys, feedback forms, focus groups, or other forms of personal feedback. This data can also be recorded from a third-person perspective, such as recording someone’s reaction to a new product. 

Qualitative data is important for ecommerce and SaaS because it’s a way to measure customer feedback and product reviews. Kissmetrics can help you organize your data collection and break down your data types.

What Is the Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Data?

Quantitative data is a numeric measure of data. A good example of quantitative data would be the number of sales recorded over a specific period of time, the number of new customers over a period of time, or the churn rate. This type of data is objective, meaning it is not based on opinion and is a fact that can be measured in quantity. 

The main difference between qualitative and quantitative data is that qualitative data is non-numeric. 

Both types of data are important when measuring the performance of your company or a specific product. For example, solid quantitative data is important for measuring financial data or sales data, which are good indications of company growth. 

On the other hand, measuring qualitative data such as product feedback or customer satisfaction is needed to make sure your products are successful in your customer’s eyes.

How Can I Collect Qualitative Data?

Collecting qualitative data can be more of a challenge than collecting quantitative data, but qualitative data is essential for businesses hoping to gather customer feedback. If you’re struggling to collect qualitative data, Kissmetrics has the experience to help you. Some of the different options for collecting qualitative data include:

  • One-on-one interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Observation
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Case studies

One-on-One Interviews

Conducting personal one-on-one interviews is a proven way to get good qualitative data.  Interviewing a current or potential customer can provide honest feedback about your products or company’s perception. 

While one-on-one interviews may seem more time-consuming, virtual interviews are common and much easier to arrange than in-person interviews. It’s good to have a mix of your typical users interviewed for feedback on your product performance in order to gain information about a variety of demographic groups. 

It may also be helpful to interview potential customers to understand their current product choices and why your product hasn’t been used. If possible, one-on-one interviews with former users can provide valuable feedback on why your product did not work for that user. 

The qualitative data from interviews is important to get a view of the perception individuals have of your products.

Focus Groups

Focus groups have been used in several different fields to collect qualitative data from small groups of people. For marketing purposes, focus groups will be guided by a proctor who asks questions about companies and products in your field of interest. This format promotes free and open discussion about topics concerning your company and products. 

Focus groups can be used in the early phases of product development when companies are trying to get feedback on a new product or concept. You can also use focus groups to test product usability. Having a focus group test a website’s usability can get valuable qualitative data feedback for your developers.

Observation

Observing your customers as they use your products is another way to get qualitative data.  This method requires the observer to collect data and record interactions between the user and the product. Observing users without any dialog provides a realistic view of what users struggle to accomplish when using your product. 

Some companies will go so far as to not give the customer any instructions and simply set the product in front of them to see what they do. Do they read the instructions insert? Do they navigate to the “Help” section? Do they immediately start using the product? This helps companies see how new users react to a product the first time they encounter it. 

Your products must be simple and intuitive for new customers unfamiliar with their layout. Observing where the user’s eyes go and how they handle confusing situations can help designers create friendlier layouts. Qualitative data from observation can transform your products into well-thought-out solutions.

Longitudinal Studies

Another way of observing user behavior on a larger scale is a longitudinal study. Often, longitudinal studies involve following the same people or users over an extended period of time to track their behavior. 

These types of studies are often used in the medical field to track the long-term success of medication or surgeries. For tech companies, a long-term study of their users and their habits can help organizations to understand the impacts their products have on users. 

Longitudinal studies can reveal the habits of users, which could help developers shape new features. By knowing the patterns users tend to follow, developers are able to create software that is designed with these habits in mind. If you’re looking to understand what frustrates users, longitudinal studies can also be insightful. Perhaps a situation users didn’t put much thought into at first glance can become a real headache after long periods of use. 

Longitudinal studies may require the most effort but can yield beneficial results.

Case Studies

When looking to do a deep dive on a particular topic or situation, a case study may be the best option. Case studies for websites may be a detailed look at an issue that doesn’t have an immediately obvious solution. 

It may involve observing a small group or a large segment of your user base, but it’s best to have the scope of the issue narrow. A case study on why new customers aren’t using a particular feature may help understand how you can improve the product. 

At the end of a case study, you may only have a theory or hypothesis because case studies do not always lead to a concrete solution, but your team is likely to be headed in the right direction. 

Case studies can also provide a good platform for advertising your product. By showing potential users a real-world problem and how your product solved it, users can see the firsthand value of your product. 

The qualitative data gathered from case studies can provide a detailed look at a specific situation you need to be analyzed.

How Can I Analyze My Qualitative Data?

Once you’ve collected your qualitative data, it needs to be properly analyzed in order to be usable. Two ways you can analyze your data are deductive analysis and inductive analysis.

Deductive Analysis

When performing deductive analysis, you start with a theory and try to prove it. An example could be “new users are having trouble completing a setup wizard.” From that theory, you would form a hypothesis about why the problem is occurring, such as “the final questions on the wizard are confusing to new users.” 

From that hypothesis, you could then collect data around the issue that your users are experiencing. The first step would be to gather feedback from new users completing the setup process. Once you have the data relevant to the hypothesis, you can then analyze and evaluate the results in order to improve your product. 

Perhaps you find that new users don’t understand the wording of the final questions in your setup process. Based on this information, you could reword your final questions to make them clearer 

While deductive analysis can be helpful, you must start with a theory in order to use this method. If you don’t have a theory, then Inductive analysis is the proper way to analyze your data.

Inductive Analysis

When you have little to no idea regarding an issue you want to analyze, using inductive analysis is more practical. Inductive analysis is the process by which you would form a theory regarding a situation. 

The first step is to start with an observation such as “a new user did not complete our setup process.” From this observation, you could look for patterns. For example, you might observe that half of the users in that focus group did not complete the setup process, which would indicate a pattern. After a pattern is established, you can then form a theory like “the users did not understand the questions in the setup process.” 

This form of analysis is limited because you can form theories, but you need more data to prove or disprove that theory. After using inductive analysis to form your theory, you could then begin to solve the issue using deductive analysis.  

Why Is It Important to Understand Qualitative Research?

When dealing with issues in your business, a numerically based report cannot always tell you the root issues in your products. The voice of your customers will be represented in qualitative data, so it’s important to understand what is being said. 

 

Researching issues is a process that takes time, so understanding the best route for your business is key to being efficient. Kissmetrics can make it easy for you to collect and understand your qualitative research.  

How Can Qualitative Research Help My Business?

Qualitative research is needed to track and resolve real issues your customers may face when using your product. Customer issues need to be tracked and analyzed, and that data is often collected through qualitative research. 

It’s also important to research how to grow your product and reach out to new customers. Gathering feedback from people not using your product will help you see ways to expand your footprint in the market. Researching the voice of users and non-users is a great way to get their perception of your products.

Conclusion

Understanding qualitative data is necessary for companies looking to see what their customers think of their products. This non-numeric form of data goes beyond sales numbers and conversion rates to look at what customers say and feel about your products. Make sure it’s something you take the time to collect and analyze to improve your product delivery. 

 

Sources:

  1. All Guides: Data Module #1: What is Research Data?: Qualitative vs. Quantitative | Libguides.com.
  2. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research | Simplypsychology.org
  3. Case Study Method in Psychology | Simplypyschology.org

Marketing Success Through Differentiation

The best way to achieve marketing success is by differentiating your brand, products, or services to best meet your customers’ needs. By effectively utilizing a differentiation strategy, your brand can stand out in your industry with features that enhance your customers’ lifestyles.

This article discusses various types of marketing differentiation, the advantages, and how your company can distinguish itself from the competition. We break it all down below. 

What Is Differentiation?

Companies develop a differentiation strategy to provide consumers with something new, exclusive, and distinguished from what their rivals sell in the market. The primary goal of executing a differentiation approach is to gain a strategic edge. 

A company can normally do this by evaluating its own capabilities and disadvantages, as well as the desires of its consumers and the potential value it can offer.

What are Different Types of Marketing Differentiation?

While there are plenty of options, not all differentiation strategies are equally successful. What’s successful for your company will depend largely on what you offer, your company’s culture and capabilities and your industry. 

Product Differentiation

As the name implies, product differentiation is achieved by adding or enhancing special features that are unique to your product. Cornering the market on a specific feature or service is a key way to entice customers. When you are the only company offering something, customers will flock to your brand in droves. 

The downside to focusing solely on product differentiation is that businesses are constantly changing and evolving. No sooner than you’ve released software that performs a specific function than other companies are improving upon your efforts. 

If your only focus is on product differentiation, you’ll likely only see a brief boom in sales because your competitors will quickly move in on the idea and make it their own. 

Relationship Differentiation

Your employees are the backbone of your business. When they’re happy, your customers are much more likely to walk away satisfied and happy too. Team members must have the tools and communication channels they need to operate efficiently and spot errors before they escalate into major problems. 

You can accomplish this by monitoring customer satisfaction metrics like user adoption rate, net promoter score, and churn rate. With concrete data, your team can analyze customer opinions regarding new products, advertisement campaigns, and your brand. 

Service Differentiation

Service differentiation encompasses every supportive aspect of your company. 

  • Onboarding, 
  • Customer service, 
  • The ordering process, 
  • Website design, 
  • And everything that aids in the process of selling your product. 

Showing your customers that they will always get great service, fast responses, and helpful advice regardless of what products they order or where they order from is an excellent way to promote brand loyalty. 

Distribution Differentiation

While this isn’t a customer-facing aspect of your business, ensuring that you can deliver to people in your target audience is essential. This means keeping lines of communication open and delivery smooth for all manufacturers and distributors involved in producing your products. 

It also means increasing quality assessment procedures to ensure that all products meet your high standards. 

Image Differentiation

Your brand’s reputation directly impacts customer loyalty and should be tailored to your target audience. Understanding your audience’s expectations and needs will help your brand position its reputation as one that your customers trust and rely on for the products you provide. Customer loyalty is essential for building a solid base of returning customers.

A positive brand image can lower advertisement costs and increase profit by enticing previous customers to return for other products or services and tell their loved ones to do so also. Unfortunately, cultivating a distinctive image within your industry takes time, shrewd marketers, strong products, a large marketing budget, and a bit of luck.

Your brand must stand for something immediately recognizable through a slogan, logo, and name. In addition, your brand must promote your product’s value and follow through by providing the value advertised. 

Differentiating your company’s image goes a long way toward overall success. 

Price Differentiation

Price differentiation means finding the sweet spot for your product or service’s price. Many consumers look for less expensive alternatives when first selecting a product from the market, so ensuring that your product is appropriately priced is one way to differentiate your company. 

It is also the go-to option for most companies and may not be reliable in the long run.

Reducing the cost for your product necessarily reduces the profit earned, and some other company will undoubtedly find a way to do whatever you do but cheaper, faster, or more efficiently. So you want to avoid a price war with your competitors. 

What are the Advantages of a Product Differentiation Strategy?

Product differentiation offers plenty of advantages like increasing profits, heightening your company’s customer retention rate, and positioning your product strategically in the industry. 

Creates Non-Price Competition

Pricing competition is not the only way to differentiate your product. Product differentiation also allows your company to stand out by showing that it has other valuable and unique qualities. 

If you prove that your product features are better than the competition’s, customers will take price out of the equation when evaluating your company. 

Creates Value

The advantage of a product differentiation approach is that it capitalizes on a product’s distinguishing features. Your company can compile a list of features that your products have that your competitors do not. 

These features help distinguish the product, and you can express them effectively through promotion and advertisement.

Creates Brand Loyalty

Your brand’s distinguishing factors may become the standard for your entire company. Great customer service, for example, applies to more than one product or service; it’s a reflection of your company’s willingness to put the customer’s needs first. 

Customers will become more loyal to your brand if your differentiators are reflected across all of your company’s products. 

Eliminates Perceived Substitutes

A good product  differentiation strategy could instill the idea that there is no other product in the market that can replace it. Even if alternative products are available, a company can gain a competitive edge in the market because consumers aren’t likely to substitute their product with another. 

How can Product Differentiation be Achieved?

There are four specific ways to differentiate your product and position it for success. With these, you can enhance your existing product(s) to better appeal to your existing and prospective customers. 

Distinctive Design

One of the best ways to promote and differentiate a product is to use a distinctive design. Something that is unique and that will stick in your customer’s minds. 

Perfume bottles are a good example of this; they are often designed in fascinating shapes and are beautifully decorated in addition to being memorable. 

Branding

Perception is king. Enhancing your brand and customer perceptions of the products and services you offer can add a lot of value, even if your product is similar to others on the market. Nike is an example of fantastic branding.

Another way of positioning your company is to use social media as an entity that does something different or noteworthy. This also enhances the standing of your products without altering anything in the production process. 

Performance

Monitoring the metrics of your customers’ experiences is vital when aiming to improve product performance. By knowing what the product currently provides and how much effort it takes to achieve a goal, your teams can find ways to streamline the effort required and improve functionality. 

USPs

Finding a USP, or Unique Selling Point, is an important aspect of differentiation. Almost anything could be a USP, and what you choose should relate back to the image your brand projects. 

For example, if you have positioned your brand as one that frequently donates to a particular charity, your product’s USP could be that a portion of all proceeds goes directly to that charity. 

Conclusion

Understanding how various types of differentiation can enhance your brand’s marketing success is a crucial learning point for every company. Measuring your current customers’ perceptions of your products, how they react to implemented changes, and modifying your strategies based on those measurements can assist your marketing team in positioning your brand for success.

 

Visit the Kissmetrics blog for more information on differentiation and market positioning

 

Sources:

Differentiation Strategy: Definition, Benefits and Creation | Indeed

What is Premium Pricing Strategy? | Chron.com

6 Ways to Differentiate Your Business from the Competition | Marketresearch.com

What You Should Know About Product Adoption and How to Increase It

It can be immensely beneficial to your company if you understand the process of how a potential user decides to purchase your product and become a user. It’s one important way to gain new user insights on why they chose your product 

For users, becoming a new user of a product can be challenging, but if the company understands and improves its product adoption process, it doesn’t have to be.

What Is Product Adoption?

The moment when a user finds your product kicks off what is considered product adoption. 

Product adoption is when a user begins using your product for its intended use to help them complete the intended task. For metric purposes, product adoption can be expressed as a percentage of people who successfully use the product for its intended use. 

Depending on your product type, the product adoption process can be very simple or somewhat involved. By using the Kissmetrics product and marketing analytics tools, you’ll be able to map out your product adoption process.

What Are the Stages of the Product Adoption Process?

The process of product adoption may be different for each product or company, but the process should be similar across tech platforms. Product adoption is divided into 4 stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Evaluation
  • Conversion

Awareness

When a potential user initially learns of your products but has no information, that is considered awareness. 

They may have learned about your product through advertisements, word of mouth, or any other form of media. This phase is important as it is the first impression users get of your product. 

The way your product is advertised will have a large impact on the awareness phase. It’s important that potential users feel intrigued to learn more and see your product as something with potential. 

This first impression leads to the next phase of product adoption, the interest phase.

Interest

After a potential user first sees your product and begins to show interest in it, they have moved to the interest phase. 

The interest phase is when users start to gather information and search for details about your product. This phase is critical because it’s when potential users need accurate and concise information on your product. 

If users cannot find enough information to make an informed decision, they may either choose the wrong product or no product at all. Once users gather enough information to make an informed decision they move to evaluate the product.

Evaluation

The product evaluation phase is where users initially try your product and test its features. This can be part of a trial period or the initial purchase of your product. 

During the evaluation phase, users will determine if your product meets their needs and provides the value they’ve been seeking. They may be comparing the product to previous products they’ve used or attempting to find a solution to a problem that has remained unsolved. Having well-documented user guides is a great way to improve the evaluation experience for new users. 

If the user is satisfied and convinced the product is a good fit, they become a user and move to the conversion phase.

Conversion

At this phase, the user has purchased your product and is fully using the product to their advantage. Remember, it’s helpful to make the payment process easy for the user to increase conversion. Product delivery should also be simple and intuitive for the users. Having new users wait to use the product will not set a good tone. 

The product should solve their issues and deliver value in real world situations. Conversion can be measured directly by monitoring your conversion rate, but that doesn’t always give enough detail. You’ll want to monitor several KPIs to ensure your conversion rates are optimal.

What Is the Difference Between Product Adoption and Product Diffusion?

Product diffusion is similar to product adoption but they are not the same process. 

Product diffusion refers to the process of a large group or social class of people adopting a product. An example would be when mobile phones became normal for everyone to own. At first, mobile phones were very expensive and only for business use or the upper class. 

A few years later mobile phones dropped in price, so ordinary people could afford them. When consumers begin using cellphones en-masse, that is product diffusion.  

The product adoption process is tracking an individual person adopting your product. In other words, when you have a single user purchase and begin using your product that is product adoption.

Why Is Product Adoption Important?

It’s vital to track the process of users discovering, learning, and purchasing your product. Ensuring your users know the ins and outs of your product will maximize the product value and give them a better overall experience. 

A successful product adoption will lead to an increase in long-term users and higher user satisfaction. Kissmetrics can help you track product adoption and find ways to improve your processes.

How Can Product Adoption Be Improved?

There are multiple techniques that can improve your product adoption. Be sure to check out Kissmetrics to begin gaining insights into your product adoption process. 

Some ways to improve your product adoption process are:

  • First-Time User Experiences
  • New Feature Launches
  • Behavioral Emails
  • Targeting
  • Constant Bug Fixes and Upgrades

First-Time User Experiences

When users are new to your product, their first experience using it needs to be smooth and convenient. The first-time user experience could be the checkout process, a trial, or a wizard setup type of process. 

If not designed properly these processes can be frustrating and deliver a bad experience for new users. Kissmetrics has experience with enhancing their first-time user experiences and can help you improve yours.

New Feature Launches

When your product has new features or improvements it’s important to make sure your users and potential users are aware. A new feature can make a huge difference to a user who needs the additional functionality. Making sure your users are aware of these changes can ensure they get the most value from your product. 

New feature launches can help reduce churn by re-engaging users. The new feature launches also improve user loyalty by showing you continue to support and improve your products. 

Email Updates

A tailored way to reach users and improve product adoption is behavioral emails. These emails are created for specific situations and sent to users when certain behaviors or actions occur. 

Some examples would be when a user gets halfway through a signup process then stops, or a user has been inactive for a long period of time. A reminder email to a user to finish the signup process is a nice way to improve product adoption. 

Behavior email updates are not generic blast emails sent to all users at once. Emails that are not personalized are likely to be ignored by users and won’t be as successful.

Audience Targeting

Getting your product in the hand of its target audience is a sound strategy. Products are not typically one size fits all, so marketing your product to everyone wouldn’t be the best use of resources. 

Targeting your core audience with a cohesive marketing strategy will have a large impact on your conversion rate. So, having the proper information about your core users is needed for proper user targeting. Kissmetrics can help you analyze the key characteristics that you need to target the right audience. 

Constant Bug Fixes and Upgrades

Every site and product must deal with bugs and the need to upgrade from time to time. When bugs arise it’s important to prioritize and fix them as often as possible. Bugs can diminish the overall experience for users, especially if the bug occurs during a critical task for the user. 

If users consistently experience bugs, you’ll likely have a much higher turnover rate and lose user loyalty. 

Upgrading your site should also be a consistent practice. This will reinforce that your product is being cared for as constant improvements are happening. Keeping your product fresh with new features and constantly improving the interface will create positive feedback and increased loyalty from your users.

Conclusion

Product adoption is something every new user will experience. While the process may differ from company to company, the key phrases will be the same across your industry. 

Understanding your product adoption process will give you more insight into what it’s like to become a new user of your product. Using this knowledge to improve your processes will increase user satisfaction and lower your churn rate.

Visit kissmetrics today to schedule your demo and learn how we can help your product and market analytics. 

 

Sources:

  1. How To Spot Companies Accelerating Through The Adoption Curve | Forbes
  2. First Impressions – a Guide to Onboarding UX | Toptal.com
  3. 5 Stages to the Consumer Adoption Process | Linkedin

How to Improve Your Website’s UX

Improving your website’s user experience (UX) is paramount when it comes to making a good impression on potential and existing users. Even if you have brick-and-mortar stores, most people are moving their shopping online, and you want to keep their business.

Kissmetrics breaks down why website UX is vital, and how to measure and improve it. 

Why Website UX Is Important

More people are shopping for products online or subscribing to online services in the digital age. So, even if you have the best products in the world, no one will ever know unless they can find their way to your checkout page and convert.

In order to get your customers there, you have to give them what they want. And what they want is an appealing, functional website, intuitive navigation, clear information and clear call-to-actions. In short, they want you to guide them through the experience. 

Anything less and  visitors will never make it to your purchase page. 

Types of Metrics Used to Measure UX

There are a variety of ways to measure user behavior and how they experience your website. 

These metrics can be measured and compiled into reports using a digital analytics tool. The following sections list nine of the primary metrics used by businesses across all industries to measure their UX. 

Journey Mapping

Mapping your users’ journey throughout your website can lead to essential insights about where your content is working and where it falls short. Seeing what pages they visit and where their sticking points are can help you refine your sales funnel. It can also show you how far through the funnel potential users get before dropping out. 

When you see where visitors drop out, you can focus on fixing what’s wrong at that specific stage of the journey. Maybe our account registration is too complex to navigate or you’re missing a call-to-action. Maybe the page took too long to load. You can only fix these problems if you know which pages your visitors are seeing.

User Churn Rate

User churn rate measures the number of users who stop using your products or services in a given period. It gives you insight into user satisfaction and indicates whether there is a problem with the product that needs fixing. In the short-term, it provides an idea of how much money you’ll need to spend attracting new users. 

Keep in mind that a high user churn rate is not uncommon in certain industries. 

User Retention Rate

The user retention rate is the opposite of the user churn rate and measures the percentage of users who stick with your service. The higher your user retention rate, the less you’ll have to spend on customer acquisition costs (CAC). 

Statistically speaking, it’s almost always less expensive to keep existing users than it is to attract new ones. 

Conversion Rates

Once you attract visitors to your website, the real work begins. Visiting doesn’t automatically mean that someone  converts. 

Conversion rates measure the visitors to your website who proceed through the sales funnel and eventually complete desired events like: signing up, providing their email, watching a video, or completing a purchase. The majority of visitors may not complete any events or convert, but you can use the data you collect to optimize your site so that more of them do.. 

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value, or CLV, measures how much money a single user is expected to spend on your products throughout their entire relationship with your company. This can be calculated by assuming that the user continuously stays loyal to your company and purchases new models or updates to your product at specified intervals. Those intervals will vary based on the products you offer.

For example, you could expect a customer to buy new clothes much more frequently than you would expect them to purchase new cars. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score, or NPS, measures which users are most likely to recommend your company to their friends and family. Those who are likely to recommend you are classified as promoters and people who will actively speak against your company are classified as detractors. 

Ideally, your percentage of promoters will outweigh your detractors. 

Unlike other metrics, NPS is measured by surveying users directly, meaning their responses may be biased. A user might respond negatively if they’ve had a bad day, regardless of how they normally feel about your product. 

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Customer effort score, or CES, is a similar survey to NPS and measures how satisfied your users are with their experience on your website or within your product. Instead of asking how likely they are to recommend your product(s), it asks how easy they found your service, website or product to use. 

If possible, you want to minimize the required user effort as much as you can since people prefer to use simple and straightforward products.

Average Response Time

If your company or website offers any kind of customer success or support, this is a crucial metric. Whether users are ordering products through an e-commerce website or struggling to install software, they will likely want to speak to a representative. 

This can happen through an email, live chat, text, or phone call. Average response time measures how long customers have to wait before they get a response. 

Average Resolution Time

Similar to the average response time, the average resolution time measures how long it takes for a user or customer’s issue to be resolved. A resolution doesn’t necessarily mean a fix since they might be contacting your company with a question or complaint that is out of a representative’s control. Still, the faster your team can resolve the issue or answer their questions, the happier the user or customer will be. 

How To Improve Website UX

Improving your website’s UX comes down to a few basic ideas: 

  • Know your target audience.
  • Format the right design.
  • Speed up the process of page navigation.
  • Add key touchpoints.

Understand Your Audience

The first step to understanding your target audience is to install a  behavioral analytics tool like Kissmetrics on your website. By analyzing the data you collect,, you can segment out your users based on the actions they take.  You’ll be able to create user personas and predict their needs and wants based on factors like average age, location, annual income, household size, previous purchases, features used and other data.

When you know who your users are, it’s easier to improve your products and give them what they want. 

Improve Page Speed

A user’s page speed may not always be in your control, but you should make every effort to get your website running smoothly and speedily whenever possible. In this modern age, users have very little patience for slow, clunky websites, and even a few seconds of waiting for a page to load can cause them to leave the page. 

Google also considers page loading time when assigning rankings to websites, so if your page is slow to load, even the best SEO content won’t feature very high on the list. 

Consider The Layout and Design

The design of your website is the first thing your visitors see, and you want to strike a balance between exciting and sleek. Too much information or graphics can overwhelm the visitor and distract them, whereas too little can bore them. 

You also want to make navigation straightforward so they’ll easily find what they’re looking for. 

Simplifying your formatting isn’t just about making your website sleeker and more aesthetically appealing. It can also decrease loading time. The majority of your page’s loading time comes from making HTTP requests for each element on the webpage. These elements come from fancy graphics, fonts, styles, icons, and other scripts. 

Add Key Touch Points

Key touchpoints are the instructions or tips your users need to understand your products, how they work, and get to know your company. These key touchpoints are areas of interaction between your users and your company. 

Key touchpoints can include:

  • Online advertisements,
  • Social media posts, 
  • Chatting with user representatives, 
  • Product reviews,
  • Feedback surveys.

The more interaction visitors can have with your company, the more you can develop their loyalty and investment. By demonstrating that you care about them, your company turns into a friendly presence instead of a faceless corporate entity. 

With the right key touchpoints, you can increase your conversion rate and keep existing users from churning to your competitors. 

Conclusion

UX is constantly in flux so monitoring the metrics listed above over time is the best way to quantifiably measure and improve experiences. With granular data at your fingertips, you can see how users react to changes in your website and tweak issues proactively instead of waiting for them to affect revenue.

Visit Kissmetrics for more information on measuring UX and improving your website.

 

Sources:

Key Product Management Metrics and KPIs | Altexsoft.com

User Effort Score | Questionpro.com

20 Ways to Speed Up Your Website – and Improve Conversion by 7% | Crazy Egg

What is Product Intelligence?

Product intelligence might make you think of robots and other smart technologies. However, the term doesn’t mean your products will start walking and talking on their own. It’s another term for product analytics, and you can use the two interchangeably. Product intelligence is a critical aspect of supporting your company and listening to your users’ feedback. 

Kissmetrics explores the ideas behind product intelligence, how it works, the type of information it gathers, and how you can leverage it for your company.

How Do You Define Product Intelligence?

Product intelligence is the term for gathering information about how your users interact with your product, interpreting that information, and then strategizing to leverage your insights. 

It’s something that you may already do in some way or another. Finding out information about your users is the number one way to improve your products, services, and a company’s interactions with their audience members. 

How Is Product Intelligence Different From Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, especially among roboticists and engineers nowadays, but it is very different from product intelligence. Artificial intelligence refers to the study of machine learning or how non-organic devices can interact with the world intelligently. A Roomba, for example, demonstrates artificial intelligence by learning where your walls and furniture are, so it can vacuum the areas around those spaces without bumping into anything.

Product intelligence doesn’t have to be so high-tech. It describes the process of gathering information about how humans use your products and then translates that data into insights and actionable goals. 

You can collect information about any kind of product, robotic or not. It’s all about finding a new way for users to show you what features they like and which ones they don’t.

How Does Product Intelligence Work?

Product analytics tools like Kissmetrics gather data about various aspects of your users and how they interact with your website. This data is compiled into meaningful reports that demonstrate areas that attract more users and places where you need to make some improvements. 

Performance

The first step in product intelligence is gathering the data. With product analytics tools, you don’t have to worry about manual inputs; your tools will automatically function and mine the information. 

Automation is a critical part of the tool and can save you time and effort when aggregating data. 

Quality

The second step is analyzing the data. Of course, now that you have tons of detailed insights, you don’t want to waste time wracking your brain to interpret it and understand what it all means. Product analytics tools do that for you, compiling the information into a simple, straightforward report. 

For marketing and product development teams who want to get into the nitty-gritty details, they’re available. Most tools allow you to customize your data gathering and the subsequent reports to get the information that adds the most value. 

Keep in mind that product analytics won’t give you the whole picture. It doesn’t replace important surveys asking users about their overall satisfaction; it simply augments them. 

Test Data

The nature of science is to test. So once you’ve gathered your data and formed some ideas about new things to try, the best thing to do is try them out and continue recording the information. 

Your original data might have focused on one feature of your product, which led your company to focus on it too. Keep watching to see how your users react to the changes you make and adjust your product development accordingly to keep them satisfied. 

Which Information Does a Product Intelligence Tool Gather?

Product intelligence tools specialize in gathering and aggregating information about your users and how they use your products. This data is then compiled into an insightful report documenting your users’ preferences. 

Product intelligence tools gather information like:

  • Which features see the most use.
  • How often users use your product.
  • How your products perform based on the season.
  • When users buy from you.
  • Customer information like location, age, and other demographics.

Why Is Product Intelligence Important?

Product intelligence is a way of analyzing user habits and interactions. When users interact with your products, learning what features they use the most and which ones sit ignored will help you move forward with your company. 

One of the most significant benefits of product intelligence over surveying your users is you can be sure the information is accurate.

Not to imply that users purposefully lie on surveys, but they may make mistakes and leave things out. Their feedback can often be fueled by emotions and not cold, hard facts. Product intelligence skips over the sentiment and brings you the facts you need to make decisions about your product. 

Product intelligence tools are vital for scalability. As your company comes out with more products, gathers a more extensive user base, or simply grows in size, it becomes an enormous task to monitor your users’ feedback and understand how they are using or not using your products. 

Without an automated tool gathering data for you, you’d have to hire increasingly large numbers of employees whose sole task would be to monitor product usage. That’s not a good use of their time or your money.

Creating New, Improved Versions of Your Product

The best way to stay ahead of competitors is to give the people what they want. There are few better ways to do that than constantly monitoring and recording how people use your product. 

Customers use the features that add value to their lives and give you the information you need to tweak products and make adjustments to function better.

For example, your company might have been very excited to release a product with new features, but if your users continue to use the same three and leave the other ones alone, you’ll know that it’s best to focus on strengthening the original ones.

Accelerating the Product’s Time-to-Market

Instead of assigning members of your development team to closely monitor all of the feedback rolling in about your new product, using a product intelligence tool automates the process. When you can easily click on a report generated by your analytics tool, you save time and effort.

With accurate, real-time insights about your product and its features, you can speed up the timeline for your next big product. Users may be eagerly awaiting the release from beta-testing, and with product intelligence, you can continuously monitor progress throughout testing and development. 

This is especially relevant in e-commerce spaces when putting out the idea or product earlier can make a difference in edging ahead of the competition. 

Automatic Quality Manufacturing Processes Enforcement

With a product intelligence tool, everyone will have access to the same information. Instead of waiting for a member of one development team to remember to forward a dozen reports to a secondary design or implementation team, the reports are instantly available to everyone with access to the software. 

This can help speed up the product’s time-to-market and ensure that bugs and other flaws will be caught before they come out.

Your teams will appreciate the ability to correct errors without writing additional code or spending hours pouring over the lines they’ve already written. Simply input error parameters into your product analytics tool, and the tool automatically flags anything that pops up. 

How Can I Use a Product Intelligence Platform?

When you understand your audience, you can design the right products and features to satisfy their needs. Additionally, as you roll out updates, products, services, and features, a product intelligence platform will document how users interact with your product. This allows you to see which aspects are particularly useful to those users.

Besides giving you ideas for enhancements and new designs, this information can also influence your marketing strategies. Knowing your audience also means knowing how to appeal to them and entice them to convert. 

It’s not just about getting them to your website, either. Documenting the users’ journeys from the first visit through conversion gives you a better idea of what content attracts people. It incentivizes them to move beyond a casual visitor to become a regular user or customer.

Conclusion

One of the biggest questions a company should ask is why do some people buy my product and others don’t? Product intelligence looks for innovative ways to answer that question by documenting user interactions, illustrating conversion paths, and detailing which marketing campaigns attract new visitors to your website, as well as how your product adds value to peoples’ lives. 

Visit Kissmetrics for more information about product intelligence and how you can leverage your users’ information. 

 

Sources:

Product Intelligence | Mixpanel.com

What is Product Intelligence? Your Guide to a Product Intelligence Platform | Talend.com

Product Intelligence is the New Wave in Retail Analytics | Digitaldoughnut.com

6 Engagement Metrics That’ll Help Improve Your Search

Improving your website’s traffic is essential for building a wider audience for your company. Every successful company nowadays spends time and money measuring various engagement metrics to understand their customers’ behavior better and make their online content more meaningful.

Kissmetrics breaks down how to measure user engagement and which metrics give you the necessary information to improve your search rankings. 

How Do You Measure Engagement?

Product analytics and marketing tools measure user engagement by tracking their activities within your website and product. This software can track IP addresses to see how often users visit your website, which pages they view, how long they spend on each page, and many other aspects of their interaction.

What Is an Engagement Metric?

An engagement metric is any kind of measurement of user interaction with your company’s website or product. 

Which Engagement Metrics Will Help Improve My Search?

While there are many different engagement metrics to choose from, the following sections list the six most popular engagement metrics that add real value. 

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who ‘bounce’ away from your website after reading the contents of a single page. Essentially, this bounce rate measures people who read your blog and then decide not to check out more pages on your website or who arrive at your home page and realize that this wasn’t what they were looking for.  

How Do I Track Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate can be tracked by analytics software. The equation for figuring out your bounce rate is to divide the total number of visitors who come to a page and then navigate away from your website without visiting another page by the total number of visits to your site.

How Can I Improve My Bounce Rate?

Visitors can bounce for several reasons, some of which you’ll have no control over. For example, if visitors are looking for a definition or explanation of a term, they will read the information you’ve presented and then move on. 

Visitors often bounce because your website didn’t provide exciting content that kept them wanting more. Or because the UI/UX was confusing or cumbersome. You can improve your bounce rate by ensuring that all pages are of high quality. 

Why Bounce Rate Isn’t Actionable

While it’s tempting to leave it at, “I need to decrease my bounce rate,” bounce rate by itself doesn’t give you detailed information. In order to utilize bounce rate, you’ll need information provided by other metrics. For instance, bounce rate doesn’t tell you why visitors are leaving. You would have to dig further into those reasons.

Pages Per Session

Pages per session are the number of different landing pages on your website that a single user visited during their session. 

How Do I Track Pages Per Session?

Your pages per session can be tracked by analytics software like Kissmetrics in a cohort report by entering the event parameters. 

The first event will be visiting a page on your website, and the second event will be visiting another page within your website. Your report will show the number of users who fulfilled both of those parameters, as well as the number of pages they viewed. 

How Can I Improve My Pages Per Session?

The best ways to improve pages per session is to make the content relevant and helpful to your audience and make your navigation clear. Conducting audience surveys and charting the user’s journey gives you clues about what type of content your audience would like to see and how it should be formatted. It’ll also tell you where users and visitors get stuck.

Another idea is to include clickable links on every page to make it easy for customers to find similar content or purchasable items. 

Page Depth

Page depth is a measure of how far into the process of purchasing your visitor is. For example, your website’s home page would be considered ‘shallow.’ 

In contrast, the page where the customer enters their credit card number to check out would be regarded as ‘deep.’ The idea is to follow the customer through their journey and to measure how far along your customer journey they travel. 

How Can I Improve My Page Depth?

A page’s depth should dictate how you format it so that it best appeals to customers based on where they are in their customer journey. 

Customers farther along, or deeper in, would likely want more detailed information, whereas you would want to use high-level information on shallower pages. Tailoring pages enhances the customer experience. 

You might also want to evaluate the checkout process if you see a lot of customers dropping out at that point.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures how many website visitors complete a set goal. For example, your desired goal may be for visitors to register as account members or purchase products. The conversion rate shows you how much of your website traffic reaches your intended goal. 

How Do I Measure Conversion Rate?

You’ll measure your conversion rate by dividing the number of completed conversions by the number of visitors to your site in a time period and then multiplying that by 100. This gives you a percentage of visitors who completed your conversion goal. 

For instance, let’s say you had 352 conversions last month and 1,582 total visitors. You’d take:

352 ÷ 1,582 = 0.2225 × 100 = 22.25% conversion rate.

So for the month, you had a 22.25% conversion rate.

How Can I Improve My Conversion Rate?

Depending on what you’re selling, your conversion rate may be affected by various factors. However, there is one factor that all companies have in common, regardless of industry: value. For customers to purchase your products or services, you must demonstrate that they can trust you will provide the best value to their lives or businesses. 

Your company can accomplish this by offering positive testimonials on your website or showing well-known companies who use your services. 

Returning Visitors

As the name implies, returning visitors are your visitors who decide to come back for more within a given period. Visitors may return to learn more about your services on an offer, purchase products, or read more informational articles in your website’s blog. Whatever the reason, returning visitors are invested in your company, and that’s a good start.

How Do I Track Returning Visitors?

The same cohort report mentioned for tracking pages per session can also track returning visitors by entering the timeframe and letting the software monitor the visits from individual IP addresses. 

The report should tell you how many people returned to your website and how many times they came back during that time. 

How Can I Increase My Returning Visitors?

Everyone likes to feel personally catered to, so customizing your pages is one great way to increase returning visitors. 

Little details that are helpful to the customer, such as showing their previously viewed products, your similar products, or linking to content related to their browsing history, can increase the number of visitors who use your website again. 

Time on Page

Time on page measures the amount of time (per session) in minutes or hours that a user spends on a specific page. This metric can help you determine if a page is helpful, or inversely, may be causing an issue in your customer’s journey.

What Counts as a Session?

A session is just the amount of time that they spend actively navigating around your website. During a session, a user may only view a single page, or they may go through multiple pages on your website. 

How Do I Track Time on Page?

Once you have determined which pages have the highest times, you analyze those pages for more details. Keep in mind that not every page should have a high time spent. For example, purchasing pages or pages where customers enter payment information should have low time spent, or customers may become frustrated with the complex process. 

Why Time on Page Isn’t Always Accurate

Although time on page can be a useful metric, it isn’t always the most accurate. When people leave a page open and switch to another tab, they aren’t consuming your content and still technically spending time on the page. 

Similarly, if they leave the page open while they take a break and do something else, it can skew your analysis. 

Conclusion

Comprehensive reports showing user engagement metrics are just the first step. By understanding the needs of your target audience, you can change your website landing pages to reflect better what your audience wants to know and interact with. 

It’s essential to measure your website’s user engagement to understand whether your website and landing pages make the most of the visitors’ attention. Before you can add value to your company and website, you must know what the people want. 

Kissmetrics provides the analyses and reports you need to measure customer engagement with your company’s website. Contact us today.

 

Sources:

5 Engagement Metrics That’ll Help Improve Your Search Rankings | Neilpatel.com

Average page depth | Adobe Analytics | Adobe.com

What is ‘Pages Per Session’ in Google Analytics & How Do I Increase It? | Databox.com

How to Develop and Measure a User Adoption

User adoption is a crucial element for all new products and services. In order to maximize your user adoption, you’ll need to do some research. That research entails looking at specific user metrics, understanding your target audience, and tailoring features to work smarter, not harder. 

This article explores why user adoption is essential for your business, how to measure it accurately, and how to improve your rate. 

What Is User Adoption?

User adoption is when a new customer sees value in your company’s products or features and then implements them into their daily tasks. This process, sometimes known as onboarding, describes a user’s willingness to learn and acclimate to a new product and continue using it after dealing with the learning curve. 

Depending on the effort it takes to learn to use your company’s products, they may decide that the effort is not worth the benefits. A high user adoption rate indicates that your company is bringing on new users who keep using the service. 

Why Is User Adoption Important?

User adoption shows your product is providing value to customers and marketing is keeping users invested in your brand. Also, higher retention through user adoption leads to higher customer lifetime value. 

When it’s easier to attract new customers because of your brand reputation, you’re going to see an increase in profit. 

How Do You Develop User Adoption?

Developing user adoption means focusing on your customer’s goals through product-led growth. By using your product or service, those customers seek to accomplish specific goals. As long as your service is furthering their goals, they’re more likely to continue buying from your brand or using your product. It’s crucial to research those customer goals to ensure that your product is always best for your customer.

How Do You Measure User Adoption? 

Measuring user adoption requires a team to choose their intent for a product, select the metrics that best reflect their goal, begin with a baseline, and then monitor ensuing differences in user adoption rate as changes are implemented. 

That sounds complex, but by breaking down the steps involved, your team can gather crucial information about the audience to which your product appeals and their expectations. 

Pick a Goal

First things first, you must know what user adoption looks like for your company. SaaS companies need to monitor users who begin a paid subscription, install the software, and continually use it for their needs. Car companies might monitor repeated sales of units to enterprise clients.

Select Metrics

The metrics your company monitors largely revolve around the goal your team created in step 1. To track your user adoption rates, you’ll need to know your number of new users and your total number of users.

You’ll need powerful product analytics tools like Kissmetrics to help you and your team view these valuable insights. 

Develop Your Tracking Plan

Once your team has decided which metrics to monitor, they’ll need to lay out their plan to track users. They should list the tracked events, how often they will be recording their tracking, which tool they’ll be using, and the overall timeline for monitoring. 

This is also the step where your team learns to look for any flaws or weaknesses that their plan should account for.

Capture Your Baseline Metrics

Most pictures show a before and after when they want to capture major change. It’s essential for your team to take the before picture by establishing a baseline of customer metrics for whatever events they plan to track in a given period. Otherwise, your team has nothing to compare user activities to in the future or to see how changes have caused a distinct difference. 

Implement Changes

After the baseline is in place, your team can make any changes that they brainstormed back in step 2. This is where your company has the chance to monitor how those changes are implemented and whether users are responding favorably. 

You’ll want to watch a range of customers, both new and returning, to ensure that your product or service is adequately meeting their goals and expectations. 

Repeat

The changes have been implemented, and now it’s time to re-evaluate your metrics to see any differences in your user adoption rate. Depending on what challenges your users face in using your products or services, these changes may look different for every company. 

Measuring the same metrics and comparing them against your baseline will demonstrate whether or not the changes had a tangible effect on the user adoption rate.

Sometimes changes can have the opposite intended effect. Simplifying your app by getting rid of a certain process might seem initially appealing, but if it turns out to be a core feature that users frequently relied on, it could cause a problem. 

Users might discontinue their business with your product because it no longer helps them achieve their desired goals.

It’s also important to remember that initial fluctuations in user adoption rate right after implementing changes may not reflect users’ true intentions. Instead, a sharp drop in user adoption rate might show that users were intimidated by the changes and weren’t looking for software that requires different processes to operate.

How Can You Improve User Adoption?

Improving user adoption doesn’t have to be complicated. The most important thing is to understand your audience beginning with tracking user metrics such as new users and total users and identifying potential problems if the two begin to fluctuate or drop.

By setting up measures to address those problems, your brand will become known for its positive attitude and beneficial services. 

Track Metrics

One of the best ways to improve any part of your product, service, or brand’s reputation is to track your metrics. It’s impossible to know how users appreciate your products or have negative experiences unless you have a team assigned to track metrics. 

Guesswork has no place in business, and with metrics, tangibly measuring how users interact with your products is possible. 

Help Users Identify Key Features and Benefits of Your Product

Like many things in life, perception is vital for your brand. When you ensure that potential users know what your product offers, they’ll know how it compares to the competition. 

By advertising the features and benefits of your product, you’ll instill the idea that your product provides value. Perception automatically adds value to your brand as a whole. 

Help Users with Technical Implementation of Your Product

Learning new things costs a fair amount of time and brainpower, two things that your users want to avoid as much as possible. By assisting users with the implementation of your product and making it straightforward to operate, you reduce the amount of effort needed to continue using the product and accomplish customers’ goals. 

Conduct User Experience Testing

Like tracking metrics, conducting user experience testing is key to understanding where your users are coming from. Without seeking their opinions, your teams will be taking shots in the dark to address criticism of your products or services. User experience testing allows your teams to experience the same things that users do. 

If your app is a hassle to set up, this is where you’ll learn that as well as ways to simplify the process. 

Analyze Customer Interaction and Make Relevant Changes

As noted in the previous section, knowing your customers is critical when developing a product or service to meet their expectations. Tracking user adoption metrics isn’t a one-time project; instead, it needs to be an ongoing effort over time. 

Your company will add updates and new features or get rid of outdated ones, and you’ll need your team to stay on top of customer opinions regarding these changes. 

Conclusion

Understanding product analytics and user adoption is a critical element of ensuring your product’s success. By comprehending audience expectations and monitoring how many users continue to utilize your company’s product or service to achieve their goals, you and your teams can brainstorm better ways to appeal to your customers and bring them products they’ll be happy to continue paying for.

Need to better measure user adoption? Kissmetrics’ website has more information about essential metrics for connecting with your customers and tailoring your business for a better appeal. 

 

Sources:

How To Develop And Measure A Product Adoption Strategy | Mixpanel

Definition – What is User Adoption? | Tallyfy.com

What is User Adoption – User Adoption in SaaS | UserIq.com

3 Essential KPIs for Product Analytics

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are used to measure various aspects of your products and the users who use them. Every company has business objectives and needs accurate data to measure where they are successful and where they’ve fallen short.

Kissmetrics breaks down what KPIs are, how to choose the right ones for your company, the top metrics to track, and how you can leverage the information they provide.

What is a KPI?

A KPI is any quantifiable method of evaluating a product, service, user, employee, or business. In order to evaluate your current KPIs, you need to track multiple metrics. Metrics are objective measurements (i.e. data) of certain aspects of your business like revenue and churn  that you can meaningfully compare against other results. So KPIs are the indicators aligned with your business objectives (i.e. the big broad idea) and metrics are the smaller components (i.e. the details) that add up to the KPIs. 

You can use metrics to monitor your KPIs and see whether your current strategies are successful. Metrics can measure anything, but KPIs measure your success. 

How is KPI Calculated?

Robust product analytics tools like Kissmetrics calculate your KPIs for you. All you need to do is enter your parameters, set up your event tracking and wait for the data to come in. 

When checking to see how your business’s progress is matching up against your targets, the real-time data from KPIs are plugged into a simple formula. Your current KPI value minus the baseline divided by your target minus the baseline. 

Tracking KPIs in real-time lets your teams react on the spot to effective or not-so effective strategies by watching their progress. 

How do I Know Which KPIs to Track?

Choosing the right KPIs for your company can take multiple steps. You want enough information to get a complete picture of your users and what they value in your products, and you don’t want to be bombarded with numbers and graphs that don’t mean anything. 

Depending on your industry, some KPIs may stand out as more essential than others. However, some KPIs are always relevant, and we’ll be addressing those below. 

What are 3 Essential KPIs for Product Analysis?

While there are many different KPIs available, this article will cover three of the essential KPIs for product analysis. Depending on your company’s industry and the types of products or services on offer, these KPIs may be tweaked or swapped out to achieve your business goals. 

Monthly Recurring Revenue

One of the basic measurements is monthly recurring revenue or MRR. It determines how much money your business brings in monthly by totaling the amounts from goods and services sold. It’s an essential KPI for SaaS companies offering subscriptions to see if customers are returning or churning. 

Revenue doesn’t take expenses into account, but it does give you information about whether your product is selling. 

Customer Acquisition Cost

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) measures how much money your company spends to attract a new user. Most businesses find that attracting new users is more expensive than retaining existing users, but if you want your business to grow, you’ll need to broaden your user base.

This metric incorporates costs from advertisements, employing a marketing team, employing a sales team, and any additional creative costs. To understand the budget for your customer acquisition costs, you’ll need to calculate the following KPI: customer lifetime value.

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value, or CLV, estimates how much a single customer will contribute financially to your company throughout their purchasing life. In an ideal world, your product or service would be something that a customer would go on buying for the rest of their life. Since that rarely happens, CLV calculates how long the customer is expected, on average, to buy your product.

This KPI demonstrates the average amount of spending from one customer prior to ending their subscription or discontinuing their business. It directly ties in to the customer acquisition costs because if you know what a single customer is projected to contribute, you can calculate the maximum amount of CAC while still retaining a profit. 

What are Common Biases I Should Look Out for When Measuring KPIs?

It’s important to remember that KPIs are only as valuable as your interpretations of the data. Humans are complicated beings, and their behavior is difficult to simplify into nice, concrete numbers. That’s why it’s essential to account for common biases when your company releases a new product or service. 

Early Adopters

One bias to watch out for when you release a new version or product is that of the early adopters. Early adopters are often people who are devoted to your company and have committed to snapping up everything you put out. 

While these users are a valuable part of your user base, their enthusiasm can throw off your measurements.

Since you can’t base your assumptions about most of your users around the loyalty of your top fans, you will need to measure how soon users begin adopting your update or separate old users from new users. 

Novelty

People love new things, right? When you release the latest and greatest gadget or feature, plenty of people will flock to the new technology. As a result, your KPIs for the first few days or weeks will likely skyrocket with a new release but then take a sharp dip immediately after. That doesn’t mean that people suddenly dislike your product.

Humans are naturally curious, and many will try something just to see what it is. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t tell you anything about whether or not they value the enhancements to your product.  

Some find the new product or feature valuable enough to incorporate into their lives, but most enjoy the novelty and then forget about it when the next big thing hits the shelves.

Default Settings

You may have noticed many users tend to stick with default settings. Accordingly, if you implement different default settings, your KPIs might show how users interact with your product in new ways.

Default settings can be a good thing and a bad thing. Giving users automatic options to interact with your products may be the inspiration they need to see how the product adds value to their lives. Alternatively, they may not like the default settings and stop using the product altogether. 

When you give users a default, instead of allowing customization from the get-go, you’ll notice that many users either don’t know enough to change their settings to other options or don’t want to put in the effort. Don’t let your KPIs trick you into thinking that people have suddenly changed how they use your product, though.

How Can I Reach My KPI Targets?

Your company’s KPI targets may need to be adjusted to incorporate realistic expectations depending on your industry. However, by continually measuring your KPIs, you can understand what your users want and modify your products to reach those goals. KPIs are constantly in flux because your company is growing and changing to meet customer demands.

It’s also important to note that not every KPI will be successful. Ideally, you’d meet and exceed all of your goals, but sometimes that isn’t the case. If you are having trouble meeting a KPI, that’s an area for you to hone in on and look for ways to improve. What’s stopping you from reaching the target? Is it something within your control? 

How Can Tracking KPIs Make My Product Better?

KPIs provide relevant insights for companies to improve their products by measuring how well your brand is living up to your goals. When you create realistic KPIs, you can watch to see if your actions are pushing you closer to success by achieving your KPIs, how quickly you’re succeeding, or if you need to rethink your strategies. 

With the real-time information about your success in tracked initiatives, you can make data-driven decisions to benefit your company and make your product better. Plus, you can ensure that your product continues to improve by setting and updating benchmarks so you never become stagnant.

Tracking KPIs also helps you find areas in need of improvement so that you can make those fixes for an overall better product. 

Conclusion

Knowing which KPIs to monitor is a crucial part of achieving your business goals. While all quantifiable metrics provide information, it’s essential to choose measurements that you can leverage to add value to your company. Otherwise, the data pouring in can become overwhelming and worthless. 

Visit Kissmetrics for more information on measuring KPIs to reach your business goals. 

 

Sources:

The Role of Analytics | SVPG.com

Feb 22, 2019, 15 Key Product Management Metrics and KPIs | Altexsoft.com

Customer Acquisition Cost: How to Calculate, Reduce & Improve It | Neilpatel.com

What is Product-Led Growth: A Definition and Why It’s Taking Off

Every few years or so, a new buzzword pops up in the marketing space. A few we’ve seen in the past include “digital marketing,” “growth hacking,” and “viral loops.” But these days, there’s a new phrase making the rounds: Product-led growth. 

Companies with a product-led growth (PLG) strategy can grow much faster and much more efficiently by leveraging their products or services to create a pipeline of active users that are then converted into happy, paying customers. But what exactly is product-led growth, and why is it taking off?

What is Product-Led Growth (PLG)? 

PLG is an emerging term used to help define how companies have built their acquisition, expansion, and retention strategies around their product or service. However, while the increasingly popular term itself has only surfaced within the past year or so, SaaS marketing experts have been using PLG strategies for over a decade to acquire, expand, and retain their customer base.  

At its core, product-led growth is a go-to-market strategy that relies on the value of a brand’s product to enable them to attain rapid growth. The principle is that as customers gain value from interacting with a product or service, they’ll begin to weave it into their day-to-day lives and encourage others to do so as well. 

So, how do you spot a product-led brand? Here are a few key characteristics that you’ll notice:

  • Usually, they’ll have a freemium model (i.e. start free today!).
  • Habit-building (they slide into your tech stack and become essential).
  • Laser-focused on user experience (expect glowing reviews).
  • They always solve a real need in a lower-friction way than competitors. 
  • Low barrier-to-entry (self-serve vs. forced sales demo).
  • Expansion based upon their existing network (they have a growing fan base that refers others).

Real-Life Example

Dropbox is an excellent example of product-led growth because the product has lent itself well for sharing and acquiring more users. Dropbox has reached a whopping $1 billion in revenue in less than ten years. Its product-led growth strategy is straightforward and, without a doubt — effective.

So, how did Dropbox do it? Well, their product-led strategy delivered a one-two punch. First, the increasingly popular hosting service developed a simple, usable product meeting market demand. From there, it quickly became the best tool for file sharing. Second, Dropbox introduced features designed to take advantage of the viral factor — users earn more storage credit by merely sharing a referral link. 

This smart referral tactic helped Dropbox gain new users while enhancing the customer experience for its existing users. Shared links are user-friendly because customers can share files without the recipient needing a Dropbox account. 

Why Should I Be Paying Attention To This Shift?

Customers are demanding — plain and simple. They want to try before they buy, their attention spans are low, and they’d much rather see your product or service than read a whitepaper about the problem it solves. 

However, product-led growth is about so much more than “try before you buy” — it’s about creating an incredible product or service and investing in ways for it to sell itself. 

And there are some pitfalls that product-led growth marketing can help you avoid:

  • Difficulty achieving profitability
  • Low retention and CLV
  • Long sales cycles and low revenue per employee
  • Rising advertising costs

How To Drive Conversions Through Product-Led Growth Concepts and Strategies 

PLG is inherently incompatible with marketing-led and sales-led strategies. Your sales and marketing teams no longer own the customer experience. Now, clients research and find your product online and then experience it firsthand to see how it fits into their lives. They no longer need a sales team to introduce them to your product or explain how your product could work for them. 

Product-led growth allows your entire company to focus on providing the best possible product at all times. So, the decision to embrace product-led is a binary one — you either go in a different direction, or you fully commit to it. 

However, the process of becoming a product-led company can be a long and circuitous journey that looks different from brand to brand.

Product-Led Growth Starts With An Amazing Product

Naturally, as a PLG company, you’ll need to have an amazing product that delivers. So if “product-led” sounds similar to “design-led” to you, you’re right. They sound identical because the innovation and empathy inherent in design-led thinking are crucial to product-led growth. After all, a well-designed product is a requirement of PLG. 

Well-designed doesn’t simply mean “pretty”; it means that your product is light and intuitive — with minimal friction, sticky features, and a short time to value. To create a truly engaging product experience capable of demonstrating value on its own, you need a deep understanding of your customer and the problems they are trying to solve. 

Your entire product should be built around making it much simpler for your customers to solve their problems. That means removing pain points whenever possible, offering effective user onboarding that is centered around customer goals, and providing ongoing, contextual in-app communications for things like upsell prompts, new features, specials, and more. 

Executing Sales and Marketing Strategies Based on Product-Led Growth

There are two main acquisition models that go hand-in-hand with PLG: the freemium and free trial models. The primary difference between the two is time. Under a freemium model, the user can use your free features forever. On the other hand, a free trial is only free for a set period of time (i.e. two weeks or one month). 

Free Trial Model: The free trial model is popular but not always as effective as the freemium model. This strategy gives users a short demo period, ranging from one to two weeks or even a whole month or two. If the user has a great experience during the free trial period, the hope is that they will then convert into happy, paying customers of your full-scaled product. Some companies even require inputting payment information at the start of the trial, which will automatically start charging once the trial ends — requiring some diligence from the user. 

Freemium: Not to get confused with a revenue model, Freemium is a fantastic acquisition model. It works by allowing customers to use roughly 50-75 percent of your full product. Over time, users will use the freemium option so much that they will eventually opt for the full product and become life-long customers.

Growth Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Whatever your business model might be, you have to measure growth to know if your product is gaining traction or not. There is a wide range of analytics to track, but we’ll cover the top four:

Revenue: Most businesses track their revenue over regular time periods, whether it’s monthly, quarterly or yearly. Successful PLG would cause this number to increase. 

Churn rate: Churn rate is simply the percentage of users who leave your service over a given period of time divided by the total remaining customers. If your PLG efforts are successful, you will see this metric gradually decrease. Tracking churn rate is critical because it’s a direct reflection of your product’s value that you are offering customers. 

Usage: Brands with high usage rates have leveraged their product’s value to get the majority of their users. This simple metric can show which groups or users have been using your product and how often for any given time. Tracking usage gives you insight into your power users so you can go find more of them.

Referral Rates: Is your brand getting a ton of new customers through referrals? This indicates that you’re providing real value. Incentivizing your happy customers to refer others is an excellent way to get more users. Peloton, Dropbox, and Uber are some examples of this.

The Bottom Line 

Product-led growth begins with the product — that’s obvious. But what makes it so powerful is that momentum is maintained and exponentially grown by the increased inbound interest and word-of-mouth promotion that comes from having a well-designed and innovative product. And once you have a memorable product, tracking analytics through a powerful tool like Kissmetrics will only help accomplish your business and brand goals. 

Ready to see for yourself? Request a demo with us today.

 

Sources:

(PDF) A Critical Review of Digital Marketing

IDC: Dropbox is the fastest SaaS company to reach $1 billion in revenue run rate

Improving the diagnosis and prediction of customer churn: A heterogeneous hazard modeling approach

North Star Metric: What Is It and How To Find It For Your Company

What Is a Company’s North Star Metric?

A north star metric is a key metric that demonstrates the value consumers gain from a company’s products or services. It’s the metric a company determines is the single most important driver of success and it provides an initiative for the whole company to rally behind.

However, identifying your company’s north star metric can be challenging at first. For example, a rideshare app may think that tracking the number of app downloads would be a great measure of success. 

However, a more accurate measure of value may be the number of miles ridden by users. 

Unlike the number of app downloads, which gives us very little information, tracking the number of miles ridden by users reveals more about the value and use of the product. Therefore, the north star metric should be a key component to the company’s long-term success and sustainability. It should also give you actionable information you can use to grow your business.

What Is the Purpose of a North Star?

A north star metric has three primary purposes: it helps measure your customer value, it represents your product strategy, and acts as a leading indicator of revenue.

Measure Customer Value

A north star metric helps you measure how often your customers engage with your product, which allows you to measure your customer value. It should indicate whether or not customers experienced the true value of your core product. For example, a library would not want to choose how many active library cards their location has as a north star metric because it doesn’t reveal much about how customers use the library. 

Instead, you would want to measure the number of books checked out, which indicates how customers are actively using their library cards. 

By measuring how much time the customer has spent engaged with your product, you can see how much value the customer is getting and make important decisions about your core product line to help improve customer value.

Represent Product Strategy

Your product strategy is key to the success of your business. A product strategy should be well-defined and measurable to make it easy to track. 

A good north star metric will capture your product strategy and show your progress in a form that’s easy to understand. A simple sales or profit chart will not provide enough information to guide your product strategy on its own without a solid north star metric. 

Companies can use their north star metric to focus more clearly on the true purpose of the product and what value the customer is receiving from it, which can inform product strategy. 

Act as a Leading Indicator of Revenue

Although your north star metric is not the only measure of revenue for your company, it should be a leading indicator of revenue. Simply put, if your north star metric increases, you can expect your revenue to increase as well.

It is essential to keep the north star metric’s relationship to revenue in mind when choosing one. For instance, simply measuring customer satisfaction will only tell you if your customers are happy, but it may not correlate to revenue. But customer referrals could be a measurement of both satisfaction and an indication of revenue.

Why Does My North Star Matter?

In many ways, your north star metric reflects the core values and voice, or internal mission statement, of your company. Your chosen north star metric should capture the purpose of your product and how it provides value to your customer. 

When your north star metric performs well, your company is more likely to stay true to its original goal and core values. In addition to serving as a leading indicator of revenue, the north star metric should also directly measure positive impact on your customers. 

In short, the north star metric matters because it tells the story of how successful your company is and gives you a clear picture of the sustainability and long-term outlook for your company.

Should a Company Only Have One North Star?

The number of north star metrics that your company has depends on the goals of your organization. Choosing one or two north star metrics helps to keep your evaluations simpler while still providing meaningful information. 

When choosing a north star metric, the idea is not to over complicate your keys to success; just to find the key metrics that matter. 

However, some companies have large footprints and have many different products and services that are not closely related. In these situations, it may be appropriate for different departments and teams to have their own north star metrics as long as they contribute to the company’s primary metric. 

How Do You Choose a Good North Star?

When choosing a north star metric for your organization, make sure to use the right tools to ensure that your metric meets the following criteria:

  1. It expresses value.
  2. It represents vision and strategy.
  3. It indicates success.
  4. It is measurable.
  5. It is clear.
  6. It is actionable.

It Expresses Value

Your north star metric should be measuring the value you bring to the customer. A simple purchase or subscription metric is not enough to understand if your customers benefit from your product.  

Your north star metric should capture what the customer uses your product for and the value it brings. Thishelps you better understand what keeps customers coming back. 

It Represents Vision and Strategy

Your north star metric should represent the vision and strategy or long-term plan for your company. Getting clear on your vision for the company and the strategy you’ll employ to get you there is vital to setting you apart from your competitors. Then communicating that vision and strategy company wide will help employees perform their jobs with them in mind. 

When you incorporate your vision and strategy into your north star metric, you’ll be able to measure how close you are to realizing that vision and how well your strategy is working. It also ensures your company stays true to its roots as it grows instead of losing its way in the name of chasing profits. 

It Indicates Success

Your north star metric should always indicate the success of your company. It should go beyond just the purchase of your product and provide details about how it’s impacting your customers. 

A product that sells well but doesn’t perform well will not have long-term success. Often success will tie back with sales, customer satisfaction, and other good indicators of business performance. 

Make sure your north star metric indicates success to keep your long-term outlook sound. 

It Is Measurable

Your chosen metric has to be measurable. A clearly defined north star will have values that are objective, not subjective. For example, tracking opinions or immeasurable data will not deliver reliable results. 

When choosing and tracking your north star metric, make sure you select a metric that has readily available data.

It Is Clear

Your entire company must understand your north star metric and why it is essential to rally around. A simple and understandable metric helps employees keep their goals at the forefront of their minds during their day-to-day andensures the entire company is pulling in the same direction. 

It Is Actionable

It’s critical to ensure that your north star metric is within your control and something that not only you can improve, but that every department can have a hand in improving. 

Once you have chosen an actionable north star metric, your organization can create strategies and tactical plans to help improve your metrics.

How Can My North Star Drive Product Strategy?

The north star metric should be a driving factor for your product strategy. If you’ve picked a good metric, you’ll see what products and features truly benefit your customers. You’ll gain valuable insight into how your product justifies your customer’s investment, hopefully to their satisfaction.

With a clearer understanding of your product’s value, you can better shape your product strategy to improve on your delivery to customers. With your north star metric helping to keep your organization close to your core values, it’s an excellent tool to help shape your future products and keep your customers coming back. 

Conclusion

The north star metric is a popular measure for innovative companies looking to improve their value to customers. The metric should be true to your company’s core values and not just a simple profit chart. 

Your north star metric should be a simple, actionable measure that helps keep your employees driving toward your company’s success. Get started with measuring your north star metric with Kissmetrics.

 

Sources:

How To Find Your Company’s North Star Metric | Forbes

How to Drive Your Startup With Just 2 North Star Metrics | Midstage.org

The 3 True-North Metrics that Your Product and Business Need | LinkedIn 

The Definitive Guide to Strategic Marketing Planning

No matter your goal, it’s always better to have a solid plan with defined steps in place than to try and haphazardly complete tasks. With strategic marketing planning, you can ensure that every step your business takes, regardless of which team contributes, will all coherently move towards promoting your brand and attracting new customers. 

For guidance on how to identify problems before they become serious issues, Kissmetrics outlines the strategic marketing planning processes.

What is the Strategic Marketing Planning Process?

The strategic marketing planning process allows you to outline your company goals for reaching your audience and the steps of how to reach them. Each step of the process defines your business objectives, your customers’ needs, and how your products can meet those needs. As your goals are defined, the steps of the process also track your implementation and progress toward your objectives. 

Mission Statement

The first step for strategic marketing planning is to outline your mission statement. We describe in the section below what a mission statement is and how to write it to effectively describe your business objectives. 

What is a Mission Statement?

The mission statement is a short description of your long-term plans. These are your plans for your business as a whole, detailing things like growth plans, expansion ideas, and where you want to go. With each goal, you’ll need to add one or two objectives that build up to your overall success. 

How to Write a Mission Statement

A mission statement should be no more than three or four short sentences and should contain your long-term goals as a business. Your mission statement should be concise and inline with your North Star metric. Outline your objectives and ensure they can be measured. Then, break them out into examples so that your mission is clear. 

Situation Analysis

The second step is to evaluate the situation and analyze any internal or external factors that affect your business. Depending on your industry, these factors can incorporate a large number of possible aspects. Some examples of factors include:

  • Industry competitors
  • Available resources
  • Current sales revenue
  • Customer desire

Analysis Methods

There are many methods to analyze your business’s health, but the three most common ones are the SWOT, 5C, and PEST analyses. We cover each one in-depth in the sections below. 

S.W.O.T.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. To break these down further, strengths and weaknesses refer to internal aspects which your company controls, whereas opportunities and threats are external. These assess what your business does well and areas where you could use some improvement. This part of the situation analysis requires you to be self-aware and use product analytics tools to gather data about your services.

Strengths might include competitive advantages, how your products stand out in the market, what you hope to improve or do with your services, or how your employees work together. Weaknesses might include limited resources, issues your business is facing internally, or areas where you aren’t reaching your goals.

Opportunities are external and therefore not under your control. It’s important to be aware of the socio-political climate to monitor your customers’ changing needs. For example, a company that produces cleaning products likely saw the COVID-19 pandemic as an external opportunity to take advantage of by producing more and increasing their advertising. Threats are the opposite of opportunities and present unpredictable problems that your company must notice and address immediately.

5C Analysis

The five Cs in the title refers to Company, Customers, Competitors, Collaborators, and Climate. These Cs include both internal and external factors to accurately analyze the entire situation for your business.

  • Customers – Who are the people buying your products?
  • Climate – What kinds of external factors affect your business?
  • Competitors – Which other companies are producing similar products?
  • Company – Do people know your brand name? What do they think of you?
  • Collaborators – Do you work with distributors, suppliers, or other affiliated companies, and how do they affect your business?

PEST Analysis

A PEST Analysis measures the Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors that affect your business. Unlike the previous analyses, the PEST Analysis only measures external factors, so we recommend using it in addition to another type of analysis that measures your internal factors, so you can have the complete picture of your business.

The political aspect looks at the laws and regulations that influence your customers and their purchasing habits—economics shows how the stock market, taxes, and exchange rates affect your services. Social demonstrates the attitudes and lifestyle demographics that define your customers. Technical examines any patents, technologies, or production trends that might influence your product.

Marketing/Strategy Plan

With the data you collected in the prior steps, you can start brainstorming which metrics you want to collect and leverage. Depending on your industry, some metrics may be more valuable than others.

How Does a Plan Help

With a marketing plan, you can identify the audience you want to appeal to and define the best ways to reach them. You’ll also be able to estimate how your marketing efforts will affect your business by predicting the rough costs and benefits.

What to Include in Your Plan

Ideally, your marketing plan should include overall cost, how you’ll place your product or brand among your competitors, and what your predictions for customer reactions are.

Audience

As every company knows, not every product or service will appeal to every buyer. Buyers have specific wants and needs based on demographics like age, locale, gender, pet ownership, family size, the presence of children, and similar factors. Understanding which aspects make your product essential means that you can target your advertisements for your specific audience.

Using Kissmetrics, you can create a report documenting certain factors about your customers to see who is buying your product. You can also offer surveys and accept feedback from your customers to monitor their changing desires. Another option is to monitor social media interactions with your brand by your existing customers.

Goals

In order to see if your plan is working, you need measurable goals. The best goals are tangible, realistic, and have milestones for you to monitor during the timeline you choose. Your goals depend on what you want to achieve with your marketing plan. Do you want to grow your sales revenue? Brand awareness? Are you looking to increase the number of users on your website?

Be careful not to set any goals that are outside of your control. If you have a goal to increase the number of social media engagements on Twitter and a large number of people stop using that platform, you won’t be able to achieve the goal through no fault of your own.

Budget

Likely the first part of your marketing plan outlines the estimated budget. As with all plans, you should budget an extra amount for emergency funds, but you should be able to give a rough estimate of how much it will cost to create, implement, and monitor your plan.

Marketing Mix

Now that you’ve established what you want to achieve, who you are as a company, and what is happening inside and out of your business, it’s time to begin planning how you’ll actually accomplish your goals.

Product

The first part is knowing what your company offers. What kind of product or service does your brand offer to your customers? How do you want them to interact with your offerings? The answers will dictate your metrics and how you measure your plan’s success. 

Price

Knowing your customers also means knowing how much they’re willing to pay for what you have to offer. 

Promotion

Promotion includes the platforms you plan on using to appeal to new and existing customers. Incorporating social media postings, a contact email, reviews, a phone number to call for support, and other communication methods are all essential for promoting your brand and spreading awareness. 

Place

This aspect is more important for physical products because you’ll want to plan how you’ll get them to the customer. Are you planning to ship them from online orders? Will the customers need to come to your store to pick up their purchases? 

Implementation and Control

The final step means it’s time to put your plan into action. This means measuring your metrics over time and comparing them to your established objectives. As time goes on, you’ll likely need to come back to your marketing strategies to update them or change them in accordance with your company’s needs. 

Conclusion

With this knowledge about strategic marketing planning, you and your company can build the right plan to fit your business’s individual needs. Understanding the five steps and how they synchronize to provide valuable insights about your products and customers is the best way to spend your marketing dollars wisely. 

 

Sources:

The Strategic Marketing Process: A Complete Guide | Cleverism.com

Marketing Strategy: The Secret behind the World’s Top Brands | Mayple.com

Marketing Strategy: How to Plan Yours in 12 Steps With a Template | Coschedule.com

What Is Marketing Analytics? Definition and Examples

Marketing in the digital age is moving quickly. Companies from all industries are taking advantage of this boom by leveraging on what is perhaps the most precious resource of modern commerce—data. 

Marketing analytics is the way companies use this data to their advantage.

What Is the Definition of Marketing Analytics?

Marketing analytics is when data is collected from marketing platforms to create complex models to visualize and understand user behavior. Businesses that use marketing analytics can ensure the money they allocate for advertising gets the highest return on investment (ROI) and that all of their marketing efforts remain lean. 

How Is Marketing Analytics Different from Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is the overall process of using digital platforms to advertise a product, service, or company. Digital marketers use marketing analytics to make digital marketing efforts more efficient and more profitable.

Why Is Marketing Analytics Important?

Executives from the biggest companies in the world all agree that data is fueling the future of marketing. With proper insight and implementation of marketing analytics, you no longer have to rely on expensive trial and error with your advertising campaigns because the data you retrieve will help you continuously optimize your campaigns for higher returns. 

That means lower marketing costs, more valuable customers and more feasible and effective growth and scaling plans. 

What Are the Benefits of Marketing Analytics?

For a more concrete idea of how powerful marketing analytics is, here are a few of the benefits of implementing marketing analysis into an organization’s promotional strategy. 

Get to Know Your Audience

With marketing analytics, you can target the audience to which you intend to advertise through a process called behavioral segmentation

This means that you will understand what your customer’s purchase patterns are, what products they are most likely to buy, and what types of ads they click on the most. This is beneficial to your business. 

Not only will you be able to personalize your company’s advertising campaigns to suit specific target audiences, but you can use this information to improve your efforts continuously.

Identify Trends

You can use marketing analytics to identify various trends within your industry, especially in e-commerce. The volume of consumers who have taken your shopping efforts online has grown exponentially so the scope of e-commerce is continuously shifting. But there are clear patterns that unveil themselves by analyzing your marketing data. 

For example, one trend that can be identified is whether buyers tend to go to specialized websites during the holidays or more prominent and more general platforms like Amazon or eBay. 

Forecast Future Results

By looking at the marketing analytics patterns of previous marketing campaigns, you can more easily predict the outcomes of your future marketing campaigns. 

Measure KPIs

Marketing analytics is a way to determine whether or not a company achieves its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

When you run marketing campaigns, for example, one of the things you pay attention to is your conversion rate. A conversion rate is a desired action taken by the customer or user that is influenced by marketing efforts. 

With marketing analytics, you can tell if your marketing efforts are working because the associated conversion rate will either rise or fall compared to the previous month.

Optimize Campaigns

One word that can be used to describe the goals of marketing analytics would be ‘refinement.’ In the past, companies relied on more traditional methods to make sure their marketing efforts were working. 

Now, you do not need to resort to those methods as frequently because you have a wealth of data to use to optimize your campaigns daily.

How Can I Make Sure My Marketing Analytics Effort Is a Success?

As powerful as marketing analytics are, a company needs to actively make sure that its processes are well-defined and it uses best practices to make sure its analytics are effective. Here are some of those best practices.

Use Multiple Processes 

You should rely on multiple processes like conversion rate optimization and product positioning

Product positioning  is what consumers think about a particular brand. By using the data obtained through marketing analytics, you can make sure that your consumers know the value of your products and what makes your products stand out from your competitors. 

Product positioning  is the best way to highlight a unique selling point. 

Optimize Workflows

You can use marketing analytics not only to optimize advertising campaigns but to optimize workflows as well. This means that your company’s efforts will be a lot leaner, and your company will have more apparent objectives and a more well-defined process to achieve these objectives. 

An example of this is social media content creation. With marketing analytics, companies can eliminate the guesswork of which pieces of content are valued by their target audience, which ones get the most engagement, and which draw the most traffic to the company’s landing pages. 

You can then focus your efforts on the pieces of content most likely to be successful as well as creating more content that your audience loves.

Make Changes Based on Your Findings

You should use the information you obtain to create better success and to mitigate future failures. 

An example of this would be an e-commerce fashion brand adjusting to the information obtained for a particular clothing color during winter. 

After analyzing their data, the retailer found that specific colors were not popular among its buyers. Based on this information, it didn’t include this clothing color in  the following winter line to prevent low conversions.

Predict Customer Lifetime Value

Another important metric that a company should obtain about its customers is something called Customer Lifetime Value. Customer Lifetime Value is the amount of money that a specific customer will likely spend at their business over their entire relationship. 

Predicting Customer Lifetime Value can provide you with an indication of how your efforts influence your relationship with your customers. With marketing analytics, you’ll receive a clearer picture of your Customer Lifetime Values and get better ideas on improving these values. 

A very powerful aspect of Marketing Analytics is that you have the tools to predict how specific metrics will fare for the next few weeks and well into the future.

Conclusion

Data is now one of the most influential factors in marketing. 

Marketing analytics is a way of measuring your company’s marketing efforts. Greater insight leads to better profits and a more robust brand image. The information is readily available—marketing analytics is simply a way to give this information structure to visualize what needs to be done and take the appropriate action.

If you represent your organization and want to know how you can look deeper into your marketing analytics — Kissmetrics is a great way to start.

 

Sources:

A Guide to Marketing Analytics. Marketing teams must rely on analytics | by Abizer Jafferjee (Waterfront Analytics) | Jul, 2020

The Need for Marketing Analysis. Exactly how analytics can transform… | by Muhannad Haj Ali | The Startup

How Data Is Fueling The Future Of Marketing | Forbes

What Are Conversion Paths in Inbound Marketing?

Attracting new visitors and converting them into customers for your brand is no easy task. For inbound marketers, this process often begins by changing website visitors into potential leads by persuading them to submit their contact information. How can your brand capture the interest of website visitors and entice them to come back for more?

That’s where conversion paths come in. In this article, Kissmetrics delves into the specifics of inbound marketing, a breakdown of conversion paths, and how to create your own innovative conversion paths. 

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the business strategy of enticing potential visitors and customers. By attracting them to your brand instead of simply presenting services or products, you get the customers to invest in learning new ideas and concepts before being pushed into buying something. 

Customers are attracted to innovative solutions and ideas. Reeling them in using conversion paths eventually leads to customers who are ready to complete a purchase because they’ve already invested time and thoughts into your brand. 

Inbound marketing has changed significantly for the digital marketing world. Traditional inbound marketing relied primarily on advertisements like TV commercials or spreads in newspapers and magazines. 

Unlike digital marketing, traditional marketing wasn’t interactive and had to present everything in a limited format. On the other hand, the internet gives brands innovative ways to pursue inbound marketing via social media, educational content creation, and search engine optimization or SEO. 

What Is a Conversion Path?

A conversion path takes a new visitor to your brand’s website and converts them into a potential customer. While the content and brands may differ, some aspects of a conversion path always come into play to entice visitors to register their contact information with your website. 

With digital inbound marketing, brands can now interact with customers socially instead of pushing themselves or being “sales-y.” This type of marketing is customer-oriented, so you must understand your customers’ demographics. 

Tracking your existing customers by age, locale, gender, and family structure are excellent starting points of information for structuring content.

Depending on your products or services, this content may demonstrate varying concepts, but the key is to relate the content back to your brand. For example, subtly show the reader that your brand is reliable and use a call to action to direct their attention towards your website’s landing page. 

As we discuss below, the journey has multiple elements that work together to convert visitors to leads. 

How Do Conversion Paths Work?

A conversion path guides the user from casual content reader to registered lead. Though they may not purchase at that time, they have signed up for your brand’s mailing list and will receive access to promotional offers down the line. With the right content and call-to-action, your brand can attract more potential customers.

An example of a conversion path at work may include:

  1. First, the visitor searches the question, “How do I know if my cat has fleas?”
  2. Your brand’s SEO content appears high in the search results with the title “How to Tell if Your Cat Has Fleas.”
  3. The visitor clicks on your brand’s content and learns relevant, accurate information presented in a friendly way.
  4. At the bottom of the page, there is a button or clickable link associated with a call-to-action that says, “Learn more about protecting your kitties from fleas and other diseases here.”
  5. Having become invested in the content, the visitor clicks the button.
  6. They are then directed to a page asking for their contact information to register with your website, where they can unlock a deal for a 30% discount for their first month of your brand’s flea and tick medication.
  7. The visitor registers and becomes a potential lead.
  8. The visitor finishes on a landing page thanking them for registering and where they receive a confirmation email with the discount code.

What Are the Parts of a Conversion Path?

There are five main elements of any good conversion path.

Well Written Content

The basic idea of giving a visitor answers to a question isn’t revolutionary. Many visitors will simply click on a webpage to get their answer and leave without giving it a second thought. Your brand’s content needs to stand out from the crowd and keep the reader interested with thought-provoking questions.

Well-written content is the beginning of your conversion path. It’s the first thing your visitor sees, so it needs to be excellent. Be sure to include credible sources throughout the page so that visitors will gain confidence in your brand’s credibility. 

At the end of your content, include a call-to-action as their next step of the conversion path. 

An Enticing Call-to-Action

A call-to-action turns the visitor from a passive reader into an active participant with more than just “Sign Up.” The best calls-to-action entice the visitor to learn more about the topic or explore products that can deliver the benefits mentioned in the content. 

Calls-to-action often appear at the end of your content and feature a clickable button or link that leads to a landing page on your website. 

Examples of calls-to-action include:

  • Discover more with YOUR BRAND
  • Try out YOUR BRAND risk-free!
  • Watch YOUR BRAND’s new video

Appropriate Landing Pages

The call-to-action leads your visitor to a landing page where they are asked to input their contact information in exchange for a discount code, access to more information, a free trial with your service, or something else of value. 

Of course, your offer must be valuable to them, or they won’t continue along the conversion path. 

A good landing page includes a high-level overview of your product or service, as well as the benefits of using them. Be friendly without overwhelming them. Don’t be too pushy, or the visitor may not decide to enter their information. The best landing pages are customized for your customers based on their personas. 

Optimized Thank You Pages

Once visitors have finished inputting their contact information, your conversion path will take them to a thank-you page. The thank-you page signifies that the visitor has nearly reached the end of the conversion path. 

Depending on the structure of your conversion path and the offer advertised, leads may be able to download their reward for sharing their information on this screen. The thank-you page can also include other items like additional links to related content, products, or complimentary services. 

Personalized Confirmation Email

The personalized confirmation email marks the end of the conversion path. If the user has signed up to utilize the website’s services, they may need to click through a link sent in the email, but it could also be another way to thank the customer and link them to related products or landing pages. 

For companies worried about users signing up using fake emails, it might be prudent to include a personalized confirmation email that contains the offer advertised in your call-to-action. 

Whether the discount code or other offer is sent through the confirmation email or is available on the thank you page depends entirely on personal preference. 

Creating A Conversion Path

To effectively create a conversion path, you need to know about your customer personas. One of the main aspects of a customer persona is the channels through which they interact. For example, tracking customer metrics might reveal that your customers primarily click through your brand’s Facebook ads instead of Instagram or Twitter ads. 

Understanding user behavior is critical for designing an appropriate conversion path that will initially draw new visitors and make them interested in completing the conversion. For example, understanding what steps the visitor went through, which pages they visited, and how long it took for them to become customers is essential to designing a successful conversion path for customers who follow.

Once you have created a conversion path, it’s vital to monitor the success. It’s best to make adjustments along the way to any of the elements if you don’t see the path living up to your expectations or gain new information about your customer personas. 

Conclusion

Inbound marketing in the digital age puts the focus on the customers instead of the brands. By opening up the conversation and including customer preferences in the equation, brands can understand what their customers want and deliver those products and services more effectively. 

Conversion paths are one way to take advantage of the social media era by rewarding visitors who want to learn more about your brand’s products. 

Kissmetrics can help you track user behavior to craft a more effective conversion path and generate more leads.

 

Sources:

What Are Conversion Paths In Inbound Marketing? How Do They Work? | Transfunnel.com

Conversion Path | Mixpanel.com

Inbound Marketing | Optimizely.com

The Proven Process for Developing a Go-To-Market Strategy

When your company unveils a new product or service, you must launch with a proper go-to-market (GTM) strategy. 

Without proper planning, it’s nearly impossible to know which  audience to chase, whether you’re too late or too early to the market, or how you’ll differentiate yourself from your competitors. You could also waste your time and valuable resources with inefficient processes and misprioritized projects. To avoid this, it’s of the utmost importance to craft a carefully thought out go-to-market (GTM) strategy. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about developing an effective GTM strategy and the most common mistakes to avoid right off the bat.

What Does a Go To Market Strategy Include? 

A GTM strategy is an action plan that determines how a brand will reach its target audience and achieve a competitive edge. When defining your strategy, include information about your unique selling proposition (USP), positioning, messaging, sales and support materials, and customer journeys, personas, and use cases in your strategy. Here are the necessary components.

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Why are you launching this product now? How does launching this product align with your overall business strategy? Understanding why you’ve decided to introduce your new product to the market in the first place is the foundation of your GTM strategy and will help you with later steps.

Definition of your product-market fit: How does your product fit into the current market? Answering this question should be at the heart of your GTM strategy. This doesn’t have to be in-depth — it’s just a way for you to get an overall sense of how your product sits in the market.

Create your marketing plan:  Your marketing plan is important no matter what stage a product is at — but if you expect your customers to find your product through ads, social media, or other content-heavy communications, then your marketing plan will make or break your product launch. Including information about branding, messaging, lead generation, content, where your marketing content will live online (i.e., a website, social media, etc.), and the types of events, advertising, and PR you’ll create surrounding your product.

Define a sales strategy and a sales support plan: Your sales team is the bridge between between your product and your target customers so a flexible sales strategy is imperative to  your product launch. What kinds of training support, tools, and resources will the team need to sell successfully? How should they go about generating leads and finding new customers? How can your product and marketing teams support your sales team so that everyone’s jobs are more efficient and effective?

Customer Support (CS): With any new product comes the inevitable customer service kinks and you want your CS team to be prepared. The best way to handle this is to try to anticipate things that could go wrong at launch and mitigate what you can. For everything else, engage your product and marketing teams to help develop scripts and CS protocols to fix the potential issues. By arming your CS team with the right tools and retention strategies, they will be better equipped to solve customers’ problems efficiently and satisfactorily. Also ensure there is a feedback loop that flows from CS back to product and marketing.

Determine which metrics will measure your GTM strategy success: To determine if your launch is a success, you’ll need to define what success is and decide which metrics will show you if your product is successful or not. One of the most common metrics used is conversion rate, i.e. how many users purchased your product or signed up for a demo. But there are many other metrics that could define success for your company. The key to determining whether or not you’re gaining traction in the market is to choose the right metrics for your company and the stage it’s in. You can find a good article about this here.

Proven Step-by-Step For a Go-To-Market Strategy 

Need help developing a successful GTM strategy? Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to do it. 

Step 1: Identify Target Markets, Assess Feasibility and Analyze Market Demand

Undoubtedly, one of the strengths of a GTM strategy is its ability to determine whether your new venture is feasible and your product is in demand. It will help you identify your target market and how to get their buy-in. But first, you have to do the research. Conduct the necessary market research and feasibility studies before you even think about creating a GTM strategy or product plan. 

Step 2: Develop a Product Plan, Product Roadmap, and Other Tools

The next step involves the logistical outline of how you’ll build your product or execute your project. Naturally, this is quite an involved process on its own, but it can be especially difficult if you didn’t do Step 1.

Building on your research is the key to developing a product plan and product roadmap that works from the very beginning. The goal is to set yourself up for success later on down the road by creating a flexible roadmap that allows various teams to sync seamlessly on any project — whether it’s a marketing campaign or a new feature that will get your customers excited. 

You can read more about product planning here.

Step 3: Develop a Marketing Strategy 

Buyer personas: Who is your target market? Describe all the different cohorts that exist in that specific market. 

Buyer journey: What is the process a customer takes from first discovering your product or service to ultimately buying? 

Messaging: To develop your messaging, ask yourself these questions below:

  • What pain points are you addressing?
  • How are you solving the problem?
  • How can you make your audience feel empowered? 
  • What is the biggest fear of the buyer you are selling to? How can you leverage this fear through your messaging?
  • Can you address your current users and prospective buyers at the same time? 
  • What paid avenues will be most effective for reaching your target market?
  • What are your marketing strategies to reach prospects at each separate stage of the buyer’s journey?

This is the first time your target audience will be introduced to your product (and perhaps your company), so the way you talk to them and about your product will leave a lasting impression. Craft your messaging carefully. 

Common Mistakes To Avoid 

Creating an effective GTM strategy can be tricky — you need a well-thought-out, well-planned roadmap and a thorough understanding of your customer and product or service category. But thankfully, a little insider’s knowledge will go a long way, too. 

Here are three common mistakes to avoid right off the bat:

Price to Value Miscalculation

A Price to Value (PTV) miscalculation is also known as underpricing your product or service. Price is rarely ever the key consideration for a  purchase — especially in the considered purchase environment. 

On their own, customers will determine the value of your product or service in their everyday lives — and in doing so — may be willing to pay a little bit more if it resolves their issues. In fact, according to controlled, measured price testing scenarios, we’ve seen higher sell prices consistently convert at the same rate (or higher) than a lower price. 

Underestimating Pain Points for Your Product

Certain consumer categories (i.e., wellness, home improvement, etc.) are perfectly positioned for facilitating immediate transactions and engagement. If your product falls into one of these categories, does your sales infrastructure support speedy delivery to customers? Or the immediate download of purchased material? Or direct contact with a rep? How about quick add-ons that increase your average order value

It’s critical for your business that you understand your target markets mindset and not just its demographics.

Going to Retail too Soon

We get it. You’re full of enthusiasm and are eager to secure quick retail distribution of any kind. After all, your product will be in stores, right? Well, the truth is that without the required advertising support, sales can — and typically will — languish at the store level. This can lead to a wide variety of problems, including putting your price integrity in jeopardy if units are marked for reduction too early in your launch. 

The Bottom Line 

A successful GTM strategy helps you develop a clear path for launching new products or services and to carefully assess all the aspects of your future operations. Apart from solidifying your vision, it will help you to look at your offerings from the buyers’ perspective and work out the optimal presentation and marketing of your new products and services. 

 

Sources:

Examples of Advertising in the Wrong Market

3 Reasons Home Improvement Is The Fastest-Growing Retail Category, And What To Watch For

The Buyer Persona Manifesto