The first step before diving into the data is to gain a firm understanding of your user base. What customer profiles and segments do they fall into? Broadly speaking, what usage patterns would you expect for each of these groups?

After Navigating the Product Metrics Maze, you will have strategically selected product metrics that are best suited to your company and product objectives. With this list of focus metrics, your team can analyze the current values to establish a baseline, identify gaps and prioritize product initiatives to help close these gaps. It is crucial, however, to reflect on the types of users your product serves. Without this context, it is impossible to glean meaningful insights from the data and develop informed product strategies. 

Use the strategy outlined below to dig deeper into your user base.

Research User Segments

Begin by listing out the broad customer groups that use your product. As an example, a B2B marketing technology solution may help both Marketing and Sales professionals achieve their jobs to be done. These professionals may be distributed across both Enterprise and Mid-Market firms that operate in a wide array of industries. Take note of these permutations as a starting point for your research.

Next, examine the typical job titles that users of the B2B marketing technology solution hold. For example, do the users within Sales perform business development or account management functions? This line of investigation will start to uncover users’ goals as described by their function’s responsibilities. Business Development users strive to increase the number of meetings booked while Account Management users are laser-focused on the volume of opportunities in pipe.

How does your product help these user segments achieve their goals? If Business Development Representatives (BDRs) use the product to gain insights into which prospects interacted with their company website along with their corresponding contact information, for instance, that would enable them to outreach efficiently. As a result, the likelihood of booking meetings increases given that these prospects already expressed interest through their digital engagement.

Ideate Upon User Activities

Take the analysis a step further by thinking through activities your users would take within the product to support their goals. In order to secure meetings with prospects, BDRs might use the product to identify the organizations that are most engaged with their company website. Then they could investigate the specific contacts within prospect organizations and send an email. Finally, BDRs would analyze the performance of their email campaigns using reports. These activities create events within your product that fuel its performance metrics.

These user interactions can also be tied back to The Product Equation. If BDRs do perform all of the above tasks within your product, then they are demonstrating strong user engagement through their actions. If not, then further examination will produce potential root causes (e.g., unaware of product features). By observing engagement by user segment, you can identify those that need improvement and select product initiatives accordingly.

Validating with Product Analytics 

You can measure alignment by analyzing product analytics reports through the lens of user context. Are the user segments you defined logging in and engaging with the product? Do they complete one or more of the user activities to achieve their goals? What trends appear in the data over time? This information will illustrate the current state of product performance by user segment. 

By shedding light on your product’s user landscape, the relative priorities amongst product metrics become apparent. It is imperative to discover their goals and the activities they perform within your product to achieve them. Product metrics and initiatives to improve them can then be overlayed with the appropriate user context. Ultimately, your product’s objective is to deliver value to users, and evaluating performance through user-focused metrics will help you achieve that mission.

About the speaker
Bharat Manglani HUMAN, Product Manager Contributor

Bharat Manglani is a Senior Product Manager at Zefr, an ad tech company focused on enabling content-level targeting and measurement across the world’s largest walled garden platforms. He was also a Product Manager at Human Security, a cybersecurity company focused on verifying the humanity of transactions over the Internet and disrupting the economics of cybercrime. Currently, he manages Zefr\'s reporting and analytics products, and his passion lies in protecting the Internet by helping to identify brand unsafe content.

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