As a product marketer, I believe that we play a vital role in the success of a product launch.
Without clear metrics and goals, it can be difficult to determine the success of a product launch.
In this blog post, I’ll cover:
- When and how to align on metrics and teams,
- The most important metrics to track for a product launch, and
- A post-mortem and metrics analysis using the Start, Stop, and, Continue framework.
When and how to align product launch metrics and teams for success
As a product marketer, I always make sure to align everyone involved in a product launch on the key metrics that will be used to measure its success. This involves bringing together stakeholders from product, marketing, sales, and customer support to define and agree on the most important metrics.
I usually do this during the Go-to-Market (GTM) kick-off meeting with key cross-functional partners, and it's a part of my GTM brief document.
It's crucial to establish clear ownership for each metric to ensure that everyone knows who is responsible for tracking and analyzing the data. Ideally, metrics and team alignment should be done early on in the product development process.
Key product launch metrics you need to track
Based on my experience, every product launch is unique, and even if you're relaunching a product in a new market, the lessons learned from the previous launch can help you refine your strategy.
To simplify the process, I suggest dividing metrics into six categories and prioritizing the most impactful ones in each category:
- Awareness and initial adoption
- # users sign-ups --> conversion
- # of active users
- # of paying customers or subscriptions
- Adoption, Retention & Revenue
- ARR (Annual recurring revenue)
- The average revenue per user(APRU)
- The lifetime value of the customer (LTV)
These metrics can be co-owned by different teams like sales, product management, and product marketing.
This involves measuring the product's ability to meet customer needs and expectations.
There are a few ways to establish Product-Market fit, including the method suggested by Sean Ellis.
Sean Ellis is a well-known entrepreneur and marketer who created a popular method for measuring Product-Market fit. His method involves asking a single question to a group of users who have recently adopted the product:
Q: "How would you feel if you could no longer use [product name]?"
The respondents can choose from the following options:
- Very disappointed
- Somewhat disappointed
- Not disappointed (it isn't that useful)
- N/A - I no longer use [product name]
According to Sean Ellis, if at least 40% of users respond with "very disappointed," it strongly indicates Product-Market fit.
If the percentage is lower, it indicates that the product may need further improvements to better align with the needs and expectations of the target market.
(PS: you can still launch if it’s 30% and keep improving the product)
- Analyzing cohort retention rate
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Product marketing can own CSAT, while the rest can be co-owned between product management and product marketing.
Product performance metrics
These metrics vary from product to product and include:
- Churn rate
- App crashes, load times, latency, etc.
Product performance metrics are owned by product management.
Funnel metrics provide an understanding of the customer journey and where users drop off:
- Metrics such as conversion rates at each funnel stage
- Funnel metrics example for self-serve advertising (ad) product
1) Marketing-qualified leads generated
2) # of users visiting the portal
3) # of users clicking on “create an ad”
4) # of users successfully publishing an ad”
5) # of users publishing a second ad
Product marketing can own TOFU (Top of the funnel), while the rest can be co-owned between product management and product marketing.
Channel-wise engagement metrics for each channel (blogs, websites, social, etc.) include:
- MQLs (marketing qualified leads), Open rates, views, CTR
- Engagement metrics - shares, comments, sentiment scores
These can be owned by the marketing team. Product marketing can co-own a few of them if they're driving message testing across channels.
What are the open questions pre-launch and post-launch? These include:
3) Concept test etc.
You also need to ask yourself what needs to be tested.
Research metrics are typically owned by URX/ Research/ product marketing (depending on company resources)
However, product marketing should come up with the research questions.
'Start, Stop, Continue' framework for post-mortem metrics evaluation
After the product has launched and metrics have been tracked, it's important to conduct a post-mortem analysis with key stakeholders to evaluate the success of the launch for each of the metrics defined earlier.
To do this, I've used the 'Start, Stop, Continue' framework for each metric category. I’d also align on ownership using DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributor, and Informed) for each of the metrics.
✅ Start: What we need to start doing differently to move the needle on metrics.
🛑 Stop: Discontinue any activities or strategies that didn't work, such as underperforming channels, ineffective messaging, or unnecessary features.
👍 Continue: Recognize and double down on successful strategies and activities.
Launching a new product can be both exciting and daunting. However, by championing the alignment of metrics, evaluating results, and learning from successes and failures, the chances of a successful launch increase substantially.
I always remind myself and my team to keep measuring, adjusting, and scaling our efforts. With the right approach, we can take our product launch from good to great and achieve the success we aim for.