18 Metrics Every SaaS Product Marketing Manager Should Know
In the middle of a major product launch, it can feel like you are running in a million different directions all at once. But in that eye of the storm, you will always find the best product marketers. These folks work closely with product and engineering teams and explain what is new to customers and the teams who support those customers. The trusted product marketer is a steady force.
If you are a product marketer, we know that you love being right in the middle of all the action. And you love translating what’s going on with one group to another.
At most SaaS companies, the product marketing team handles the technical aspects of marketing the product, including:
Technical information and tours on website
Product marketers must be able to communicate well, lead others, work at a fast pace, understand the technical aspects of your product, and keep a positive outlook — all while keeping the team aligned to the company’s goals. Phew, that is a lot to balance!
In addition to all of this, your success as a product marketing manager depends on being data-aware. For example, at Aha! our product marketers closely track the following metrics and consider them essential to the team’s success. We thought we would share those metrics here and see if you have any that you would add to the list.
Here are the core metrics we think every product marketing manager should monitor:
A product launch brings new functionality or an entirely new product to market. For your customers, this is a promise of new value that they can look forward to embedding in the everyday use of your product. For your team, this is a lot of work — bringing it all together for a consistent message. We know this effort firsthand. After all, we launch new features at Aha! on a weekly basis.
This is why you need to monitor the success (or lack thereof) of your launch efforts. Obvious, right? But it helps you understand what is working and where you can improve.
We track the success of new product launches from a customer acquisition perspective based on:
Visitors/views of launch posts
Social sharing of launch posts
Explaining the benefits and technical advantages of your product — this is where great product marketing managers excel. You know that your website is typically how customers first learn about your product so you want to be sure that the benefits and technology are spelled out clearly.
By closely monitoring the analytics of the site, you can see what pages on your website are driving the most trials or sign ups. Then, using that information, you can create quick tests to see what kinds of images or calls to action will push that number even higher.
We track the following on our website:
Conversion rate from visitor to trial
Seeing is believing — this is a well-worn cliche for a reason. And SaaS products are no exception. A product walkthrough or demonstration is a key step in the adoption of most software products. For some, customer demos are presented as tours on the website, and for others, there are carefully crafted scripts that sales or sales engineers go through with prospective customers.
At Aha!, our Customer Success team actually does live demos for prospective customers. And our product marketing managers monitor across the business for the following:
Number of monthly demos
Percent of customers who receive demos
Conversion rate from demo to paid account
Initial monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of customers receiving a demo
This is no surprise — targeted product advertising helps expand the use of your product. And depending on your product and market, your advertising can be done from online or offline channels.
Generally, your ads feature the benefits of your product along with a call to action. And while advertising is not typically owned by the product marketing team, it is your responsibility to ensure the product and technology are properly presented. It requires a close partnership with brand, digital, and even outside partners.
We track key indicators on a daily basis to see how our product-centric ads are performing, including:
Landing page visitors
Mobile vs. desktop engagement
Trials generated by campaign
Conversion rate from advertising channels
Customer-initiated promotion helps to validate your product to potential customers. We all trust recommendations from friends and family. But research shows that online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on these types of platforms.
That is why our team looks to see how we are doing with:
Number of reviews
Yes, there are a lot of numbers to keep tabs on. But over time, you will be able to better prioritize what you work on and improve your marketing based on what you learn.
This is only the beginning — you likely have a number of other metrics that you track. The key takeaway here is that you really cannot improve what you do not measure. And while marketing has historically been hard to measure, it is now a data rich domain. Data analysis is critical for long-term success.
So, which metrics do you think are most important?