Choosing the right product marketing KPIs to Measure Success
For product marketers, measuring success is part of the job. It’s how you know how well your campaigns are performing and how to tweak them for better results. And it’s how you prove to your bosses that your work is worth your department’s budget (and your own salary).
As marketing teams invest in a growing number of software tools that collect data, product marketers have more metrics to consider than ever before. Trying to identify which to focus on isn’t always straightforward.
Define Your Goals
There isn’t a set list of key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring product marketing success. That would make things too easy. Figuring out which KPIs your team should focus on depends on your goals and your particular marketing and sales funnel.
You need to know what success looks like to you before you can know how to properly measure it. So your first step is clearly defining what your product marketing goals are.
Start with primary, high-level goals like revenue and sales. And then break those down into the secondary goals that help you reach those larger goals like greater awareness and more followers in your target audience. Assign all of your goals levels of priority, so you know which to focus on most in your efforts and measurement.
Select KPIs Based on Your Goals
If you are the untested upstarts—or even if you’re not, but you’re in a position where a competitor can paint you as a risky choice—you want to be prepared for FUD arguments. Here’s how to proactively take them on.
13 Common Product Marketing KPIs to Consider
To help you get started, these are some of the top product marketing KPIs, divided by the types of goals they’re most aligned with.
Sales and Revenue
Sales and Revenue
The end goal of all marketing is to make your business more profitable. If your top-level goals are to increase sales and overall revenue, these are important KPIs to pay attention to.
1. Number of sales
This is straightforward and easy to track. The number of new sales you make each month, quarter, and year is a direct indication of how well your product marketing efforts are paying off. When the numbers are steady or increasing, that lets you know your current strategy is strong. If they start to drop, it suggests you need to revisit how you’re doing things.
Sales aren’t the most important indicator of business success though. You need to know how what you’re earning in sales relates to what you’re spending. Make sure you’re paying at least as much attention to overall revenue as you do to the number of sales coming in.
3. Sales close rate
When marketing gets a lead close to the bottom of the funnel—maybe that means attending a demo, signing up for a trial, or adding an item to their shopping cart—that’s a big deal! But you need to track how many of the people that get to that point then cross the finish line.
If the rates are low, and few of your trials end in subscriptions or you have a high rate of cart abandonment, that alerts you that something about your process isn’t working. It’s important to recognize what’s blocking sales, so you can find a solution.
4. Cost per acquisition
While overall revenue tells you how the company as a whole is performing, product marketers benefit from looking at a more specific metric that speaks to the profitability of specific tactics. Do the math to figure out how much you’re spending on average for every successful sale you make.
Then dig deeper and see how those numbers look for specific campaigns and tactics. If each new customer you gain through Google Ads is costing you more than the ones you attract via social media, then you know to scale back on the costlier channel. And if specific campaigns within a channel are costing you more per conversion than others, that helps you understand which targeting options or creative offer a better return for your investment.
Customer Experience and Retention
Getting customers is important, but for product marketers, knowing that they’re happy and willing to stick with you matters at least as much. These KPIs will help you gauge how satisfied your customers are, and how likely they are to continue buying from you.
5. Net promoter score (NPS)
The net promoter score is a simple survey in which you ask customers to rate how likely they are to recommend you to a friend. It’s valuable because it takes only seconds for them, increasing the likelihood they’ll respond. And it gives you a measure of not only whether they’re content with your product, but if they like it enough to inspire positive word of mouth. It’s a quick and easy data point for understanding where customers stand.
6. Product usage
If you have a software product that allows you to track usage, that’s a useful way to figure out how valuable your product is to your customers. If a customer’s not logging in at all, that’s a sign they’ll likely cancel. Or if they’re using it regularly, but only some features and not others, that’s important information too. It either indicates some features are more valuable than others, or that your product’s design makes it harder for them to take advantage of some of the product’s functionality.
Either way, product use metrics can reveal a lot of useful information for product marketers. They can both inform what you focus on in your marketing, and give your product development team ideas for ways to make the product stronger.
7. Customer lifetime value (LTV)
This is an important metric to help you understand the value of customer retention in your business in monetary terms. And it helps you better calculate whether or not your cost per acquisition is worth it.
Calculating customer lifetime value does require guesswork. You don’t know how long your current customers will stick around. But based on the data you do have—how long customers maintain a subscription on average, or how often they come back to make new purchases— make an informed guess.
Awareness and Top-of-the-Funnel (TOFU)
Before a consumer can become a customer, they have to know your business is an option to begin with. While it’s important not to view awareness metrics in a vacuum—making someone aware of your product only matters if they’re in your target audience. Nonetheless, awareness is an important goal you have to achieve before you can start moving leads further down the funnel.
8. Traffic growth
Your website’s the main face of your brand online. That makes website traffic a key metric for understanding awareness. Pay attention to your overall traffic trends. Is the number of website visitors growing? Which sources are sending the most traffic to your website now?
Seeing how much of your traffic is coming from different channels tells you the relative value of different marketing activities. If organic search has started to send a higher volume of traffic, it means your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are paying off, same goes for paid search and social.
In addition to overall traffic growth, the number of return visitors is an important metric. People who visit once aren’t nearly as valuable as those who keep coming back because they like your content, or because they’ve still got your product on their mind.
9. Qualified leads
Traffic tells you people are finding your website, but you need a way to determine if they’re the right people. Once someone provides you information about themselves, usually after signing up for your email list or a gated piece of content, you can determine how many of them are qualified leads. A qualified lead is one that someone has reviewed the available information on to decide if they fall within your target audience.
If you only sell products in the United States, someone from Australia that attends your webinar isn’t a qualified lead. If you’re B2B and sell primarily to the enterprise, a small business owner that downloads your ebook would be ruled out. The number of qualified leads is an important metric to add context to other awareness metrics. If you’re getting a lot of leads that aren’t relevant, then high traffic numbers mean less and you should rethink your strategy.
Conversions are any time a lead takes a specific action you want them to take. It’s a valuable metric because conversions show engagement and genuine interest. You’ll have to define what counts as an conversion in your own strategy, but some common ones are:
- Clicking on an ad
- Clicking the link in an email
- Signing up for your email list
- Downloading a gated piece of content
- Setting up a phone call or meeting
- Signing up for a demo
- Signing up for a free trial
Each of these signals that a lead has a growing interest in your brand or product, and is moving further down the path of making a purchase.
Product marketers don’t just benefit from tracking how your own marketing is performing, you also want to gain the larger context around how you fit into the industry. For that, you should add some KPIs that help you perform a competitive analysis to your list.
11. Ranking position
When someone goes looking for an answer or information on a topic related to your product, you want to be the one they find. If a competitor shows up first instead, there’s a decent likelihood the prospect will click on their link and stop there. Knowing how much traffic you’re getting is important, but tracking your ranking positions also gives you an idea of how much traffic you’re losing that could be yours. With that knowledge, you can focus your SEO and paid search efforts to increase how often your brand is the one that shows up first for relevant terms.
12. Competitive benchmarks
Many of the product marketing KPIs you track become more valuable if you understand how your results compare to those of similar companies. Benchmark data provides helpful context to better understand whether your results are on par with what’s normal, you’re outperforming your peers, or you’re behind where you could be.
Note: You can find this information and compare it more easily to your own with the help of a good competitive analysis tool like Kompyte.
13. Market share
Market share helps you understand where you stand in the larger marketplace in comparison to similar businesses. If you’re on the small side, you have a lot of potential room to grow if you can figure out how to better position yourself against the big players. For a business that already has a lion’s share of the market, it may make more sense to focus on keeping what you have or finding new markets to branch into.
The Value of Product Marketing KPIs
Product marketing KPIs provide real data you can use to measure your progress, and learn what’s working for you. Tracking them is just the first step though. Make sure you develop a process for analyzing the meaning behind the numbers, and implementing changes based on what you learn as you go.
Part of good product marketing is using measurement to understand your success, but a bigger part is learning from those measurements to continually improve.
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