What is Product Intelligence, and Why Do SaaS Companies Need It?
Getting an accurate view of how your products are performing with customers is essential for long-term survival in the market – and this is especially true for this competitive SaaS environment.
Although metrics such as the total number of users and daily click-through rates can give you an overview of the products, they are not enough to tell the whole story.
So what can you do?
Leveraging product intelligence allows you to look at the product from a perspective that no other method offers. With product intelligence, you can go beyond basic usage statistics and gain more significant insights that can help your company.
Let’s take a look at what product intelligence is, why it is essential, and how you can start leveraging it at your SaaS.
What is product intelligence?
Product intelligence is leveraging customer data to develop a product that will deliver an ideal customer experience and allow you to retain your users. In other words, when you’re looking to incorporate product intelligence in your strategies, you essentially rely on easy-to-use software for all teams so you can better understand your customers, make innovative product improvements, and offer an ideal customer experience.
In a rapidly changing and developing industry like SaaS, product intelligence is not quite an option as much as it is a necessity. Without product intelligence, you risk quickly losing market share to your competitors in such a competitive and dynamic market.
On the other hand, if your product intelligence efforts prove to be fruitful, you will have a pretty clear idea of when and why your users buy your product and how they use it. Thus, you have the power to keep your product offers in line with customer expectations at all times.
Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?
How does product intelligence work?
By now, you’re probably starting to have a general understanding of what product intelligence is and might have more questions about how it works.
In this section, we’re talking about just that.
The most important thing you need to leverage product intelligence is a product analytics tool because these tools make it easy to collect and act on product intelligence data.
This process can be covered in three steps.
#1 Automatically gather data
When you try to handle everything manually, things can get a little difficult. However, once you have access to the right data by your side, you can understand what really matters to your users and use your data for decision-making. You also save time and resources when you automate the entire process. That’s why automation is one of the most critical components of product intelligence.
A single line of code is all it takes to achieve this with HockeyStack. You can enjoy easy access to all data by placing one line of code to access and collect user data on your website or product.
However, when users access your product anonymously or from different platforms, it can be challenging to attribute user behavior to users and track them retroactively. HockeyStack prevents issues like these by allowing you to generate detailed reports for each stage of the journey, and even allows you to use effective attribution so that you can consolidate even pre-signup activities.
Also, generating reports is not a complicated process at all with HockeyStack.You can do this in minutes by choosing one of HockeyStack’s templates that suits your needs. If you want, you can customize these templates according to your needs. Or you decide precisely what you want to measure from the beginning and create a custom report for it. In any case, these reports will make the process incredibly easy.
#2 Collect feedback
Your users’ feedback is as valuable a data source as their behavior. Asking them for their opinions regularly is a direct way of getting information about which aspects of your product stand out and what needs improvement. By consolidating user feedback with critical product metrics, it’s easy to keep developing products your users love.
So what is the easiest, fastest, and most effective way to collect this feedback? Surveys and A/B tests!
Surveys are great because you directly ask users for their opinions and thoughts. That’s why, when leveraged correctly, they can uncover the dark funnel and give your product development a whole new depth of dimension.
HockeyStack helps you easily create the survey you need in minutes. You can find all kinds of polls, from exit-intent to action-triggered, on HockeyStack. You can simply choose from a variety of templates, create and send out your survey, and gather responses to see what your users think about your product.
#3 Align your strategies with data
At this stage, you have already collected all the necessary data. Now is the time to start changing your strategies based on your insights.
The product intelligence data you collect provides a basis for improving your existing products and creating new ones that your customers will love. You can use this data to determine whether your actions align with users’ expectations and iterate based on your findings.
Product metrics and KPIs will be your best friend when testing how well your product is being received with all of the data that you collect. Measuring and tracking all these metrics and KPIs allows you to measure which changes have the most positive impact and make improvements that will actually prove to be beneficial for your business.
This is where HockeyStack comes into play.
With HockeyStack, you can easily track metrics and make data-driven decisions to improve your product. In addition, thanks to its interactive dashboards, you can collect data in a single dashboard that allows you to gain more valuable insights when analyzed together. This way, you can make accurate predictions and always be one step ahead of your customers.
What are the benefits of product intelligence?
Now that you know about how product intelligence works, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using product intelligence.
#1 Better customer experience
Considering these alone, it is not difficult to understand that the customer experience directly affects the company’s success.
A good customer experience means happier customers with more lifetime value. A good product intelligence strategy improves your customer experience, as product intelligence is all about creating products that will meet users’ expectations and improve their journeys.
#2 Improves product quality
Product intelligence also includes tracking product KPIs and metrics. Tracking these metrics allows you always to be aware of your product quality and create insights on how to improve your product. You have the opportunity to improve all the flaws that you might normally miss.
In addition, product intelligence enables product teams to make faster and more informed decisions. With product intelligence, this actionable data can improve your product development process.
#3 Accelerates product innovation
Product development is not a fixed process. You have to make constant improvements based on the improvements you discover are needed. This process changes for much shorter periods, especially in fast-growing industries such as SaaS. In such a case, it is pretty normal to find it challenging to identify and develop innovations that meet your customers’ expectations after a while.
So, how does product intelligence solve this problem?
Product intelligence gives your product teams a solid foundation for improvements and future development iterations. This way, your team can generate insights that will make the product more efficient, increase the value it offers, and even improve retention.
How does data integration power product intelligence?
For product intelligence to be truly effective, it must not be limited to a single data set. In other words, you need to combine data from different departments and functional teams and review it as a whole.
Data integration fulfills your requirement, providing a broad and multidimensional perspective on what your customers think and how they use the product. It strengthens product intelligence by gathering all the cross-departmental information you need about customer behavior in a unified view.
So what should you do to integrate your data properly?
Well, use the right tools!
HockeyStack lets you consolidate all your data into a single tool in minutes without writing any code. It also allows you to easily monitor all your data from a single platform, with dashboards that allow you to collect all your data in a single report and uncover great insights. In this way, you collect and analyze data from different teams and departments, such as sales, products or marketing, in dashboards that you can customize as you wish.
You may be storing different types of data in different types of tools, such as CRM or marketing tools. In such a case, consolidating all the data required for product intelligence can get complicated.
Hockeystack minimizes this problem by providing you with a single dashboard with all your data, hence eliminating all this disconnection with the numerous integration possibilities it offers.
How to implement a successful product intelligence strategy
As with every method, there are a few key elements that you should pay attention to in product intelligence so that you can get the most efficient results.
Let’s look at some best practices to implement a successful product intelligence strategy.
#1 Analyze your customer journey
Your users’ interactions with your product and website are crucial to product intelligence. But beyond that, you also need data from your users’ interactions with your marketing campaigns, sales efforts, and other channels in their conversion journey.
Therefore, you should not only analyze product metrics but also consider the entire pipeline in your customer journey to make data-driven decisions successfully.
#2 Provide teams with necessary tools
As I mentioned in the section where I explained how product intelligence works, a powerful analytics tool is one of the essential requirements for leveraging product intelligence. This is because your product and marketing teams need instant and easy access to all the data they need.
In addition, these teams need to be fast and free to generate user insights. For all these reasons, you should get help from a fast and powerful analytics tool suitable for your team and understandable by everyone. This way, you make it easier for your teams to access all the data sources they need during the product intelligence process.
#3 Be aware of the competitive landscape
One of the keys to success with product intelligence is knowing who your competitors are and what they’re doing. SaaS technologies are changing and improving every day. Failing to keep up means falling behind. Therefore, being aware of your competitors’ strategies and their strengths and weaknesses will give you an idea of what you should and should not do.
When conducting competitor research, you can base on questions such as:
- Do your competitors have unique offerings that other product companies don’t have?
- Through which channels do they communicate with users?
- What audience are they targeting?
You need to keep track of another element to compete with other products: keywords.
Following product keywords increase product visibility and allow you to identify which keywords similar products climb to the top. In this way, you have the chance to determine which keywords users find most interesting.
Use as many and accurate keywords as possible in your product descriptions, ad campaigns, posts, blog posts, in short, wherever you can, so your users can browse more of your product.
#4 Continuously improve your product
Your product could be great but getting lost among thousands of products in the sea of technology can still result in the failure of your product. You should always make headway to stay competitive in the market and create products that are aligned with what your users are looking for.
Since prospects won’t be able to buy if they don’t know about your product or what it does, you must ensure that your product is easily found, accessible, and desired by your audience.
How can product intelligence be used in marketing?
There’s no doubt that product intelligence is beneficial to product teams. However, marketing teams can benefit from it just as much as product teams.
Product intelligence helps marketers understand the true benefits of a product and how people actually use it. This especially holds true for product marketing, where product intelligence takes the marketing process a few steps forward in many areas, from identifying users’ pain points to creating campaigns that meet customers’ expectations.
Remember, when users feel listened to and understood, their chances of choosing your product and staying as a customer in the long run increases. With product intelligence and data-based decisions you will make in your marketing campaigns, you listen to the concerns and expectations of your users and perfect their user journeys.
When applied correctly and effectively, product intelligence strengthens the market value of the product, improves the user journey, and helps you create a better customer experience. It provides the information you need to survive in the competitive SaaS market.
Product intelligence is powered by data. That’s why you’re guaranteed success with a comprehensive and powerful analytical tool like Hockeystack, which includes everything you could ever need in product intelligence.
Although product intelligence and customer intelligence seem like similar concepts, they are different from each other. While product intelligence gathers insights based on the product to improve the product, user intelligence focuses more on collecting data to learn about users’ motivations and behaviors.
A product intelligence platform is a software that allows you to track and measure how products are performing for users.