Measure Success With These Top Technology Product Launch KPIs

Co-Founder, Ignition.

Good key performance indicators (KPIs) round out a technology product launch plan by providing concrete ways to measure the launch’s success. KPIs give you visibility into different aspects of your launch, including how you market the launch and how many sales you generate, so you can identify what worked well and what you can improve on.

Business Metrics

Tracking metrics that demonstrate how the technology product launch supports larger business goals helps prove the value of your launch to stakeholders outside of the product team.

1. Revenue: Unless you’re launching a completely free product, you’re hoping to turn a profit. And tracking revenue shows exactly how much money your launch generates. It also helps you predict future revenue, which can boost profits by improving financial planning. And sharing those insights with executives and investors will help them understand how your launch supports the financial health of your business overall.

2. Leads: Whether you’re launching a completely new brand or releasing a new product to an already existing customer base, you’ll generate leads from multiple sources. To get a full picture of your lead generation efforts, it’s important to track all of the channels that generate leads, including social platforms and paid Google ads.

3. Attach Rate: Your new product’s attach rate shows you the percentage of your existing customers who actually buy the product post-launch. A high attach rate is a good indicator that what you’re launching resonates with your customers. And if you can keep impressing customers, you’re likely to see success with future launches.

You can find a product’s attach rate by dividing the number of customers who buy the new product or adopt the new feature by your brand’s total number of customers. So, if a brand has 100 customers and 70 buy the newly launched product, the attach rate is 70%.

4. Audience Penetration: The percentage of your target audience who become customers is known as audience penetration. And the higher the audience penetration is, the more likely customers are to be loyal to your brand.

The basic formula to calculate audience penetration is to divide the total number of customers who buy your newly launched product by the number of people in your target audience. Then, multiply the answer you get by 100 to get a percentage that you can compare to industry averages.

Usage Metrics

Your launch is about more than just selling the new product—you want to grow your customer base and build loyalty that translates into a dedicated user base.

1. Activation Rates: A product’s activation rate is the percentage of users who sign up and actually become active users. What this looks like will vary depending on the product and your own definition of what makes a user “active.” To measure your own product’s activation rate, you’ll need to consider what the core action of your product is. The number of users who complete that action can then be considered “active.”

2. Retention Rates: Your launch isn’t truly successful unless a high percentage of original signups remain active well after the launch is over. To measure how many of your original customers you retain, you’ll first need to define a timeframe, like one year after the launch. Then, pull data from your CRM (or product analytics tool) to see how many of those original customers are still loyal to your product at the end of your defined timeframe. If your retention rate is high, you know you’re delivering an experience that customers are happy with.

3. NPS: A product’s net promoter score (NPS) is a simple metric that gauges customer loyalty and gives insight into the customer experience. Typically, brands collect this score by asking customers a single survey question: “How likely are you to recommend the product to a friend on a scale of one to 10?”

Brand Metrics

If you want to continue driving sales post-launch and set yourself up for success on future launches, you need to make sure you have a good reputation with customers so they continue to support your brand.

1. Awareness: Awareness refers to the percentage of people in your target demographic who know about your brand. When you assess awareness, you’re really trying to figure out how close you are to becoming a leader in your industry and making your brand a household name, like Nike is for athletics. To successfully gauge this kind of brand awareness, it’s helpful to break it into two types:

• Unaided awareness is the percentage of your target audience who recognize your product or brand when asked broader, open-ended survey questions, like “What are some brands that offer payroll software?”

• Aided awareness describes the percentage of people who recognize your brand or product when they’re directly asked a question like, “Which of the products in the following list do you recognize?” followed by a list of options that includes your brand.

2. Definite Purchase Intent: Identifying the number of shoppers interested in your product who will actually buy it once it launches helps you predict how successful the launch will be. And this can help you decide whether you want to invest more heavily in marketing to drive sales.

The basic survey methodology to measure this is a question that asks, “How likely are you to buy the product in the next 12 months?” with four options (definitely won’t purchase, unlikely to purchase, somewhat likely to purchase and definitely likely to purchase).

3. Social Media Mentions: People tag brands on social media for many reasons—to enter social media contests, ask for help or shout out a great customer experience. Whatever the reason, every time they tag your launch, they’re giving you free publicity by putting your brand in front of their own audiences. And the better your messaging connects with your target demographic, the more likely they are to tag your launch, use your hashtags and repost your content.

Companies tend to leave a lot of money on the table by not having a structured product launch process. By defining the launch metrics clearly, product and technology leaders can ensure their people and resources are focused on what’s important for the business.

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