Critical metrics every PM needs to keep up with
“Some metrics will feel good, but they don’t necessarily matter.”
We all know that some metrics look more appealing than others. It’s a fact. Knowing that you have more clicks per blog is better to look at compared to your rising bounce/exit rate. It’s quite logical, actually. Positive metrics make us feel good about what we’re doing. They show us that we’re on a good track. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right track because metrics can be very misleading.
Growth is not about having your numbers go up but more about your product. It is when you finally build something that people want to use, are using, and will still want to use in the future. Metrics are all about understanding your typical users’ persona. Your core user, as Martin Erikson puts it. All the data you collect will help you better understand the behavioral patterns of your target, so you can become an even better fit for them and for the future ones to come.
So here are some of the most important metrics to keep an eye on:
Are people using your product? How many people are using your product? Why are they using it? Is it really solving their pain?
Keeping track of how your customers are using your product will help you polish your user experience. Maybe you’ll reduce friction, or add some features. Or sometimes it’s as simple as changing an icon to make it more intuitive.
If people are using your product, how happy are they with it? Does it have all the functions they need? Is it missing any features? How likely are they to recommend it to their friends and colleagues?
Happy customers are good customers. But your goldmine lies in your not-so-happy customers. They’re the people who will point you towards the right track. They will not only show you what’s wrong, but they’ll tell you why. The why is what helps you develop a better understanding of their pain points. Once you find the pain, it’s time to develop the cure.
How often are they using it? How much time is spent on your product? What kind of actions are performed during that time? How many modules are visited?
It’s all about how “addicted” and attached your users become to your product. If they use it only once or occasionally, then something is wrong. Wrong in the sense where you’re not catching their attention properly. You’re not creating the urgent need to use your special feature that took you 6 months to deploy. Maybe it’s the UX or UI. Or maybe it’s the feature. Even more, it could be the problem definition in itself. Either way, find the problem where your customers lose you and fix it.
Once you pick a metric, be honest about it. Don’t try to Make it look good for the higher-ups or even for yourself. Just take it how it is how it is, embrace it, and work with it. Building memorable products is about improving and adjusting according to indirect feedback.