What is Product Analytics? Product Analytics vs Marketing Analytics Explained!

Published by Nilangan Ray on

User experience is a crucial agenda of all businesses. Whether its during the purchase phase or during the usage phase, the experience of the customer matters at all times and directly connects to customer retention. If your product usage interface is within your control (SAAS, for example), customer usage data can be monitored and used to improve their experience. This is where product analytics comes in.



What is product analytics?

Product analytics is the process of gathering customer experience data and understanding how they engage with your product and using it to improve customer experience and increase their engagement with your product. Before we proceed further, let’s take a quick example. Your product has a feature that helps your customer export files from one medium to another. Now, this feature is immensely helpful but not having an option to select multiple files at once deters them from using the product much. Product analytics will help you identify the problem and remove the blocker.

It is important to keep in mind that your conversion and onboarding workflows are also a part of your offerings and should come under the same scrutiny. This is where marketing analytics and product analytics overlap.



Product Analytics vs Marketing Analytics

Although we have mentioned the overlap, there is still a clear distinction between marketing analytics and product analytics. Product analytics has everything to do with customer’s engagement with the actual product while marketing analytics has everything to do with your marketing campaigns, lead acquisition, conversion process, etc. To put it simply, marketing analytics helps you market better and improve your customer acquisition while product analytics helps you improve your customer’s experience of using the product, help them get value and helps you retain customers.

You can read more about it here.



Collecting customer data for product analytics

Analytics and data go hand in hand. To improve customer experience, it is necessary to track how customers engage with your app, features within the product, UI elements and everything else. The data needs to be collected and represented in a meaningful manner while also respecting user privacy and adhering to data regulations. The data points are usually represented through page views and events. It is hard to lay out a standard format as the required information is different for different types of products.

Here are a few data attributes to use:

– Pageviews
– Heatmaps
– Button clicks
– Bounces
– Load times
– Engagement Duration

The data points need to be analyzed through charts and reports to turn them into actionable information.


Collecting data through manual feedbacks

What better way to know how customers think of different components of your product than asking the customer themselves? A commonly used method for quickly collecting user feedback is Net Promoter Score (NPS). An NPS system pops up a quick poll for users to rate your product or a particular feature/use case. Based on the initial feedback, the system may fire a second question to collect additional info.

While this requires the involvement of the customer, the NPS score and the additional feedback provided may help you find valuable information that you might have never gotten with standard tracking or it may take you hours of work to reach the same conclusion. For example, it can be a simple inconvenience that the development team is unaware of.


Product Analytics tools

There are different products in the market that help you accomplish certain aspects of product analytics and reach your end goal which is improving customer experience, making your product ‘sticky’ and retaining trial users and customers.


Mixpanel is purely a product analytics tool. Everything in Mixpanel revolves around monitoring your customer’s engagement with your web and mobile applications and using the data to improve customer engagement. Mixpanel is perfect for product management and data science teams.

VWO helps you analyze your funnels and create A/B tests and optimizations to improve your conversions. The functionality of VWO comes mostly on the marketing side of things but it is also useful for improving your product interface and your acquisition and onboarding sequence. VWO has also launched AI-based A/B testing system that help you test various AI suggested copies to improve conversions.

Hotjar is a website and behavioral analytics tool that helps you track how visitors engage with your website and also provides you means to acquire feedback from customers. The most popular features of Hotjar are heatmaps, polls, NPS surveys, and session recording. It is important to note that Hotjar helps you analyze your website visitors as a whole. So, it is harder to connect actions with customer profiles or segments. Hotjar is a great tool for B2C customers.

We saved our own product for last. Salespanel comes from the marketing side of things. Salespanel helps you track user actions on your website and your app (website visits, button clicks, event triggers, page durations, email opens, etc) and connect it to customer profiles. Salespanel helps you align your product directly with your customers and also helps you personalize experience based on customer profile. While Salespanel specializes in marketing analytics, it can also help in your product analytics requirements. Salespanel is suitable for B2B businesses.


Before choosing a product or a set of products, it is important to clearly understand what you are trying to achieve and how and also figure out how product design team, marketing team and data analytics team can work together to analyze customer data and consistently improve the product.

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Nilangan Ray

Nilangan runs marketing operations for Salespanel. Join him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nilanganray