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How Do You Measure the Impact of Product Marketing on Customer Success?

by Ray Pun  |  March 14, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

In my previous blog, “The Path to Customer Retention Begins With…”, I talked about the challenge of customer retention for product marketers that support subscription-based products and services. To overcome this challenge, marketers need to recognize that the journey from closing a deal to customer retention begins with strong user adoption.  Furthermore, marketers can stimulate product usage by embracing a range of programs and tactics to deliver best practices content that explains how clients can achieve value.

But, what is the impact or influence of these efforts on user adoption?


In a recent Gartner survey, 50% of product marketers at TSPs selected “measuring performance of the team and the unit” as one of top initiatives for their organization’s success. If this is a priority, here are my thoughts on the challenges that may prevent effective measurement.

Measurement Roadblocks for Product Marketers

  • Strategy and KPIs: Lack of a formal measurement strategy and well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs) makes it difficult to quantify product marketing’s impact on customer success objectives, including adoption, advocacy and retention.
  • Data and technology: Data silos across product, marketing and CRM systems lead to data integration obstacles that make it challenging to analyze and correlate your customer’s product usage and marketing engagement.
  • Processes: Ad hoc data collection and reporting processes make it hard to produce accurate and repeatable measurement of product marketing impact.

In addition, since many of the responsibilities for product marketers including positioning, messaging and sales enablement are not easy to measure, some teams have historically defaulted to only reporting their marketing activity. For example, product marketing developed a product datasheet, a solution whitepaper and internal FAQs to support the launch of a new offering.  However, only reporting activity is a “trap” to be avoided since executives are more likely to reward teams that help them achieve business objectives like revenue, market share and customer retention.

Measure Your Influence by Connecting Product, Content and Event Data

In my latest research note “Measure the Influence of Product Marketing on Customer Success KPIs for Subscription-Based Products”, I provide a measurement strategy and framework to help product marketers quantify their influence and impact on customer adoption metrics. The most critical building block is a “holistic view of customer data” at the account level that connects product usage, content consumption and event engagement data. With the holistic view, product marketers can determine the correlation between “best practices” content consumption (e.g. blogs, user guides and online community webpages) and the positive influence in driving higher product usage or product adoption scores. Similarly, you can also analyze the influence of events and meetings (e.g., user conferences, user group meetings and webinars) that help clients to realize value and achieve business outcomes with your products.

Next Steps

If measuring the performance of your product marketing team is important to you, then contact your Gartner account manager to schedule an inquiry. I would enjoy learning more about your measurement goals and providing advice for your organization.  In addition, this topic will be featured in the “Customer-Centric Marketing for Success” track at the “Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference” in June 2019.  Please review the agenda today and register to secure your place at this event in San Diego, California.

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Category: customer-retention  product-marketing  

Ray Pun
Sr. Director Analyst
1 years at Gartner
24 years IT Industry

Ray Pun is a Senior Director, Analyst on the Technology Go-to-Market team within the Technology and Service Provider research organization at Gartner. Read Full Bio

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