How do you evaluate if a product launch is successful?
This really has to tie back to the KPI's you set prior to launch. What were the problems you were trying to solve with this feature/launch and what was the opprotunity?
Whether those KPI's are linked to leads generated, revenue, activation, utilization, retention, etc - it is very important to establish them as a cross-functional group with sales, product and marketing and pull up at a regular cadence to evaluate if you're successfully hitting them.
A successful product launch is one that is hitting or exceeding those KPIs.
Aligning with the product team BEFORE launch is key. Take the time to set your expectations and benchmarks. There are a variety of considerations here, of course: awareness, adoption, engagement, to name a few. In my experience, fine-tuning these benchmarks a little bit goes a long way. Acknowledge that some KPIs are super important, and that some are dependent on other KPIs, for example. Observing results from a zoomed out lense is vital, but zooming in a bit helps you answer the reason behind your success in a launch. Another huge measure of success in a launch is customer satisfaction—your product needs to be solving a problem for your customers. Of course they need to be using it, but more importantly, they should be liking it!
To know if a launch is successful, we look at if people are using our product and if they are getting the value we anticipated. We informally review metrics weekly with more detailed analysis done each month.
A bit more on each metric.
Usage is simple at the top line. We look at adoption and retention. Prior to launch, we set targets based on similar products or based on information learned from pilots / tests. We’re always updating our forecasts / targets based on what we learn in market though.
Value is trickier to assess. This may quantitative like analysis as to return on investment or it may be qualitative and based on customer feedback (by way of sales, user research / direct convos, or surveys).
My team at Spotify has a dashboard where we evaluate quantitative metrics as to adoption, retention, and customer outcomes (these are “easier” to measure given we have all the data on streaming / fandom outcomes). Additionally, we do post launch user research as well as have a monthly meeting to discuss customer feedback to make sure we have a pulse on if new features are succeeding in market.