GuidesProduct developmentThe ultimate guide to product intelligence

The ultimate guide to product intelligence

Last updated

30 March 2024


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Mary Mikhail

If your business wants to enhance the customer experience or attract new customers, knowing what they want from your product is key. That’s where product intelligence can help. 

Product intelligence measures customer happiness and offers insight into pain points, allowing you to make improvements or adjustments.

These insights can boost your bottom line and teach you how to keep your customers happy. 

Keen to find out more? Let’s look at product intelligence tools, techniques, best practices, and everything else you need to know.  

What is product intelligence?

Product intelligence is a type of marketing intelligence. It involves collecting, analyzing, and acting on data about how customers interact with your product. It aims to improve customer experience and convert new customers.

Many companies collect this information via usage data, surveys, or focus groups to identify and analyze the customer's product experience. It also provides the company with insight into improvements it could make. 

As the relationship between customers and products can evolve, product intelligence can help identify these changes and suggest viable ways to improve. 

This business strategy can improve the relationships between existing customers and products. It can also pave the way for improvements that make the product experience enjoyable for new customers.

What is the difference between product intelligence and business intelligence?

Product intelligence sounds a lot like business intelligence, and they are similar. Both gather data to enhance business performance, increase sales, identify customers, and make improvements to meet certain goals. 

Business intelligence collects and analyzes data about the business to enable strategic and tactical business decisions. 

It looks at factors affecting a company's performance in all areas, such as:

  • The effectiveness of marketing programs

  • Sales forecast accuracy

  • Pricing and budgeting

It does not take data down to the product level.

Product intelligence focuses on the customer and how they engage with a product. It’s the root of product innovation. 

Understanding the customer's product experience and why they choose one product over another gives companies crucial insight. 

Businesses can use customer feedback to improve or introduce a new product. 

Think of it as business health versus product health.

Why is product intelligence important?

Today's customer has more choices. They are better informed, and competition is global. Plus, customer options are constantly changing, and it can be hard to compete with the excitement of novelty. 

With technology, the customer can determine which product has the best quality, price, and reviews. These can change their minds and purchases at the drop of a hat. 

For your product to be crowned the best of the best to gain your customers' attention, you must be a step ahead of the competition. Product intelligence can help.

Another thing that has taken a back seat to customer experience is brand loyalty. Even if your brand has been successful in the past, customers can quickly jump ship to more innovative companies. 

Product intelligence provides data that can reflect your customers' needs and wants, enabling you to provide them with the innovative, high-quality product they want.

How to gather product intelligence 

To conduct product intelligence, you’ll need to gather data, analyze your findings, and make the corrections or enhancements indicated by the data. 

There are several ways to collect data:

Customer surveys/in-app surveys

Customer surveys can supply data on your customers, why they chose your product, and pain points to address. 

Of course, there are various ways to conduct surveys. One of the most popular options is an in-app survey, which supplies immediate answers.

Product analytic tools

Several tools allow you to gather behavioral data to determine how and why users engage with your product. 

Analytics tools track the amount of clicks, number of scrolls, or data collected at different relevant navigational points. 

Customer interviews

If you want to take customer surveys one step further, customer interviews are a great tool for delving into the customer's experience on a more in-depth and personal level.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews are often candid and provide many useful insights. Since they are less personal than an interview, you may get completely different responses.

Focus groups and beta tests

Many companies use these methods to test new features or obtain customer opinions on features or products.

How does product intelligence work?

Product intelligence aims to collect data and take strategic actions that elevate the product's performance and user experience. 

You can optimize your product intelligence with real-time data, complete information capture, and thorough analysis.  

You must have a comprehensive platform to gather information effectively, analyze it to answer your questions, and prompt a timely and strategic reaction.

What does product intelligence measure?

Though you can somewhat customize product intelligence for particular product information, the most frequent measurements include:

  • Customer success:  How was the customer's experience, and what contributed to it?

  • User engagement: How do customers interact with your product?

  • Customer pain points: What did the customer struggle with?

  • Customer dissatisfaction: If the customer is dissatisfied, what contributed to that?

What makes a product intelligence platform?

Because product intelligence is specific to product performance and analytics, it can benefit nearly every department within your business. 

Because of this widespread usefulness, your product intelligence platform should be easily accessible by multiple teams. 

The information should be real-time so those making important decisions have the most current information available. 

Who benefits from product intelligence?

Product intelligence benefits stakeholders, and it can foster collaboration between departments. However, sales, marketing, and product developers and managers benefit the most.

Having the data available to make the necessary improvements in the product is essential to the teams that develop and manage the product. 

When your sales team can access product and customer experience data, they can more easily discuss features with customers. Product intelligence also helps marketing teams create more focused ads and marketing campaigns.

Product intelligence tools

Many companies offer product intelligence tools and support. Look for some of the following when choosing the tools that best fit your needs:

  • Product analytics platforms

  • Helpdesk software

  • Survey and feedback tools

  • Social listening platforms

  • A/B testing  

  • Databases  

  • AI chatbot software

Using these tools will allow you to design a product intelligence platform to adequately capture and analyze data.

How can I use product analytics to increase product intelligence?

Product analytics need to be understandable and available to all relevant employees. They should not require an expert to crunch the data and interpret the results. 

Some of the basics are:

  • Autocapturing data on product performance at any time

  • Forming hypotheses based on provided data 

  • Performing cohort analyses to meet retention or conversion goals

  • Collecting user feedback 

  • Testing your theories as many times as you want

What are best practices for product intelligence?

Generally, product intelligence has a solitary goal: Gather data to provide the best customer experience that promotes loyalty and builds a stronger customer base. 

Some best practices to achieve that goal are:

  • Know your competition, their marketing strategies, and product comparison

  • Improve the product based on the feedback you receive

  • Make sure your customer base can find, understand, and easily purchase your product

  • Create a balance between product price and value

  • Do whatever it takes to elevate your customer's experience

  • Understand the customer journey by including relative insights from departments like marketing, sales, and advertising to encourage more comprehensive data


How does product intelligence differ from product information?

Information is simply the raw data that you collect about a particular product. Product intelligence is the insights you derive from the information through analysis.

What is the difference between product intelligence and product analytics?

Despite some overlap, product analytics refers to the tools for establishing and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Product intelligence includes all the actions and strategies you take once you have the data.

What is an example of product intelligence?

A great example of product intelligence and how it has benefited a company is Apple. 

Apple uses the information gathered from its customers to enhance and improve existing products and introduce new ones. 

As Apple taps into customer needs and has a strong market understanding, it discontinues products that its user base no longer wants. 

Instead, it introduces new phones, tablets, watches, and other technologies with features that appeal to its customer base.

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