What is product operations - Mixpanel
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What is product operations

Mark Simborg Editor @ Mixpanel

Product operations, or product ops, is a set of activities and processes that help product teams within organizations optimize the design and roll-out of their products. The younger cousin of marketing ops, sales ops, and revops, product ops is an equally important function that, when done right, can save companies a significant amount of time and money. 

Why is product operations important?

Product-led companies let their products do the heavy lifting to convert and retain customers. As such, it’s essential for these companies to optimize the product experience. Product ops provides and achieves a number of things within an organization to make this happen, including:

  1. Helping the product management team use product data to prioritize both short- and long-term tasks and goals and make better decisions 
  2. Ensuring product managers use the right tools and use these tools efficiently to drive product-led growth and product-led decisions 
  3. Handling a lot of the micro-level tasks to free up more of the product manager’s time for high-level strategy 
  4. Improving alignment and transparency within product teams 

Just as sales operations exists to streamline and improve the sales cycle and marketing ops exists to streamline and improve an organization’s marketing, product operations exist to make product management easier and, ultimately, more effective at doing what it’s supposed to do: help your company innovate faster and better to become a market leader. 

What does product ops do?

Product ops is typically led by a product operations manager, or POM, who works closely with the product managers. 

The POM typically has various responsibilities, including:

  1. Prioritizing—and escalating, if necessary—the various tasks and issues involved in product management, including bug fixing and trying to decide which feature(s) to introduce next 
  2. Collaborating with stakeholders to ensure good communication and alignment between the C-suite, the revenue team, and the product managers 
  3. Corralling and analyzing customer feedback to ensure the product roadmap is playing out according to true customer needs 

In short, product ops is there to ensure the product management team operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

Benefits of Mixpanel for product operations

One of the main benefits of product operations is having the ability to illustrate a product’s success to senior leadership and key stakeholders. This ability comes from establishing clear metrics around product launches and clear short- and long-term goals for a product’s success. Measuring things like product engagement, customer retention, and active daily usage is key to understanding the value and success of any product. 

Product analytics, and more specifically, Mixpanel, enables product operations managers to do the best work possible by providing deep insights into customer behavior in real time to drive better product decisions, cut costs and headaches, and ultimately drive more revenue through better products. By providing quick answers to tough questions, Mixpanel gives product teams the knowledge they need to succeed, when and where they need it. 

Mixpanel allows you to continually optimize your product so you can optimize the user experience and build products that stick. You get insights into which product features people are using and why and what keeps them coming back. 

Take, for example:

  • Personal Capital, which used Mixpanel’s product analytics to rapidly accelerate iteration cycles and increase onboarding conversions
  • Ticketmaster, which leveraged Mixpanel to shape product decisions through a much better understanding of users’ behavior
  • And Deliveroo, which used Mixpanel to test hypotheses that boosted engagement and decreased churn

All of the above are examples of the various ways companies can use product analytics to supercharge product operations. Get started with Mixpanel here.

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