The Reasons Behind the Reports: How you can leverage data by asking the right questions.
You've heard it before: Good data is crucial to running a successful business online.
So in the name of "good business," you pay attention to certain key metrics. You use them to track your progress and compare yourself to others. Data becomes like a report card, something to measure if things are good or bad.
Unfortunately, there's a consequence of thinking about data this way.
Instead of creating positive change in the lives of customers, the data has a much more significant impact on the life of one person: you, the business owner.
Hitting refresh and seeing a new amount of revenue sets off a cascading cycle of emotions. You become reactive to any new piece of data. How you feel today becomes beholden to metrics and feedback that can either boost confidence or provoke anxiety.
Nobody starts a business because they want to be frustrated by data, but that's what ends up happening.
At it's best, data can be more than just a barometer of business health. It can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal to fuel real, lasting growth.
It all depends on the question you ask yourself when approaching a report.
When most entrepreneurs review their data, the question they have in mind is:
"How is my business doing?"
But what would happen if you asked a question that takes the focus off "report-card" thinking, such as:
"What are the opportunities here, and where can these insights be applied to help my customers?"
Approaching your data with this kind of question in mind can help you uncover more meaningful improvements to your product, and make your life a whole lot easier in the process.
Reports aren't about the cycle of winning and losing — they're about opportunities.
At Kajabi, we use this kind of "opportunity" approach, along with the Jobs-to-be-Done framework, to inform our product updates.
Today, we're going to examine the insights and job stories behind the four new reports that make up our most recent update to Kajabi Analytics. We've never gone so far as to share the individual job stories behind a product update before, but we're doing it now for two reasons.
Reason #1: To help you understand the “why” behind these analytics updates and how to use them to your advantage.
Reason #2: These stories serve as examples of how starting with the right question can help you leverage insights from data, use them to create compelling job stories, and apply them to your products in a way that will make a difference in the lives of your customers.
So let's get to it!
The Stories Behind the Product Progress Report
Once product progress was identified as an opportunity inside our feedback portal, we set out to learn about the types of Kajabi customers that find value in tracking the user progress inside their products, and understand how they want to use the report.
Our discovery process uncovered an Obvious Value Trends (OVT) with Kajabi users who are selling licenses/seats for their product to a company/business owner, and need for a way to share the progress of a select group of members with the purchaser of the course.
We learned that while our customers were already able to check product progress, they were limited in what they could see, and they could never see it by customer segment.
Workarounds were extremely manual or non-existent.
So with that in mind, we were able to create a few job stories for these customers:
"When I sell licenses/seats/access for a product to a company/business owner, I need to see the individual progress of their segment of members easily, so that I can inform the company/business owner of their progress."
"When a company/business owner asks to see the progress of their members, I want to find and share a report quickly, so I can ensure their members are engaging with the product they purchased for them."
By listening to users and developing these stories, we understood that the new Product Progress Report needed to give them better visibility into progress by individual or customer segments and allow them to export reports easily.
And in line with its name, this report is one you can expect to progress even farther. We're continuing to work on ways to include in this report a higher level view into product progress as a whole, to help Kajabi users who want to help users move through their courses with ease.
If you’d like an in-depth look at how to use the Product Progress Report, check out the related support article in our help center.
The Stories Behind the Offers Sold Report
Out of the four new reports, this one represents the most significant opportunity because it touches the broadest swath of Kajabi users.
We saw the need in our data for users to gain better insight into purchases, but not just in terms of sales and revenue.
They needed to know what offers were selling well, when those sales were happening, and, most importantly, who was buying.
It all boiled down to these two job stories:
"When I have an event or webinar, I want to understand how many offers were sold and whether it was to new or existing member purchases, so that I can gauge the success of the event or webinar."
"When I sell an offer, I want to know if new customers or existing customers are purchasing more regularly, so I can position my content to target the right audiences."
These stories illustrate why it is so essential that the new Offers Sold Report gives Kajabi users the ability to see which offers are favored by new customers or existing customers.
With this detail included, you can go much deeper than just seeing which offer is most successful. You can identify which offer is the best fit for a campaign with cold traffic, or which one to re-launch to your existing customer list.
Most importantly, for users looking to bring more new members into your programs, this report gives you the tools you need to identify the right offers to use without blowing through your advertising budget with endless testing.
If you’d like an in-depth look at how to use the Offers Sold Report, check out the related support article in our help center.
The Story Behind the Forecast Tool
The opportunity here is an appealing one — who doesn't want to predict the future?
Kajabi users with subscription business models understand the benefits of predictable monthly revenue, but they also know that the reality of subscriptions isn't always so predictable.
Our research and data revealed that these users expect fluctuations with their subscription revenue and need a way to stay one step (or several) ahead.
After talking with users about this pain point, we developed the following job story:
"When I expect fluctuations in my subscription business, I want to be able to understand and forecast my future MRR, so that I can create realistic goals based on actual numbers."
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is the lifeblood of a subscription business, and we understood from our data that the new Forecast Tool could give our users a sense of stability with this metric. That's why it pulls from all of your existing subscription data (including current MRR, rate of new subscriptions, and churn rate) inside Kajabi to give an up-to-date picture of what the next six months will look like according to those trends.
And because we understood users were anticipating fluctuations already, we were able to build those into the tool with the custom values feature.
Using custom values, you can adjust different variables to see how they would affect your ability to reach your MRR goals.
You're not stuck with vague objectives like "decrease churn rate" and "increase new subscriptions" — you know exactly where these numbers need to be to reach a revenue goal and how long it will take to get there.
Because it makes this kind of precise planning possible, the Forecast Tool helps to create the predictability our users want from their subscription business.
If you’d like an in-depth look at how to use the Forecast Tool, check out the related support article in our help center.
The Story Behind the Affiliate Report
Because we serve so many business owners at Kajabi, we get a bird's eye view into the power of affiliate programs. Over one-third of marketers rate it not just as a significant revenue generator, but as their top acquisition channel (Source).
So when we set out to make our existing affiliate reports more useful to Kajabi users with Growth or Pro plans, we saw an opportunity to simplify everything inside our two existing reports into one streamlined report.
Customers were also asking for more in-depth insight into the performance of their affiliate programs, and we developed the following job story:
"When I have affiliates help to generate conversions for my business, I want to be able to see reporting that offers more data on each affiliate's performance and commission earned, so that I can easily pay them and see who is performing the best. "
That's why the new Affiliates Report, besides being a one-stop-shop for all of your affiliate data, also includes more meaningful data, including:
- Affiliate commission earned ($)
- Conversion rate
- Date of last sale (to show how active they are)
You can also show affiliates in order of ranking based on who brings in the most revenue and check individual affiliate details like who they have referred and which offers were purchased.
All of these details are included to give you a complete picture of your affiliate program's performance and make it easier to utilize as a powerful tool for growth.
If you’d like an in-depth look at how to use the Affiliate Report, check out the related support article in our help center.
So to Summarize:
- Avoid viewing data as just a “report card” for your business.
- Look at the data and ask: "What are the opportunities here, and where can these insights be applied to help my customers?"
- During your discovery process uncover Obvious Value Trends and use them to create specific job stories for different segments of your audience
- Use these job stories to update existing products or develop new ones.
We hope this breakdown of insights and job stories inspires you to use these reports to the fullest and apply data-driven insights to your own business and products.
Interested in creating job stories for your own customers? Use our handy worksheet.