When you think of product managers (PMs), what often comes to mind are teams building a product or feature that will satisfy and delight users. It’s not so much that this picture is wrong—product managers are nothing if not innovative builders—as it is incomplete.
In recent years, we’ve seen the product function become increasingly important to driving business outcomes as a whole. And much of the work tied to strengthening the business comes before and after the build phase of product management. Yes, you need to build products—but how do you know you’re building the right product? Yes, a product or feature may look successful on launch day—but how can you ensure it remains so?
In other words, how can you make sure that your product delivers—not just on features and functionality for users, but as a vehicle to drive higher sales, more effective marketing, and better customer support? Here the path to success will increasingly involve successfully leveraging artificial intelligence.
AI-powered product discovery
A great way to waste time and resources for little to no payoff is to build the wrong things for users. And it’s a trap too many PMs fall into. In fact, Pendo has found that 80% of features go unused. The key to avoiding this outcome is to implement the right product discovery strategy—something AI will make exponentially easier for product teams.
Traditionally, product discovery has been tied to understanding customer pain points, and PMs have had to put a lot of manual work into analyzing data and synthesizing insights based on it in order to get the right answers. The sources can vary—NPS surveys, sales calls, existing product usage data, and a variety of other channels are all important—but often the sheer volume of data can prevent a PM from being as thorough as they’d like to be in analysis.
With the advent of AI, specifically Large Language Models (LLMs), this all changes. PMs will now have a means of analyzing datasets of a size and scope they’d never dream of being able to tackle manually. AI tools will allow them to sort findings and identify trends in data to develop customer insights faster, putting them on the path to build a product or feature that they can be confident customers will love.
AI-powered product-led growth
Product managers have become more essential to business health as leaders put their product at the center of all their business motions. Well before the explosion of AI onto the business scene, tools like in-app guides and notifications, product analytics, and in-app feedback collection were transforming products beyond their core features and functionality and into something so much more. Products became sales channels, marketing tools, and support centers. And with AI, your product will become an even more powerful vehicle for driving better business outcomes.
AI-powered product-led growth (PLG) will help teams deliver even more when it comes to business impact. By analyzing workflow behavior and identifying where users may be getting stuck, for example, AI tools will be able to generate and auto-deploy guides to help users at that point, upping satisfaction and retention. AI will also assist PMs in building even more effective campaigns to upsell, convert, and retain customers and prospects. AI-powered tools will deploy these campaigns to machine learning (ML)-derived “smart segments,” and will eventually automatically generate guides, emails, and other content for these users.
A key way that AI will make product-led growth even more effective is its power to hone personalization of your product in all its aspects. By analyzing user behavior and factoring in metadata categories (role, location, etc.), AI LLM programs will empower PMs to auto-generate content for specific users and user groups. Different customers (or, if the product is internal-facing, employees) have different needs and different preferences, and there’s no reason AI can’t help PMs make their product reflect that. Whether it’s the content of a support guide or the timing of sales or marketing outreach, AI will ensure the content you’re getting to users is even more timely, contextual, and relevant to them.
Want to learn how AI is powering Pendo’s all-in-one product experience platform? Explore our Pendo AI page here.