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Sophie Banda
Sophie Banda 3 May 2022

Research: France Surpasses UK in Product-Led Digital Transformation

France is leading Europe when it comes to digital product leadership, edging ahead of the UK and Germany - and is also leading the way in using data insights to shape product roadmaps, according to a new report from Pendo.

France is leading the way in digital product leadership in Europe, edging ahead of the UK and Germany, according to a new report.

Nearly half of French businesses reported that customers’ shift towards use of digital products would have a ‘major impact’ on their approach to product management, compared with just 36% of businesses in the UK.

French organisations are also leading the way in using data insights to shape their product roadmap, with 41% championing this approach versus 36% in the UK. 

Pendo - a company that provides software that makes software better - today released its fourth annual State of Product Leadership study in Europe, which explores trends impacting product management and the evolution of the product manager role.

The study is based on a survey of 350 technology product management executives and managers from software and traditional enterprises across France, Germany, and the UK. 

This year’s report shows European product managers rising in influence and impact overall as record venture funding fuels growth and innovation in the region’s technology startups, and large enterprises accelerate digital transformation initiatives.

Product teams are also under increasing pressure as companies seek to optimise digital investments made during the pandemic — the biggest trend shaping product management in 2022 is consumers’ increasing use of digital products and services.

“Product leaders are the heroes of any digital organisation — they make sure their companies build the right software, and that customers find value in it,” said Todd Olson, CEO and co-founder of Pendo. “Our study shows that, with the right data and technology, European product teams can deliver software that meets rising consumer expectations and drive their companies’ digital transformations forward in 2022.” 

Key findings of the report include:

Product Management is a Central, Strategic Function in European Companies

Since last year’s survey, product teams have taken on more responsibility in 16 of 17 business functions, including customer onboarding and education, achieving revenue goals, customer feedback, go-to-market strategy and sales enablement.

And in the most innovative companies, product teams are 2X more likely to be responsible for their company’s digital transformation efforts. In France, half of businesses cited product teams as responsible for digital transformation, compared to just 38% and 31% in the UK and Germany, respectively. 

Product Teams Bring Rigor to the Business, Using Data to Drive Product Decisions and Measuring Impact by Revenue Gains

Product managers became more data-driven over the past year — they’re nearly twice as likely to use quantitative insights to make roadmapping decisions than a year ago. Across all three markets, revenue and product usage are now considered the most important metrics of product management success.

Last year, survey respondents were primarily measured by how well they delivered against the product roadmap. These findings show teams more focused on increasing usage and monetisation of the products and features they launched, rather than introducing new ones.

With More Influence, Comes More Tools

Optimising product usage requires more data and more sophisticated tooling.

The study finds that product teams in the most innovative companies are 6X more likely to lead with data in their decision making, drawing insights from a variety of data and analytics sources, including usage/product analytics, CSAT surveys, competitor market intelligence, and real-time user feedback.

Still, one third of respondents report they’re lacking the right technology to collect and analyse product data. As such, over half of European companies plan to increase their investment in product management technology in 2022. 

More Data and Tools can Lead to More Complexity

Survey respondents report the leading barrier to effective product management is a lack of process, followed by failure to leverage data and poor technology. In the UK, lack of a data-driven approach and poor technology was cited by nearly a quarter of respondents.

The report recommends companies alleviate pressure on product teams by aligning on the product metrics that matter most, streamlining the product tool stack, and empowering more teams within their companies to leverage product insights to deliver better customer experiences. 

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