Advisor Case Study: Confidence as the Key Outcome

Sara Zalowitz May 28 2021

I spend a decent amount of time reflecting on my past roles and how the Vision-Led Product Management framework would have been a valuable tool if I had the foresight to use it at the time. A lot of the product approaches I took were very similar to VLPM, but utilizing the framework would have been a helpful tool for visually articulating the needs of our customers and showing how that influences our long-term vision.

Outcome KPI Pyramid

I have particularly reflected on my role as the VP of Product Management at WeddingWire and I have wondered how I would have specifically utilized the Outcome KPI Pyramid to clearly articulate the needs of our customers and how our product KPIs rolled up to them. If you are not familiar, WeddingWire is a marketplace where we connect wedding vendors (the paying customer) to wedding couples (users who access the site for free). We did a lot of customer research during my time there (and am sure the team still does). If I were to have used the Outcome KPI Pyramid during my time there, I can envision the process I would have gone through during customer research and what I would have learned. It would have gone something like the below.

Customer Interviews to Identify Their Outcome

During wedding vendor customer interviews:
  • Me: Explain to me how you know WeddingWire is successful for you?
  • Wedding Vendors: I get leads.
  • Me: Why are leads so important?
  • Wedding Vendors: They are what drives business to me.
  • Me: Are all leads important to you?
  • Wedding Vendors: Only the leads that have a high potential to convert are important.
  • Me: Why is this the way you judge success?
  • Wedding Vendors: Because I am paying $X and I am doing the mental math to make sure I get enough leads that convert to pay for itself.

BINGO - ROI is the main outcome that wedding vendors were looking for.
Similar to a B2B Buyer, they are paying for a service and they want to see a return based on that payment. It is pretty common to hear that the person paying for the service wants to see an ROI (below is our standard B2B Buyer Outcome Pyramid, which works in many situations). So, maybe that is an easy one!

Prodify Outcome KPI Pyramids v15

However, talking with the wedding couples would not have been as straightforward. I could envision it would have gone something like this: 

  • Me: What are you looking to achieve by using WeddingWire?
  • Couple: I want to plan my wedding

If I stopped here, WeddingWire could be a million things. Perhaps we would have launched a custom site to wedding planners based on this. But instead...I would dig further in order to get to the heart of what the outcome truly is. It is rarely the first thing you hear. 

  • Me: Why is it important to plan your wedding?
  • Couple: Well, I’ve never planned a wedding before.
  • Me: What about the newness of planning a wedding is what brings you to WeddingWire?
  • Couple: I just don’t know where to start.
  • Me: Talk me through what you mean by “start”?
  • Couple: Well, I have had this wedding idea in my head. And, I have been looking on Pinterest and I see all these beautiful weddings. But I have no idea how to make that happen. It seems overwhelming.

BINGO - The couples are looking to WeddingWire to give them the confidence that we can help them plan their dream wedding. 

(This was, of course, a very simplified version of how the conversation would have gone. I would imagine this could have easily been a 30-minute conversation to unlock this knowledge. But for your benefit - I sped up the time it took to get to the conclusion!)

Confidence as an Outcome


From there, I would build out an Outcome KPI Pyramid based off of confidence being the top outcome that the wedding couples want. Confidence is much more difficult to measure than ROI. It is a feeling, not a concrete number. Based on that, I’d have to be really thoughtful about how to build the pyramid in a way where I can get to measurable KPIs that are the leading indicators of confidence. I’d dig deeper to understand what they want to build confidence in. The pyramid structure would help me break this down. What do wedding couples need more confidence in? Selecting a vendor, budget, and the process for wedding planning would likely rise to the top. I would then map out the product KPIs that show the couple is able to make confident choices in planning their wedding. I envision this would be a mixture of feature usage, and also a sentiment survey to help us determine how confident the couples felt in the choices that WeddingWire helped them make.

Closing thoughts

It is common when you identify outcomes from customers that are not the direct buyer that their desired outcome is harder to measure. Sometimes their outcome is more emotional,  just as indicated here with the outcome of confidence. This is why the Outcome KPI Pyramid can be so powerful - it can take something that seems difficult to measure and help you break it down into measurable KPIs to ensure you are building what actually matters for your customers.

Written by Sara Zalowitz

Sara is a Senior Product Advisor and Coach with Prodify. Previously, she was Chief Product Officer at Rent the Runway, VP of Digital Innovation at Marriott, VP of Product at WeddingWire and Barnes and Noble, and the Director of Product at Home Shopping Network.

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