Jobs to be Done Framework

One Line Summary of Jobs to be Done

The Jobs to be Done (JTBD) framework is a marketing strategy that focuses on understanding the underlying ‘jobs’ a customer is trying to accomplish when they decide to ‘hire’ a product or service.

Why Is Jobs to be Done Important?

Understanding why JTBD is significant requires an examination of traditional marketing strategies. For many years, companies used to design products and services based on demographic data, i.e., the age, income, education level, and location of potential customers. However, demographic data doesn’t capture why consumers make certain decisions – the “why” behind their choices.

JTBD offers a fresh perspective, viewing customers not as static demographic data points, but as dynamic agents seeking to accomplish tasks or solve problems. This outlook urges companies to ask, “What job is the customer hiring this product to do?” instead of, “Who is the customer?”

Answering this question gives businesses a deeper insight into consumer needs, preferences, and motivations. It enables them to focus on the circumstances that lead consumers to use a product or service rather than on the consumer’s personal characteristics. This understanding paves the way for more targeted, effective solutions, leading to greater customer satisfaction, increased loyalty, and ultimately, business growth.

Detailed Explanation of Jobs to be Done

To further delve into the JTBD framework, let’s break it down into four integral elements: Customer Jobs, Context, Desired Outcomes, and Competing Solutions.

  1. Customer Jobs: The first step is identifying the ‘jobs’ or tasks that customers need to get done. These jobs could range from functional (e.g., “I need to clean my floor”) to emotional (e.g., “I want to feel accomplished”) or social (e.g., “I want to be seen as a responsible homeowner”). The key is to understand the problem the customer is trying to solve.
  2. Context: Context involves understanding the specific circumstances or conditions in which customers are trying to get the job done. It could be a specific event, physical environment, or even emotional state. The same job can change significantly depending on the context (e.g., cleaning a floor at home versus in a busy restaurant).
  3. Desired Outcomes: These are the metrics that customers use to gauge how well the job is being done. Desired outcomes can be qualitative (e.g., “I want the floor to look clean”) or quantitative (e.g., “I want to clean the floor in less than 30 minutes”). Identifying these desired outcomes allows businesses to develop and refine their offerings to meet these expectations.
  4. Competing Solutions: Finally, it’s essential to identify all the existing solutions (i.e., products, services, habits, or behaviors) that customers are currently employing to get the job done. This helps businesses identify potential competition and gaps in the market where they can differentiate their offering.

Applying the JTBD framework involves comprehensive qualitative research, typically involving interviews or surveys, to understand customers’ jobs, contexts, desired outcomes, and competing solutions. This insight helps companies develop products and services that fit into customers’ lives more seamlessly by aligning their design and marketing efforts with what customers are actually trying to achieve.

In summary, the JTBD framework is a powerful tool that flips traditional marketing on its head. Rather than fitting customers into predefined categories, it puts their needs, desires, and contexts at the forefront of product and service development. By focusing on what customers are really trying to achieve, businesses can design better solutions that resonate more deeply with their target audience, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

How to Use Jobs to be Done in Marketing?

  1. Understanding Customer Jobs: Start by conducting qualitative research, such as one-on-one interviews or focus groups, to understand the jobs that your target customers are trying to get done. The aim is to understand the problems or tasks that your product or service could potentially solve or facilitate. Encourage customers to discuss their motivations, frustrations, and the context in which they’re trying to accomplish their jobs.
  2. Identifying Desired Outcomes: Once you understand the ‘jobs’, the next step is to determine the outcomes that customers desire when they complete these jobs. These outcomes serve as a benchmark for customers to evaluate how well a product or service performs the job. In your customer interactions, focus on understanding these success metrics from the customer’s perspective.
  3. Analyzing Competing Solutions: Understand the existing solutions customers use to perform these jobs. This understanding will give you insights into your competition and where there might be gaps that your product or service could fill.
  4. Designing and Improving Solutions: Using the insight gathered, design or refine your product or service to meet these identified jobs and desired outcomes. Consider how to differentiate your solution from competing ones.
  5. Positioning and Communicating Value: Finally, use the JTBD framework to inform your marketing communications. When you understand the job a customer is hiring your product for, you can communicate your product’s value in a way that resonates with the customer. Instead of focusing on features or benefits, your messaging should emphasize how your product or service can help customers get their job done more efficiently, effectively, or satisfyingly.

Further Reading Materials for Jobs to be Done

If you wish to delve deeper into the JTBD framework, here are some recommended resources:

  1. “Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice” by Clayton M. Christensen: This book, written by the originator of the JTBD theory, provides a comprehensive overview of the framework and showcases various case studies illustrating how businesses have used it to drive growth and innovation.
  2. “Jobs to be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Centered Innovation” by Stephen Wunker, Jessica Wattman, and David Farber: This book offers a practical, step-by-step guide to applying the JTBD framework, making it a useful read for those new to the concept.
  3. “The Jobs to be Done Playbook: Align Your Markets, Organization, and Strategy Around Customer Needs” by Jim Kalbach: This practical guide is filled with diagrams, worksheets, and case studies to help you implement the JTBD theory in your business.
  4. Intercom on Jobs-to-be-Done eBook: Intercom, a customer messaging platform, has compiled an insightful eBook about their experiences implementing the JTBD framework, including lessons learned and their interpretation of the theory.
  5. The JTBD Toolkit by Alan Klement: This online resource provides practical tools to help businesses understand and apply the JTBD theory, including templates for customer interviews and strategy development.

By combining theory and practical application, these resources can help you gain a deeper understanding of the JTBD framework and how it can benefit your business.