If I were to ask you, "Why do people buy products?" you might offer a variety of answers. They want something. They need something. They like something. But what if I told you there was a deeper, more fundamental reason behind why customers buy and use your products?
What if I told you there was a framework that could help you understand this reason, and in doing so, could help you create products that people not only want and need, but love? Would you believe me?
This is the promise of the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) framework, a promise as tantalizing as it is transformative. But what is the JTBD framework, and why is it useful?
The JTBD framework, at its core, is a lens through which to view your customers. It shifts your focus from your assumptions, your opinions, your features, to the problems your customers are trying to solve, the outcomes they want to achieve, and the motivations behind their choices.
It pushes you to identify the jobs that customers hire your products to do, the deeper needs or desires that drive their behavior. It challenges you to differentiate your products from competitors by highlighting the unique value you provide.
And how does the JTBD framework work? The answer lies in understanding the nature of a job.
A job is not a task or a goal, but a deeper need or desire that customers have. Take a drill, for example. People don’t buy a drill because they want a drill, they buy it because they want to make holes. They hire the drill to do a job for them - this is the essence of the JTBD framework.
But how do you find the jobs that customers hire your products to do? The answer is simpler than you might think: you talk to them. You listen to them. You observe them. You use interviews, surveys, analytics, reviews, feedback to uncover their pain points, their goals, their emotions. You use this evidence to write a job statement, a concise description of the job that customers hire your products to do.
A job statement should include three elements: the situation, the motivation, and the outcome.
"When I’m planning to go to a basketball game, I want to find the best deals on tickets, so that I can save money knowing that I got a deal." This is a job statement.
It is the guiding star for your product development. It helps you define your value proposition, prioritize your features, design your user experience, test your assumptions.
But how do you measure the success of your products using the JTBD framework? The answer lies in customer satisfaction. Customer retention, customer loyalty, customer feedback, customer outcomes—these are the metrics that matter. These are the measures of success.
The JTBD framework, when wielded correctly, can transform your approach to product development. It can help you create products that customers actually want and need. It can help you create products that people love.
So, what will you do with this knowledge? Will you continue to create products based on your assumptions, your opinions, your features? Or will you embrace the JTBD framework, and in doing so, embrace a new way of understanding your customers, a new way of creating products, a new way of doing business?
The choice, I believe, is clear. The potential, I believe, is limitless. And the time to act, I believe, is now.
A Practical Guide to Using the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) Framework
1. Understanding the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) Framework
The JTBD framework is a powerful approach to understanding your customers. Instead of focusing on what customers say they want, it urges you to understand why they want it. What are the underlying problems they're trying to solve? What outcomes are they hoping to achieve? What motivates their choices?
2. The Value of the Jobs to Be Done Framework
The JTBD framework ensures you create products that genuinely resonate with customers. By focusing on the 'jobs' they hire your products to do, you can design products that meet their deep-seated needs and desires, and stand out from the competition.
3. How the Jobs to Be Done Framework Works
The JTBD framework works by identifying the 'jobs' customers hire your products to do. The 'job' is not a task or goal, but a deeper need or desire. For instance, people don't buy a drill because they want a drill; they buy it because they want to make holes.
4. Discovering the 'Jobs'
To identify the 'jobs' customers hire your products to do, engage with your customers. Use interviews, surveys, or observations to understand their pain points, goals, and emotions. Additionally, data from analytics, reviews, or feedback can validate your findings.
5. Creating a Job Statement
A job statement is a succinct description of the 'job' customers hire your products to do. It should encapsulate the situation, the motivation, and the outcome.
- "When I’m planning to go to a basketball game (situation), I want to find the best deals on tickets (motivation), so that I can save money knowing that I got a deal (outcome)."
- When I’m creating or designing a product (situation), I need to be able to understand what my customers or users will really want (motivation), so that I can create a product people will find useful (outcome).
6. Using Job Statements in Product Development
Once you've identified the job statements, use them as a blueprint for your product development.
They can help you define your value proposition (how does your product help customers get their jobs done better than alternatives?), prioritize your features (what are the most important features that enable customers to get their jobs done?), and design your user experience (how can you make it easy and delightful for customers to get their jobs done?). They can also assist in validating that your product truly helps customers get their jobs done.
7. Measuring Success with the JTBD Framework
The ultimate measure of success for your products using the JTBD framework is customer satisfaction. This can be gauged through metrics like customer retention (how many customers keep using your product?), customer loyalty (how many customers recommend your product?), customer feedback (how do customers rate and review your product?), and customer outcomes (how well do customers achieve their desired outcomes using your product?).
8. Learning More About the JTBD Framework
I plan on writing a detailed article on how to operationalize the JTBD framework, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, if you're interested in the JTBD framework and want to dig deeper, consider checking out books like "The Jobs To Be Done Playbook" by Jim Kalbach, "Competing Against Luck" by Clayton Christensen, and the "Jobs To Be Done Toolkit" by Strategyn.