Why do people buy products and services? Because they need to something done. It could be something as simple as a couple buying produce at the farmer’s market to cook for their kids. Or, a founder purchasing a SaaS plan to automate invoice generation for their small business.
In both cases, there’s a job that needs to get done:
- A: Cook for family,
- B: Send bills to customers and accountants.
The Jobs To Be Done framework looks at product development and marketing through the lens of the consumer’s problem: not the consumer’s wishes, desires or personality.
The basis of the Jobs To Be Done framework is that markets grow, evolve, reinvent and renew whenever customers have a job to be done. The pandemic is a great example. As millions of women began working remotely from home and video calls became the norm, “neck up” grooming became more important, and brow and lash products began selling more. Several brick and mortar retailers and brands saw a fresh opportunity job to be done and jumped on e-commerce and DTC bandwagon.
So when we look at customers using the Jobs To Be Done framework, we examine who customers, markets and their needs are defined; how those markets are segmented; and how ideas are constructed around purchasing a solution (to get the job done).
Download the Jobs To Be Done Canvas Template
Addressing Unmet Needs
Most business owners and managers often struggle (and fail!) to identify what makes an amazing product or service.
What do the successful ones do differently? They use the Jobs To Be Done framework and take the time and effort to define and create differentiable value by innovating to solve unmet customer needs, or, the job to be done.
Taking a step back to assess the customer, market and what they are struggling with (the job they need to get done) will drive better decisions as you develop your product or service.
But creating a solution to a problem without focusing on whether it will lead to a positive and effective outcome for the customer will lead to failure. So you need to find those unmet needs using the Jobs To Be Done framework, but also look at whether your solution is a better alternative to what they are dealing with.
Focusing on the Outcome
One of the key tenets of the Jobs To Be Done framework is a focus on the outcome. How can you solve a problem, or fix it in a better and more efficient way?
Many times, innovators and inventors get too focused on the product and forget whether what they are creating will actually serve consumers well.
Mineral water brand Evian famously launched a “water bra” in the early aughts, inner wear that would offer women a cooler alternative in the summer months. The garment was made with a support base that could be filled with water. The water bra was innovative — but wasn’t solving the problem better or in a more efficient way. Needless to say — it didn’t find takers and it was discontinued.
The Core Functional Job To Be Done
It’s clear that consumers have evolving unmet needs. But to cater to them in the best way possible (and to ensure your product or service is their choice), you need to identify the core functional job to be done using the Jobs To Be Done framework and work from there.
Have you identified the entire functional job to be done, the customer’s current unmet needs and solutions to overcome customer struggles within each functional job step?
The core functional job to be done is only the first step. Depending on what the problem is and whether you are serving the B2C or B2B segment, there could be several people involved in the purchase of your product. Let’s break it down.
The Jobs To Be Done Framework
We want to figure out how to help customers get their job done better, faster and/or cheaper than market alternatives/competitors. Using the Jobs To Be Done framework to figure this out will help you validate and develop strong relationships with your customer segment.
→ First, understand the core functional job to be done.
→ Next, understand your customer. What are their interests? What motivates them? What are their frustrations, emotions and obstacles? What do they consider to be a defining win? What motivates them and gets them out of bed?
→ Next, Define the Core Functional Job-To-Be-Done. What is the job they are doing that will prompt them to pick up your product or service? What, where, when and why does the job occur? What is the context in which the job needs to be solved? What are the desired outcomes of the job and how can its success be measured?
Jobs To Be Done Framework: Customer Avatars
Like we mentioned, there could be one or many people involved in purchasing your product depending on whether you are B2C or B2B. Within the Jobs To Be Done framework, we divide the customers into four segments or categories. Let’s say you manufacture and sell lightweight and comfortable braces.
So, there are 4 customer types/avatars based on the JTBD theory.
- The job beneficiary: The person who benefits from the job getting done (Patient).
- The core job executor: The person who uses the product or service to get the core functional job done (Orthodontist).
- The product lifecycle support team: The person/s seeing through the proper use of your product/service as the job is executed (Clinic assistants).
- The purchase decision-maker: The individual who makes the actual purchase (Admin team/buyers).
Understanding the job to be done, and catering to each customer segment within the framework, will help you get the right product to the right people at the right time.
The NewLedge Advantage
At NewLedge, we run a 15-week online course in innovation, business and entrepreneurship for STEM graduates and professionals. We help you understand your customer better and develop products and services they will love, using our Capability-Driven Innovation methodology, which draws on aspects of the Jobs To Be Done framework.
Keeping your idea and the customer at the centre, we help you define your purpose and deliver to your customers using transformative and enhancing innovation techniques. So whether you want to improve existing products and processes, or build something completely new, you will have the tools to do it. To learn more, visit www.newledge.io
What is the jobs-to-be-done model?
The jobs to be done framework focuses less on hypothetical personas and more on the problem at hand, also known as the job to be done. Products, messaging and communications are crafted around understanding both the customer’s specific goal, or “job,” and the pain points that would lead that customer to choose a product or service to get the job done.
How do you use jobs to do framework?
To use the JBTD framework, you first need to identify the core functional job to be done. Let’s say you sell dental tools and drills. There is a patient who needs a root canal. The patient is the person who needs the job done (core job beneficiary). The dentist who does the surgery is the one who will carry out the job (core job executor). The dentist will also have a support staff, like the compounders and assistants who will help him during the root canal (product lifecycle support team). And the clinic or hospital administrative staff or buyers are the ones who will actually buy the product (purchase decision makers). Using the different individuals your product will touch at each stage of the job, you create the jobs to be done framework and target the customer accordingly.
What are the four elements of the JTBD framework?
The JTBD framework segments customers into four categories based on the core functional job to be done. The four people involved in the process are the core job beneficiary, the job executor, the product lifecycle support team and the purchase decision maker. Based on whether you are selling B2C or B2B, these categories could be the same person or many people along the route to getting the problem solved/job done.