If you're a product manager, understanding the "jobs-to-be-done" framework is essential.
As a product manager, your main focus is creating and delivering products that resonate with customers. And while you may have a knack for brainstorming features and functionalities that sound appealing, there's a critical component often overlooked: the job the customer is trying to get done. That's where the concept of jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) theory comes in.
Jobs-to-be-done theory is a framework used to understand why customers purchase products or services. The theory posits that customers "hire" products or services to perform a particular job, whether it's a tangible task (i.e. mowing the lawn) or emotional need (i.e. feeling a sense of pride). Simply put, customers don't buy products or services for their features; they buy them to fulfill a specific job.
Let's take the example of a customer who wants to purchase a car. They may be looking for a car that is fuel-efficient, has a spacious trunk, and is easy to park. But why do they want these features? Perhaps they have a long commute to work and want to save money on gas. Maybe they have a family and need to transport groceries and sports equipment. Or maybe they live in a city with limited parking and need a car that can fit into tight spaces. By understanding the job the customer is trying to accomplish, car manufacturers can create products that better meet their needs.
The origin of JTBD can be traced back to the 1980s with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. Christensen saw a pattern in successful businesses: they weren't solely focused on their competition or consumer demographics. Instead, they understood the job their customers were trying to get done and created products that solved the problem.
For example, Christensen studied the success of the milkshake at a fast-food restaurant. He found that customers were "hiring" the milkshake to fulfill a specific job: to provide a filling breakfast on the go. By understanding this job, the restaurant was able to make changes to the milkshake, such as making it thicker and adding chunks of fruit, to better meet the needs of their customers.
By focusing on the job, product managers can create products that are more aligned with customer needs. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Traditional market research focuses on demographics, psychographics, and other descriptive characteristics of a customer to predict demand. However, JTBD is more focused on understanding what a customer is trying to accomplish and creates a more detailed and nuanced picture of their motivations. By understanding the job, product managers can create products that are more aligned with customer needs.
For example, traditional market research may tell a car manufacturer that their target audience is young professionals who live in the city. However, JTBD research may reveal that these young professionals are looking for a car that is easy to park and has good gas mileage because they have a long commute. By understanding the job the customer is trying to accomplish, the car manufacturer can create a product that better meets their needs.
Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) is a concept that refers to the tasks or jobs customers are trying to accomplish. It's a way of looking at customer needs beyond just the products or services they use. By understanding JTBD, companies can create products that better align with customer needs and improve customer satisfaction.
There are two types of JTBD: functional and emotional. Functional JTBD are tasks or jobs customers are trying to complete, such as buying a new computer or getting a haircut. Emotional JTBD are more abstract "jobs," such as feeling safe, secure, or satisfied. Both types of JTBD are essential to understanding customer needs.
The JTBD canvas is a tool used to identify and define a customer's JTBD. It consists of six components:
By using the JTBD canvas, companies can gain a deeper understanding of customer needs and create products that better meet those needs.
Conducting interviews with customers is one of the most effective ways to identify their JTBD. When carrying out JTBD interviews, it's essential to keep the conversation focused on the job they're trying to complete. By understanding their motivations, frustrations, and solutions, companies can create products that better align with customer needs.
During JTBD interviews, it's crucial to ask open-ended questions that allow customers to express their thoughts and feelings. It's also important to listen actively and ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of their JTBD.
By incorporating JTBD into their product development process, companies can create products that better meet customer needs and improve customer satisfaction.
Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) is a theory that focuses on understanding the underlying motivation behind why a customer hires a product or service to complete a specific job. By understanding the job that a customer is trying to accomplish, product managers can design products that solve the customer's problem and provide value. In this article, we will explore how product managers can use JTBD to prioritize features, create customer personas, and measure success.
When prioritizing features, product managers should consider the job that the customer is trying to accomplish. This means understanding the context in which the customer is using the product and the specific job that the customer is trying to complete. By understanding the job, product managers can design features that help the customer achieve their goal. For example, if the job is to quickly find a specific item on an e-commerce website, a product manager might prioritize a search feature that makes it easy for the customer to find what they're looking for.
Additionally, prioritizing features based on JTBD ensures that the product is aligned with the customer's needs. By focusing on the job, product managers can avoid adding features that are unnecessary or don't provide value to the customer.
Traditional customer personas focus on demographic information, such as age, gender, and income. While this information can be helpful, JTBD personas focus on the job that the customer is trying to get done. By understanding the customer's motivations and struggles, product managers can create personas that are more effective in driving marketing and product decisions.
For example, if the job is to quickly find a specific item on an e-commerce website, a persona might be created for a busy working parent who needs to quickly purchase items for their family. This persona might prioritize features that make it easy to find and purchase items quickly, such as a search feature and a streamlined checkout process.
Product managers can measure the success of a product by tracking JTBD metrics. These metrics focus on how effectively the product helps the customer complete the job and how frequently the customer "hires" the product to complete the job.
For example, if the job is to quickly find a specific item on an e-commerce website, a product manager might track metrics such as the number of searches performed and the time it takes for the customer to find the item. By analyzing these metrics, product managers can make informed decisions to better align the product with customer needs and improve the customer experience.
In conclusion, applying JTBD in product management can help product managers design products that solve the customer's problem and provide value. By prioritizing features based on the job, creating JTBD personas, and measuring success using JTBD metrics, product managers can make informed decisions to better align the product with customer needs and improve the customer experience.
Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory has been successfully implemented by various companies to create products that solve real customer problems. One such company is the Blue Ocean Strategy Group, which used JTBD theory to develop a coffee brewer that solved multiple customer pain points. The coffee brewer not only eliminated the issue of pod waste but also created a perfect cup of coffee that met the customer's taste preferences. Additionally, the emotional connection that the customer had with the coffee brewer was strengthened due to its user-friendly design and ability to deliver consistent quality coffee every time.
Another excellent example of successful JTBD implementation is the story of Stride chewing gum. The company discovered that traditional gum was perceived as a "social taboo," and people were hesitant to chew it in public. To solve this problem, Stride gum was created, which freshened breath without being perceived as impolite. The gum's unique flavor and packaging made it a hit with customers, and it quickly became a popular choice for people who wanted to freshen their breath without feeling self-conscious.
Through various JTBD case studies, companies have learned valuable lessons that can help them create products that cater to their customers' needs better. One of the most common lessons learned is that customer needs and motivations are continually evolving. Therefore, it's crucial to conduct continuous JTBD research to stay ahead of the curve and understand the changing needs and preferences of customers.
Another crucial lesson learned is that understanding the customer's emotional needs is just as important as their functional needs. By catering to both, companies can create a stronger connection with their customers, leading to more loyalty and engagement. Emotional connections can be established by creating products that not only solve functional problems but also provide an enjoyable and satisfying user experience.
In conclusion, JTBD theory has proven to be an effective way for companies to create products that solve real customer problems. By understanding the customer's needs and motivations and catering to both their functional and emotional needs, companies can create products that not only meet but exceed customer expectations.
Jobs-to-be-done is a powerful way to align products and services with customer needs. By understanding the job the customer is trying to complete, product managers can create products that better align with customer needs, and drive more loyalty and engagement. Conduct interviews, create JTBD personas, and prioritize features based on JTBD, and watch your product resonate with customers like never before.