19, Feb 2024


The Power of Jobs-to-be-Done (Jtbd)

What Exactly is Jobs-to-be-Done?

Imagine a world where all the different departments in your company, from developers to marketers to strategists and R&D managers, could all be on the same page when it comes to understanding customer needs and how to meet them. That level of alignment and focus would be a game-changer. So, how can you make it happen?

According to Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt, people don't want to buy a drill, they want a hole. In other words, customers don't just want your product or service, they want to know how it will make their lives better or easier. If you can keep this customer-centric focus, your company is bound to succeed.

Jobs Theory is more than just a theory. It's a groundbreaking framework for defining, categorizing, capturing, and organizing all your customers' needs. By adopting this way of thinking, you can quickly capture a complete set of need statements that will stay relevant for years, rather than becoming outdated in no time.

The Benefits for Product Development Teams

In the past, many products and services failed because there was a disconnect between what customers needed and what companies provided. Shockingly, only 5% of product teams actually know what their customers need. However, by embracing the Jobs Theory, product development teams can gain insights into the specific tasks their customers need to get done and the metrics they use to measure success. Armed with this knowledge, companies can create products that align perfectly with customer needs, setting themselves up for success.

Who Are Your Customers?

Before delving into the needs of your customers, it's crucial to define who they are. While this may be straightforward for B2C companies, B2B companies often struggle with this concept. Through our extensive research, we have identified three categories that encompass the types of customers a company may serve:

  1. The Job Executor: This is the person who uses the product to accomplish the core functional job.

  2. The Product Lifecycle Support Team: This group comprises individuals who support the product from creation to disposal. They handle tasks such as installation, transportation, repair, maintenance, upgrades, and disposal.

  3. The Buyer: This person is responsible for making the financial purchase decision.

In most B2C markets, the consumer typically plays all three roles: they use the product, support it throughout its lifecycle, and make the purchase.

What Jobs Are They Trying to Get Done?

The Jobs-to-be-Done Needs Framework identifies five types of jobs that the person using the product, the product lifecycle support team, and the buyer are trying to accomplish. This article will focus on the three jobs of the job executor:

  1. The Core Functional Job: This is the fundamental task that the job executor aims to complete in a given situation. It is the reason a market exists. Examples include "repairing a rotator cuff," "passing on life lessons to children," or "protecting against a cyber attack."

  2. Functional Jobs: These are the related tasks that customers need to complete before, during, or after the core job. By understanding these additional tasks, companies can offer solutions that allow customers to get multiple jobs done, enhancing the value of their product.

  3. Emotional Jobs: These describe how customers want to feel while completing the core job. It includes social considerations. By understanding the emotional needs of customers, companies can develop solutions that not only help them accomplish their functional job but also make them feel good about it.

Throughout the product lifecycle, there are several jobs that need to be performed to ensure a positive customer experience. These include product installation, set up, storing, transporting, maintenance, repair, cleaning, upgrades, and disposal.

Making the purchase decision is also a job that customers undertake from a financial perspective. They use financial and/or performance metrics to guide their purchase.

The Implications

To navigate the complexities of the market successfully, understanding customer needs is paramount. The Jobs-to-be-Done Needs Framework serves as a valuable guide, helping companies structure and categorize the wealth of customer data they receive daily. It also provides insight into the necessary inputs, why they are collected, and how they should be utilized. By embracing the power of Jobs Theory, companies can truly meet and exceed their customers' expectations.

Go Beyond the Metrics. Understand the Why.

Palzin Track reveals the human stories behind your data. Make user-centric decisions that drive growth.