“This is not working. I built a product and it’s not selling as much as it could.”
“I have this idea, but I want to make sure it’ll work before I put it on the market.”
“Blerk… our product’s marketing is generic, undifferentiated, and we try to compete on price. This isn’t going to make us profitable.”
“Something is missing. I care about understanding the actual, real reasons people will purchase this product, and right now, I’m just guessing my way through it. I want to understand so I can position my product properly.”
“I’m not too fond of all these tactics used in Marketing. I’m interested in what never changes, what’s solid, in principles that can be applied in different situations. There must be something like this…”
The Jobs-To-Be-Done theory (by Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School) says this: people don’t buy your product, they hire your product for a job.
Understand the job, understand why people switch to your product, and marketing your product will be much less of a guessing game.
Understand the job, and you’ll craft your product differently (nope to that feature, yes to this on-boarding workflow, nope to this idea, yes to that one.)
Understand the job, and you’ll remove what prevents people from hiring your product, you’ll increase excitement from your users, and you’ll increase traction for your product.
By the end of this talk, you’ll have:
Learned about the basic idea behind the Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) theory: people hire your product for a job they have
Learned how it’s not good enough to have a target market and a typical customer, that it’s more useful to understand the circumstances leading up to your customer switching to your product
Obtained a few examples of the JTBD theory changing a product’s positioning
Been introduced to the mechanics of understanding the customer’s job: the switching moment, the forces diagram, the events leading up to the switching moment
Learned new sources of competition you likely have (and how that is a good news)
Got a hint of how the JTBD theory can also be applied to not just product management, but to other areas of your career
Obtained some next steps to go deeper into the subject
Why this theory matters:
Your approach to marketing doesn’t need to be about tricks and tactics, it can be about being helpful to the buyer’s need for progress
You can find an abundance of buyers for your product, so long as you get the job right and you find a way to find people with that job
The theory can be used to improve all the other experiences that are connected to your product. For example, the articles you write can answer someone else’s job, and your online presence can answer someone else’s job.
If you prefer deep understanding to approximation and luck, you’ll likely find in Jobs-To-Be-Done something that better fits your values.
Pascal Laliberté has been interested in the subject for 4 years now. He has experience in Product Design, Web Development, and Customer Service. He runs an online personal development course and offers his consulting services to companies who need to improve their product offerings.