Jobs To Be Done is a framework that explains how users buy a product or a service to get a list of jobs done. It simplifies how people ‘hire’ products & service to complete a certain job in their life.
A very good example is a paintbrush.
People are not buying a paintbrush. They are buying the ability to have a painted room or a fence.
a. What are the four sections of JTBD? 🖖🏼
JTBD can be broken down into four basic factors. While some products will have all four sections, it’s not mandatory for all products. Some products or services will have just one of these sections.
Most folks stop at the functional JTBD and never truly understand the social & financial aspects of their product for long 😞. For the sake of simplicity we’re just going to stick with shoes as a category.
Let’s look at the JTBD of different types of shoes 👇🏼
The basic functional goal they are trying to reach with your product
If you buy a shoe, the functional goal is to protect your toes and heel when you walk on the road.
If you’re buying a pair of industrial shoes, the goal is to protect your feet from heavy machinery and equipments
The personal transformation or goal they are trying to attain with your product
If you’re buying a pair of gym shoes, the goal is to perform better in your workouts.
If you’re buying a shoe from Steve Madden, it’s to borrow that sense of exclusivity.
The financial goal are they trying to reach with your product
If you buy a pair of unbranded shoes, the idea is to save money while buying shoes.
If you’re buying a pair of premium shoes, you expect it to last longer and thereby saving you money.
The social signals they are trying to send out by using your product
If you’re buying a pair of Nike shoes, the goal is to signal that you are wealthy enough to buy them.
The easiest way to write down your JTBD statements is using Intercom’s JTBD template which we have created at GrowthX 💪🏼.
The format look something like this below 👇🏼
“When _____, I want to be able to _____, so I can _____”
Here’s how we used this framework to derive at the one of the examples mentioned above
“When I buy a pair of costly gym shoes, I want to be able to improve my performance in the gym, so I can get fit”
b. Here’s a B2C examples of Jobs To Be Done 📲
Let’s look at JTBD from the angle of a B2C product - Figma
Create designs, web pages and other digital copies.
Become a better & efficient designer with Figma.
Increase her earning potential by efficiently creating great designs at the workplace. The user could also think about freelancing or starting their own business as a designer.
All professional designers use Figma, and by using it she is also trying to signal that she’s a PRO.
Since her peers also use Figma, she feels familiarity within the social community of designers.
c. Here’s a B2B example of Jobs To Be Done 👔
Now let’s jump onto a B2B example to understand JTBD - Freshchat. For the sake of simplicity we’re just going to look at JTBD of a founder trying to get Freshchat
→ Respond to customers
→ Manage tickets at the backend
→ Provide LIVE chat
→ Reduce the time taken to resolve customer queries
→ Manage customer queries from all communication channels under one roof
→ Earn wealth by building your business
→ Help employees become wealthy by building a profitable business
→ Get back time by automating a ton of these support tasks, which can be spent on other aspects of life
→ Reduce spends on employee salary by automating the customer support process
→ Increase the revenue by providing an incredible experience for the customer
→ Prove that you care about your employees by investing in software that makes their lives easier
In B2B settings, the same JTBD can also be broken down for an IC or the leader of a function. By breaking these down, you can have a crystal clear angle of what each ICP needs and nail the best ways to sell your product to them.
2. Why is JTBD important for product managers?
JTBD allows PMs to understand core user motivations in depth. It’s easy to say that ‘Headspace’ is a meditation app. But when you break it down into personal, financial & social goals, things get very interesting.
The functional goal of headspace is ‘help me meditate’.
But the personal goal might be something on the lines of ‘Help me increase my focus with meditation’
The financial goal might be ‘Help me increase the profits from my business by improving overall focus & productivity’
Pairing JTBD into product development makes sure the product is better prepared to help the user achieve his goal. This allows them to build an incredibly good product, which leads to better retention & higher revenue. Also, understanding your customer JTBDs in depth gives you the edge to build the right things with conviction.
Building a new module, refer the JTBD
Thinking about running a growth experiment, refer the JTBD
If you’re a PM, JTBD can be one of your best friends (After R.I.C.E of course)
3. Important of JTBD for marketers
Marketers also need to be aligned on their JTBD for a couple of reasons
Understanding different value propositions
Understanding different marketing pitches
Understanding unique positioning pitches for the same product.
JTBD becomes even more important for marketers in a complex B2B product or a massive Consumer product 🤘🏼
In most B2B buying journeys, you will have a lot of different stakeholders at play. The bigger and complex the org, the more stakeholders you’ll have. Let’s assume that you’re a marketer at a complex B2B software like Freshchat. Here are some potential stakeholders you might have to consider for your marketing pitch
The CFO/ Finance team will be in charge of the final buying decision
The Support team members will use the product day in & day out to solve customer queries
The Founder/ CEO will use the dashboard to have an overview of all the support metrics
The Head Of Support will need Freshchat to manage all his customer queries under one roof. She will also use Freshchat to manage all her team members and monitor their performance
The Procurement team might be the one who speaks to your sales team and get the product introduced to their org
The Chief Security Officer makes sure that your product is compliant and free of any risks & security concerns
To market a B2B product like this, you will have to consider all these personas into play. The motivations and JTBD for the CFO is very different from the Head of Support. Proper B2B marketers understand this and create separate marketing pitches, collaterals for all the different types of personas. They understand the different journeys to bring down the sales cycle, remove objections and increase overall revenue.
4. Importance of JTBD for founders and leaders
Just like marketers, it’s crucial for founders to have a grip on different personas and their JTBDs. It’ll help them understand their user’s core motivations and build their business for the right subset.
Let’s look at a B2C consumer product for an example - Zepto
Zepto works on the incredibly large grocery market in India. so by definition they cater to a large market with tons of different use cases. Sure, the functional goal is to get groceries. But the financial, social & personal goals are widely different
You have young bachelors who live in tier 1 cities. Most of them do not prepare food by themselves. A lot of their meals requirements are handled by a cook, a takeaway service or food delivery platforms like Swiggy. Some of their purchases might include fruits and vegetables, while a lot if just quick snacks & other items. They have the highest usage frequency 💪🏼
Then you have recently married folks who might sometimes live with their parents. In that case, the a lot of daily food needs are taken care of by their family members. Most of their purchases include groceries, but their overall order frequency is low
Then you have folks in the 35+ age bracket who spend a lot of money on groceries, just not on Zepto 🙁. While their frequency is very low on Zepto, they might be the population with the highest money available to spend.
From a frequency and revenue perspective in the short term, going after the ‘Young Bachelors’ makes a lot of sense. But in the long term, the TAM might be limited for overall business growth. From a core JTBD perspective, the third subset might have the best use-case for Zepto. Tweaking Zepto’s business model & growth strategy to reach this audience could mean long term success for Zepto.
Core business insights like this can change everything from marketing pitch to your entire business model. It could also end up changing how you structure your teams, who you hire & more.
5. Key Takeaway: Why is JTBD important?
Your product doesn’t exist alone out there. Taking other products into your category also doesn’t count. Your product exists with all other products & factors which might have some level of JTBD overlap.
Consider this example,
If you’re a PM at Netflix, you’re not just competing with the Hotstar and YouTube. You’re also competing with hundreds of other apps a user could use to entertain themselves when bored. Because ‘I am bored and want to do something interesting’ could be the primary JTBD.
This means that, you are also competing with tons of other players like
→ Social Media apps
→ Gaming apps
→ Messaging apps
Henry Ford once said “If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”
By reframing the JBTD to ‘Getting from point A to point B faster”, you can essentially create better products for the same problem💪🏼
JTBD gives you the context required to understand users in depth - something we always preach in GrowthX 🤘🏼