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“When we have a job to do, we find something that we can buy or hire to get the job done. Understanding the cause of purchase, really improves the chance of success.” – Clayton Christensen, Harvard researcher

What jobs are we hiring the products in our lives to do?

The author uses the example of buying his regular cup of coffee to explain the job to be done with a product:
It’s key to understand the jobs your customers hire your product to do.

"Unsure of which features to build next? Trying to figure out your marketing strategy? Figure out why your customers hire your product and you’ll have the insight you need to make good decisions."

  • JJ

    Justin Jackson

    almost 5 years ago #

    Author here. You can use the insights you get from Jobs to be Done to inform your marketing. For example, based on the "jobs" I mentioned in the article, how would you market the coffee shop?

    • DT

      David Tuite

      almost 5 years ago #

      Couple of things off the top of my head:

      1. Find out where the people who visit the show work and involve their companies in your marketing content (local business bios etc.). It should give you a force multiplier as the company you mention has an incentive to push that marketing content too.

      2. In line with the idea above, find out what people are working on in your shop and promote it in some sort of "Created at Triumph" series.

  • CO

    Chris Out

    almost 5 years ago #

    Hi @mijustin , great article!

    • JJ

      Justin Jackson

      almost 5 years ago #

      Thanks @chrisout! What was most helpful for you?

      • CO

        Chris Out

        almost 5 years ago #

        The structuring of the JBTD interviews around the purchasing timeline. Especially the questions on discovering the feelings around the purchase could lead to great insights for better converting marketing materials.

  • MK

    Matthew Kremer

    almost 5 years ago #

    @mijustin Great article! It reminds me of a more highly thought out version of that picture I always see of Mario "You're not selling this (fire flower), you're selling this (giant mario)".

  • SH

    Skyler Hair

    almost 5 years ago #

    Hey @mijustin great article as always!

    I really liked your personal example as it totally resonated with a local joint where I go to lunch here. Made it real for me.

    The example questions were the point where I decided that this article was really helpful (and actionable!)

    Thanks for the time you put into making this article. Just subbed :)

  • BH

    Benji Hyam

    almost 5 years ago #

    This is awesome! Was just introduced to the JTBD methodology last week and this is super helpful

    • DT

      David Tuite

      almost 5 years ago #

      It's great! Check out the BoS video I linked to below if you want a really good discussion of it from Clayton himself.

  • CC

    Chikodi Chima

    almost 5 years ago #

    Great post @mijustin! Far too often founders and entrepreneurs your their features, when users just want to know the benefits. How does this help me save time/money? Tell me about the features after you've explained the important bits.

    Discovering hidden benefits is a bit trickier, like when McDonald's learned that people were buying milkshakes on the way to work, not only because they were hungry, but because the milkshake would last for the length of their car trip.

  • DT

    David Tuite

    almost 5 years ago #

    Business of Software have a fantastic talk by Clayton on their website: http://thebln.com/talk/the-job-your-product-does/

    He goes through the whole idea behind Jobs to Be Done and how to use it effectively. Highly recommended watch. Haven't read his book but I'm sure it's also fantastic.

  • VV

    Visakan Veerasamy

    almost 5 years ago #

    Thanks for writing this, Justin. I like how you dig into your own experiences for insights. I've always thought about doing that sort of thing myself, but I was deterred slightly by the notion that it would be 'subjective'. On hindsight, and upon looking at how you do it, I think what I'm missing is rigor in analysis. Hmmmm. Lots to think about.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • DR

    Dan Russell

    almost 5 years ago #

    thanks @mijustin - great article! I'm curious at what level of the sales process you decide to apply this "flipped" sales mentality. For example, you could have applied it to a coffee shop rather than a cup of coffee, which would have given you a more abstract answer of why people "hire" the coffee shop. It may be a more fundamental answer, but also less actionable.

    • JJ

      Justin Jackson

      almost 5 years ago #

      I think you still need to work in economic units: the tangible product I'm purchasing is a cup of coffee. That's the economic driver for the business: number of cups sold.

      The "experience" and the other jobs that the coffee is doing ultimately need to drive sales.

      What I love about coffee is that the physical space of the coffee shop became so much a part of the experience.

  • ME

    Morten Elk

    almost 5 years ago #

    For a very actionable way to take the "Jobs To Be Done" further in a structured process, I strongly recommend looking at "What Customers Want" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Customers-Want-Outcome-Driven-Breakthrough/dp/0071408673). I just went through it and it really provides a structured way to gather the important jobs or outcomes, do precise quantitative measurements and use that to inform decisions about the most important opportunities in your product or market. I have not seen a better shot at taking the really good JTBD thinking and moving from anecdotal information to a structured basis for decisions. Highly recommended.

  • NK

    Nitin Kaku

    almost 5 years ago #

    Loved the entire experience and story behind buying a cup of coffee. Understanding customer motivation and intention for purchasing your product / service is a great way to understand the practical benefits and subsequently employing those insights into marketing is the key to growth-hacking.

    Thank you so much @mijustin for taking the time out to write the article.

    PS : The video is not silly at all :)

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