Get to know your customers with Jobs to be Done

Have you ever wondered what your customers are trying to achieve by using your product? What role does your product play for them? The better you can answer these questions, the better you understand your customers. Understanding your customers is key in attracting new ones. Let’s dive in and take a look at the Jobs to be Done framework to bring this into practice.

Successful sellers and businesses know that people generally aren’t interested in you – they’re interested in what you can do for them. And yet, many sellers and marketers often fall into the trap of only talking about themselves in order to promote themselves.

The problem with inside-out marketing

Often touting all of their amazing features, many growth professionals forget the most important ingredient in persuading anyone to buy from them. That is understanding what role their product or service plays in their customers’ lives.

The key in understanding this is to find and define the moment that someone realized what they wanted to achieve. So how do you get there, and what does this mean for your business? You’ll need to talk to your customers and have them answer the following questions.

Questions to answer

  1. Why did you buy it?
  2. How long did you think about it before buying it?
  3. What triggered you to buy it?
  4. Have you thought about buying it without actually doing it, pre-purchase?
  5. How did you achieve the desired outcome before using our product?
  6. When did you realize there is a solution?

The answer to these questions helps you setting up a realistic customer journey – the journey composed of thoughts, events, and actions someone goes through in which your product or service plays a role. You might find trigger events you didn’t expect, which is great because that means you can start focussing your marketing and sales efforts on touchpoints that are relevant to new potential buyers.

Buyers often go through a complex journey from their first thought until the moment of purchase. You also have to make sure that your customers are actually satisfied after purchase, instead of their purchase being just another step in their journey towards your competitor.

Creating a Job to be Done

Now that you know your customers’ lived experience, it’s time to describe their Job to be Done. Stick to this simple template and complete it as accurately as possible.

As a <identification>,

When I <do/experience>,

I want <something>,

So I can <achieve result>

A well-known example for Jobs to be Done theory is fast food – a simple product at first glance, yet it has a deeper meaning for someone like a busy commuter.

As a commuter,

When I go to work in the morning,

I want quick and easy access to food,

So I can directly start working without having to think about food for the first couple of hours.

For more complex products such as those in tech, Jobs to be Done can get very specific. Having ideal customer profiles and buyer personas really helps with this exercise, so create those if you haven’t yet. Once you’ve defined your Jobs to be Done, focus your marketing, sales, and product development efforts on satisfying your persona’s desired outcome. Your customers will thank you, and you’ll grow in the process.

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