Step 2: Customer Outcomes (JTBD)

Step 2: Define the desired Customer Outcomes (JTBD)

Job to be Done

A study of 30,000 startups that Harvard Business Review did several years ago, they found by a very wide margin that lack of market segmentation or customer definition as the number one reason for product/company failure. This is why it is not good enough to define a market based on just a broad demographic. It is even not enough to say making you more productive and efficient. There are a million apps that do that and seldom do they deliver. The cost of change is steeper than the cost of non-adoption. What we are really after is to create a value proposition that speaks to a need that someone has and are unhappy with their present solution.

If you are only offering an alternative to their current solution it can be very difficult no matter how much better it is. If you have to convince them to innovate and think differently, it still can be a difficult proposition. If they do not have anything to compare, they will create something. So, the alternative is to find a sweet spot that makes a viable offering.  What is needed is a customer, a situation that your solution solves that cannot live without your product. If you do not have that, all the marketing in the world may not get you there.

Tony Ulwick has turned jobs-to-be-done theory into the world’s most powerful innovation process: Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI). This patented innovation process is the cornerstone of their success. Tony has evolved the innovation process from art to a science. first introducing his work in What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services, and now taking it to another level in his new book, Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice.

Companies must understand that customers hire your products, services, software, and ideas to get jobs done. People that can dissect those jobs to discover the innovation opportunities that are the key to growth.

They use a method called job mapping to break down the tasks the customer wants to be done with a series of process steps. By deconstructing a job from beginning to end, a company gains a complete view of all the points at which a customer might desire more help from a product or service—namely, at each step in the job. Then, with a job map in hand, a company can analyze the biggest drawbacks of the products and services customers currently use. Job mapping also gives companies a comprehensive framework with which to identify the metrics customers themselves use to measure success in executing a task.

The goal of creating a job map is not to find out how the customer is executing a job—that only generates maps of existing activities and solutions. Instead, the aim is to discover what the customer is trying to get done at different points in executing a job and what must happen at each juncture in order for the job to be carried out successfully.

Jobs to be Done

I use JTBD thinking in my interviews and developing a value proposition. I find having a strong value proposition and precise value statements when you are calling or emailing is imperative.

I try to achieve the JTBD information in the interviews that I do, which I would think if we could do a few that would be our first steps in solidifying a value proposition.

JTBD Interview Questions

  1. What jobs are people trying to get done by hiring our products/services?
  2. What are the eventual outcomes they want by doing these jobs?
  3. Is this the primary job or is it one step in a chain of jobs?
  4. What are the jobs that lead into this?
  5. What jobs does this create for themselves and others? Who else will benefit?
  6. What environments are they in when performing their jobs?
  7. What restrictions do they face in performing their job?
  8. From their point of view, how happy/unhappy are they with the outcomes they are achieving in getting their jobs done?
  9. What advice could they give us and who else should we talk to?

We tie the value proposition to the driving force of customer change. These are typically called the four forces effecting a customer decision process:

  1. The Push of the Current Situation
  2. The Pull of the New Solution
  3. The Anxiety of the New Solution
  4. The Allegiance to the Current Situation

Going a little deeper if we can tie it and quantify it to a particular job they are trying to do this really turns a few heads as they can see themselves or attached themselves much easier to the product/service.

JTBD: (Direction + or -) (the unit of measure) (outcome desired)

Example: Minimize the likelihood of scratching the surface

If we can understand the job the customer actually needs done, it opens a wide range of possibilities for us. Not just in innovation but the ability to clarify our value proposition and key differentiators. It also enables us to offer real value in our marketing process and to identify other strategic partners.  To be done correctly, JTBD can take some time. If you would like more information, please send me a note.

I followed up with Ulwick’s latest video on JTBD thinking. It is a little heavy for professional service people but the idea fits well with the Funnel of Opportunity (FoO). The value is in the use of our products/services. It is what Vargo & Lusch introduced in Service-Dominant Logic and I explained in this video,

Information on Jobs-to-be-Done

Take 30 minutes to watch it here at your convenience:

Also, the accompanying white paper, The Jobs-to-be-Done Growth Strategy Matrix is now available here:–/5htsbt/625023738

These resources will help you learn how disruptive strategy and other growth strategies are better explained through a jobs-to-be-done lens.

Beginning: Funnel of Opportunity Introduction

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