Using Jobs to be Done findings to pick your strategy and reach your customers

Evelien Al
April 28, 2017

In my last post I gave three steps for kickstarting your Jobs to be Done discovery. But what can you do with Jobs to be Done once you’ve found them? Here I’m going to cover your next steps and the many ways in which you can use Jobs to be Done to select promising opportunities, set out your service development strategy and shape your marketing and customer journey.

For reading up on JTBD theory you can check out this article.

Step 1: Select Jobs to be Done that offer the best opportunities

You have probably discovered several Jobs to be Done. But how do you decide which ones offer the best opportunities?

You want to make a service that people will use. That’s why it’s important to understand the forces that make people look for and adopt a new solution. The forces diagram as illustrated by offers a great visualisation of this:


Here, pushes are what make people go out and look for a new solution and **pulls **are what convinces people to start using a certain solution. When looking for a new way to commute to work a **push **might be “It takes too long” and a pull might be “It is environment-friendly”.

But there are two forces working in the opposite direction. Pushes have to be strong enough to overcome allegiance to current behaviour. It’s easy to stick to an old solution because it’s ‘good enough’. In this case are unlikely to even start considering a new solution. After that the pull** **of your service has to override the anxiety of new solutions. People will have to invest time and energy into getting used to your solution. You need to convince them that the benefits of using your service are worth it.

Why is this important when picking JTBDs to focus on? If there are not enough pushes present it’s unlikely that people will start looking for a new solution, and therefore, stumble upon your solution. And if the investment people will have to make in a new solution is high you will have to create big benefits of using your service. Note: The last is often the case in B2B settings. Switching over to a new solution as an organisation is often more time and energy-consuming than as an individual.

So what are promising signs?

  • People are experiencing many pushes that drive them to look for a new solution.
  • People are using cobbled up solutions because no solution can get their Job Done in itself.
  • People are using services not intended for that goal at all (and probably not optimised for it as well) as it’s ‘the best they can get’.
  • People are expressing high energy when talking about their Job to be Done: This shows it is important to them!

What are **not so promising **signs?

  • People experience few pushes with current solutions.
  • The time and energy people have invested in current solutions is high, and switching to another solution would be costly.
  • People express little energy and do not expand much on the topic. In this case they probably care little about finding a new solution as it’s not important enough to them.

Do not take these as strict rules on what Jobs to be Done to pursue. B2B solutions will always have to overcome more anxiety towards new solutions, but that does not mean they will never switch. But if you’ve found several Jobs to be Done and are doubting which ones to focus on you can use these as guidelines.

Step 2: Run experiments to back up your findings

By running experiments you can back up your Jobs to be Done with data and make sure you’re picking the ones that really exist. In other words: Is the problem you found a problem worth solving?

You can run experiments to:

  • See how interested people are in your solution. Make for example a landing page advertising a solution for the Job to be Done you found, and see how many people visit or/and sign up.
  • See how willing people are to pay for a solution to their Job to be Done. Ask them to sign up for a plan for example.

On a side note: You can also use online experiments to test the channels via which to best reach your customers.

Step 3: Choose a Jobs to be Done strategy to pursue

You can choose different strategies when designing for Jobs to be Done.

You can focus on core job growth: Focussing on making better solutions for the Jobs to be Done you have uncovered. Do this by focussing on resolving pains customers have with current solutions.

You can also focus on related job growth: People are often trying to get done multiple things at the same time. For example reading the news to get informed ánd entertained. You can create value by enabling your users to get several Jobs Done at the same time.

Focussing on disruptive job growth: Sometimes Jobs to be Done are well met for one group of people, but not available to another one because of price, accessibility, etc. In this case you can focus on making the current solution available to these people as well.

Step 4: Use your Jobs to be Done to shape your customer journey

Jobs to be Done research focusses on drawing out the timeline surrounding the ‘hiring’ of a service, with the big hire being the moment of buying, and the small hires being the moments of using the service. The timeline gives an image of all the factors that influence the choice for a certain service, including the place someone goes to, the people that are involved, the pains and gains a customer experiences.

This is perfect for shaping your customer journey. Use your Jobs to be Done to draw out storyboards chronicling the timeline surrounding the hiring of the service, including all the pains and gains the customer experiences. This storyboard can serve as inspiration for creating or improving your customer journey.

In case you already have a customer journey in place, draw that one out as well in a storyboard and put it next to your ‘ideal’ customer journey. Comparing these can quickly give you a clue on where on how you should improve it.

You can check out this article and video to see how Airbnb uses storyboarding to optimise their customer journey.

Step 5: Use your Jobs to be Done to improve your marketing

Jobs to be Done give you clues on where and how to reach your customers. What websites are they using when searching for a solution to their Job to be Done? With what terms do they search? What sources are they most likely to trust? Use this as a strategy to reach your target group as best as possible.

After you’ve reached your customers you want to convince them that your service can help them. Do so by focussing on what Job your service can get Done, rather than on the product and its specifics. Many launching campaigns make the mistake of just listing product characteristics without mentioning what you can actually use it for.

Another great way to use Jobs to be Done in your marketing is using specific quotes from your interviews to ‘talk in the voice of the customer’. By using words they are also using customers will more quickly understand you.

Jobs to be Done serve as your blueprint

Jobs to be Done help you to create real value for people, by focussing on their wishes and goals. It’s not just useful for product design. If Jobs to be Done research is done well it will give you rich information that you can use to align all aspects of your service development, including strategy and marketing. As Clayton Christensen mentions in his book Competing Against Luck, this is how Jobs to be Done can give your company an advantage that can’t be beaten: By optimising not only your product, but the entire experience surrounding it and all the parts that play a role in creating it.

Here I’ve given some suggestions on how to go about this. But Jobs to be Done can be used in many other ways, so I challenge you to get creative and explore all the ways in which you can leverage the Jobs to be Done framework.