Jobs-to-be-done marketing is a concept based around business owners putting themselves in the shoes of their customers and think of the jobs that need to be done during the day. If we can make one of these jobs quicker, cheaper or easier, then we have created something of value for the customer.
“The jobs-to-be-done point of view causes you to crawl into the skin of your customer and go with her as she goes about her day, always asking the question as she does something: Why did she do it that way?” – Clayton M. Christensen is Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
The concept proposes that markets may not be broken nicely into easy to define segments rather that consumers go about their day and have a number of jobs to be done. The idea is that businesses should create products and services that help these jobs to be done.
A case in point is when a fast food outlet introduced a new milkshake to its customers and was investigating why, after an expensive marketing campaign, sales were still slow. 40% of purchases were in the morning so they asked customers their opinions. To their surprise the main reason was not the taste, price or convenience. It was because most of the customers faced a long, boring commute and needed something to keep that extra hand busy and to make the commute more interesting.
The company could then respond by creating a morning “Commuter” milkshake that was even thicker (to last through a long commute) and more interesting (with chunks of fruit) than its predecessor. The company also responded to another “job” the milkshake would do, to treat small children, so they created a thinner milkshake for kids.
In this way they based their milkshake product not by normal market segmentation or taste ( thick, thin, chunky, smooth, fruity, chocolaty) but by what their customers had to do and how the milkshake fitted into their jobs to be done during the day.
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