- PMM Camp
- #51: The PMM's Guide to JTBD
#51: The PMM's Guide to JTBD
How to use Jobs To Be Done to design customer-centric marketing
Every product marketer knows: you need to market the benefit, not the feature.
Last week, I had a chat with my friend Kristie, a fractional CMO, who pushed me to expand my thinking even further.
She’s an expert at Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) - a framework everyone has heard of but almost no one understands how to use properly.
Jobs To Be Done is the concept that people hire your product to do a job (more on this later). And when you understand the job or the outcome the customer is trying to achieve, this allows you to market to them in a way that will resonate because you understand the context that surrounds that job.
At the end of the day, it’s all about storytelling. When you know the bigger picture, you can build a narrative around it.
You’re putting the customer and their life at the heart of the story (it’s about them, not you). And everyone wants to be the main character.
Today, I’m going to share Kristie’s approach to identifying your customers’ Jobs To Be Done and how you can turn these insights into compelling go-to-market.
Let’s jump in.
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The PMM’s Guide to JTBD
I asked Kristie to walk me through how product marketers can use Jobs To Be Done to drive go-to-market initiatives like segmentation, roadmap development and customer marketing.
Here’s a recap of our conversation (liiiiiightly edited and summarized by me).
What is the difference between a regular customer interview and a JTBD interview?
There are pieces of a discovery, win/loss or case study call that may appear in a JTBD interview, but the JTBD interview will be much more comprehensive. It tends to be longer and will cover the complete view of the situation, pain points and desired outcomes. It’s about pulling back the layers and getting to the root of what motivates them (not just functionally, but emotionally and socially too).
When should a PMM use this framework?
Jobs To Be Done can be used anytime you are joining a new company, you’re launching a new product, or you want to improve the conversion rate of your existing marketing (ie. your ads aren’t converting). If you’re new to a role and want to come up to speed quickly, running JTBD interviews will get you onboarded fast.
Ideally you want to interview someone who has bought from you in the past three months as their insights will be most fresh.
How do you know when you’ve done enough interviews?
Start off with a minimum of 5 interviews. Create a chart (like the one below) and fill it in using the customer’s own words. Start to look for trends and patterns. If you see a trend 3 times, you’re most likely on to something. You may want to continue doing a few more interviews to further validate, or you may choose to start turning this into messaging. But, if you’ve done 5 interviews and there are no trends, then you can do another batch of 5 interviews. Still no signal? Do 5 more.
Source: Kristie Holden
Do you need to do JTBD interviews with paying customers?
It doesn’t always have to be buyers. When working with early stage tech startups, they might not even have customers. You can complete these interviews before you even start designing or building the product. You can’t follow the exact same list of questions, but you can focus on the industry, role and company size you think you want to start with. Find 5 of those people via your network, and then start asking questions to validate your assumptions on their pain points.
What do most product marketers get wrong about JTBD?
The first mistake is interviewing the wrong type of buyer - interviewing customers who purchased more than 6 months ago or customers who do not fit the definition of their ideal target market.
The second mistake is sticking too much to the script. Not digging deep enough to get to the emotional or social part of the job (this can feel uncomfortable but gets easier with practice).
The third mistake is paraphrasing what the customer has said. You need to record the interview and then use the exact words and phrasing that you heard. This is what will ensure it resonates with the customer when they see it in your marketing materials.
What questions should we ask in these interviews to uncover the right insights?
Here are a few of the top questions to bookmark:
Can you tell me about when you first realized you needed something like the service I offer?
What problems were you having/struggling with?
How were you trying to solve the problem at the time?
What wasn’t working? Why wasn’t it working?
Was there a specific trigger that caused you to start looking for a way to solve the problem?
What was the ideal outcome you wanted to achieve?
Why was that important to you?
Kristie was a wealth of knowledge, and I’m personally excited to put her framework to use on my next set of customer interviews. I’ll be using it to better understand the JTBD of the customers for the coaching arm of PMM Camp.
Want to dig deeper yourself? Grab Kristie’s free Guide To Jobs to Be Done Interviews ✨ It includes what to ask, what not to ask, how to summarize the findings, and more!
📚 Reading List: Kristie Holden’s free Guide to Job To Be Done Interviews
🎧 Playlist: Listen to Mark and I dig into why PMMs have an entrepreneurial edge in the newest episode of the Product Marketing Life Podcast
Until next week,
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