- On July 25, 2016
- In Customer Needs, Innovation, Jobs-to-be-done, JTBD
- By Rob Schade
The jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) model for innovation has emerged as the strongest tool for identifying new and disruptive growth opportunities. Leading companies use this model to discover opportunities in emerging markets and mature markets alike. In emerging markets think about how NEST is using JTBD thinking to find new growth opportunities in the home automation and the Internet of Things (IoT). In mature markets, consider how companies like P&G are able to discover a billion dollar market in the extremely mature home cleaning market with their introduction of Swiffer. No doubt, the JTBD innovation model is an amazing tool for uncovering new growth opportunities.
But JTBD insights can and should also be used beyond innovation. Marketing, for example, can use JTBD insights to help clearly message product/service benefits and to capture customer’s attention. Instead of the “speeds and feeds” of the product’s features (see the product description of the Canon EOS Rebel T5 below), marketing should focus on what the product or service will help consumers accomplish.
Speeds and Feeds – This tells us little about why we should buy this camera.
The new 5-hour Energy marketing campaign demonstrates how a company can effectively use JTBD thinking in their product messaging. You can see a recent commercial below:
What this commercial does well is link the energy boosting effects of 5-hour Energy to the jobs that people want to get done with more energy. For example, a woman says it “motivates her workout”, a young woman says “it gets me through finals”, and a man says “it helps me keep up with my kids”. The ad only focuses on what 5-hour Energy enables people to accomplish (their jobs) – not that it is quick and easy to consume, has zero sugar, has B-vitamins…etc.
Interestingly, the focus on jobs in this commercial is consistent with research we’ve done for a major snack food company. We looked at the “jobs” customers wanted accomplish as they consumed snack foods. In total, we identified over 60 jobs! These included things like:
- Recover from a strenuous workout
- Relieve boredom
- Get a midday energy boost
- Improve mental focus
- Help sleep at night
- Have enough energy to play with my kids
As you can see, there are similarities with the 5-hour Energy jobs. I do think, however, that the 5-hour Energy commercials could be more explicit in how jobs are described. For example, in this video below, a business man says “my 5-hour is all business”. Instead they could have had the businessman say – “my 5-hour helps me excel during those important meetings”. By tying 5-hour energy’s benefit to these specific jobs of life, people learn how 5-hour Energy can help them.
The power of this type of advertising is that it connects to the WHY a consumer should care about your product. It allows consumers to see what it will help them accomplish. And based upon our prior snack food research, we know there are many more important jobs that 5-hour Energy can capitalize on marketing campaigns built around the JTBD – so this model can have a great long-term impact.
Likewise, in some launch-strategy consulting work we did for a telemedicine company, we captured and prioritized the “jobs” that people would like to use telemedicine for. For this company’s launch campaign, it was critical to educate potential users on which “jobs” (health concerns) would be ideal for this new, telemedicine solution. In total, we prioritized 32 jobs for which consumers would consider using a telemedicine solution.
Those jobs included:
- Get a quick assessment of what might be causing a symptom, e.g., tingling, pain, etc.
- Discuss any issues with a chronic condition or treatment
- Get insight into general health issues for a certain age in life
As our client launches their solution, the initial goal is to get consumers comfortable with when (in which instances) they should call upon this new type of healthcare delivery method. Once they capture consumers’ attention, they can then share with them how much faster, cheaper and convenient telemedicine can be for these specific jobs. But leading with speeds and feeds is putting the cart before the horse. Grab attention with jobs; then build confidence with product features that add credibility.