POWER OF FREE! #4: Feel Your Market in Intelligent Content Marketing: What’s Your Job To Be Done

I had that inside knowledge, what the real problem was that we were solving for people. If you understand what the real problem is, you can then take your product development proposition to address in the sense unseen facets of the relationship that actually get to the heart of how you’re solving their problems.


Now, I brought my expertise, if you can call it that to this, not through anything that I’ve learned from my intellectual heroes. But because back in 1998 1999, my business partner, mitre and I developed a product in Hong Kong, that was way ahead of its time, that had all the facets and features of a purple cow like this. And when we designed the actual product proposition, we broke it down into a certain series of steps in the way that we did subsequently, many, many years later, when we did the Hong Kong Visa Center. But after the fact, I learned that a very, very clever guy called Professor Clay Christensen, who actually who’s a Harvard Business professor, he’d actually enunciated all of this and written it into the literature. So what I want to do is play a five minute video of jobs.

Hi, my name is Clay Christensen. I’m a professor at the Harvard Business School. I brought with me a set of puzzles, all related to innovation.

We decided that the way we teach marketing is at the core of what makes motivation difficult to achieve. The most helpful way we’ve thought of it so far, is that we actually hire products to do things for us. And understanding what job we have to do in our lives for which we would hire a product is really the key to cracking this problem of motivating customers to buy what we’re offering. So I want to just to tell you a story about a project we did for one of the big fast food restaurants. They were trying to goose up the sales of their milkshakes. They had just studied this problem after the gazoo they brought in customers who fit the profile of the quintessential milkshake consumer. And they’d give them samples and asked, could you tell us how we can improve our milkshake? So you’d buy more of them?

Do you want to chocolatey or cheaper, chunky or chewy or make it very clear feedback, they would then improve the milkshake on those dimensions, and it had no impact on sales or profits whatsoever. So one of our colleagues went in with a different question on his mind. And that was, I wonder what job arises in people’s lives that caused them to come to this restaurant to hire a milkshake? So we stood in a restaurant for 18 hours one day and just took very careful data. What time did they buy these milkshakes? What were they wearing? Were they alone? Did they buy other food with it? Did they eat it in the restaurant or drive off with it? It turned out that nearly half of the milkshakes were sold before eight o’clock in the morning. The people who bought them were always alone. It was the only thing they bought, and they all got in the car and drove off with it. So to figure out what job they were trying to hire it to do. We came back the next day and stood outside the restaurant so we could confront these folks as they left no chicken hand. And in language that they could understand.

We essentially asked, excuse me, please, but I got to sort this puzzle out. What job were you trying to do for yourself that caused you to come here and hire that milkshake? And we’d struggle to answer so we’ve been help them by asking other questions like well think about the last time you were in the same situation, needing to get the same job done, but you didn’t come here to hire a milkshake. What did you hire? And then as we put all of their answers together, it became clear that they all had the same job to do in the morning. And that is they had a long and boring drive to work. And they just needed something to do while they drove to keep the commute interesting. One hand had to be on the wheel but some Giving them another hand and there wasn’t anything in it. And they just needed something to do while they drove. They weren’t hungry yet, but they knew they’d be hungry by 10 o’clock. So they also wanted something that would just pull down there and stay for their morning. Good question. What do I hire when they do this job? You know, I’ve never framed the question that way before. But last Friday, I heard a banana to do the job. Take my word for it, never hire bananas.

They’re gone in three minutes, you’re hungry by 730. If you promise not to tell my wife, I probably hire donuts twice a week. But they don’t do it. Well, either. They’re gone fast. They cram all over my clothes, they get my fingers gooey. Sometimes I hire bagels, but as you know, they’re so dry and tasteless. And I have to steer the car with my knees falling, putting jam on them. And then if the phone rings, we got a crisis. I remember I hired a Snickers bar once, but I felt so guilty. I’ve never hired Snickers again. Let me tell you when I come here and hire this milkshake, it is so viscous that it easily takes me 20 minutes to suck it up that thin little straw. Who cares what the ingredients are? I don’t. All I know is I’m full all morning. And it fits right here in my cup holder? Well, it turns out that the milkshake does the job better than any of the competitors, which in the customers minds are not Burger King, milkshakes, but it’s bananas, donuts, bagels, Snickers, bars, coffee, and so on. But I hope you can see how if you understand the job, how to improve the product becomes just obvious.

Sneezing what you can do, and you use scenarios through a different prism. So in our business, we know what our jobs to be done are. We know that actually what we’re selling is peace of mind. And that on route to peace of mind, there are fundamentally seven questions that every single person needs answers to. And and the first is, can you be successful? Can you make a life change? Can you get the visa that you’re looking for? Is it within the realm of possibility that this could happen to me in my life? So that’s the first job to be done. The second is, if you’re going to go through that process, what’s that experience? Like? Is it going to be smooth sailing? Is it going to be fraught with tension? Is it going to be legalistic? What impact will it have on your life? Will you be able to travel Do you have to stay? Do they keep your passport. The third job that has to be done for our clients is the paperwork. Bearing in mind that when you have an interaction with the Immigration Department, it’s an interaction you’re likely only to have once.

So you have no natural opportunity to any actor acquire any expertise in it. And so it also it always means that if you’re nervous of paperwork, and you’re not quite sure what the experience is going to be like it can be. It can be stressful experience. So our job to be done is can you manage the paperwork? In terms of the type of these that you’re applying for? Do you know what it takes to get approved? Can you promulgate that argument? Are you just relying on the application forms to steer you in the right direction? And if so do Do you understand whether those application forms are actually telling you what you really need to do? These are open questions. And some people simply don’t know how to how to argue their case. And then the final analysis, getting an approval is persuading the immigration department that you’re worthy of one. Do you understand the actual process? Do you know where you have to go in the Immigration Department?

You know which counter Do you know if there’s a quote is that what time do they open? What time do they close? All of these facets of actually having an immigration experience? Will the Immigration Department write to me? Will they fax to me? Will they standby or email? Will they call me out of the blue? And if they call me out of the blue? How should I respond? How do I know that I’m not saying something that’s going to upset the potential of me getting my visa given that your immigration experience will raise questions have you that will be vitally important for you to get right. Do you have the confidence to answer hard questions? Do you really understand when a question is being asked what’s being? what the reason is for that question being asked? And is it mission critical that you get the answer right or not? So these are all the jobs to be done in terms of the process and the hard questions and then ultimately what it’s all about, will you get approved?

Are you going to get the results that you need? And are you going to get the result that you need for people that are coming with you? So because we understand our market so well. We’ve been able to discern exactly what the jobs to be done our understanding that the ultimate thing that we are selling is peace of mind.


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