THE INSIGHT BEHIND THIS WAY OF THINKING IS THAT CUSTOMERS DON'T REALLY BUY PRODUCTS. THEY "HIRE" THEM TO DO A JOB. INSTEAD OF ASKING WHAT PRODUCTS CUSTOMERS WANT TO BUY, WE ASK WHAT ARE THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEMS CUSTOMERS HOPE TO ADDRESS.
While traditional market research segments markets by product, size, demographics, or some other easily applied category, I use the jobs-to-be-done approach to tap into what really drives customer behaviour. We don’t go through life conforming to particular demographic segments: nobody buys a product because he is an eighteen to twenty-five-year-old white male getting a college degree. That may be correlated with a decision to buy this product instead of that one, but it doesn’t cause us to buy anything.
INSTEAD, PERIODICALLY WE FIND THAT SOME JOB HAS ARISEN IN OUR LIVES THAT WE NEED TO DO, AND WE THEN FIND SOME WAY TO GET IT DONE. I LOOK FOR CAUSALITY.