“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”
The first time that I came across the term “jobs-to-be-done” (JTBD) was in Clay Christensen’s classic book Competing Against Luck where he introduced the idea of looking at customers, competitors, and other factors differently to make innovation more predictable and profitable. Many marketing professionals started to understand the possibilities of using the JTBD lens more strategically because of this book. In his introduction, Christensen states:
“As W. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality movement that transformed manufacturing, once said: ’If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.’ After decades of watching great companies fail over and over again, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is, indeed, a better question to ask: What job did you hire that product to do?”
Indeed, Christensen’s introduction to Competing Against Luck is entitled “Why you Should Hire This Book.” Many qualified authors and businesspeople have used and advanced the basic concept of JTBD to operationalize it effectively.
In the world of financial services, however, it seems now is a critical time for companies to leverage JTBD as a catalyst for growth.
For many traditional investment and general financial services firms there is a clear challenge to stay competitive with fintech as payments, investments, lending, and banking needs become ever more embedded. Applying a JTBD lens to meet consumer goals is the way to face that challenge.”
Using JTBD one embedded financial transaction at a time.
It seems to me that embedded finance is great example of using the JTBD lens. Consider how the micro investing platform Acorns allows users to invest spare change to grow their portfolios. The key job that Acorns fulfills here is” grow my investments continually.” Everything is done in the background, and the job is embedded into every purchase. Job done!
For many traditional investment and general financial services firms there is a clear challenge to stay competitive with fintech as payments, investments, lending, and banking needs become ever more embedded. Applying a JTBD lens to meet consumer goals is the way to face that challenge.
Consider the consumer’s point of view.
Critically, the successful use of a JTBD lens requires a customer-centric approach to innovation-led growth. Within the world of insights, understanding people’s goals and how they are trying to meet them allows companies to systematically and predictably identify opportunities to create products and services that deliver significant and sustainable value.
At Radius, we use this lens in several ways that lead to growth:
- Get more jobs done.
- Create meaningful innovations to fill need gaps.
- Get jobs done better.
- Bring in new audiences with compelling offerings.
By taking this perspective, we help our clients uncover strategies that deliver value to their customers by satisfying underserved goals or overcoming key obstacles. Our tried and trusted journey mapping approach allows our clients to have faith in using JTBD because it:
- Defines the jobs by functional, emotional, and social parameters
- Outlines the steps in the process
- Identifies pain points at every step
- Determines needs per step
- Identifies current processes, products, or compensating behaviors
- Synthesizes learnings
- Ideates solutions
This approach has helped countless brands, including in the financial services sector, find meaningful growth at a time when many industries are facing transformational change. If you would like to find out more about how to use a JTBD approach to finding growth opportunities, please contact us today for a discussion around your needs.
Learn about Innovation Sprint™ and how it can help financial services firms drive activation.
Contact us to learn more about our innovative approach.