Many aspiring entrepreneurs commit failure by making a fatal error before starting. It has to do with defining the market they want to pursue. Although a clear and precise market definition is required for success, an effective market definition process is frequently lacking in the innovator’s toolkit.
What’s fascinating is that entrepreneurs define the markets they serve using a variety of seemingly random classification schemes. Some innovators choose to create markets centered on a single product.
As entrepreneurs gain a better understanding of their customers, they may decide to change the concept of their product, target a different vertical, demographic, or customer activity, or incorporate new technology into their solution.
How to define a market?
Markets must be defined using words, ideally conveying useful information to innovators, assisting them in their startup endeavors. We’ve spent many years debating what constitutes the “perfect” market definition. We came to the following conclusion:
A market should be defined so that…
It becomes a constant rather than a variable in the product/market fit equation. It does not change as the market research unfolds.
It has remained stable over time. It does not vanish when new solutions or technologies emerge, making it a viable long-term focal point for value creation.
It is distinct and unambiguous in comparison to any other market.
Begin by identifying your target audience
This includes people who would not normally buy the product or service your company provides.
Journalists, bloggers, and podcasters are among those who create content for your target market.
Consider the following jobs that your target audience might perform on Google on a given day:
- Attending a conference later in the year.
- Looking for statistics, trends, graphs, and images to include in a presentation.
- Answering technical questions in their immediate field.
- While creating their own, they are looking for examples of plans or roadmaps.
- For inspiration, best practices, and industry news, look for written books, authors, influencers, and podcasts.
- Investigate tools to improve their daily operations.
User stories for JTBD
Instead of worrying about demographic data, a user story format can assist in determining three fundamentals:
- I’d like to.
- As a result, I can.
Consider the target audience’s situation, motivation, and desired outcome, and create user stories that used to inform content creation.
JTBD for existing customer
SEO isn’t just for prospect marketing.
You can use the JTBD framework to figure out what your existing customers are trying to achieve – and then create content to help them achieve it.
You can find a wealth of ideas for new content to help existing customers by looking at support chat logs, help desk tickets, community questions, and other places where existing customers indicate the jobs they’re attempting to complete.
Job To Be Done market definition.
If you are planning a product for your startup, you have already assumed a market but may not have formally defined it. The Definition of the Jobs-to-Be-Done Market is intended to assist you in determining the market you are in or have chosen to serve via a Jobs-to-be-Done lens.
The definition can be completed for each constituent in the distribution chain, including the end-user, for component manufacturers who sell to OEMs or are at the top of a long distribution chain, as each constituent has its unique job to do.
Traditional market definition
What product/service/idea are you looking to innovate?
The market definition process begins with something you’re already familiar with: a product focus. “What is the product, service, or idea you want to innovate around?” we ask. You use this as a starting point because the following steps will help you transition from a product perspective to a jobs-to-be-done perspective of your market.
Determination of job executor
Who is putting the product to use?
This is where the transformation begins. To get a job, ask yourself or your sales and marketing team members who use your product (or who would use it once it is released).
This step aims to reveal a diverse set of potential product users. So, make a list of all the people who use or would use the product of interest to extract its value. Keep in mind that we are only interested in stating the job executors. Only job executors should be listed, not influencers, economic buyers, people who support the product throughout its lifecycle, or other customer types.
Abstracted Job executor
What overarching term can be used to categorize all the different types of people who use the product to get things done?
With a list of all the distinctive categories of people who are currently or may soon be using your product, define the one overarching term that can be used to classify or describe all of these people as a single group. Remember, a market is defined as a group of people plus the job to be done. Try not to use the actual job title when describing the Group of people. Instead, look for an all-encompassing term that encompasses all job executors, which is typically a higher-level, generic term.
Function of the product
What “job” is the product/idea/service you want to assist the job executor in accomplishing?
People do not have jobs to do; products do. However, to uncover the targeted Group’s job-to-be-done, it is often helpful to begin by understanding what function/job the product in question performs.
You can work with your product team to make this determination, or you can go directly to the “group” of people (defined in step 4) and ask the question:
Will the product or service you have in mind help you achieve in terms of functionality?
Other products used and their function
What other products are people using in addition to the product? What “job” are the other products performing?
To get a sense of the overall job your customer is attempting to complete, ask them what other products they use immediately before, during, and after using your product/service.
Abstracted Job Statement
What core functional job do they claim to be attempting to complete, While looking through a job executor’s eyes?
Putting all the puzzle pieces together reveals the customer’s ultimate job to be done at the appropriate level of abstraction. Assume your product is completing a task. Assume that these other products are being used to complete the entire job.
You want to illustrate your customer’s job-to-be-done in a way that includes your product’s function (job) and rationalizes why customers are cobbling together a complete solution.
You could have described the “group of people” in more than one way. You will make and document your final decision here. Choose a label that accurately represents all types of people who will use your product, service, or idea. To be more inclusive, you could use the term surgeons instead of cardiac surgeons or tradespeople instead of tradesmen. Other examples include educators having an advantage over teachers, accountants having an advantage over tax preparers, and consumers having an advantage over adults.
It is critical to define the “group of people” before defining the job to be done because you will be interviewing representatives of the Group to determine how they define the job they are attempting to complete.
If you have numerous versions of the job statement, work with job executors to reach an agreement on the best version. Your customer’s job has been properly abstracted.
Your market = Group of people (Step Four) + Job-to-be-Done (Step Eight)
You’re now in a strong place to iterate quickly during the startup process — and more reliably succeed in your market — because your market is clearly defined around a stable point of value creation.
- Consider the JTBD framework when planning content for your website, and be ready to move beyond basic keyword research techniques.
- Begin with the people you are creating content with – who is your target audience?
- Think about common small or large tasks that these people may face daily at work.
- Make useful content available when they inevitably turn to Google to complete those tasks.
Marketers can use the JTBD framework to identify good topics and keywords with lower search volume and competition than head terms but generate higher quality visits.
A target audience is attempting to complete an infinite number of tasks, from small to large. A brand can develop a trusted relationship with prospects before they are ready to buy by creating great content. When the prospect is ready to make a purchase, this will translate into more sales.
Jobs-to-be-Done assists marketers in determining what exactly their customers want to align the entire organization around a clear and consistent messaging strategy that addresses the issue:
- Segment your audiences based on their unmet needs to uncover hidden pockets of opportunity.
- Determine the best growth strategy.
Rather than focusing on data points such as age or gender, the Jobs to be Done framework directs the marketer’s attention to the problems that the target audience is attempting to solve.
People of all ages and genders have tasks to complete and turn to Google for assistance.
The job to be done in product development and direct marketing may be very much related to the product itself.
However, the framework’s application is not limited to jobs the product can solve.
For SEO, it is perhaps best applied to the small tasks that a prospect may complete throughout the day.