Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) + CRO

I’ll never forget the first time I understood the connection between site visitor data and conversion optimization (CRO). That was 11 years ago.

On November 15th, 2018 life took another turn. I attended a 2-day workshop by Bob Moesta for Jobs to Be Done (JTBD).

Jobs thinking isn’t exactly new. I read Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma in 2005. The book describes the famous McDonald’s milkshake insight. Watch this video:

It’s also not the first time I’ve heard Bob Moesta speak. I often share Bob’s condo story where he increased condo prices, added free storage + moving service, and ended up driving by condo sales 17%. Bob achieved this outcome by understanding the job condo buyers were trying to do. But it is the first time I fully acknowledged that conversion optimization without Jobs thinking is mostly meaningless.

I’m starting a new journey to fully understand Jobs-to-Be-Done from every angle. I’ll be reading a lot. I’ll be writing a lot. I’ll be thinking a lot.

What prompted me to look beyond A/B testing?

Trouble. Clients paid us to identify and fix site friction. A/B testing is a great program to make an existing page as good as it can be. We unearthed amazing counter-intuitive lessons about buyer psychology. Insights that gave clients an edge over the competition. But when I consider our impact beyond A/B testing I’m left disappointed. We haven’t been able to transform clients’ businesses inside out.

Hey, A/B testing isn’t bad. It’s an inexpensive way to start making scientific changes. It’s 100x better than not testing. But it can exclude the end customer from the process. Jobs thinking moves the spotlight to the actual buyer. In fact, Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) thinking doesn’t care about the product the business is trying to sell, it also doesn’t give a damn about the A/B tester (me). It only cares about the end buyer.

I still love A/B testing. I’ll still continue doing it. But I’m going to add JTBD thinking to our process.

I suspect everything is going to change, just like it did in 2007. If you’re interested in following our journey post a comment below and come along for the ride.

Have a great week.

10 thoughts on “Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) + CRO

  1. Sounds very interesting. Would love it if the bold items in your post were clickable links. A quick search brings up a few sites about JTBD and a $300 course including Bob Moesta.
    I’ll be reading as well and look forward to hearing more.

  2. Along the lines of “Getting the Job Done…” I entered my comment, email, etc. Got an error message that the email address I used was in use by someone else (me) and that I needed to enter the password. Entered my password and was presented with another wordpress screen saying to use my username instead of the email address (huh?). Did a forgot password . Reset my password. And was able to — finally — post my comment.

    • Yikes. I’ve had a whale of a problem with WordPress and can’t edit it. But thank you for jumping the extra hoops to post your comment. I’m going to move my blog to Frictionless-commerce.com and that will give me better control. Will keep you posted. Will also keep you posted on my JTBD (jobs to be done) journey.

  3. Excellent insights Rishi!
    Fascinating video and how McDonald’s discovered the real reason people were buying milkshakes so early in the morning.

    Kind of reminds me of why people go to the hardware store to buy a drill. It’s not the drill they want, but the hole. The Job To Be Done.

    Ok, now I have to think about how I can apply this to my jewelry website.

    Thanks Rishi!

    • We should talk and I can teach you the interrogation technique I learned at the workshop. You need to identify a few recent new buyers on your site and interview them. The insights will shock you. The interview process is very specific. Email me when you’re ready and I’ll set a time to discuss. I know you’ll love it. We can even interview a few people together.

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