On the podcast today, I had a bit of a fangirl moment. I’m talking to Jim Kalbach, the Chief Evangelist at MURAL and the author of Mapping Experiences. This book has greatly impacted me, and I’m excited to share this conversation with you. We will discuss aligning your marketing and offers around your customers’ needs. We will cover why it’s important, the role that empathy plays, and how to create a framework that makes the whole process easier.
Jim made me finally stop thinking I sucked at marketing. Instead, I started looking at my emotional intelligence and empathy as strengths instead of weaknesses, which was a game-changer. Let’s dive in.
Business Success Comes From Understanding Human Needs
The business of business is not all about money and numbers, a huge part of the business is the people. People make up a market—it’s not an entity all its own. So many startups fail because they don’t understand the market, which translates to not understanding people and their needs. In our conversation, we discuss people being irregular, irrational, and unpredictable. So, how can you get to the root of the needs? You need a framework.
Jobs To Be Done is a theory and framework that helps entrepreneurs and business owners work through the complexity of humans. The biggest mistake I see my audience make is selling what they want to sell instead of what people want to buy. Switch your framework to ask yourself what people are buying.
Jobs To Be Done Helps Shift Your Perspective
The perspective needs to shift from talking about a specific product or solution to talking about the problem that people are having. So many people are looking through the lens of their own product instead of through another person’s lens.
Jobs To Be Done gives you a consistent way to flip your perspective and see things from a different vantage point. It’s a framework for listening to the people you want to serve. You’ll be able to investigate and analyze the feedback and categorize it into buckets. Find out what the unmet needs are in the market. This is the key to product market fit. Once you figure this out, traditional marketing efforts will strike a different chord.
What I love about Jim Kalbach is that he has distilled the large body of work in Jobs To Be Done in some of the simplest ways. This helps my business because my clients are all wearing so many hats simultaneously. He gives a framework to understand these unmet needs in underserved markets.
Learn The Four Forces
One of my favorite concepts I learned in Jobs To Be Done that Bob Moesta made popular is the four forces. As innovators, we want to share an idea that people will pull into their own world and use it to solve a problem they have. It helps give perspective on why people might change and why they might resist.
First, you’ll look at the push factors that help potential customers and clients choose your product. One factor is when the current process or way isn’t working. This motivates you to move on. The other push factor is knowing that the new solution will help.
On the other hand, there are two pull factors. The first is overcoming the habit you’ve already built. Change can be incredibly difficult, so it needs to be acknowledged. The other pull factor is the anxiety of new solutions and uncertainty of the new choice.
By diving into these four forces, you’ll better understand the progress your customers are looking to make and why they are looking to make that progress, but also understand what might be pulling them away from the changes. This can help you overcome objections and create messaging that will reduce anxiety. We cannot control human behavior, but we can better understand human behavior and how we can be empathetic. So many innovations have failed because no one considered the concerns and anxieties of those needing to adopt them.
I Don’t Stink at Marketing and Other Learnings From Jobs To Be Done
Jim wrote the JTBD Playbook, which runs you through the different techniques in a simple format. Once you’ve done the research and learned more about the job performer is trying to accomplish, this playbook will help you put your research into buckets and begin to create action items.
Jobs To Be Done was an important tool for me in my business. I was able to get through the noise of the online coaching space to differentiate myself. I realized through the work that I should target business owners who don’t want to be in the 7- or 8-figure business. My ideal clients want to make money but also get paid and take home that money. It helped me narrow down, which many advise against, but I’m stronger when I’m more specific.
Egos are important for innovators and entrepreneurs, but there also needs to be an empathetic view of the work being done. When you listen to someone, listen as a human, not a business, and express what you’ve learned without including any solutions. That will help you notate the information as a fundamental human intent. Jobs To Be Done gives you the appropriate language and terms to listen to people and ask the right questions.
Doing this important work on your business and your ideas will help people adopt your product or service instead of just buying it. This means that you’re actually solving an unmet need instead of just making a sale. Your clients will refer others to you and be much happier with their decision to choose you. In return, you’ll gain important information about why people are buying and improve your offerings to meet people where they need you the most. Take the work out of making the decision and reduce the time in your sales funnel.
Final Advice from Jim Kalbach
Jobs To Be Done isn’t a magic spell. You definitely need to do the work. There is so much potential once you understand the human side. Instead of creating a product and finding a need, you should do it the other way around.
I asked Jim if he had any advice for listeners worried about the uncertainty of the economy, and he kept it simple. Just continue to pull the levers that you’ve already set up. Pause and take time to reflect on the unmet needs out there. Constantly answer the question, What’s the job people are trying to get done?