The Difference Between JTBD and Other Frameworks
The Difference Between JTBD and Other Frameworks

The Difference Between JTBD and Other Frameworks

@October 11, 2021

What's the difference between JTBD and other frameworks?

Many frameworks give a static snapshot in a story, i.e. a character or plot point

If I were to describe the folks I work with who are shopping for JTBD help with the common frameworks folks use to describe customers, here's what I might say about one group:

  • Persona: CEO, VP Product, VP Marketing, VP Growth, VP Onboarding
  • User Group: Strategic and economic decision-maker for the project
  • Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): A SaaS leader at a B2B SaaS company with 20-60 employees and >$10 million ARR
  • Pain point: Don't know how to out-compete larger firms, don't agree on customers
  • Task: Fix onboarding, fix retention, build ecosystem strategy, get team alignment
  • Customer journey map: Reads 3 articles, sends an email asking for help, has a call, maybe two, books a project
  • Desired Outcome: "Get an understanding of our customers" or "Get our team aligned" or "Grow metrics" or "Grow to $100 million ARR in 3 years"

JTBD gives you the whole story, i.e. the characters, beginning, middle, end, emotional, strategic, and logistical context of that story

If I were to tell you about this same group using the "job story" component of JTBD, here is what I would say. Or rather, here is what that person might say:

"Once upon a time, my team realized that increasing activation metrics is our biggest opportunity to grow the business. We formed an interdepartmental team with folks from product and marketing to focus on onboarding. That's when we realized that everyone had a different understanding of the customer we were building for.

"We needed a way to build on a single, shared, empirical understanding of our customers so we could get activation outcomes, define our ecosystem strategy, and grow the business, but we didn't know where to start - and we were afraid that our team of non-experts might make mistakes that kept us misaligned.

"That's when we decided to research JTBD experts to facilitate this process for us, so we could be sure we're following the best practices, getting the best outcomes, and getting buy-in from our team. We reached out to you because we heard you on a podcast and know that you specialize in the team-alignment side of research."

Traditional frameworks give us static snapshots of individuals in singular moments. They're helpful, but they're not the whole story that JTBD gives.