Jobs to be Done (JTBD)

What is the Jobs to be Done (JTBD) Framework?

The Jobs To Be Done(JTBD) theory provides a framework for understanding customer needs based on a simple, yet powerful insight: “Organizations purchase products and services to get a job done”.

Failure to address genuine customer needs is one of the leading causes of failure for B2B SaaS start-up companies. The JTBD framework empowers SaaS product and marketing teams to clearly define customer needs by understanding the jobs their customers are trying to get done and the metrics their customers use to measure success. 

By embracing the JTBD framework, SaaS companies can develop a stronger shared understanding of what their customers need and which of those needs are unmet. As a result, they can achieve better sales and marketing alignment, focus, and product-market fit that leads to revenue growth and business success.

The JTBD framework breaks down every target position into a series of daily tasks and responsibilities your brand is meant to help with/improve.

What is the JTBD Theory Framework?

The JTBD theory provides a framework that can help SaaS product and marketing leaders understand their customers and the jobs they need to get done. 

JTBD theory defines three categories of customers for B2B SaaS companies and five types of jobs that those customers are trying to accomplish.

Three Types of Customers

  1. The Job Executor – The Job Executor is the person who will use your SaaS product to execute on the Core Functional Job(s) required in their role. 
  2. The Product Lifecycle Support Team – The Product Lifecycle Support Team includes everyone who participates in the installation, repair, maintenance, upgrade, and decommissioning of your SaaS product throughout its life cycle. The Product Lifecycle Support Team is responsible for executing consumption chain jobs.
  3. The Buyer – The Buyer is the person who makes the financial decision of whether to purchase your SaaS product. The Buyer is responsible for executing the purchase decision job.

Five Types of Jobs

These three categories of customers have a total of five types of  jobs they need to get done. 

  1. Core Functional Job – The Core Functional Job is the underlying process or objective that a Job Executor needs to get done. The existence of a Core Functional Job is what creates a genuine market need for a SaaS product that helps the Job Executor get the job done faster and cheaper than before.  
  2. Related Jobs – Related Jobs are peripheral Functional Jobs that must be completed by the Job Executor. A solution that helps the Job Executor complete Related Jobs, in addition to the Core Functional Job, may be perceived as more valuable in the marketplace.
  3. Emotional Jobs – Emotional Jobs describe how the Job Executor wants to experience the process of executing the Core Functional Job using your SaaS product, including how they want to be perceived and how they want to feel. Understanding Emotional Jobs and desired outcomes can help marketers develop unique value propositions that connect strongly with Job Executor personas.
  4. Consumption Chain Jobs – Consumption Chain Jobs are those executed by the product lifecycle support team to maximize the value of your SaaS product throughout its lifecycle.
  5. The Purchase Decision Job – The Purchase Decision job is executed by the Buyer, who may use performance metrics, financial analysis, and other tools to determine which solution in the marketplace offers the best value. Understanding the motivations and desired outcome of the Buyer can help your SaaS marketing team differentiate your business from competitors and persuade buyers to purchase your solutions.


In the JTBD framework, every job is eventually broken down into a series of steps – a process that the customer will follow to get the job done. 

By understanding the customer’s desired outcomes at every step in the process, product and marketing teams can innovate new product features and create targeted messaging that demonstrates a genuine understanding and speaks directly to customer needs.


How to Use the JTBD Framework for Marketing

1. Define and Segment Your Target Customer(s)

For companies that sell B2B, customers include the person who uses the SaaS product, the teams that support it, and the leaders who make the purchasing decision. These three types of customers are described effectively in the JTDB framework. 

Marketers should work to define which job roles fall into each customer category, and explore JTBD and desired outcomes for each type of customer. 

While demographic and firmographic segmentation can still be effective in some contexts, segmenting your customers according to the jobs they’re trying to accomplish is likely the best way to optimize your messaging.


2. Create a Job Map

Having identified your customers and the jobs they are trying to get done, the next step is to create a job map

The purpose of creating a job map is to understand what your customers are trying to accomplish at every step in the process of executing a job, what needs to happen to ensure success, and by what metrics success will be measured.

The best way to construct a detailed job map is to conduct market research and interviews with your target audience to better understand their JTBD, target outcomes, and definition of success. 


3. Identify the Best Marketing Opportunities

Once you’ve defined your customers, segmented them by customer type, and documented their JTBD, you can start to identify the best opportunities for marketing to each customer segment. 

At this stage, marketers should be asking questions like:


  • Which of these jobs is most important to my target customer?
  • Which jobs are conducted most frequently by my customers?
  • Which jobs, sub-jobs, or process steps are causing the most pain for my target customer? Where are they spending the most time or generating the most cost?
  • How do my competitor’s products help my target customer accomplish their JTBD? Where are the unmet needs?


By asking these questions, marketers can identify the best opportunities to deliver targeted content with messaging that speaks directly to the target customer and their most important needs and JTBD.


Directive Uses JTBD to Deliver High-Impact Content and Marketing Results

The JTBD framework is a powerful tool for any Paid Media Agency or  SEO agency for Saas tasked with developing PPC advertisements, SEO-optimized digital content, and other marketing that connects strongly with customer needs. 

At Directive, we use JTBD as part of our Customer Generation methodology to help our B2B SaaS clients construct ideal customer profiles, optimize their websites for all three types of customers (Executors, Supporters, and Buyers), and implement SEO content strategy and paid advertisements that speak directly to customer needs.

Want to learn more?


Learn more

7 of the Oldest Demand Generation Agencies

The Oldest Demand Generation Agencies Demand generation is not merely a buzzword. It’s a vital component of business growth and customer acquisition strategy. Essentially, it’s a multi-step marketing process, designed to build and nurture interest in a company’s products or services. It focuses on hyper-targeting more qualified leads: engaging the right audience, with the right […]

Katie Knoll In Agency Life B2B

How to Setup Google Ads Enhanced Conversions

The importance of Accurate Tracking in Digital Advertising AKA Good-Bye Cookies 👋😭 Privacy changes from more and more restrictions on user data collection and the use of personal data means the quality of your first-party customer data is going to be key to your tech company’s future marketing success. Tracking identifiers like third-party cookies, device […]

Amanda Lopez In PPC