Keep Your Audience Top of Mind With the Simple Jobs-To-Be-Done Formula

Content advertising just isn’t about your model; it’s about your model’s target market.

I do know, I do know, each single content material marketer ought to know this by now. But what number of occasions have you ever actually carried out that idea?

Enter the jobs concept, often known as the jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) framework.

JTBD concept specifies a shopper’s “job” – what that particular person tries to realize in a sure state of affairs. Consumers full the job by “hiring” services or products.

Primarily used for innovation in product growth and advertising, JTBD could be utilized to content material advertising, too. Just substitute “audience member” for “consumer.”

I’ll have a look at methods to broaden your considering processes to whip content material advertising into jobs-to-be-done form. I additionally share examples from well-known firms that will help you higher perceive the idea of JTBD for content material advertising.

How to assume the JTBD approach

The secret sauce to incorporating the jobs-to-be-done framework in your content material advertising technique is to determine these three issues:

  • Your buyer’s state of affairs (when)
  • Your buyer’s ache level (what)
  • Your buyer’s desired final result from discovering an answer to that ache level (why)

The when, what, and why mix to type the how – how can your viewers member get their downside solved? To put it in a JTBD approach, how can your viewers member get their job performed?

With every content material asset, fill in the blanks on this components to explain the job:

When I (viewers member)  ______________, I wish to ______________________, so I can __________________.

Jobs-to-be-done formula for #content: Address your audience’s situation, detail the pain point, then describe their desired outcome, says @debamrita_g of @AssetIntel_ via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Years in the past, Harvard professor Clayton Christensen did a marketing strategy case study on milkshake gross sales. A quick-food restaurant chain requested Clayton’s fellow researcher to assist enhance milkshake gross sales.

The researcher spent a day at one of the eating places. He fastidiously famous who purchased milkshakes, after they purchased them, and the place they proposed to drink them.

He discovered commuters purchased 40% of the milkshakes very first thing in the morning. They all the time left with the milkshake moderately than eating in the restaurant. It turned out these clients confronted a protracted, boring commute and needed to boost their journey one way or the other.

So why did these shoppers “hire” a milkshake to perform that?

Well, sipping a thick liquid by way of a skinny straw gave them one thing to do throughout their commute. It was higher than gobbling up a banana in a couple of minutes or consuming a donut and dusting the crumbs off their garments.

Let’s fill in the blanks with this instance:

When I commute to work, I need one thing tidy that quenches my urge for food and lasts by way of the lengthy commute, so I can maintain myself from losing interest.

Now the restaurant chain understood the job of a milkshake. They made them thicker, in order that they lasted longer in the commute and added fruit chunks to make it extra fascinating.

While you don’t make milkshakes, you do make content material. Using the JTBD framework for content material advertising could be so simple as asking, “What does the audience want to be able to do their ‘job?’” To be extra exact, “What kind of content does the audience want to consume to accomplish their ‘job’?”

How to use JTBD to content material codecs

Let’s stroll by way of the jobs-to-be-done framework for some widespread content material advertising codecs – blogs, podcasts, movies, and checklists.


NerdWallet, a finance firm, fills its blog with tips and guides on private finance matters, corresponding to banking, retirement, bank cards, mortgages, and the like, in addition to small enterprise finance.

Take their article, 4 Ways To Tame Financial Stress and Save for Retirement. The self-explanatory headline spells out the put up’s JTBD components:

When I haven’t been capable of manage my funds, I wish to look for easy methods to plan for my retirement, so I can really feel higher and transfer towards my future confidently.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 6 Content Assets You Can Add To Make Your Blog Post a Link Magnet


Expedia’s journey podcast Out Travel the System connects with their target market after they aren’t touring. Per week earlier than the Fourth of July vacation in 2021, Expedia produced a mini-episode, Tips and Tricks for Smooth July 4th Travels. The four-minute, information-packed snapshot highlighted when and the place folks may head out to have a good time the vacation.

So, the JTBD components for this episode is perhaps:

When I’m planning a Fourth of July getaway, I wish to discover the greatest occasions to go to the greatest locations, so I can keep away from site visitors as a lot as potential.



Being the world’s largest magnificence firm, L’Oréal shelters over 36 manufacturers and 80,000 workers worldwide. On its careers page, you’re prone to discover over 1,000 open positions. You can think about what number of purposes they display screen yearly.

To make it simpler for candidates, L’Oréal publishes how-to movies that designate how candidates can get by way of their interviews, pep up their resumes, bag an internship, and so forth.

One video provides 10 tips to ace their job interview at L’Oréal:

What would the JTBD framework for all these movies be for candidates searching for to work at L’Oréal?

When I’ve an upcoming interview at L’Oréal, I wish to learn to make an total good impression, so I can get employed by L’Oréal.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 5 Lessons on Creating Video Like a Pro Even If You’re Just Starting Out


Planning a marriage isn’t straightforward. Finalizing the visitor listing, fixing a theme, setting a price range, and figuring out what else to placed on the to-do listing can go away anybody at their wits’ finish. Vogue solved this by publishing The Ultimate Month-to-Month Wedding Planning Checklist.

They knew folks getting married needed to know what they need to be doing and when. But they probably didn’t do the JTBD framework as a result of then they could have observed they missed the filling in the “I want …” and “so I can” blanks.

Use the jobs-to-be-done formula to ensure your content asset really helps your audience, says @debamrita_g of @AssetIntel_ via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Here’s how I feel the JTBD components ought to have been accomplished to be extra useful to these getting married:

When I’m planning my wedding ceremony, I desire a guidelines that may be simply downloaded and/or printed, so I can examine off the objects as they’re performed to alleviate my stress.

Social Tables, a free occasion planning and diagramming software program firm, fulfilled this JTBD by publishing a printable, detailed wedding planning checklist with containers simply ready to be checked off.

Align content material advertising to the JTBD framework for fulfillment

Using the JTBD framework ensures you all the time take into consideration your viewers and what they wish to “hire” to unravel their challenges. But how have you learnt the “jobs” your target market desires to get performed?

First, assume of your product providing as an individual. Let’s say you promote luxurious watches. Ask the watch, “What do you have to offer?” or “What are the benefits I might get from using you?”

Then, reply these questions. Here’s how Scandinavian watchmaker Nordgreen may reply for its luxurious watch referred to as The Native:

  • My dial will help you retain time (which is apparent).
  • My modern design will help you spend money on your model and character.
  • My interchangeable straps allow you to put on something you need.
  • My total design and worth make me an excellent heirloom.

Next, ask your viewers members what jobs they could wish to accomplish with what you promote. Nordgreen may hear, “I desire a luxurious watch that:

  • Helps me maintain time however not on a smartphone.
  • Matches my silent however subtle character.
  • Goes with no matter garments I put on.”

Now, if the solutions from the watch and your viewers match, you’re on the proper observe. Zero in on the parts careworn the most. Nordgreen printed content material to assist their viewers “hire” (learn/view) What Your Watch Says About You to satisfy the character job, and this magnificence shot of the watch in Instagram post for customized looks to deal with the clothes versatility job.


Adapt a jobs-to-be-done framework

As a content material marketer, the trick is to pin down the jobs your viewers members will rent your content material to do. The jobs-to-be-done components helps entrepreneurs create content material that resonates with the viewers as a result of it fulfills your wants. If you proceed doing that, it gained’t be lengthy earlier than they rent your services or products, too.


Want extra content material advertising suggestions, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute