The year I discovered Sagmeister


Matt Hodges – Intercom

Intercom, and the Intercom blog is something I have been aware of since I stumbled across the Jobs-to-be-done methodology or approach via Alan Klement. These guys really have got to grips with it and have adapted and applied it to their whole company and how JTBD informs their go to market strategy.

I heard Matt Hodges (Head of Marketing at Intercom) speaking on the JTBD podcast with the ReWired Group and you should really check it out as a great compliment to this video as he covers key product questions (and answers), defining verticals through to how they apply this to their marketing strategy.

In that podcast he covers a range of questions to answer before you start doing any activity – which I have slightly adjusted. Without hearing this from Matt and then really thinking how I could apply this to a more service + product environment I would be struggling to have ever got past JTBD as a way to do things beyond a UX perspective. For me it was really about reframing how you view what a ‘product’ is – thinking beyond a SaaS product definition – and try to see how a service can be answered within this framework. So props to Matt on explaining this out – I am still in the early days of getting workshops set-up to answer these questions and getting a wider organisation (product and commercial teams involved) to share in the process and share in the solution.

The question list below is adapted (slightly) from Matt’s talk – only really change I hope is avoiding the words ‘job’ or ‘hire’ to try and keep it as simple and jargon free as possible but remaining true to the purpose of the activity.

Why do we care? Why are we doing this? Why are we offering this product?

What is the problem that we are solving?

How will this product help our customers?

Who are the people searching for this product? Define audience, personas.

What is the competition in this space?

Who else solves this problem? (This might not be sector/direct competition, but other companies or products who solve the problem)

What makes this product the best choice, what makes us a better solution?

Why should people buy from us? What makes us different to the competition?

10minute video from Matt about the work he has done (this is really a shorter version of the podcast interview) but is also really worthwhile to check out.


Filed under: Customer insight, Marketing, user research

What job causes you to hire a milkshake? – Clayton Christensen

Absolutely love this 5 minute exploration by Clayton Christensen, Professor at Harvard Business School – in taking an approach to understanding customer behaviour and how by asking a particular question can translate into a marketing solution.

“If you understand the job, how to improve the product becomes just obvious”

“We decided that the way we teach marketing is at the core of what makes motivation difficult to achieve. The most helpful way we have thought of it is that we actually hire products to do things for us and understanding what job we have to do in our lives for which we would hire a product is really the key to cracking the problem of motivating customers to buy what we are offering.”

Found initially via the JBTD site on Medium via the InterCom post.

Filed under: user research