In his HBR article “Marketing Malpractice: The Cause and the Cure,” Clayton Christensen identified that the marketer’s task is to understand the job the customer wants to get done, and design products and brands that fill that need.
And every job has a functional, emotional and social dimension to it. If marketers understand each of these dimensions, then they can design a product that’s precisely targeted to the job. In other words, the job, not the customer, is the fundamental unit of analysis for a marketer who hopes to develop products that customers will buy.
For example, people and businesses don’t hire photographers to take pictures, they hire captivating images to present their company’s story and convey a brand. Or in the case of consumers, they hire captivating images to share important moments for a life time.
Capturing images, stories and memories are important jobs people want to get done, and they seek out the best solutions they can hire to get the job done. When we see our market form a product orientation, and neglect to understand the ultimate desired outcomes customers are trying to achieve, we commoditize our products and services. We fail to create meaningful differentiation and value in the eyes of customer
Photographers who understand that they are in the business to help companies present their best image and capture special moments to share for a lifetime, will create and communicate solutions that speaks directly to their customer’s important jobs to get done.
By thinking and acting from the perspective of helping people get important jobs done, these photographers will create differentiated solutions that will separate their business from photographers who think their job is to take pictures.
We need to think more strategically about what jobs people want to get done
When we get the job definition correct, we improve our odds of launching breakthrough new products. We also improve how we position and communicate our unique value proposition to our target market, so when potential customers hear it, they will know this is the solution they have been looking for to get an important job done.
The functional dimension of creating compelling images is more than just taking a picture. There are all the pre and post photo shoot setups and plans that must be done. From deciding what to shoot, how to do the actual shoot (lighting, lens, cameras, props, etc.) and then all the post shoot activities.
All these activities and steps have associated desired outcomes the customer wants to achieve – they want more positive outcomes and fewer negative outcomes. Some of these desired outcomes will be functional (a photo image they can post on their website for example), and some will be emotional (an image that speaks a thousand words and conveys the essence of the brand).
By understanding which outcomes are underserved and overserved, a photographer can create a compelling service that puts her ahead of the pack. And her target audience, defined by the specific jobs people want done, will resonate with her offering and hire her solutions over the next guy who still things he takes pictures.
So remember, people don’t hire photographers to take pictures, they hire photographers to create images to support their brands, capture stories, and create lasting memories.
Think strategically on why people hire your products and services, and create a purpose brand that makes it easy for customers to achieve their desired outcomes.
Here’s looking at you!