Nopadon Wongpakdee: Applying JTBD to Marketing

Most people think of Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) in terms of product management, but it’s also an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

Nopadon shares, with case studies, how you can uncover hidden customer insights that will mean you can craft stronger ad copy, landing pages, find new channels, and even help pricing and retention. Learn the best questions to peer deep into your users’ psychology to uncover unconscious motivations that improve each stage of the marketing funnel.

You will learn: how to apply JTBD insights at each stage of the marketing funnel, including how to:

  • Find specific customer language that resonates and converts
  • Identify and address the key anxieties and objections of your potential customers
  • Draft and optimise landing pages, ads and app store listings
  • Find entirely new channels and long-tail search terms your competitors missed

Slides

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Transcript

Nopadon Wongpakdee
Hey, hello. How’s everyone? I’m the after lunch slot so please be caffeinated; if you haven’t go back out and get some caffeine come back in. I’m Nopadon. I’m going to be talking about Jobs to be Done for marketing. So I’m looking out and I see maybe some confusion. So show of hands. This is the audience participation portion. Who knows who’s heard of jobs to be done? Oh, okay. Like everyone. All right, great. Who here are marketers? A handful. All right. Marketers who are using jobs to be done? You can help me with the q&a. Last audience participation: who has just too much business right now? Is just turning away business because you have too much demand? Too many customers coming through the door? Too many demos? All right. Sweet. least you’re honest. All right.

So we’re gonna start off with a quick quiz. These are headlines. Okay. Show of hands. Who do you think? A won as a headline? No, nobody. B? And some people not so sure. I didn’t see any hands going up at all. You’re hedging your bets, alright fine. I’ll tell you the winner in a little bit.

Show hands – A? Okay. B? Fairly split. Alright. We’ll get to that in a little bit.

So my name is Nopadon. I’ve been using jobs now for a little over five years, I was an entrepreneur in residence at Citi ventures, helping implement jobs to Citibank. I was the growth hacker in residence for a venture firm called 500Startups, where I met my business partner, Matt. Together, we run something that’s called Startup Corestrength, which is a virtual accelerator for seed and series A startups who are ready to focus on growth.

So the things that we’re going to do today are one, how are we going to create messages that actually resonate that actually connect with your prospects? All right, if I told you, if you were to throw up a landing, page 90% of that traffic will probably bounce and it can bounce for several reasons, but what we find is 90% of the time, they literally don’t understand what you’re talking about. All right. It’s a comprehension issue. Matt, and I at 500. And our current businesses work with over I think, 200 startups. And I’m going to go through some of the common issues that we see. And I’m sure some of you here potentially suffer from this as well.

I’m going to talk about how jobs can help supercharge your acquisition, how do you find more users? Right, will help inform your search engine optimization, will help inform your content strategy. And finally, to pull all this together, we have to do something called user interviews, customer conversations. Think the IDR team, you just started your customer conversations. We’ll get into that. So it’s not only important to talk to customers, but I’m going to show you what specific questions to ask and what to listen for. So it’s easy to ask the question, hard to really listen for those insights. So we’re going to cover that off today. So we’ve got marketing and sales teams, we’ve got potentially product people here and we’ve got founders and CEOs. Why am I telling you this? How is this relevant to you? Well, I just said for marketing and sales, it’s going to help you find more customers and convert more customers. For product people. It will tell you specifically what you need to build and what not to build. And for your founders out there. It’s going to do all of this and essentially help you and your team align around your true Northstar. Really what you should be focused on. Teams are always talking about, oh, you know, we’re very customer focused. We love our customers. We know our customers in and out. I find jobs to be done, which is mostly known for product framework is one of the best frameworks for becoming customer obsessed. So it will help you dig deeper into sort of the anxieties and hopes and dreams and aspirations of your customers. And once we know those things, we can tactically use that information. This is essentially a follow on from Brennan [Dunn]’s talk that we have today around segmentation.

Supply side vs demand side thinking

Really quick, since most of you already know what a job is. I like this definition, right? So jobs to be done framework is a framework that’s going to help us uncover unconscious motivations. And the reason why I want to pause here for a second is even if we ask someone, why did you sign up for this? Why are you using this? They may not know. They said, What’s this easy. It’s really convenient. It just works. It’s intuitive. We’re not going to be able to do anything with that. And so we need to have the questions to dig a little bit further to really understand these insights, to be able to pull them out of our prospects. This is the late great Clayton Christensen, who’s one of the pioneers of jobs to be done and just a really simple explanation of jobs is ‘you hire something to help you make progress’. Simple as that. And when that thing no longer works for you, you fire it.

That’s just the mental shift you need to make. So I hired three or four strong americanos this morning, to help me make progress to get to my train. You may have hired something different – early morning run, maybe yoga session; Did anybody hire anything different? Anything? You guys didn’t hire anything to make progress at all this morning? You were good. Alarm Clock? Alright, there you go.

So mistake one. Show of hands. Bob Moesta – anyone know Bob Moesta? Yeah, of course. So he’s got a great book called Demand Side Sales. The thing that we have to work out here, right, is this supply side versus demand side thinking. And this is the root, this is the root of all evil. This is what we see with probably 90-95% of our startups. So we just talked about fundraising, we talked about building a team, we talked about, and all of a sudden, on our side, we’ll call it the supply side, we think about our products. We think about our features, we think about our killer features, we think about our product roadmaps. And somewhere along that line, a wall comes up between us and our prospects and our customers. Where we create a roadmap, we create this wonderful product, but there’s a disconnect.

My partner, Matt, and I bang on about a concept that we call language market fit, it’s like product market fit, but language market fit. And the reason we bang on about it is that language is the cheapest and easiest and quickest thing to tweak, without having to make any product changes whatsoever to influence the amount of customers that you acquire onboard and fine. It is the simplest thing to do no line and no changes to product or code whatsoever. And so what we have to do is we have to figure out what is in our customers heads: What is the desired outcome? What is the outcome? What is the success look like for our customers? So if I were to sit down with all of you and do office hours, I suspect all of you feel that you know your customers very well. And I’m sure you do. But there’s more that we can dig. There’s other areas.

What’s a considered purchase?

Let me just use a quick example, to talk about what’s in our customers head versus what we offer. Okay, so congratulations, all of you now have just inherited a beach side restaurant. Your rich aunt or uncle said here you go. Now you have a beach side restaurant. What do we do? How do we get customers? Give me some ideas. What are we going to do? How do we get customers in? Put up some signs. Get a celebrity endorsement. Serve alcohol. Greeter standing showing the food sandwich board show the food right have good food maybe maybe not. You’re on you’re on the beach so actually doesn’t matter. All right, so fine. All those things that you throw out and gave me are fine. Right? These are just sort of generic tactics that we know that we can offer.

Let me change up the scenario. Let me add some context to this show of hands who’s got kids? All right. You’re at the beach. It’s hot. Your kids are super cranky. They have to pee. Right? It’s time to eat and you grab your kids and you’re walking along this Boulevard now, what are you looking for? What are you looking for? Kids like bought to lose it? It’s gotta be hungry, cranky! Okay, a restaurant what any restaurant will do? Potentially playground. Okay, so there’s some visible sign for the bathroom from the front? Fine. I’ve been there. Anyone else? Kids menus, anything else? Restaurants with other kids in them?

All right. So all of a sudden, we have some context. And we realise that all these sort of marketing ploys that we were just talking about may or may not fit. But now you’re starting to understand this person has a context, they have a success criteria. Let’s change the context. Again.

You are on a ladies night or you’re on a stag do with your friends, you’re coming off the beach, and you want to have a good time you you know, what are you looking for? Alcohol, music, no children, well done I’m with you. So you get what I’m saying? Okay, so there’s a very specific context, your prospects are no different. They have very individual sort of hopes, outcomes and success criteria. And so what happens is, think of the last considered purchase you have. You went through sort of this timeline, this cycle. Where we just had Rosemary [Francis] saying like, unless you’re thinking about it in the shower, you’re not interested. But basically, you have all the way here, people who are unaware of a need. Demand isn’t spontaneously generated, you don’t wake up and think that Tesla gonna go to Tesla today. Right? It’s a it’s a build. So when you think about your businesses, when you think about your own life, there’s a considered purchase. And you are at each stage of this journey. You are looking for different things. You have different questions in your head.

When your prospect comes to you to get a demo, I suspect I’ve done this long enough to know that your demo to Unique Visitor ratio is probably about 2% if you get if you get decent amount of traffic. So where are the other 98% of your visitors? There’s somewhere around here, the further back. At each stage of this timeline, there’s a different success criteria, different information is required, different questions are asked, different anxieties pop up. Really quick, just to back up for a second, we ignore pretty much 99% of what we see and if we didn’t, we’d go insane! And so the things that actually make it through our filter are: Is this thing on goal, or is it familiar? On goal, meaning this is something I’ve kind of been looking for, right? Everything else you’re ignoring.

And so with, supply side versus demand side thinking, on their, this side, here, you have supply side, where we say, all in one, all in one solution, feature, we have this feature, we have that feature, and you prospect, go and figure out how that feature fits into your life. You go and figure out how we’re going to help you along with your pain and your problems. And then the customers we just said it’s got different anxieties, different questions, different goals, different struggles, different outcomes. And so when they come to your website, or they come to our websites like this, ignored, missed, missed. So what we’re trying to do is literally pull out the words, the thoughts that are in their heads, like you just said, as soon as someone sees the copy that resonates with them, they’re like, Oh, this is for me, I’m in the right place.

None of this is rocket science. This is pretty straightforward. This is simple, but it requires work. And it requires you to dig in very specific places. Once you align these things, magic happens, conversion rates go up. So some of you are thinking, Well, I don’t know if this really applies to me. So go ahead Take your phone out. Take your phone out, it’s okay. I want you to pull up your website. Take a look at it. Take a look at your headline on your website. Okay. Now if you were to put the words ‘now you can’ in front of your headline. Does it make sense? Or is it gibberish? What does it say now? Does anyone want to volunteer?

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Okay, very high level, some of you probably don’t pass this test. And if you don’t pass this test, you are speaking way too much about your product and not about the customer’s desired outcomes. Does that make sense to you? Alright. So again, we talked about this timeline, people go through this timeline, at each step of this timeline. They’ve got different questions, different anxieties, different bits of information. Okay. And to complicate matters, oops. To complete Oh, I’ll show you in the next slide. They’re going through that timeline. How many here are using personas? Okay, so I’ve been a marketer for, I don’t know, 25 plus years. And personas have been something that has made me a little bit uncomfortable, because I’ve never really got them to work. And the reason that they don’t work and jobs helped me see this is that they focus a lot on attributes, male 35 to 45, affluent, urban, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But what they don’t actually tell you is causation. Right? That’s the thing we’re interested in. And so I used to work at Citi ventures, I’m of a certain age, I worked at Citibank in the venture team, I used to commute from West London into Canary Wharf, I’m smack dab in the middle of the Financial Times persona, right? But I have never picked one up. I don’t want to touch one, I have no interest in them, right? Because there’s no causation. And so we tend to spend a lot of energy and calories creating these wonderful pulsant personas. But we don’t spend enough time thinking about the causality. What makes them need our product? What is that thing? So if you take anything away from this, there are parts of your job? I want you to add it to the personas that you’re currently using. So mistake one. Yes. Supply side thinking. So let’s get to the results.

Show of hands who thought A won? Nobody thought A won. B? All right. How much better was B than A? A lot, someone said a lot. 7 what? 7%? It was 5x Better than that headline. 5x. Right. Just the headline. Right? No other changes, just the headline. And if you look back at it, it kind of doesn’t make sense shop by text with expert stylists. It’s like I don’t know, I didn’t I don’t want wake up and shop by texts. Right. But I do want to look my best without the hassle of shopping.

Ace. A What is develop your thinking through online discussion me? But what does develop your thinking through online discussion? So I think a lot of people don’t understand what develop your thinking through online discussion mean? It sounds nice. It rolls off the tongue nice. But really, when you’re looking at it, you don’t actually know what they do. Yes, this is long and what they do now is this bit that says organise, share and take notes. rotates on the screen. Okay. 10x. That’s huge. That’s a significant financial outcome for them massive 10x. So this seems easy, right? Like we’re just changing words. But I’m telling you right now, there was no copy writer at all for this. This was pulling out words from people’s heads and just putting them on the page, testing them. So the other end area to understand that’s incredibly important is this concept of sort of outcomes and blockers. So, a desired outcome is nothing more than the goal that your prospect is trying to achieve. That’s it. Now, it can’t be high level like, what was your statement again? So ‘make better decisions.’

Fairly high. It’s sort of like saying financial freedom doesn’t really mean anything. And so what we’re trying to understand is why have they hired you? What are they looking to do? Okay. And so these outcomes can be broken into functional, emotional, and social. Sounds very soft. But we’ll see in a second.

Functional, emotional, and social outcomes.

Functional a good way to think about functional is I want to minimise something or I want to maximise something, right? I want to minimise

Emotionals. I want to feel right.

Social is, I want to be perceived as dot, dot, dot. And we’re all sitting here. We’re part of like software. And we’re like, there’s no emotional aspect of you know, software. I hope none of you believe that but we’re b2b, but we’re also B to P people are buying our products. So let’s take a quick look at here.

This is Wix. All of you have seen Wix. I’ve obscured the headline. What do we think? They’re gonna go functional here. They’re going to emotional, they’re going to go social? What’s the outcome? Anybody use Wix? Anybody have a website builder? You use a website builder? Okay. Why did you hire that website builder? What were you looking to do? So functional, get a website done quickly. Okay. Anybody else? Webflow, why did you hire Webflow? So you could go more complex. Okay, so something about like more complexity, whatever.

So here, Wix is leaned heavily around the emotional and social. Create a website you’re proud of? I don’t know if that resonates within it does with me. Where we were on WordPress, and I was embarrassed of our website. I was absolutely embarrassed by it. And so looked at Wix, I saw this and it was like, oh, yeah, you know, my pain. This is an outcome that I’m actually interested in. Alright, let’s take something more technical. This is Mixpanel. Anybody analytics solution? Anybody using Mixpanel? Why’d you hire Mixpanel?

Brennan Dunn
What an easy way to report on stuff that the tools I was using, were not recording.

Nopadon Wongpakdee
Okay. So. Okay, why was that important to you? Figure out what was working on? Okay. Okay, so with that outcome, you are able to?

Okay, so there’s some functional there for sure. Maybe a little emotional having confidence around the data.

Yeah, now you can build better products, highly functional, highly emotional as well. And this is what we’re trying to get through. This is what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get this cut through. The other mistake that we see time and time again. And Brennan talked a little bit about this is making the mistake that thinking that your customers are the same, like thinking of them as like a monolith, like one group, one group of people, right? How many of you have spent countless hours looking at your churn report your cohort reports. None of you have looked at your cohort or churn reports? Okay, we there should be another talk actually after this. So, what we find is, you’ll get customers and you’re like, oh, look, we’ve got 20% drop off here. We look at our onboarding flow. Oh my god, we got 40% drop off here. Oh, look, only 15% of the people are using such and such feature. Oh, no, we have 20% churn, right and what do we do? We sit with the product team. We strategize and come up with ways to improve the functions and features. We look at how to smooth our onboarding flows. We send push notifications, we send emails. All that’s doing is adding noise, right? Because you’re missing some key data points here. You’re trying you’re missing what your customers ultimate outcome motivation, how why were they using you? What have they hired you to do?

So what you can see here is I’m going to give you an example. That’s away from software for a second just to get our brains. And this is like star alum that we have called second nature, they’ve grown about 100x in four years, right? It’s a weight loss product. But when you start the flow when you take a quiz, there’s about nine items that pop up here. Okay, I’m only just showing you four,

  • lose weight to look and feel better
  • improve my overall health to avoid illness
  • manage emotional eating

Could we bucket this into weight loss? Yeah, this is all sort of weight loss. But the motivations and outcomes are completely different. There are four distinct jobs that are showing up here. Okay. So congratulations, all of you are now heads of product heads, the marketing founders of second nature. So if we knew this, would this change the content that these people would receive? I hope you’re saying yes. Otherwise, we’ve just like wasted Brennan’s talk before this!

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Would you onboard them differently? Would you show them different things to onboard to get them to that aha moment quicker? I hope so. Right? So what will end up happening is you will start understanding through your segmentation and cohorts. That’s interesting, this segment that says they’re looking to lose weight and look and feel better. They’re the ones that always upgrade. They’re the ones that always go to the higher tier. And this other segment, the one that selects manage emotional eating, they’re the ones that churn they never last two or three weeks. All right? Now we can actually go through with that context and look at our product, look at our onboarding and understand, Oh, my God, do we actually do anything to help the people with emotional eating? No, we don’t. No wonder they churn, or in fact, look, and our entire product is built around this first job, this first use case. So understanding the job, the context, the motivation, will help you spot churn will help you build better product. This is a team that we’re currently working with now. They help you create frameworks for your career growth.

I’m not crazy about either of these two things, the first headline “define and measure your career growth for your team”. So we did some customer interviews, and that’s actually secondary. It’s really about retaining and developing the team, which is the pain that came forward. But what I want to show you is, this is what happens when you scroll down the page on the original page, “build your frameworks”, “share your Pathways”, “measure your growth”. Why? Like, what about building my framework? Why do I want to share a pathway? How are you going to help me? This makes no sense to me?

And so through those customer conversations, what they realise, oh, look, instead of talking about visible frameworks, which is what most people would be interested in doing, they’re talking about the outcomes excite your team, because that was one of the motivations that kept coming up over the customer conversations. Here, they’re resisting the urge to talk about libraries and templates, libraries and templates galore. Right, what for? To what end? Why do I care? Here, you can see it saves weeks of work. And so what you’re trying to do is understand what is the ultimate thing that they’re trying to do? And instead of talking about your feature – which again, is all supply side – what is that feature going to allow your customer to do? Don’t leave them guessing, tell them, match what they’re looking to do.

So this is about a week and a half live? It’s currently about 35, maybe 40% better than the original version. Still not happy with that. So they’ll probably continue to improve on that. So how are you going to use this? I’ve already told you, we’re going to use this information to create copy that’s going to resonate. More importantly, it’s going to help you figure out why people are switching or not switching. Tell your product team what not to build, how not to deliver it. Oh, and you’re going to do customer conversations, right? Everybody can see everyone’s checked out. Now. They’re like, No, no, no, no, no, no. We’re not doing that.

If you want to really supercharge your growth, I’ll talk about how we’re going to do it. And it’s not that hard. So look, we talked about the timeline. I’m gonna complicate things here a little bit. At each stage of this journey now. Your customers being pushed and pulled at each stage. So who here is use some sort of meeting booking app? You can book Me/Calendly I think probably all of us, right. So, show of hands who has? Okay. You Sir, when did you first become aware of your problem? What was going on in your life that you’re like, Huh? I need a calendar booking app?

Unknown Speaker
I guess it was probably different people who were all on different platforms, unifying. How do we collect them all and get responses?

Nopadon Wongpakdee
So when you were thinking about this, when you were in this area, was calendar booking app, the first thing that came to your mind? No. How else can we book meetings guys? We can email what else? We do get a virtual pas and get a team of STRS. Right? There’s there’s a lot of ways to solve that calendar booking situation. And so, at each stage of this journey, you’re learning a little bit more. There are things that you like about it, things that are keeping you back. Okay.

How many have this on your door? Anybody live in London have one of these on their door? So every like flat in London has this sticker. It’s called your locksmith sticker. We’re obsessed with this. We call this finding your locksmith moment. There’s basically no place that this locksmith could advertise, that would be as effective as putting it next to your broken lock. That’s it. So jobs will help you find your locksmith moment. Right. Where can you be – just like this locksmith – at that moment where someone needs you? How can you find your locksmith moment?

So as I just said, at each stage of the journey, you’re searching for different things. When I’ve done customer conversations where people are looking for calendar booking apps, when they’re over here in the beginning, it starts with how to write engagement emails, how to write sales emails, how to write pitch emails, how to improve the conversion rates on my emails, how to track open rates. It’s nothing to do with the calendar booking. It’s a different pain that they’re feeling. Does that make sense? This is super important. So at each stage of the journey, there’s a different outcome. So by the time they figure out, it was really not about emails, maybe it’s about, hmm, can I hire people? Can I hire offshore to help people book meetings for me? Right at each stage of the journey, they’re searching in different places. This is your locksmith moment. Your customers go through this timeline, and they’re not looking for you here. Eventually, they do find you, here. But you’re missing out on all these people. What is your locksmith moment? Where are they looking? What progress are they trying to make?

This is a company that a year old that we work with; they’ve grown 11x in 11 months, right? They make money through payments. But through our customer conversations through our user interviews, for CFOs, Founders payments is about 15th on the list of things they have to worry about. They’ve got other fish to fry. So payments never even enters their sort of mindset. And it when it does, it’s like they already have their banking stack everything set up. And it’s like a last minute thing. So what the team did through customer conversations realised, man, no one cares. No one cares at all about payments. So what we have to do is find our locksmith moment, where are they looking? And so they spent a great deal of time answering questions that are further upstream, what is the finance stack that you should have? What’s the finance admin that you can’t miss out on? And this is their locksmith moment. This is how they get in front of their prospects through content. And eventually these people read the guides and then they sign up. That’s how they’ve gotten 11x in 11 months, that’s not in users. And that’s in view that’s in revenue. Right? It’s a hard numbers.

So let’s talk about these blockers really quick. So I’m going to run through this quickly. This thing is a known thing. It’s called the four forces. To me, it has been the biggest game changer on how I think about prospects and how I acquire prospects, how I convert prospects. There are two forces that are working against them. I just said in this time that there’s a positive force that’s helping them and then there’s a negative force that’s holding them back; friction. I’m not even going to really focus on push – that’s the pain that they feel. That’s why they’re coming to you. The pull is that thing that you’re offering that outcome, that desired goal that they’re trying to reach. That’s what you’re there for. And immediately when they find you when they think of your product category. They’re immediately punched in the face with anxiety. Each time we try something new, we’ve got questions, we have anxieties. Does it do this? Will it do that?

And then finally, you have the last force, which is the worst. This is the habit, this is the thing that keeps people from ever making a decision from switching. So that push, what’s that pain? They feel? What are they trying to run away from? What are they trying to do? The pull? What is their outcome? Okay, what’s their ultimate goal? What are you going to allow them to do? That’s the that’s the question that we need to answer. So all of you have thought about your unique selling propositions, you’ve thought about your top of funnel, you’ve thought about how to market to people, you spend a great deal of time thinking about that. But I’m telling you right now, no one spends nearly enough time thinking about how hard it is for your customer who might be interested to make that switch, all the anxiety, and then the habit that they actually have to overcome to switch to you. And if you begin to think about what are all the blockers that are keeping them, your positive forces will be much, much easier, you will attract a lot more people.

So force three, that anxiety. Are you a new product? are you solving things in a new and novel way? Right? How does this work? Are you an unfamiliar product category? Right? Have they not seen this before? And so these anxieties will pop up? Like what is this? You know, how does this thing actually work? How’s it going to help me? Not that technical looks kind of complicated. And so hand on heart, when you go back with your teams, tonight, tomorrow, ask them brainstorm, come up with what do you think the anxieties people feel when they’re looking at our website? When they’re thinking about our space? What am I thinking about our service, and you do anything at all, to help them overcome that anxiety?

Finally, this last bit habit, which is the worst, right? So, you know, we’ll need to get buy in. If we’re, you know, going to sign this off, we’ll have to migrate our existing solution to this to be able to use you, right? And so here, I’ve listed out some of the key factors that cement this habit. So do you do it? Are your products easy to try? Can someone just try it easily? Can they get to that aha moment? Quickly? Is it easy to do that? Can tell you because your software? A lot of you’re going to struggle with this? Do you have multiple stakeholders? Yes, 5.4. I want to see like all of you shaking your head vigorously. You’ve got many stakeholders you have to contend to is there a switching costs. The famous case study in this is when Excel launched, the leader in their market was Lotus 123. And people were like, love it. But we can’t switch because all of our data have stuck in lotus. So Excel had to create the vehicle for them to pull their data. Does it require a change in behaviour? This is the worst, right? Is this going to change our sales process like? Well, we have to get rid of all these other tools that we’re using, we hired all these STRS to do meeting bookings. Now we’re going to have to find something else for them to do. All of these things are going to keep people from switching from even thinking about trying you.

So here I’ve created just a quick diagram. I’ll give you these afterwards. You guys can do this. So I’ve done this for like Calendly or you can book me. So what’s that pain? I feel? You know, I hate the meeting ping pong. It’s slowing my sales process down, can’t get through to people. What am I trying to do? Why I want to close more sales? Right? I don’t want to book more meetings, I want to close more sales. And I don’t like how I look unprofessional, like not having these times. So I want to look more professional. And immediately when I start thinking about this space, I think how does it integrate with my calendar? It’s going to work with my existing CRM because we just spent so much money on that. And this attribution has to work. Otherwise, we’re not we’re not going to use it. Okay, I’m not technical, it looks kind of difficult to implement, like, I’m going to have to get buy in from the tech team for them to implement. So all of these things begin to crop up. And you need to figure out what they are so you can tactically overcome them.

Finally, this last bit around the habit, you know, we need to get buy in for this. No way You know, the team’s gonna sign off this. Alright, you know, we just have all these STRS what do we do with them now? We’ll have to like find some other work for them. Oh, yeah, we just integrated intercom or whatever, just for this reason. So great. Stop using that to use your solution. This whole bottom line is what’s keeping people from switching for even trying you. Alright, so I just vomited a lot of stuff at you. So now I’m going to try to pull it all together. It is a b2c case, I’ll show you a b2b one.

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So this is someone who’s currently in the programme. They’re called Secret spa. They do haircuts, nails, massage at home. And if you look at this page, it is just pure pure pure supply side feature feature feature. We’ve got massage, pregnancy massage, lymphatic massage, I don’t even know what that is, but we have it. When in doubt, I’m just gonna throw everything we have at you. This is the new page, relax at home with a massage that works around your diary. Here, this was the pain that people were struggling with. No travel, no parking, no waiting, our customer save an average of an hour or $10 Blah, blah, blah. This is starting to poke at that pain, that thing that is in the back of people’s heads. And you’ve scrolled down the page, guess what more massages, a NEOM whatever, perfect night’s sleep massage. When in doubt, here’s some more massages, you figure out which massage is going to help you. That’s what they’re basically saying. More features. Just give it to you and you figure out where you fit. Ah, but what are people actually worried about? What are the questions in people’s heads? These are the things that are beginning these are the things that are in their heads, not more massages, all these outcomes. Look at this. Now they’re guessing you scroll down the page. And they’re just like a which massage is right for me? Seems like that’s probably what people are asking, no, people are asking, How do you vet your therapist? Will your massage bed actually fit in my house? How are you dealing with this COVID thing?

These are all the anxieties that people feel. And you have to come out and hit them on the head with it, you have to come out and get in front of it. It’s all about anxiety busting. And again, the last bit at the bottom meet the team, they have a nice picture, blah, blah, blah, again, supply side. And here they’ve switched actually thinking about what the customers worried about what’s in their head? Oh, yeah, I’ve got a stranger. I’ve got a stranger coming into my house. How do you like how do you guys vet that? Pull that out. This is currently about 50% better than their other page, they’re now just gonna call that they’re not even gonna mess with this page anymore. They’re just gonna call it and change all their other pages to reflect this: experiment done move on.

This is a company called Scan bot. They’re based in Germany. Their average deal size is about 50,000 euros, they create the SDKs for scanning solution. So if you’ve ever used Docusign – you’ve used their solution? And so through customer conversations is all you IDR? By the way, same thing through the customer conversations. Turns out one of the biggest, biggest biggest stakeholders is the developer. And so they thought it was the business unit holder and developer was kind of secondary. It’s actually the other way around. Developers the key decision maker on this purchase, here on the left side, loads of stuff, feature feature feature feature feature; all just features, right? All supply side.

Why you need to ask the right questions to get the right answers.

Customer conversations, developers, turns out Surprise, surprise, are allergic to marketing, allergic, write anything that looks smells sounds like marketing. Done. Not interested. Okay. So they started changing their pages a little bit into dark mode, making sure that they understood that these solutions were made for developers, but really the big change came here. Here, they offered a 30 day trial. Okay, fine. And then there said, A give us your work email address. We just talked to all these developers, and they’re like, I’m not giving you anything, right, you have to show me, you are worth my time. And I said, guys, like, why do we have to take their email? And they’re like, oh, so our salespeople can call them? And I said, that’s exactly what they said they didn’t want. So you win when the developer uses your solution and sees that it’s amazing. So get out of their way. So in fact, they rolled out a seven day it’s actually worse, much shorter. And in fact, you know, they don’t want marketing, they want developer documentation. And all you have to do is put your app ID in just to show that you sort of a legitimate business. 3x. 3x in this one and change. And it was only pinpointed through conversations with developers. It was hard to get ahold of the developers. But we did it was, it was super clear that they want nothing to do with sales and marketing. Just give us a stuff so we can evaluate. And that’s what we’ve done.

All right. Let’s talk about the interviews. So what I’m going to tell you right now, is that show of hands, who’s done customer conversations? I think all of you have, right, or founders, as you know, it’s a skill and it requires practice, right? When you start doing this, patterns will begin to emerge. Do you remember that second nature example I showed you where there was like four distinct jobs, they will begin to emerge. So here, these are the questions, right for that first force, what’s bothering them? By the way, you guys will get these slides. What to ask them. Take me back to the first time you thought about buying something like this, right? Listen for the obvious jobs that they’re trying to do. What moment what made you buy at this moment? Try to understand what was going around at that time? What were the triggers that led them to that? Those are your locksmith moments.

The pull this is you’re going to ask your customers one question. This is what Brennan [Dunn] said as well. Right? What were you trying to achieve through buying this product? Describe the transformation you expect from using our product? Hint. It is not about your features. If they say, Oh, I love this feature. I love your dashboard bat it away. It’s got nothing to do with that. What would that feature allow them to do? This is the most important thing. This is what you have to listen for.

Anxiety. They had questions? Right. So when you were buying our product, tell me the story about buying your product. Oh, I came on your site. Someone told me about it. I looked. Yeah, I wasn’t sure if it was going to do it exactly the way he thought but so I had some questions around there. And then yeah, I wasn’t sure about this, or how that did that. These are all the anxieties. These are all the questions you need to be answering. One of the things that we talked about in the previous presentations was a pop up chat. How many of you guys actually have one of those pop up chats? A few of you. And some of you are how can I help you? That’s the wrong question. One of the questions that we tell startups use all the time is did you find what you were looking for? And if they touch that box, they’re listing out the comprehension issues they have with your website, the questions that you are not answering. So spend time crushing these anxieties. If you go to an Airbnb page, take a look at the page next time. 95% of that page is about crushing anxiety. Go through and look at it’s like super clean, super host. All these things that you’ve never really noticed. It’s all about anxiety busting.

Finally the habit. Oh, so you thought about buying our software? You know, so when did you first think about this? A year ago? Well, what took you so long? You described your pain? What took you so long? And you’ll hear in that conversation? Oh, we had to get buy in from such and such stakeholder? Or we, you know, we weren’t sure what success look like. So we had to go and like figure this stuff out first. All of this stuff is gold. This is what we’re looking for. It’s going to tell us who we compete with. It’s going to tell us success criteria. It’s going to help us find our locksmith moments, right. Also some very specific b2b questions, right? Again, this is all about understanding what success like is on the team. Who cares about the outcome in this project? We’re listening for more stakeholders. We’re trying to understand how they’re going about thinking about this framing the solution internally. You can’t do anything about it, if you don’t know. And you have to ask these very specific questions to get there. Hey, what does success look like? What were you looking for from an ideal supplier? Forget about price, forget about features like veer that conversation away from that. Really try to understand what success looks like to them.

And then what you’re going to do is you’re going to pull this information into a spreadsheet, and what you’re going to be able to do is begin to bucket them. These conversations sound like this. They go on the left, these conversations sound like this, they go to the right. When we starting to see very distinct use cases, then you can begin testing the language.

So look, here’s a QR code you can use for this thing that I create. It’s called a jobs to be done canvas. And it has the four forces in it and it’s got got the interview questions that you can go ahead and use to do that. So I want you to stop, stop, stop our supply side thinking. When in doubt, don’t put up another feature. Ask yourself if I’m going to talk about this feature, how does it actually help my customer? What will this feature allow my customer to do? Don’t ignore the habits and anxieties. spend time thinking about what’s stopping your customer from making progress. And finally, when you’re talking to customers, we need to ask them the right questions to get those insights.

Guys, thanks for having me today. Get out there. Get it done smashing. All right.

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Mark Littlewood
Thank you Nopadon! Do we have any kind of like, quick questions, straight responses, we’re gonna get a little more time to dig into this tomorrow as well. So Nic.

Nic Lawrence
So I have an anxiety already. I’m worried that this is a really stupid question. But, I can see how what you’ve said would really help you to improve your messaging once you’re getting traffic and improve your conversion rates. What about if your problem is earlier than that? You’re just not getting enough traffic or you’re not getting enough visitors? Can you use any parts of this to know where to?

Nopadon Wongpakdee
Yeah, that’s the locksmith moment, right. So unless you so there are certain if you sell to say like an enterprise, like, let’s say, like fortune 50 company, like you’re selling to Citibank traders, they’re not googling how to find a solution to net their trades. That’s not going to work. But if you sell to a prospect that actually looks for stuff and tries to find out information, that’s your locksmith moment. So before they get to you, what is their journey? What is where do they begin looking? What is that thing that they feel? And that is going to inform? What content that we need to put out there thought leadership that we need to put out there that addresses that specific pain, that is the locksmith moment, because they’re not looking for you over there. They’re looking for you here. There’s a case study for was silk. It’s like a soy milk that they sell in the States. And they lobbied so hard to be put in the dairy aisle, right, because no one expects to find soy milk in the dry goods aisle. You expect to find milk in the milk aisle you have to figure out where your customers expect to find you.

Mark Littlewood
Nopadon, thank you very much indeed.


Nopadon Wongpakdee
Nopadon Wongpakdee

Nopadon Wongpakdee

Partner, StartupCoreStrengths

A long-time practitioner of JTBD, Nopadon spent time learning from (and teaching with) Bob Moesta, pioneer of the Jobs-to-be-Done framework. He has refined this approach in his work at Startup Core Strengths, helping over 100 startups apply the Jobs methodology specifically to accelerate growth. Previously, he was an Entrepreneur In Residence with Citi Ventures, and coached in 500 Startups’ accelerator. He’s been working on SEO and inbound  since the late 90s, and has worked with over 100 companies.

When he’s not inspiring teams Nop enjoys Thai boxing and buzzing around London on his  one-of-a-kind custom-built Triumph T100 TR9C Roadster.

More from Nopadon.


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