People-First Strategy: Embracing Jobs Theory

Jobs To Be Done is often talked about but seldomly used fully. Its awesome when it is. 

Embrace People-First Thinking

In a recent AudienceCON talk, long-time collaborator, client and friend Simon Miller illuminated the significance of adopting a customer-centric, or rather, a "people-first" perspective. At the core of this approach is identifying and addressing the unmet needs of your audiences - those vital desires they consider essential, yet are currently unfulfilled. According to Simon, this void between importance and satisfaction forms the perfect breeding ground for innovation and growth.

Ultimately, success isn't solely about profits but hinges on creating meaningful experiences for your audience. Simon asserts the need to focus on the "jobs" that products or services help the audiences accomplish, rather than merely concentrating on their features or attributes.

Unpacking "Jobs"

When Simon talks about "jobs," he refers to the basic human needs and aspirations propelling consumer behavior and decision-making, which are far more fundamental than product features. For instance, people don't purchase vitamins for the sheer love of swallowing capsules; they buy them to fulfill a need for health and wellness. Here, the job of the product (vitamin) is to cater to the need for a healthy life.

The brands that succeed are those that put their customers' "jobs" in the spotlight. Identifying these "jobs" helps not only shape a brand's core offering but also guides innovation, with new products and services being designed to better cater to these fundamental needs and desires.

Focus on Important but Unsatisfied Jobs

Simon emphasized that identifying important but unsatisfied jobs within a category provides the opportunity for real innovation. This means:

In summary, identifying unsatisfied but important jobs is key to finding opportunities for meaningful innovation that provides value to audiences. It opens brands to developing solutions that satisfy needs in entirely new ways rather than just improving on the status quo.

Leveraging Jobs Theory for Deeper Audience Insight

How can Jobs Theory guide you towards gaining more profound audience insights? Begin by determining the most important yet unsatisfied jobs within a category – this directly points to the opportunities for innovation. Utilize Jobs Theory to recontextualize your understanding of your audience and their needs, moving beyond rudimentary demographics to explore their deepest motivations.

By understanding the intricate network of jobs your audiences are trying to accomplish, and how existing solutions are serving their needs, you can uncover gaps that offer valuable opportunities. Validate your key assumptions about the jobs you aim to satisfy and ensure your solutions address real unmet needs, aligning with audience priorities.

Lastly, evaluate your current metrics. Do they accurately reflect how well you're satisfying your audience's most meaningful jobs? Your efforts should revolve around metrics that genuinely embody the human experiences and needs you aim to serve. This approach not only contributes to the satisfaction and loyalty of your current audience but also attracts potential customers.

Remember, a People-First strategy isn't about selling a product or a service; it's about understanding the jobs your audience needs to be done and fulfilling them. When this perspective guides your innovation and marketing, growth and success naturally follow.

Prioritize High-Impact Jobs to Boost Corporate Insight Capabilities

At Audience Strategies, we advocate for the effective use of the Jobs Framework to help organizations optimize the impact of their insights and analytics capabilities, also. To harness this powerful tool, it's imperative to first comprehend the essential tasks - or "jobs" - that your organization needs to accomplish.

This process involves a comprehensive review of your corporate goals, dissecting them into individual "jobs" and then ascertaining the priority of each. Once you've identified the high-priority jobs, particularly those currently unfulfilled, you'll have a clear direction for developing insight capabilities that address those exact needs.

For instance, if your business's critical job is to optimise your customer's buying journey, you'll need insight capabilities that collect and analyze data on customer behavior, preferences, and purchasing habits. These insights should then drive decision-making and strategy, allowing you to better align your insight products and services with your internal customers' needs.

Moreover, a focus on high-priority, currently unmet jobs will help to eliminate unnecessary or irrelevant data collection and analysis, ensuring your team's resources are effectively deployed towards the most impactful areas.


In summary, identifying unsatisfied yet important jobs is key to finding opportunities for meaningful innovation that provides value to decision-makers. It opens insight teams to developing capabilities that satisfy needs in entirely new ways rather than just improving on the status quo. When you align your insight capabilities with your most important jobs, you streamline your operations, make more informed decisions, and create more value for your organization. It's about creating a symbiosis between what your organization needs to accomplish and the insights you gather to aid that process, thereby improving efficiency and driving success.

Why General-Purpose Insight Reports Don't Work

General insight reports that provide broad overviews of metrics like viewership numbers in the TV world are often found to be not useful for most business decision makers. These types of broad reports that aren't targeted on helping a person do a specific job typically lack context and do not provide actionable insights that can directly inform strategic choices.

In contrast, insight reports focused on helping stakeholders accomplish specific "jobs" or tasks are much more valuable. By targeting a particular decision or problem that needs to be solved, these reports can provide tailored recommendations and strategic direction. Some examples of jobs that may require more targeted analysis of viewership numbers in more targeted insight reports include:

The key is that these targeted reports are designed with a specific decision and business objective in mind. They incorporate data and analyses tailored to accomplish that goal and provide actionable insights and recommendations that directly address the job at hand. While high-level reports have a place, insights that can meaningfully inform strategic choices and drive business outcomes tend to be the most useful and impactful. Focusing on jobs is the best way to develop reports that deliver this type of value.

Leveraging Expert Interviews and Conferences to Build Insight Capabilities that Make a Difference

At Audience Strategies, our passion for making a real difference is at the heart of our approach. To stay ahead of the curve and ensure we provide the most relevant and impactful advice to our clients, we regularly engage with industry leaders through one-on-one interviews and hosting of multiple annual conferences. These interactions provide an invaluable resource for up-to-date insights and trends, which directly informs our consulting strategies.

The questions we ask leaders during off-the-record interviews are designed to delve into their most pressing concerns and priorities, their "jobs", if you will. It is through these discussions that we uncover their unmet needs and how insights can be optimized to address them.

In our four annual conferences, we explore a wide array of topics pertaining to market research, AI in audience intelligence, entertainment analytics, and audience research. These forums bring together leaders from globally recognized companies like Unilever, Facebook, Pepsi, Coke, and Procter & Gamble, among others. The resulting exchange of ideas and experiences, combined with the knowledge we glean from the interviews, equips us with a well-rounded perspective on the state of the insight industry.

Our conference, the AudienceCON, for instance, focuses on the challenges that research and social intelligence professionals face, examining everything from specific tools and techniques to broader organizational challenges. It is through these engagements that we sharpen our understanding of what businesses need to boost their impact and efficiency.

But we don't just observe and gather information. We apply it. Our consulting and advisory services offer tailored solutions, honed from the combined insights of various industries. Our clients range from major UK broadcasters, global entertainment companies, retailers like Harrods, to book publishers, and many more. With each project, we leverage the collective wisdom of the insight industry to help businesses navigate their unique challenges and maximize their audience strategies.

In a nutshell, our multifaceted engagement with the insights industry, combined with our dedication to understanding your unique needs, equips us exceptionally well to help your business. With Audience Strategies, you get more than a consulting service; you get a strategic partner committed to your success.