JTBD Analytics: What jobs are site visitors trying to get done?

Jobs to be done theory, JTBD, looks at the world through the eyes of the consumer rather than from a brand or business perspective.  JTBD suggests that by understanding underlying needs and motivations we can design better products or marketing to meet these needs.  Surfacing the needs of our customers should also help us design digital products and services

Analytics provides a snapshot of how visitors interacted with the content and services on your website or store. In a perfect world it would show you why each visitor arrived at your site and allow you to measure how well you met their needs immediately and in the longer term.

But the data presented in Google Analytics does not tell you why; it just spells out what has happened as each visitor clicked from one page to the next or interacted with elements on a page.  We have to create hypotheses and test them against what we see in the data.

I am setting out to get to customer needs as closely as I can.  There is no “Needs Report” but using some of GA’s filtering and data manipulations perhaps we can get a little closer than the standard reports.

We can see the following as expressions of need:

  • Your site appears in a search result for specific terms and questions
  • Visitor recognises a connection between your site and their need in the search headline/snippet and clicks
  • Visitor sees an advert that connects with they need and clicks
  • Visitor lands at a particular page (article or category page) and connects (interacts) with the content on that page
  • Visitor expresses their need using the internal search
  • Visitor responds to site content/products by sharing this with their social networks (meeting social and perhaps emotional needs)

Of course these won’t tell the full story.  For example, we will be unable to connect with people who express a need in search even if we have an excellent solution to this need if the algorithms that link search to content fail to index us for those needs or our friends and contacts fail to recommend us in social media.

We must therefore come at this problem from two angles: discovering needs through talking to real customers and using data to find needs expressed through digital.

Here is one report that you might find useful:

  • Go to Acquisition -> Adwords -> Search Queries to generate a list of all the phrases that brought people to your site
  • Now filter this report by adding the following regular expression to the Advanced Search (bhowb)|(bwhenb)|(bwhereb)|(bwhyb)(bneedb)

G matched search

  • Google will now show you a list of question phrases that brought people to your site. Here is a short extract for one of my clients www.guardian.com.sg

G needs

  • In total we identified hundreds of needs (that were already indexed by Google).  The focus now is identifying further needs and creating content and service around these needs.
  • You can get further insights by segmenting these needs by different audience demographics or locations.

Let me know if you get any really interesting insights from this report or if you have found other ways of getting insights into to customer needs.

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