With our JTBD contextualized and defined, we now want to learn how the customer — in fact, as many roles in the Customer’s team as you can — goes about completing their stated task.
That’s when the 9 Steps comes in.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to decide what to have for dinner tonight, preparing a new legal brief, or installing custom cabinets in a new kitchen, we all complete our tasks by going through a set of steps. We don’t go through all the steps every time, sometimes we eliminate or combine, and sometimes we skip steps. But the structure, as shown above, remains the same.
Your task as a marketer is to understand these steps in as much detail as you can. It will help immensely to have your client or customer’s team define these steps together during a live workshop. Why? Because with more stakeholders you’ll tend to get more detail; you’ll also watch and listen as the team collaborates and contradicts each other through the steps, giving you more insight to the process. If you take our example of the drill, who do you think we’d like to participate in the interview, if possible? The site foreman, the construction manager, the skilled workers, and whomever is responsible for the finances on this team would all contribute to complete this nine step grid.
Here’s the breakdown:
- DEFINE: How does the Customer define the job?
- LOCATE: What resources, inputs, or options must be located?
- PREPARE: What must be organized, prepared, examined, compared, or set up?
- CONFIRM: What must be validated, prioritized, or confirmed post-prep?
- EXECUTE: What are the central executional steps or tasks that bring the job to fruition
- MONITOR: What must be monitored to ensure success during Execution?
- MODIFY: What short-term / long-term mods, adjustments, and/or maintenance are needed over time to ensure success?
- CONCLUDE: When does the job end, how is it concluded?
- RESOLVE: What problems during or after execution need resolution? How do you restart after resolution?
Strong brands will be able to speak to all of these steps in their marketing campaigns. Consequently, their brand promise will be exceptionally powerful because it directly supports what the customer wants and needs most. To get further in the weeds, a robust set of stakeholder interviews that cover all 9 steps in detail will supply your content marketing and social media teams with a solid supply of topics.