Magic Marketing: Appealing to Customer Desires

Clayton Christensen and his colleagues developed the theory of Jobs to Be Done, an innovation framework focused on customer desires. Rather than concentrating on traditional market demographics, the theory encourages product developers and marketers to appeal to three types of customer desires: functional, emotional, and social.

According to the Christensen Institute, “People don’t simply buy products or services; they pull them into their lives to make progress.” Based on the theory, people use products or services to accomplish jobs. Entrepreneurial innovators, especially marketers, should carefully consider the theory of Jobs to Be Done. Here is how you can incorporate customer desires into your venture’s magic marketing strategy.

Functional Desires

Functional desires refer to the specific task that customers want the product to perform. If a customer is buying a car, she may be concerned with gas mileage, emission rates, and longevity. These are all functional desires.

In order to appeal to a customers’ functional desires, product developers need make sure that the product performs at the level expected by customers. Customers want the product to perform at a level that is higher than competitors’ products at similar price points. Marketers should emphasize the technical aspects of the product. However, sometimes tech companies place too much emphasis on functionality.

Emotional Desires

Emotional desires refer to how customers want to feel when they use the product or service. When customers read posts on Entreprenavel, they hopefully feel sustained levels of excitement and competence as they become more knowledgable about entrepreneurship. Entreprenavel’s coaching services are designed to make customers feel relief, along with elevated competence, since they provide arms-length guidance as customers enter the entrepreneurial world. Are these the feelings you hope for when you engage with Entreprenavel?

Appealing to customers’ emotional desires requires an empathetic approach. By applying 5-step design thinking, you can get inside your target customers’ heads. Although companies formerly used focus groups to understand emotional desires, modern marketers use observational field research and online testing methods, such as conversion funnels, to gather emotional information.

Social Desires

Social desires refer to the sense of connection customers hope to gain when they use the product or service. When people post on social media, they typically want to gain attention and social status. People buy Ferraris for similar reasons. Along with attracting attention and elevating their status, customers may hope to join meaningful communities. If a factory manager adopts clean energy solutions, he becomes part of the environmental movement.

To appeal to social desires, product designers should build positive feedback loops into their offerings. Forums are examples of positive feedback loops because user-generated content attracts more users. Marketers should employ psychological tactics, such as social proof, to convince people that they are part of something larger than themselves or purchasing high-status products. Buying likes on social media and paying influencers to market products are examples of such tactics.

Innovation Time

Now, you understand the theory of Jobs to Be Done and appealing to customer desires. Be sure to test your strategies, and strike a balance between the different desires to effectively appeal to your customers.

Go forth and satisfy your customers’ functional, emotional, and social desires!

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