The JTBD framework for marketers

Marketing Powerup #21: Asia Orangio, CEO of DemandMaven, explains how the JTBD framework 10x'd a client's company in 2 years

One framework that’s made the biggest impact on my marketing career is The Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) framework.

It’s central to my book—Product-Led Onboarding.

On the surface level, it’s a simple framework to understand. People “hire” products to help them accomplish a “job” in their life.

For example, you might be "hiring" Marketing Powerups to learn marketing frameworks to help your campaigns stand out.

Understanding what your customers are hiring your product to do can help you educate people better on how your product can help them better than your competitors.

That’s exactly what Asia Orangio, CEO of Demand Maven, did for one of her clients. With her team’s help, they grew their revenue by 10X in 2 years!

In the Jobs-to-be-Done theory, people “hire” products for three interconnected reasons: functional, emotional, and social.

I’ve write about it in a previous issue of Marketing Powerups.

How great marketing “upgrades” people
At the heart of it, marketing is about telling stories of what a product does for customers. How can it help them be more productive, connected, or entertained? Great marketing helps people envision who they could be, what they could do, and where they could go.

Here’s a recap:

1. Functional upgrade 🛠

Products give people new abilities and superpowers that they couldn’t do before.

Samuel Hulick visualizes this using Super Mario. When Mario touches a flower power-up, he can hurl fireballs at his enemies!

Great marketing empathizes with people’s current struggles and paints a vivid picture of a better world with the product. The better you can do that, the more likely people are to try out the product and become customers!

What can your customers do now with your product that they couldn’t do without it?

2. Emotional upgrade ❤️

The second way that products upgrade people is by helping them feel or avoid feeling things.

It could help them feel confident with a new strategy or direction.

Or it could be to remove the frustration of doing tedious tasks.

Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse, said that The Disney Company’s goal is to “create happiness,” and they do this “by providing the best in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere.”

You don’t even have to call out the emotion like Disney.

How do you want customers to feel or avoid feeling after using your product?

3. Social upgrade 👩‍💼

The third way that products upgrade people is socially.

When we invest time and effort into a product, we do so in a social context, whether at home with family or work with colleagues.

As per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, once we have the basic needs, we look for additional ways to feel loved, connected, and accomplished by others.

How do you want customers to feel or avoid feeling after using your product?

🔖 The JTBD powerups cheatsheet

Asia goes into more detail about how she applied the JTBD framework to 10x one of her client’s revenue in 2 years

In the latest Marketing Powerups episode, you’ll learn:

  • How marketers can use the JTBD framework to improve their marketing.
  • How to avoid chasing the shiny new marketing trend.
  • How to build more confidence as a marketer.

Watch it on YouTube, or listen to it on Apple Podcast and Spotify now.

As an exclusive free perk for Marketing Powerups subscribers, I’ve created a powerups cheatsheet you can download, fill in, and apply the JTBD framework to your marketing.

You can download and make a copy of it here (a direct link with no email required).

⭐️ Mini Powerups

Fun-sized blurbs to help boost your marketing.

Winning formula for long-term growth: Elena Verna, former Head of Growth at Amplitude and growth advisor, explains that you must play across all growth notions and levers to create a predictable, sustainable, and defensible growth model.

The 3 science-based rules of writing: Keep your content simple, snappy, and exciting. The research found that people are 25% more likely to read until the end. Thomas McKinlay shares 3 rules of effective writing according to science.

The rule of content creation for 2023: Mike Cernovich, a writer and political commentator, argues that content creators "need to be doing YouTube Shorts, TikTok, and Instagram Reels. It doesn’t have to be fancy, either. Authenticity matters more. (A plug: I’ve been doing more short-form vids on YouTube, Instagram, and even TikTok. Follow me, will ya?)

🎖 Sponsored powerup

Thank you to the sponsor of the Marketing Powerups show and newsletter—42/Agency.

Founded by my good friend, , 42/Agency is my #1 recommended demand gen agency for SaaS to help you drive demos and signups.

Read some spicy takes on , such as freemium, inbound marketing, and category creation—then schedule a free consultation.

That’s all for now, friends!

Have a powered-up day,

Ramli John

👋 Say hello on Twitter and LinkedIn

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    Written by

    Ramli John

    Ramli John

    Ramli John is the founder of Marketing Powerups and author of the bestselling book Product-Led Onboarding. He's worked with companies such as Appcues, Mixpanel, and Ubisoft to accelerate their growth.

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