Microsoft Product Lead on Jobs To Be Done (Part 3)

After gathering customer research, you can initiate story mapping via jobs to be done. For example, we can use XBox to explore this concept further:

  • Situation – When I’m playing XBox.
  • Need – I want to play games with my friends.
  • Goal – It’s entertaining and I’m spending time with friends.

If you take the goal of maximizing time you can play with friends – by connecting online – you save time on travel and set up.

How We Did It With Microsoft Advertising

Before using the JTBD theory, the goal was to try to help advertisers understand the competition. Our Auction Insights showed, in Excel format, the percentage of time an advertiser showed up for searches they care about and how they compared to the competition. In the end, the tool wasn’t very useful as people either didn’t understand the data, or they preferred a “knobs and dial” type control.

For our job story mapping, we did a lot of user research, and we broke down the problem like this:

  • Situation – When I’m advertising on Bing.
  • Need – I want to show up higher than competitors on the page.
  • Goal – So I can sell more products.

By rebranding and repackaging the product, we gave a visual overlay showing a graphic competition comparison. This improved upon the Locate-Prepare parts of the job map. This way customers could visualize the impact of changes they made to their account. Now, for those who didn’t understand what Auction Insights means, they could be guided in terms of competition instead.

Make The Job Easy

Other changes we made using job story mapping were chart based recommendations on what to with competition data. This improved on the Confirm-Execute aspects of the job. We suggested actions according to any results that customers didn’t like.

In the past, we would present “cold data.” Now, we can make it actionable. All you had to do was review the recommendations, click apply and you’re done. This was much easier execution compared to pulling a report, analyzing it and deciding what to do on your own. A task that used to take hours, now boiled down to minutes.

That’s the power of jobs to be done theory and job story mapping. It helped pull Microsoft Ads out of $2B of losses per year to become a profitable venture.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2