Today’s episode explores JTBD theory for museums and how segmentation may impact engagement efforts.
Demographics may influence an individual’s behavior in some contexts, but how much does our income, ethnicity, or age influence motivations?
How do the ways we define audiences impact our ability to engage individuals?
How do different segmentation models impact our ability to identify gaps and opportunities in organizational offerings?
There’s a transcript below if you prefer reading over listening.
I’ll be back next week with an interview with Aubrey Bergauer. (You can read more and leave questions for Aubrey here.)
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KyleP.S. I’m planning my next online event around this topic of audience segmentation and JTBD theory. I’m still considering whether it will be a reader roundtable — similar to our Member Research and Development Roundtable a few weeks ago — or if it might be a short, remote workshop series.
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I was talking with a friend a couple of weeks ago and we found ourselves discussing audience engagement and jobs to be done theory, and this is something that I keep returning to. So I thought I'd do a quick ramble today and kind of explore the relationship between JTBD and audience engagement. So if you're not familiar with jobs to be done theory, you'll find a number of definitions online. The one that I think is particularly relevant to museums and similar visitors serving nonprofits is one that I would summarize in this way, so people are seeking some sort of progress, that people do not buy a product or a service or engage with an organization for the product or service or experience in itself. It's that those things are a means to an end. So people are seeking some progress and they will hire a particular tool or service or product to achieve that goal.
There's some future desired state of being that they're seeking and the organization's offerings somehow helps people realize that job to be done or that life goal is, I would call it. So a job is not an activity or task. Visiting the museum is not a job to be done. Making a donation, viewing artwork or reading an object label, none of these things are our jobs or life goals, those are all activities. The job to be done is the underlying reason why someone pursues those activities. And I'll give you a concrete example in a minute, but I also just wanted to point out that jobs theory, jobs to be done is not just about marketing or market research either. I really think it could be a useful model if you're in almost any role because whether you're in visitor experience or operations marketing or development or executive director or director of education, I mean when we're talking about the fundamental goals that drive people, it's obviously relevant across the board. You can't silo life goals.
So one thing that I return to often is this idea of how we differentiate between different groups of people. And I think this, the way we understand audiences, the way we talk about them and refer to them, I think that this is central to this question of how do we engage audiences. So when museums talk about audience engagement or development, people often describe visitors or different constituencies they hope to engage in terms of demographics. So we need to engage millennials or Latin X communities or lower-income individuals. And so when we differentiate between different groups based on jobs to be done as sort of this is the alternative that I'm proposing, we're focusing on the goals of