Persona Marketing with Jobs To Be Done - McDonald's Milkshake Case

4 min read
24년 6월 10일
Persona Marketing with Jobs To Be Done - McDonald's Milkshake Case

Have you ever wondered how our product could be the solution to the pressing issues faced by your personas?

In simple terms, it's about how we can enable our target customers to use our product in specific situations.

When people buy your product, it's because they are taking action to solve a particular problem.

From a problem-solving perspective, even if people don't necessarily buy your product, they can still find solutions. However, if your product aims to be a faithful guide in the hero's journey of the customer, it must align perfectly with the task or situation the customer is trying to tackle.

Customer Problem-Solving

"Customers don't want a drill, they want a hole in the wall!"

Imagine a scenario where customers are waiting at a bus stop. The bus arrives 15 minutes late, causing frustration among the customers. To address this, the transportation company switches to faster buses.

Did the bus company solve the customer's problem?

The frustration stemmed from the uncertainty of whether the bus had just passed by, when the next one would arrive, and even if the bus stop had been relocated. The root cause of dissatisfaction was the lack of clarity on the arrival time, leading to frustration and anxiety.

A bus arrival notification service would be an appropriate solution.


Renowned Harvard University scholar Clayton Christensen, famous for his theory of "Disruptive Innovation," suggests that when people purchase a product, they are essentially hiring it to complete a specific job or solve a problem.

In the realm of Jobs To Be Done (JTBD), understanding the "why" behind user actions takes precedence over the "what." This approach focuses on the user's motivations, reasons, and situational understanding. It involves crafting Job Stories to delve deeper into these aspects.

JTBD story


As a (who the person is),

when I am (the situation that person finds themselves in),

I want to (the motivation or action)

,so that I can (the desired outcome).




"As a commuter heading to work in the morning, I crave a satisfying snack to maintain my lifestyle and keep me full for a few hours. This is why a milkshake can be the perfect solution."


Case study of McDonald's milkshake by renowned scholar Clayton Christensen

McDonald's aimed to innovate their milkshake product line to attract more customers. By identifying typical milkshake consumers, inviting them for interviews, and seeking feedback on how to improve the product, McDonald's was able to enhance the milkshake's performance aspects. However, these improvements did not immediately translate into increased sales or profits.

The key insight here is that customers hire products to fulfill a specific job or solve a problem. In the case of milkshakes, customers were not just looking for a drink but a solution to their needs during their morning commute. By offering a milkshake that keeps them full until 10 a.m., McDonald's could effectively address the problem customers were trying to solve.

Understanding the market size for milkshakes is crucial. It's not just about the sales of McDonald's, Burger King, or Wendy's milkshakes but includes other alternatives like bananas, donuts, bagels, and Snickers bars. By calculating the market size based on these insights, we can see that the market is seven times larger than just the milkshake product category.

Most markets have unique characteristics and unmet needs. By understanding how customers solve their problems, we can identify areas for improvement and innovation in our products.

In conclusion, it's essential to align our products with the needs and situations of our target personas. By incorporating the 'Jobs To Be Done' framework and understanding the 'why' behind customer actions, we can create a more compelling and effective solution that ultimately leads to revenue generation."


Here's another perspective on solving the milkshake JTBD:

Picture this evening scenario:

"I'm busy. I'm having a burger and fries dinner with my son at McDonald's. As a hardworking dad, I've had a long day. Suddenly, my son asks for a milkshake for dessert."

If I were to give him a milkshake with a thin straw like in the morning, it would take forever for him to finish it. In this scenario, a thicker consistency would allow my son to quickly finish the milkshake and head home.

What worked well in the morning commute might not be the best solution for different problem-solving situations in the evening.


Now, let's consider a different afternoon scenario:

"I don't have time to talk to my daughter. Just sitting together, sharing a thick milkshake with two straws helps convey my love and understanding towards her."

Looking at milkshakes alone, people have 2-3 or even 4 different situations where they seek solutions. For example, a product used to express love and connection to a child might be a morning commute milkshake, but in a scenario like "heading home," customers would require a different product altogether.

In essence, understanding various problem-solving situations and tailoring products to fit different needs is crucial for effective solutions across different scenarios.


Marketing Persona and Jobs To Be Done

Marketing personas can have multiple Jobs To Be Done (JTBD).

Persona JTBD

These JTBD are situational and accumulate to shape the overall brand experience. This experience can range from satisfying to unsatisfying.

Therefore, marketers must incorporate the JTBD that marketing personas generate into their marketing messages to provide a better brand experience.

While optimizing functionality and performance from a product perspective (the "what"), providing guidance on user motivation, i.e., the situational context (the "why"), is essential from a customer perspective.

This approach is crucial for ultimately leading to revenue generation.

Beautiful woman having a smoothie on a summery day


Let's revisit the initial question that sparked our curiosity.

"How can our product become the most effective solution to the issues faced by our personas?"

Follow these steps:

  • First, incorporate JTBD into your marketing personas.
  • Next, present the most compelling reasons and guides for solving the situations faced by personas through persona storytelling.
  • Lastly, expand this through digital campaigns such as blogs, landing pages, social media, emails, Kakao, etc.
Ultimately, your product's fate lies in being either hired or fired by personas.

Solve customer problems with marketing personas.


Learn about Persona CRM marketing

Hello, refer to the CRM marketing guidelines for achieving revenue growth.

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This guideline serves as a roadmap for enhancing the overall revenue funnel of customer engagement organizations such as marketing, sales, and service. By elevating the 'processes, platforms, data, and capabilities of team members,' it paves the way for implementing RevOps, a strategic function that ultimately drives revenue growth. 

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