Case Study: Culture Trip – making better product development and marketing decisions

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The following is a short case study on how Culture Trip, one of my clients, used the insights gained from Jobs to be Done research to make better product development and marketing decisions.

When Alan Vanstone, Director of Product at Culture Trip, a growing travel startup with offices in London, New York and Tel Aviv, approached me, he wanted to gain a deeper understanding of why people take leisure trips and how Culture Trip and other travel products fit in. Alan had read a lot about Jobs to be Done and some of the methods to apply the theory but he had found it difficult to turn the theory into practice by himself.

Unlike Jobs to be Done methods that focus on user ‘needs’ and activities, I helped Alan and his team apply Jobs to be Done thinking to their project, an approach that is concerned with understanding what progress consumers are trying to make and how demand is generated for products that would help consumers create the experiences they desire.

The qualitative insights gained from our research helped the Culture Trip team to get a deep understanding of how their users think about leisure travel and why and when they pull travel products, including Culture Trip, into their lives. Equipped with this new knowledge, Culture Trip was now in a better position to create value for their existing and new users and, as a result, growth for the company. Furthermore, at the end of our work together, Alan had become confident in his abilities to conduct further Customer Jobs-based research himself in areas that he wanted to explore deeper.

Our approach

Before our engagement, Alan and the Product team at Culture Trip had identified the key moments in the user journey of travellers when they research, plan and book their trips. The team had envisioned a number of features that would help users along these key moments. However, rather than conducting user testing sessions or asking users of the website and mobile app whether they liked the proposed features, Alan encouraged his team to take a different approach: He wanted to take a step back and first understand the underlying struggles, hopes and expectations users have when travelling. In other words, he wanted to understand what ‘Jobs’ Culture Trip’s users ‘hire’ travel for in order to make their lives better.

At the start of our engagement, we clarified the questions we aimed to answer with this research project:

    • How does travel fit into the lives of consumers?
    • How do consumers hope their lives will change through travelling?
    • What do consumers value and how is value constructed?
    • How do consumers struggle on travel trips?
    • How is demand for travel products created?
  • What is our competition (from the consumer’s PoV and not ours) and what solutions do consumers use to design the experiences they desire when travelling?

In November, we conducted a series of 60mins interviews with existing users of Culture Trip’s website, mobile application and Facebook page as well as consumers who had not used these products before. All interviewees had recently been on a leisure trip, were the main trip organiser and were also currently planning a new trip.

Through interviews, we discovered and described the users’ behavioural data, e.g. the constraints that the interviewees experienced in their lives and the events that led up to the interviewees seeking to make a change in their lives (go travel). We then captured those events along a demand-creation timeline. Finally, we modelled the relationships between the behavioural data collected and defined the Jobs the interviewees hired travel for to get done.*

Project outcomes

At the end of the 4-week engagement, the Culture Trip Product team had learnt how people outside of the company think about leisure travel and what Jobs they are hiring travel for to help them get done. The team now understood what important role travel products, including Culture Trip, play in helping users create the experiences they desire from travelling.

Specifically, the insights from the research enabled the Culture Trip Product team to make decisions about which direction to take their products in and where to focus their product development and innovation efforts, i.e. what features to build, improve or kill, in order to help their users make progress. This will help drive engagement with the Culture Trip products and further differentiate the products from the competition. The Marketing team at Culture Trip can now also better position the product and create compelling copy for their marketing and advertising campaigns by speaking directly to what their users value (being able to make progress) which will help with acquiring new users.

And here is what Alan has to say about our collaboration:

We wanted to get a deeper understanding of why people take leisure trips and how they pull travel products into their lives. I had read a lot about Jobs to be Done as a means to uncover this but found it difficult to turn the theory into practice. Rene helped me bridge that gap. He taught me how to do Jobs interviews and synthesise the data. Rene also helped me a lot with selling the project to senior stakeholders. I now feel a lot more confident in my abilities to conduct Jobs to be Done research for our next project.

Alan Vanstone, Director of Product at Culture Trip

Interested in discussing how a Jobs to be Done-based research like the one with Culture Trip can help you and your organisation make better business decisions? Schedule a free call, email me or check out my Services & Pricing page for more information on the ‘Product Research Sprint’.

* For confidentiality reasons, the Jobs that were discovered through this research project and other insights gained cannot be published.

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