How to create an empathy map

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INBOUND MARKETING · 17 / 08 / 2015

An ideal company should be one that could perfectly understand what their customers want exactly of their products and services. In this way, it would be able to offer them the best product or service possible, adapting to their needs. Unfortunately, this is not so easy to achieve, as consumers are increasingly demanding and specialized. How can we improve our value proposition?

In previous articles I have talked about the need to define variables like the Buyer Person or the Buyer Journey In a Inbound Marketing Strategy, but today I’m going to talk about a tool that really helps us to put ourselves in the skin of our client: The empathy Map.

What is the Empathy Map?

It Is a Design Thinking tool developed by XPLANE, and later became more popular when it appeared in the famous book «Business Model Generation«, (2010) by Alex Osterwalder. It is an element that is applicable to any type of business and which revolves around the concept of empathy (putting oneself in the other’s skin).

Therefore, the empathy map aims to help us better understand our client through a thorough knowledge of their environment, their vision of the world, desires and needs. Normally companies speak of clients with abstract characteristics based on assumptions and suppositions. This map helps us to go beyond what the client says and looks. 

What is an empathy map For?

In an inbound Marketing strategy It is important to know our customers and not focus on abstract segments or assumptions. So Creating an empathy map is going to be key to identifying behaviors, contexts, and discovering unexpectedinsights. Collecting All this information will help us communicate and better relate to our customers, which will make our value proposition more effective and have a more personalized approach.

By transforming customer segments into people, we can respond to issues like these: 

  • Who are they for real?
  • What do you spend your time With?
  • Who are your friends?
  • What value proposition do you expect?
  • How Much are you willing to pay for it?
  • What influences them?
  • What Do you need?

How to create the Empathy Map?

Exercise can be as simple or complex as you want to do, but here are the steps that Digital Menta Consider that you should continue to create it:

1. Segment:

The first step will be to be clear who your customers are, ie your Buyer person, and then you must group them by common attributes (demographic, lifestyle, psychological, ETC) to get X segments. We recommend not to create more than 3, since the strategy would be too diversified.

2. Humanize:

Once you have the segments created, you will have to “give life” to a person from each segment. To do this, you will create a profile prototype with its own name, a photograph and its information. Giving concrete personality to what was once a population segment will be useful to create a mental image and focus on who you have to address.

3. Empathize:

This Is the key stage in which we actually built the empathy map answering questions around 4 concepts: FEEL, SEE, HEAR, SAY.

Empathy Map-Profile

The 6 quadrants to be defined in the Empathy Map

What do you think and feel? (define what happens in the user’s mind):

  • What do you care about most? (Even if you don’t say it verbally).
  • What motivates you?
  • What takes the desire to sleep?
  • What are your dreams and aspirations?

What Do you see? (Describe what the user sees around you):

  • What is your environment?
  • Who are your real friends?
  • What kind of offers are you impacted On a daily basis?
  • What are the key people around?
  • What kind of problems do you have to deal With?

What do you hear? (explains how your environment influences the user):

  • What do you hear in your work environment?
  • What do your friends and family tell you?
  • What people have influence on him?
  • How Do they do it? Through which media (communication, multimedia etc)?

What does he say and do? (Think what you would say or how the user would behave in public):

  • How do you usually behave in public?
  • What’s your attitude?
  • What do you say you care?
  • Who do you usually talk To?
  • Do you Have any influence on anyone?
  • Are There Differences between what you say and what you think?

Add 2 Extra quadrants to this: pains And gains:

What are your fears and frustrations?:

  • What is your biggest frustration?
  • What fears or risks concern you?
  • What obstacles are placed between him and his desires or needs?
  • What risks are you afraid to assume?

What are your motivations?:

  • What do you really want or need to get?
  • What does success mean to him?
  • How do you intend to achieve it?

4. Validate:

The map is not a static element, but must be validated and revalidated as often as necessary. You will have to constantly test and analyze the hypothesis you have built to check whether they are true or not, and include new discoveries or delete errors.

Implementing our empathy map in just 3 steps:

  • On a blackboard or mural start drawing in the center to your Buyer Person or including your photograph and write your identifying information (age, work, education, etc.).
  • Create a square and divide in four quadrants (FEEL, SEE, HEAR, SAY) and create below two for Pains and Gains.
  • Fill in each space with post it or notes with the information of the user that you have been extracting. 
Empathy Map

Empathy Map Template – XPLANE

Download here the template that will serve as a guide

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