Empathy map: what it is and 6 steps to create a quality one

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The empathy map is a format that seeks to describe the ideal client of a company through the analysis of 6 aspects, related to human feelings. It can be done from questions that help to understand the customer and how to relate to him.

Imagine entering the mind of your target audience, understanding what they want and, thus, offering more appropriate products, services and care.

It seems unlikely, but, in a way, that can be done by means of some tools.

One of these is the empathy map, a resource used to design the profile of your ideal client based on their feelings.

In this post, learn more about what an empathy map is and find out how to make one for yourself.

Template: Empathy Map

The Empathy Map is a resource used to design the profile of your ideal client based on their feelings. Download the template and create your own!

What is the empathy map

In times of conflict the phrase “the world needs more empathy” is heard. This is due to the fact that this feeling – which describes the ability to understand the emotional state of the other by putting oneself in their shoes – allows us to see situations from different perspectives and to understand the reasons why individuals act in unnecessary blows.

Now, imagine removing those feelings from the plane of ideas and placing them on the paper, dividing them into categories such as pains, needs and feelings, into quadrants that facilitate visualization. This is how the empathy map works. As its name implies, the idea is to detail the personality of the client to understand it.

The empathy map can be designed on a blackboard, flip chart , paper or on a computer. When it is done on paper, it is common for it to be completed with post-its. Regardless of the chosen medium, it must be divided as follows:

As you can see, it is divided, at the top, into four questions related to the client – these will be detailed later:

  • What do you think and feel?
  • What are you listening to?
  • What does it do?
  • What do you see?

And at the bottom:

  • What are your pains?
  • What are your needs?

How to make an empathy map in 6 steps

Now that you are clear about what the empathy map is, it is possible to put it into practice in 6 steps.

Before that, a stage that would be number zero is to previously study the behavior of your ideal clients is to create a person – a fictional character built from the ethnography of real people, with psychological characteristics, representing a group with similar qualities and behaviors.

For this, the ideal is that you have a minimum audience: people who follow your company on social networks, who like what is published and even those who are already customers.

From this, you can share your results with other people on the team and brainstorm to present ideas and receive suggestions from colleagues, who can characterize customer segments. In addition to that, you must provide a name and age, which will help give an idea of ​​who it is.

When you have this information, you are ready to create your empathy map!

1) What do you see?

That first quadrant refers to the visual stimuli that your person receives. Try to answer questions like:

  • What is the world the person lives in like?
  • What are your friends like?
  • What is the most common in your daily life?

2) What are you listening to?

Here, think about what your person hears not only in a sound sense, in music or conversations, but also in the influences of various sources, such as the media. You can search to answer questions like:

  • What people and ideas influence you?
  • Who are your idols?
  • What are your favorite brands?
  • What communication products do you consume?

3) What do you think and feel?

These are the ideas that your product or service awakens in the minds of consumers.

  • How does the person feel in relation to the world?
  • What are your concerns?
  • What are your dreams?

4) What does he speak and do?

This point is related to the consumption of the product or service, from when the person makes the decision to buy it. To understand what your person speaks and does, pay attention to her behavior: the speech she makes and what she practices. Answering questions like these can help:

  • What do you usually talk about?
  • At the same time, how does it work?
  • What are your hobbies?

5) What are your pains?

Corresponds to the doubts and obstacles that your audience must overcome to consume your product.

  • What are you afraid of?
  • What are your frustrations?
  • What obstacles must you overcome to get what you want?

6) What are your needs?

It is related to what you can put into practice to surprise your target audience, showing them possibilities. Question about:

  • What is success for you?
  • Where does he want to go?
  • What would end their problems?

Example of an empathy map

The objective of the empathy map below is to describe the ideal client of a distance learning company, but it can serve as inspiration to create yours, regardless of your business segment.

Juliana is 36 years old and has lived in Bogotá since she was born.

She studied administration at the National University and a master’s degree in finance at the Universidad de los Andes, she works in an insurance company, with sales management. For her, the quality of education is very important, because she knows that having degrees from good institutions opens many doors.

Her life is hectic and she is divided between family and work to get everything done. She values ​​comfort and luxury, as she ensures that, to be well seen in her market, she must convey confidence, seriousness and power through her visual.

She has 2 children and divides her tasks with her husband, in addition to having a great collaboration from her parents in raising them. Whenever she needs it, the grandparents take care of her grandchildren. She likes to go to a restaurant with her husband and her friends to have time for herself, have her favorite wine at the restaurant that is trending at the time.

Her mother is a figure of inspiration, since she was a professional with a career of recognition, which Juliana also hopes to have. Due to the time she spent outside the market to care for her children, she feels a bit outdated.

She is in search of new knowledge such as management, agile methodologies, Digital Marketing and others that can be added to her curriculum and in the day-to-day in companies to improve her performance and be more recognized, because she dreams of reaching the company director.

Now that her children are older, she manages to set aside time to study and read materials related to her profession.

NAME: Juliana

AGE: 36 years


  • “I need to study to improve my resume”
  • “I believe that good educational institutions open doors”


  • She watches shows like Masterchef and channels like Discovery Home and Health, in addition to Netflix
  • she buys brands for successful women, like Zara.
  • You need to think less about work and relax a bit


  • She frequents good restaurants
  • Wear clothing that shows seriousness and power
  • Values ​​comfort and luxury


  • Successful mother
  • Entrepreneurial friends


  • she feels outdated in relation to the job market
  • It is difficult to reconcile work and family


  • “I need knowledge about agile management methodologies and Digital Marketing”
  • “I must improve my performance to reach the board of the company”

When you have all the quadrants complete, your empathy map will be ready!

As we said before, having empathy means putting yourself in the place of the other. By doing this with your clients, you will be able to understand them better and avoid false beliefs about them when making decisions.

Do you want to take advantage of a tool that helps you take advantage of your entire strategy and optimize your generation of real opportunities? Fill out the form below and start using RD Station Marketing for free now.

Until next time!

This article was published on December 7, 2017 and updated on October 12, 2021.


  • Digital Marketing Strategy
Empathy map: what it is and 6 steps to create a quality one

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