Empathy Map (Part 1): Necessary Tool in Content Creation

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Finding a tool to know your audience persona helps you write compelling content.

Empathy, sympathy, and apathy – which of these three words ring a bell to you?

Empathy, sympathy, and apathy are often confused in their usage.  Empathy, being one’s understanding of another person’s feelings, is often confused with sympathy.  Sympathy is a feeling of pity or compassion, is also confused with apathy, which should not be as the latter is about the lack of interest.

So, why am I explaining this? Well, because even though these words have the same suffixes, only empathy is relevant to connect with the tool that we can use to understand our audience’s persona.

WHAT IS AN EMPATHY MAP?

An empathy map is a tool that helps in understanding your audience’s needs and helps you in developing and improving your products and services.  This tool is essential in design research and marketing management because they need to create an avatar that is a fictional representation of the ideal customer.

In creating content, the empathy map is a tool to create compelling content for the audience.  It uses an avatar (not the avatar in video games, or the representations of users in a platform, or the incarnation of a Hindu deity), which is an image representing an actual person. In this case, the audience persona we are targeting.

WHO INVENTED THE EMPATHY MAP?

The empathy map is an original creation by Dave Gray, a coach or mentor in visual thinking for business strategies and success.  Read more about him and his accomplishments here.

Back to the empathy map.  The tool has been updated and tweaked by many interested parties in many organizations to suit their needs.   Some empathy maps are created in charts or worksheets using tools like paper, Google Docs, Evernote, mind mapping tools, and many more.

You can maximize the use of your empathy map with a team.  It’s not that it cannot be done by a single individual, but the collective efforts of a team can result in more extensive or comprehensive observations.

WHY USE AN EMPATHY MAP?

  • To understand the avatar better with the use of real data on demographics, behavior, histories, motivations, anxieties, and cares, etc.
  • To produce better products and enlist reliable services.
  • To make better decisions based on the customer’s needs, and based on their empathy towards them.
  • To write compelling content for the audience.

This post ends here for now.  The objective is to give you an idea of what an empathy map is.  There is more about it on the next blog post.

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