One of the most frequent questions I am asked in social media or training workshops on food marketing strategies is how to get out of the routine in content creation to avoid posting only the dishes that are served in the restaurant.

And that’s when I share a very fun exercise called: empathy map.

What is this exercise about? It is a way of creating the profile of your ideal customer, the one that makes you excited every time they buy your products and visit your restaurant. Basically, the customer of your dreams.

We put ourselves in our customer’s shoes, connect with empathy and answer 6 key questions:

1. What do they think and feel?

It is aimed at the type of food you sell. For example: If it’s an arepas restaurant, do they feel a need or is just a craving? How do they feel about the consumption of this type of food?

2. What do they hear?

We focus on thinking about what our ideal customer listens to. For example: What do they hear about Venezuelan food businesses in their city, both from their friends and their surroundings; but it’s also important to know what they hear from social media influencers.

3. What are they doing?

We enter the world of our ideal customer: What is their life like? What do they do? What are their hobbies? What do they talk about? What are their passions? Their favorite style of music, their favorite food. Everything is imaginary, the idea is to create a character of your ideal customer.

4. What do they see?

Here you should answer: What does your ideal customer see in their environment in relation to the type of food you offer? Do they see that it is an abundant and satisfying meal? Is it an affordable or expensive meal? Is it popular among their friends?

5. What are their pains?

Ask yourself: what would be those doubts or issues that your ideal customer must overcome to consume your product?

6. What are their needs?

We could answer: What are their needs in relation to food? For example: your ideal customer works at a bank, they don’t have much time for lunch and through your business they get a delicious dish, homemade and at a good price.

I recommend doing this exercise with some friends, either on a blackboard or on a large white sheet, where you have the opportunity to place each question in a different color or each answer with sticky notes.

In the last training workshop, we created an empathy map to a Venezuelan empanadas business in Monterrey, Mexico, with 9 Mexican participants, and everything we got from the responses was wonderful; both to create content that responds to each idea taken from the 6 questions of the exercise, and to create new styles of empanadas that connect with the palate of the people of the city, so they do not see the product (Venezuelan empanada) as something foreign to them.

Take action! Do the customer empathy map exercise, then share how it went and all the ideas you got.

We co-created this content with Valentina Salazar (IG: @valentinasalazarmx), Food Marketing Consultant, to help your business grow.