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The Empathic Pitch – The Client Empathy Map (Template Download)

What does it feel like to be the client? Here’s a new design thinking tool that we’ve designed for agencies and consultants to help you design a pitch that sells: The Client Empathy Map.

The Client Empathy Map is designed to help build your capacity to feel and experience the brief from the perspective of your client, and thereby help you better address their needs, motivations and desires.

Client Empathy: Your capacity to feel and experience what our client is feeling and experiencing

  • ‘Affective Client Empathy’ – Feeling what they are feeling
  • ‘Cognitive Client Empathy’ – Experiencing the world from their perspective

For agencies and consultants, the Client Empathy Map can help you remedy the empathy deficit in the typical client-agency relationship.  We’ve forgotten what it feels like to be the client.

With more empathy, you’ll be able to move beyond the written brief to better understand the human motivations that are so often the underlying and unwritten criteria for choice. In other words, the Client Empathy Map will allow you design an Empathic Pitch.

The Client Empathy Map is simple and easy to use – it’s based on the empathy maps that are widely used in product and service design. The main difference is that the Client Empathy Map focuses more on what your client feels, including their hopes and fears, because these are the things that are typically missing (but important) from a brief.

  • I’m Hoping… Beyond the brief, what does client personally hope for and desire as outcome?
  • I’m Fearing… What is client most afraid of, what keeps them up at night?
  • I’m Loving… What has client seen or heard about that really inspires them?
  • I’m Hating… What has client seen or heard about that they really dislike?
  • Pain Points – How could project personally hurt, threaten or inconvenience client?
  • Pleasure Points – How could project personally help, profit, promote or satisfy client?


Client Empathy Map


Written by
Dr Paul Marsden

Digital wellbeing covers the latest scientific research on the impact of digital technology on human wellbeing. Curated by psychologist Dr. Paul Marsden (@marsattacks). Sponsored by WPP agency SYZYGY.