Fresh from the July issue of Fast Company comes this fascinating article that should make all marketers think when it comes to their use of social media in their marketing mix. Citation: This post is a direct summary of Fast Company’s excellent article by Adam L. Penenberg (who’s other work you should check out immediately).
Paul J. Zak, a.k.a “Dr. Love,” is a professor at Claremont Graduate University who popularized “neuroeconomics,” an emerging field that combines economics with biology, neuroscience, and psychology.
His angle? Some best-selling behavioral economists such as Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational) and Steven D. Levitt (half of the Freakonomics duo) ponder how we make economic decisions. Zak wants to figure out why we do what we do.
In a word – “Oxytocin.”
“…Known for years as the hormone forging the unshakable bond between mothers and their babies, oxytocin is now, thanks largely to Zak, recognized as the human stimulant of empathy, generosity, trust, and more. It is, Zak says, the “social glue” that adheres families, communities, and societies, and as such, acts as an “economic lubricant” that enables us to engage in all sorts of transactions…”
“…Your brain interpreted tweeting as if you were directly interacting with people you cared about or had empathy for,” Zak says. “E-connection is processed in the brain like an in-person connection…”
“…In a world of social networks, then, this much seems clear: Companies that can connect with us and raise our oxytocin levels should prosper. Those that can’t, won’t…”
It is all too easy to forget this fundamental in our age of ROI, NPV and Cost/Benefit, but it is critical to remember – At it’s core, buying is an EMOTIONAL decision.
I was reminded of this today when I picked up a tweet from the Harvard Business Review that mentioned the concept in a blog post by Clif Reichard. Cliff is a 55 year veteran of sales and customer service. We can all learn a lot from that type of experience.
Cliff says that “…Many sales organizations do little to create an emotional connection with prospective customers and concentrate instead on hype-filled sales pitches. We do the opposite: By conveying our warm feelings, we create an emotional bond without appearing phony or insincere. Then, by making an objective presentation, we show that we respect our customers’ ability to make their own judgments. The art of selling is in the heart, not the brain…”
Being honest with yourself, when is the last time that you and your team put as much energy into the heart of a pursuit as the brain?
Been a while between posts – I just returned from some vacation. The prep time before and digging out after have been significant, as always. But, should be back on track for posting now…
It’s great to unplug and step away from the daily grind and see the forest for the trees though. When you realize what you’re working for – it makes it so much easier get back and hit it. It was a great time off with my wife and kids: hiking, swimming, fishing. My son caught his first Musky…thought he won the Superbowl!
One of my take-aways this time was that I really love what I do. Not everyone can say that. There is a real vocational dimension to helping people with their most important projects that motivates me to do the best for my clients.
Also, although some people automatically think technology is extremely cool and fun (guilty) it is also continuing to change the game for everyone, so you need to pay attention.
On that note, I was reviewing some of my favorite blog reads while away and I think this one from Seth Godin wins. It’s a concise summary about the transition from the production > information > “information about information” economy and gets you thinking about all the opportunities yet to be seized…
Better get back to work!