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…”