On this episode of Brainfluence, host Roger Dooley is joined by Paul Zak, founder of Immersion, a company that uses smartwatches and fitness devices to turn activity data into business insights. They discuss neuromarketing, the limitations of traditional metrics, and the importance of immersion for user experience testing. They also talk about the correlation between immersion and psychological safety, and how their technology can be used to predict mood and energy levels in vulnerable populations. Zak’s new book is Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness.How immersive is your content? Your advertising? Your dog? @PaulJZak, author of IMMERSION, answers these questions and more. #neuromarketing Click To Tweet
Paul Zak – Key Moments
Dr. Love and Immersion [00:00:52]
Background on Paul Zak, his new book, Immersion, and his company which uses smartwatches and fitness devices to measure brain activity and turn it into actionable business data.
Neuroscience and Immersion [00:03:08]
Paul Zak explains how his academic lab started measuring areas in the brain that had high densities of neurochemical signals and how they eventually built a platform called Immersion to democratize neuroscience.
Unconscious Beliefs [00:06:51] Zak highlights that what people say does not match up with what is measured and what is measured are true unconscious beliefs.
Neuromarketing and Brainous Predictors [00:07:37]
Zak discusses the limitations of traditional neuromarketing and the use of brain predictors to predict aggregate outcomes.
Optimizing Movie Trailers [00:09:51]
Zak explains how his company, Immersion, uses smartwatches and fitness devices to measure immersion and optimize movie trailers, including finding subgroups of super fans.
Amazon’s Super Bowl Ad Failure [00:12:58] Zak discusses how Amazon’s 92-second ad during the 2018 Super Bowl failed due to lack of measurement and the brain’s preference for novelty but not too much novelty.
Immersion and tension in ads [00:14:45 – 00:16:23] Zak discusses how Immersion measures tension in ads and how it can be used to create a call to action. He also talks about the importance of measuring neurologic value and how immersion data can be used to modify websites.
Measuring frustration and psychological safety [00:19:44 – 00:21:11] Zak explains how Immersion measures frustration as a neurologic state in which a person is attentive but emotionally disconnected from the experience. He also discusses the correlation between psychological safety and immersion, and how friction can reduce immersion and psychological safety.
Immersion and social value in live experiences [00:17:46 – 00:19:44] Zak talks about how Immersion captures social value and how it can be used to predict which customers buy with 85% accuracy in the luxury retail space. He also explains how immersive experiences create a desire to repeat the experience and how humans can still add value to the measurement of immersion.
Group immersion [00:21:58] Zak discusses how group immersion is higher than individual immersion, and how multisensory experiences can enhance immersion.
Measuring audience response [00:24:04]
Roger and Paul discuss the limitations of relying on people’s own feedback to measure audience response, and the potential of measuring people’s response throughout a presentation.
Predicting mood and energy levels [00:26:24]
Paul talks about a neuroscience journal paper that shows how his company’s platform can predict mood and energy levels with 98% accuracy, and how this technology can be used to help vulnerable populations and first responders.
Opening a new market [00:29:19] Zak talks about a new market that could be opened up using smartwatches and fitness devices to measure activity and turn it into actionable business data.
Finding Paul Zak and Immersion [00:29:49]
Zak explains how to find him and learn more about Immersion, his company and his similarly-named book.
Real-time neuroscience [00:29:49] Zak discusses the excitement of being able to see brain activity as it comes out of the brain in real-time.
Paul Zak Quotes
“We can predict things like sales bumps from advertising and purchases from people in stores with 85-plus percent accuracy.”
— Paul Zak [00:02:52 → 00:06:51]
The Importance of “Brainous Predictors”:
“We have to have a technology to capture that unconscious emotional experience. So there’s this new term of art that’s coming in the scientific literature called brainous predictor, or sometimes neuro forecasting, which is measuring benedictivity from a moderate number of people, 35, 40, 50 people, to predict aggregate outcomes. So that’s the space that we’re in.”
— Paul Zak [00:07:23 → 00:09:19]
Optimizing movie trailers using second-by-second data:
“Because immersion correlates with recall of information and branding weeks later, not only do you want to have higher immersion for your trailer, but you want to have the call to action at an immersion peak, if possible.”
— Paul Zak [00:10:22 → 00:13:01]
The Power of Shorter Ads:
“Almost always shorter is more immersive than longer, right? Hit me hard, hit me fast, give me a call to action.”
— Paul Zak [00:13:29 → 00:16:55]
The Value of Measuring Immersion:
“In the luxury retail space, measuring immersion from sales associates can predict which customers buy with 85 plus percent accuracy. And there’s a linear relationship between immersion during that shopping experience and how much money people spend.”
— Paul Zak [00:17:28 → 00:20:15]
‘Frustration in my definition is a neurologic state in which you’re attentive, but you’re emotionally disconnected from the experience.'”
— Paul Zak [00:20:37 → 00:21:04]
The Future of Wearables:
“How much would people pay to know what your dog loves? … I think I’d pay $5 a month and know what he loves.”
— Paul Zak [00:28:47 → 00:29:50]
The Exciting Future of Neuroscience:
‘To be able to see brain activity as it comes out of the brain, oh, my gosh. It’s so exciting. I just love it.'”
— Paul Zak [00:30:18 → 00:31:01]
About Paul Zak
Paul J. Zak is a world-renowned neuroscientist, author, and entrepreneur who has pioneered the fields of neuroeconomics, neuromanagement, and neuromarketing. He is a professor at Claremont Graduate University and a TED speaker with over 180 published papers and 19,000 citations. His latest book, Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness, reveals the science behind extraordinary experiences and how they can boost happiness and business success. He also co-founded Immersion Neuroscience, the first neuroscience-as-a-service company. Zak’s research has taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rainforest of Papua New Guinea, where he discovered the role of oxytocin in trust, morality, and love.
Paul Zak Resources
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