How To Use Immersion To Create Amazing Experiences written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing
Marketing Podcast with Dr. Paul J. Zak
In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Dr. Paul J. Zak. Dr. Zak is a Professor at Claremont Graduate University. A four-time tech entrepreneur, his most recent company Immersion Neuroscience is a software platform that allows anyone to measure what the brain loves in real-time to improve outcomes in entertainment, education and training, advertising, and live events. He is also the author of Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness.
The world is rapidly transforming into an experience economy as people increasingly crave extraordinary experiences. There’s a scientific formula to consistently create extraordinary experiences. The data shows that those who use this formula increase the impact of experiences tenfold. Creating the extraordinary used to be extraordinarily hard. In this episode, I talk with Dr. Paul J. Zak about his framework for transforming nearly any situation from ordinary to extraordinary.
Questions I ask Dr. Paul J. Zak:
- [2:01] Define immersion and influence.
- [2:44] What is the neuroscience behind what we’re talking about?
- [3:41] What’s going on in the brain that you’re able to measure what the brain loves?
- [4:36] The lab that you ran was really credited with the discovery of oxytocin, is that an overstatement?
- [5:59] What was the work that you did with DARPA?
- [7:26] What role does immersion play in creating or becoming a source of happiness?
- [9:06] Is there a way for us to train mindfulness of a customer or of a reader in a way that’s going to help them become more immersed because they’re more mindful?
- [11:30] Is there a way to use this framework to create better digital experiences or automated experiences?
- [13:07] Are there things that somebody can do to create a more immersive experience? And is there kind of a checklist of ways people could up their game in more mass settings?
- [17:38] In what ways can you measure outside of the laboratory?
- [21:08] Where can people learn more about your work and pick up a copy of your book?
More About Dr. Paul J. Zak:
- His book — Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness.
Take The Marketing Assessment:
- Take the Assessment
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Duct Tape Transcript
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(00:53): Hello and welcome to another episode with the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Dr. Paul J .Zak. He’s a professor at Claremont Graduate University, a four time tech entrepreneur. His most recent company, Immersion Neuroscience is a software platform that allows anyone to measure what the brain loves in real time to improve outcomes in entertainment, education and training, advertising, live events. You name it. So Dr. Zach, welcome to the show. I forgot to mention, of course, we’re gonna talk about your book. You’re also the author of Immersion, The Science of Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness. So welcome to the show.
Dr. Paul J. Zak (01:32): Thank you so much, John.
John Jantsch (01:34): I have to start it out by saying that I cried at the end of Lala Land too. I’ve watched it three or four times. I even went to the planetarium the last time was in la. So you got me really with that story.
Dr. Paul J. Zak (01:46): And it’s a weird thing, right? Neurologically, I’m a behavioral neuroscientist. Super weird that we’re crying at a flickering 2D image. Like what is the deal with that ?
John Jantsch (01:57): So help me rather than just ask you like defined immersion, maybe let’s start with our immersion and influence different related, not the same at all. I could see some people talking, I could see some people reading the book and thinking, oh, this is about influence.
Dr. Paul J. Zak (02:13): Yes and no. Like any good question, the answer is yes and no. So right,
John Jantsch (02:16): There
Dr. Paul J. Zak (02:16): You go. Immersion is a neurologic state that my research uncovered that strongly predicts what people will do after an experience. Therefore, if I created immersive experience for you, I am likely to be able to influence your behavior.
John Jantsch (02:34): You are a research scientist and so I get to ask you, I don’t have a lot of those on here. I get to ask you the, what is the neuroscience behind the, this thing that we’re talking about,
Dr. Paul J. Zak (02:45): Right? And I should say this is 20 years of my life. And so like we knew what we were doing this whole time. So I’m gonna give you the answer. So two core components we found predict what people will do after a message or an experience. One is you’ve gotta pay attention. That’s a given, right? If you’re not paying attention, you’re somewhere else, it’s not gonna work. That’s really the necessary condition. But the sufficient condition to induce you to take an action is, can I use one bad word, John? Am I allowed one of our, one of our subscribers, the software called this, the give a shit measure. You have to be emotionally engaged by this. You have to actually care about it. And neurologically, this is interesting because the brain wants to idle. Cause it takes so much energy to really be fully immersed in an experience. So if you’re attentive and you have this emotional resonance, like, holy crap, I’m here. This is awesome. Give me more of this.
John Jantsch (03:32): So what’s going on? You know, you’re, you’re, I read in the, you know, the software platform that measures, you know, the brain love what the brain loves in real time. I mean, what’s going on in the brain that you’re able to go, oh, there it is,
Dr. Paul J. Zak (03:45): Right? It’s a very weird state and that’s why I gave you this word immersion because it is like being sucked into a movie or ad where we just can’t forget it. So the attentional response is associated with the brain’s binding of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. So that’s kind of a zero one variable. And that emotional resonance is driven by the brain’s release of a neuro called oxytocin, right? Which is associated with empathy and with cooperative behaviors trust. And so if I can create a marketing platform that produces this immersive state that I’m all in, I’m digging this, right? And so I think, you know, what we’re bringing to the table from the book is that this is measurable at one second frequency objectively. And having measured 50,000 brains, I can then share kind of key insights what those trends look like on how to create, say great marketing.
John Jantsch (04:36): Correct me if I’m overstating this, but the lab that that you ran was really credited with discovery of oxytocin. Is that an overstatement?
Dr. Paul J. Zak (04:45): Overstatement? We developed the first protocol to measure the human brain’s acute production of oxytocin and then showed it had behavioral effects. So prior to our work, it was well known there was a Nobel Prize in chemistry or medicine, maybe a chem chemistry maybe in the mid fifties for the guy who first actually was able to capture oxytocin. But it was just sounded, it was female hormones that’s with birth and breastfeeding, not very interesting. And yet there was a rich animal literature showing that oxytocin is kind of a key driver of connection, if you will, attachment safety.
John Jantsch (05:16): Well it, it seems, the reason I bring that specific one up is it is, I know it’s key element of your work, but it’s also, it’s getting a lot of buzz lately in marketing circles. And so I guess it might not be an overstatement to say the application of what oxytocin does maybe is fairly new.
Dr. Paul J. Zak (05:33): Yeah, fair enough. And the technology we developed in the early two thousands and onward was blood draws and, you know, not really ready for prime time in the business setting. Mm-hmm. Scroll back to top
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