“I just influenced your emotional behavior without you knowing I did it.”

It seemed like a blunder. Greg Yates stood up in front of a crowd of financial marketers to talk about humanizing their campaigns.

And then….nothing.

“After that about 30 seconds of silence, I asked the audience, ‘did anyone feel uncomfortable during that moment of science, or uncomfortable for me?’ Every single hand went up in the room.”

Turns out, it was a live case study.

“The reason I opened up my presentation in that way was to create an uncomfortable feeling in the room. For my presentation at Gramercy events, they’re story-based, but with fact-driven, analytical information that I know is compelling to them. And then, on the slide itself, I present it with an image. less words, more imagery, so people can look at something, less words so they can concentrate on and digest the words.”

He let that case study sink in with the entire audience, before emphasizing: “I just influenced all of your emotional behavior without you even knowing I did it”.

I interviewed Greg for a Podcast where he explained his rationale behind the live case study and how marketers can use truths in neuroscience to create engaging content for their audience.

“The point there is, if I was basically doing nothing, and I was able to influence their emotional behavior, imagine the power I could have had if I did something.” 

Greg believes that using data & technology to employ principles found in neuroscience will help marketers better identify what that person is feeling, which allows for a more human connection between brands and their prospects. Using storytelling as a mnemonic device can help marketers “encode the brain in a way that is more memorable by way of a storytelling methodology”. This works much better than simply presenting raw data.

“When hearing facts, 2 receptors in the brain [are engaged]. When you’re told a story, it hits 8+ receptors, because it makes it more relatable. It is the equivalent to going to a concert and there is an aroma there, or you go on a date with someone, and there is a specific scent the they’re wearing. You can smell those 2 scents 10 years later and it can bring you right back to those moments.”

Greg works at RICG, the agency of things.  RICG connects human emotion and its motivations with smart data application to inform and deploy extremely personalized communications between people, places and things to drive profit for their clients.

In my Podcast interview with Greg on The Fierce Focus Show, we talk about how this application of data & technology works at RICG. We also talk about applying method acting to marketing, his background in music, and what he does daily to focus & create progress in his life.  You can find the interview here.

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