7 TED Talks to Help you Become a Better Marketer!

TED (Technology – Entertainment – Design) Talks have taken the world by storm, and not always in a good lightbut they do showcase passionate people doing amazing work. This is instead of the usual news channels such as CNN (or as i like to call Crisis Network News), which by its very nature is negative. TED Talks shine a beacon of hope out to people who are then inspired and moved to  share these ideas.
But which ones are right for you? With over 2,000+TED talk topics it can be hard to find the most relevant ones. I’ve saved you the trouble and handpicked my favourite 7 TED Talks to help you become a better marketer.

7). Renny Gleeson – 404, the story of page not found

In this talk, Renny Gleeson, shows that the devil really is in the details. By making sure you have the small things covered, you remind your customers 1) why they chose you and 2) why they should still love you. If you care about a small thing such a 404 error page it means you are passionate about quality across the board. It also give you the chance to show your brand personality and maybe have a little fun, whilst showing you care about their experience (or UX) with your brand.

(4 min watch)

6). Alexis Ohanian – How to Make a Splash in Social Media

As the Co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian certainly has the credibility to talk about marketing and more importantly how to make a splash in social media. He shows us that in this internet age as marketers we are no longer in control, the customers are and that’s ok. If it helps you fulfil your original outcome then it’s still a win, just not the way you origionally envisioned it. Enter: Mister Splashy Pants…

(5 min watch)

As the Ex-Marketing Director of Google UK Dan Cobley knows what he talking about when it comes to marketing. Dan clearly outlines the parallels between physics principles and marketing problems and how we can try to overcome. The way he makes the links are interesting and insightful, such as this physics principle: Acceleration = Force / Mass. Used in a marketing example, it takes more force to change the direction of an established brand than a small brand. This can be seen with Unilever and why they keep a family of small brands where it’s easy to change the positioning of one and not the entire corporate brand. 

(7 min watch)

4). Sheena Iyengar – How to make Choosing Easier

In this information age, we are bombarded with more decisions on a daily basis than ever before (I call it information overload). Sheena‘s talk shows us how we can choose better “Be choosy about choosing” and how as marketers we can make choosing decisions easier for our customers. If they have too many options (initially), we get overwhelmed, shut down and decide not to choose at all. So to counter this customer decision shutdown we need to: Cut, Concretise, Categorise & Condition. So with Cut: less is more, Concretise: make it vivid e.g. photos, Categorise: more categories, fewer choices & Condition: slowly introduce more product options. This is an entertaining, informative TED talk with practical takeaways. (I have also kept this talk in mind when organising this top 7 list by starting small)

(15 min watch)

 3). Seth Godin – How to get your ideas to spread

Seth Godin is the Godfather of Marketing with multiple best-selling marketing books, including The Purple Cow, All Marketers are Liars Storytellers, Tribes, Whatcha Gona do with that Duck? The Purple cow was my first introduction to Seth and he does not disappoint. He shows us how consumers ignore the ordinary, like in the above book name(Purple Cow), if you see a field of normal cows that’s nothing ordinary, but a purple cow? Now that’s different, new and worth a second look. In his talk, Seth spells out why a bad or bizarre idea can work better than boring ones when trying to get consumers attention.

(17 min watch)

2). David Carson – Design and Discovery

Coming in at number 2, this design titled talk by David Carson (a Sociologist turned Graphic Designer) lends its self very well to marketing and communications. My favourite quote from the talk include “Don’t mistake legibility for communication.” you may have a beautifully clear marketing messaging but it could also be considered bland, boring or clinical. Inject some personality into your brand and not worry so much about legibility(it’s not the be-all and end-all). Instead, make your brand message human, this important element will raise it above rest.

 (22 min watch – but totally worth it. He had me chuckling all the way through)

This is one of my favourite authors, Malcolm can turn seemingly irrelevant statistics into meaningful insights on human behaviour, whilst showing us why we shouldn’t believe the stereotypes. The first book of his, Outliers, I discovered in a cute bookstore in Fremantle WA, it had a little gold star on the spine, that stood out to me. Since that discovery, I have devoured every book of his I could get my hands on, and I highly recommend these books in particular: Tipping Point and David & Goliath.

In this interesting talk, he illustrates how customers don’t know actually know what they want when asked, tomato sauce recipes and the extra chunky favorite as an example. He quotes Howard Moskowitz saying the “The mind knows not what the tongue wants.” and that there is no one universal favorite tomato sauce there is in fact, clusters of favorites i.e. plain, spicy and extra chunky. By embracing the diversity of humans, we will find a surer way to true happiness, be it your product/service success and your customers’ happiness.

(17 min watch)

In summary

Watching these talks (total watch time is 87 min – use your commuting time) I hope they will get you thinking and also widen your perspective on marketing. Marketing is not in a vacuum, and the marketing we release into the world is going into an ever crowded marketplace, vying for the attention of already busy consumers.

So we need to engage them, show your brand personality and get them interested. Pique their curiosity otherwise the alternative is shoving irrelevant or beige ads they will ignore whilst employing ad blockers. By taking a step back absorbing the bigger picture, not just in the marketing world and leverage these TED talks to widen our scope it will help give us that bigger picture view.

Has any of these talks challenged your preconceived ideas? Please tell me…