Ever since presentations from TED conferences became available on the Internet in 2006, the spread of ideas from experts and engaging personalities has been rampant. The short talks, given in the spirit of the conference's tagline, “Ideas worth spreading,” offer useful information in entertaining and easily digestible bites.
TED Talks target a variety of disciplines, and marketing is no exception. The following seven talks should prove particularly useful.
1. Seth Godin, “How to Get Your Ideas Spread”
Although it’s been a few years since author Seth Godin gave this presentation, many of the lessons still ring true. People are inundated with information — images, sounds, news, feelings — all day, everyday. This overabundance of choices overwhelms us, and Godin advises on how to make your ideas stand out among the clutter.
2. Dan Cobley, “What Physics Taught Me About Marketing”
Most people would expect Google Marketing Director Dan Cobley to have a lot of knowledge to share on the topic. What might surprise marketers is that Cobley is also well-versed in physics — and that the two studies are more related than they think.
3. Renny Gleeson, “404, the Story of a Page Not Found”
Renny Gleeson is the global digital strategies director for Wieden+Kennedy, and his TED Talk focuses on how a common failure — the “404, page not found” error –— can be an opportunity for improvement. Using a seemingly bad situation to connect people with your brand is what separates the great from the mediocre.
4. Sheena Iyengar, “How to Make Choosing Easier”
Ever been standing in a grocery aisle trying to decide which cereal to buy? It can be painfully overwhelming. Sheena Iyengar – a psycho-economist at Columbia Business School – plays on this problem of choice in her TED Talk. What research has shown is that when faced with many choices, people are prone to not choose at all. Marketers and product developers can benefit from the understanding that offering more choices is not always the right way to go.
5. Rory Sutherlan, “Sweat the Small Stuff”
Self-described advertising guru Rory Sutherland has worked his way up through the advertising industry from humble beginnings as a classics teacher. Through that scraping and scrapping, Sutherland has amassed some valid ideas on the flashiness of advertising. In this TED Talk, the ad guru explains why simple is usually the best solution, and how the expensive choices often blur the messaging.
6. Morgan Spurlock, “The Greatest Ted Talk Ever Sold”
Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has risen to notoriety by making engaging films with himself as the test subject, the most famous being the McDonald’s documentary “Super Size Me.” Spurlock is at it again in his TED Talk about brand marketing. The meta talk was included in another of his documentaries as a sponsored talk within a movie about sponsorship that was entirely sponsored. Confused yet? Spurlock explains it more eloquently.
7. Derek Sivers, “How to Start a Movement”
Marketers — particularly digital marketers — are constantly being tasked with inspiring people to do something. Brands want more people on their page, reading their blog, buying their products, telling their friends, etc. CD Baby founder and entrepreneur Derek Sivers discusses what it actually takes to start a movement, using powerful footage and some surprising examples on the specifics of getting people to do something.