5 TED Talks on Marketing that You Need to See

On 23.03.2016, by

5 TED Talks on Marketing that You Need to See

TED (technology, entertainment, and design) Talks are non-profit conferences where influencers in various fields and industries give discussions in their niche. It used to be just about the acronym, but now has extended to topics on the human experience. These have gained popularity because complex concepts are presented in a way that everyday audiences can easily understand it.

TED Talks provide such valuable knowledge in a very accessible manner. It is important to cope with the latest ideologies of modern times to come up with inspiration for your marketing strategy. Some of the speakers may not be directly related with marketing, but their unconventional take on the matter provides a fresh perspective.

Marketers should take points from the TED Talk speakers precisely because of that. Come up with ways that your brand and your offering can benefit and provide value to your market. Utilize this to develop an inviting and unique narrative. Read on for 5 TED Talks on marketing that you can take notes on.

#1 David Carson: Design, Discovery, and Humor

David Carson

Graphic designer David Carson is the speaker for this TED Talk. He took a creative and innovative approach into an industry which was slowly becoming a place cultivating dull conventionality. His controversial and aggressive style is home to ideas which could benefit your marketing endeavors. When it comes to individualism, strengthen your approach to see benefits in terms of your revenue.

This TED Talk emphasizes the importance of communication over legibility in the marketing industry. This is a fundamental aspect in the maintenance of a strong brand in this day and age. Sending a message to your potential consumers should be presented in a way which is interesting, distinct, and could open mutual communication between you and them.

In the later part of this TED Talk, Carson was discussing the future of design. He highlighted that humanity is an integral part amidst the complications of technology. Partner this with marketing and this will make your brand stand out from the rest.

#2 Renny Gleeson: 404, The Story of a Page Not Found

Rennee Gleeson

Renny Gleeson centers his talk on Error 404 that we sometimes encounter online. Also known as the ‘Not Found’ page, this appears when the online user was able to communicate with a given server, but the later could not find the request. A disappointing ordeal this may be, but Gleeson translates this scenario as an opportunity for brands. This was presented to guide the viewers in a humorous manner, coupled with well-made artwork.

This TED Talk inspires its viewers to think that setbacks are opportunities that can be taken advantage of or not, like when one come across the 404 page. You can leverage this to your advantage by incorporating persuasive content and also interesting design to develop your brand. This also allows you to reconnect with your astray market.

The opportunity for brand creativity is what this TED Talk is about. Include content that your social media followers and blog or site visitors find outstanding and entertaining. In the end, it is your choice on how to take on disappointing situations to your advantage.

#3 Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce

Malcolm Gladwell

This TED Talk was delivered in 2006 by Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point. His ability to transform technical strategies into charming stories is an advantage to his third-party perspective on his discussion marketing. He uses popular brands like Ragu and Prego to show the nature of choice and happiness. He discusses the proof of a study from cheerful psychophysicist Howard Moskowitz.

In this TED Talk, Gladwell tells about Moskowitz, the consultant who made fundamental changes with the manner companies align their brand and their offerings back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. One of which is using data-driven buyer personas to give the best possible value to a company’s customer base. Companies used to tackle product development in a different way.

Key takeaways from this TED Talk include diversifying the value that you offer. There are various ways of optimizing a product. This aids you discover an untapped market share which you can use as a new target market. In relation with this, Gladwell said that Pepsi was “looking for the perfect Pepsi, when they should have been looking for the perfect Pepsis.”

Another takeaway you can get from this TED Talk is trusting the data. People may not be able to express what they want in a product when they are taken information in a traditional focus group or survey. Take their answers into account to humanize your perspective on buyer personas. These are part of a greater picture, and observed evidence should be a priority when coming up with future marketing strategies.

#4 Sheena Iyengar: How to Make Choosing Easier

Sheena Eyengar

Sheena Iyengar is the brilliant speaker of this TED Talk. She explains the choice overload problem as stretching your brand too thin, making it unrecognizable and difficult to engage with. When she was a graduate student, she conducted an experiment at a local grocery store. Findings in this experiment led to a great finding on a company’s marketing strategy.

This TED Talk helped Iyengar see that when people are presented more options, 20% more people stopped for samples. However, people who were presented fewer options bought more which makes the form of presentation as a more effective marketing too. People frequently ‘choose not to choose,’ which means lost revenue for the business.

It is emphasized in her TED Talk that when the choice presented to consumers is of greater import, they are more likely to be overwhelmed by ‘choice overload.’ When an offering if of high cost, come up with a way to show them various courses of action, and reserve the detail-oriented selection later on. This allows the consumer to become more proactive and engaged.

The topic on this TED Talk can be applied in one’s daily manner of making choices. We have the tendency to tackle easy matters first, then those which are more challenging after. Now let’s look at it in a business perspective: in the mind of a potential customer, they would be drawn to a product which inspires them to take action easily. Guide them to a high-level decision first, then move on to more detailed material after.

#5 Seth Godin: The Tribes We Lead

Seth Godin

Seth Godin hosts this TED Talk in a critical manner discussing societal trends that take people to where they are, otherwise known as a cultural moment. This point in time, the present, is vital in the way ideas are produced and proliferated. He explains that in the 1950’s when television came into its own, even a mediocre idea can be mass marketed. Conditions for this marketing strategy was it could easily be taken apart into an easily understandable 30-second advertisement through an extensive, expensive marketing budget.

In this TED Talk, this model is being substituted by a seemingly infinite series of tribes as our lives become increasingly digitized. Godin differentiates this from a sociocultural grouping mechanism to ideological groups in the modern century. TOMS Shoes has become a great example of the application of this phenomenon.

The tribe that the company created to cater to was the segment of millennials with a social conscience: that was being discussed in this TED Talk. However, these people are unsure on how to give back on a daily basis. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, came up with a brand that narrates a story that attract these millennials.

Godin also shared on this TED Talk that with each purchase of TOMS shoes, an identical pair is donated to someone without footwear. The company has grabbed the attention of their best audience, and turned them into marketers of their brand by reaching out to those in need. The company was able to devise a wise, persuasive, and interesting way to challenge the status quo while developing their brand and narrating a story.

Wrapping it up

Ted Talks

These TED Talks inspire marketers with the much needed inspiration to keep them creative and motivated in their work. These influencers have been in their respective fields long enough to discuss on their experiences and theories on how to improve your brand and offering marketing.

These TED Talks inspire you to revolutionize how you think about your brand, your offering, your customers, your target market, and even yourself. The human aspect that they incorporate with a very systematic and high technology industry as business strengthens an emotional connection with their audience. With each laugh, tear, and deep thought that you have is something you can let your market experience as well.

Using this technique from the way influencers presented their TED Talks enables you to have a deeper connection with your market. It strengthens your relationship with them to build their trust and loyalty for your brand and your offering. It also entices your potential customers to see you as approachable and easy to communicate with, seeing how you understand well the people you are relating with.


  1. Chris Thompson says:

    Good informative posts because not everyone knows these communicators, but they do know TED Talks. This makes it easier for reader to trust that they will get valuable information from the speakers. Keep up the great work!

    1. Gracielle says:

      It’s true, nowadays everybody knows about TED talks 🙂 thanks for the appreciation!

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