6 Essential TED Talks for Marketers

Stage light shines down on ted talk stage

Marketing professionals are always on the lookout for ways to learn new skills and techniques that make us better at our jobs. We scour the internet for blogs to read, experts to follow, and groups to join.

But where do you go when you are in a slump? When the creative juices aren’t flowing, do you feel like everything your team is producing is okay at best?

The answer: TED Talks.

TED Talks are THE place to share big ideas and motivate a new way of thinking.

There are hours upon hours of free talks you can watch, but we know you don’t have that kind of time. So put one hour on your calendar today for these 6 TED Talks every marketer should watch.

  1. Seth Godin – How to Get Your Ideas to Spread

Can you believe for the first 15 years after sliced bread was created, no one bought it?

Have you ever created an excellent campaign that yielded sub-par results?

Seth explains the reason behind both in this Ted Talk.

To get attention in today’s world, your idea must be remarkable to those who truly care. Otherwise, it is simply ignored.  If you can find the right audience and deliver the right idea, they will remark about it to their network.

  1. Malcolm Gladwell – Choice, Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce

It turns out you owe your favorite spaghetti sauce to one man. Without him, you wouldn’t have so many varieties available to you at the store.

There was a very important lesson learned during the process of getting the jars on the shelf. That lesson was to trust the data.

People are diverse, and sometimes what they tell you just doesn’t make sense. It goes against the assumptions you’ve made about their wants, what makes them happy, and whether your product meets those expectations.

But the data isn’t wrong. You might be looking at it the wrong way. Malcolm walks you through important discoveries when you believe the data and can let the assumptions go.

  1. Renny Gleeson – 404, the Story of a Page Not Found

Businesses make mistakes. Most of the time, they have little impact on the overall success of a company. These mistakes, however, can become a “well-designed moment” that defines your brand.

Renny’s brief talk reminds us of the importance of relationships and maximizing every opportunity to strengthen them.

  1. Julian Treasure – 5 Ways to Listen Better

Author Stephen Covey once said, “most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” And that is if people are listening at all.

TED speaker, Julian, reminds us that 60% of our communication is time spent listening, and on average, people retain just 25% of what they heard.

As marketers, this means we are often missing what customers are really telling us. Instructions given to our teams likely need follow-up and clarification. Stakeholders will need more of your time to understand the information you are presenting to them.

Have you ever considered how to improve your listening skills? It isn’t something that is often taught; rather, it is just assumed people know how to do it.

These 5 tips will help you become a better listener starting today.

  1. Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

If you only watch one video on this list, choose this one. Simon gives you a brand new perspective on designing a great message!

In this talk, he describes the way great leaders and successful businesses in the world act and communicate. He calls this his “golden circle principle.” Simple and easy to understand, yet hard to do.

Learn about the components of the golden circle and then challenge yourself to apply them to your marketing messages. Be honest when you answer, “do they measure up”?

  1. Tom Wujec – Got a Wicked Problem? First, Let Me Tell You How to Make Toast.

Tom’s talk takes us back to bread and how to make it into toast.

Business is full of complicated challenges to solve, and navigating teams through it is no easy task.

By the time you finish watching this video, you will be amazed at how many different ways there are to make toast. But more importantly, how to apply this system in creating successful teams through collaboration and visualization.

We promise at the end of the hour, these six TED Talks will have you seeing your role in a new light. So go on, get out there, and be great!