15 minutes on stage is enough time to inspire change. This is certainly true for TED talks that for years have been providing us with food for thought, inspiration, new thoughts and ideas. From witty stories to mind blowing technologies and ideas that most literally are shaping our world – TED talks teach us a little bit about everything.

We’ve looked at some of the top TED talks on photography and creativity so here’s our list of the top talks connected to marketing. These talks might make you rethink your marketing strategy and reevaluate your goals and objectives.  Most importantly, they will change the way you see yourself and your role in your business.

1. Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of several bestselling books. You may know him for his insightful published pieces such as Blink and The Tipping Point. In this short talk, he uses the examples of famous brands to demonstrate the nature of happiness and choice.

The key focus of the talk is a discussion of a psychophysicist’s findings about consumer psychology. If you put more effort into what your consumers really want, a company or a business gets into a niche market which will lead to increase in sales.

The essence of the talk is that you can’t treat your consumers like one unified body. They’re individuals, and they have unique tastes and preferences. This talk will make you look a little differently at marketing (and your spaghetti sauce.)

2. How to Make Choosing Easier by Sheena Iyengar

Ah, the great paradox of choice. Many consumers find themselves overloaded with too many choices and decisions when it comes to products and services. This creates a problem for executives as well.

It’s actually a misconception that more choice will bring you more revenue. This talk focuses on specific studies that reveal that when consumers are given too much choice, they actually end up buying less.

In her personal research, Sheena has discovered that when there are too many choices available for consumers, they actually choose not to choose. She later presents several solutions to this as a way to simplify (because less is truly more) and embrace a more efficient strategy instead of providing customers with a choice overload.

3. How to Get Your Ideas to Spread by Seth Godin

Listening to Seth Godin will quickly bring you to the realization that he is good at his job. In this talk, he takes apart why it is that bizarre and bad ideas are sometimes more successful than boring ones.

In this fascinating talk, you get a new take on contemporary marketing. Seth actually implies that marketing that is successful is not so much about the product, but more about spreading ideas and how successful you are in that respect.

One of the uplifting parts about this talk is that ideas are truly powerful. We are living in a remarkable time when ideas spread like wildfire. This gives every company a chance to somehow become known. Do you have what it takes?

4. What Physics Taught Me About Marketing by Dan Cobley

The most profound idea presented by Dan Cobley is that marketing can actually be applied to your own field of interest. This gives each one of us a more personal connection with marketing. It’s not just a mystical word that classifies departments, it’s something we can all connect to on a personal level.

Dan Cobley shows us how the laws of his field, physics, actually resemble some basic marketing concepts. It’s not something that comes to mind when you think about marketing which is what makes this talk so interesting. Find out more about Dan’s passion and his remarkable take on marketing.

5. 404, the Story of a Page Not Found by Renny Gleeson

This is certainly the talk that catches the eye. We’ve all been frustrated with that page that makes us squint at our computers and despise the Internet and whatever company we’re dealing with. Renny Gleeson actually tells us that even something as annoying as the 404 error page can be seen as an opportunity for marketers.

The error page is quite aggravating but marketers can actually leverage this to their advantage by getting creative with how this information is pitched to their users and clients. A little bit of compelling content and a designer’s touch will help you reconnect with your audience and keep them entertained.

What Renny proposes is that there is an opportunity in the small things that you think don’t matter. You can be amusing, memorable, humorous – all of these things can help you stand out as a brand.   

6. The Clues to A Great Story by Andrew Stanton

These days, storytelling is a part of many strategies. You can’t find a better mentor to teach you about storytelling than the man who wrote Toy Story. It’s a critical aspect of marketing which has become a way to entertain and engage audiences.

Andrew Stanton notes how powerful stories are as a tool of communication and the way they satisfy the human need to find meanings. To build a powerful story, you need several factors – a theme, the buildup of anticipation, wit, emotion and aesthetics.

7. Why Videos Go Viral by Kevin Allocca

Kevin Allocca is a Trends Manager for YouTube. He says that viral videos seem to have 3 things in common – influencers, creative communities and an element of surprise. For example, the double rainbow video that went viral was tweeted by Jimmy Kimmel who is the influencer in this scenario.

Rebecca Black’s video became popular because it triggered parodies which brought forth a creative community. Some videos such as the Nyan Nyan Cat are simply inexplicable. So really, when it comes to viral videos you’ve got to have influencers and creative communities on board.

This can be useful to marketers for several reasons. Every brand or company should have a YouTube channel. Are your ideas powerful enough to make a viral video?

8. Design and Discovery by David Carson

Design is powerful. Design begs for an emotional response. David Carson is a big believer in the emotion of design; the message people receive before they even begin reading. Design and social media marketing go hand in hand. In today’s world, marketing strategies don’t make it far without a design element.

Marketers need excellent design to captivate audiences and spread ideas. If you aspire to be successful on social media and keep to a good reputation, design is an inevitable part of your strategy. David Carson believes that even the smallest details like typography can communication emotions. Things like colors and typography can be a game changer in your marketing strategy.

9. What Consumers Want by Joseph Pine

The one question every marketer asks is this – What do consumers want? Joseph Pine talks about authenticity in the 21st century and how consumers seek to purchase more of the ‘authentic’. It is also his opinion that no such thing exists in the mass markets.

Joseph Pine points to some concepts that are unusual and even eye opening. If you want to tap into this demand for authenticity, you’ve got to stay true to who you are as a brand or a business. There is a way to reap the benefits of this increasing demand for authentic experiences.

10. Life Lessons From an Ad Man by Rory Sutherland

Advertising isn’t the most transparent business but brands simply won’t function without it. Rory Sutherland works in advertising and shares some things he’s learnt throughout his career. This talk is light and humorous, tackling the issue of perception and how it alters our view of things.

The takeaway in this talk is that perception is everything. It shapes our opinions, thoughts, prejudices and ultimately help us decide. Connection with your audience and establishing a positive perception is one of the most difficult things for marketers. Roy Sutherland suggests that it can be done.

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