5 Top TED Talks That Will Boost Your Marketing

TED, short for Technology, Education and Design, started as a conference for people from these three industries. Industry experts discuss everything from productivity to psychology at TED conferences, and these speeches are known as TED Talks. Conferences are held all over the world and have made their way to Des Moines several times.

TED Talks cover the best ideas on a wide variety of topics. You could keep yourself occupied for days watching all of the inspiring presentations, so we dug into the TED Talks video archive to find the top TED Talks marketing professionals need to watch!

Whether you’re a business owner looking to boost your marketing game or a marketing strategist looking for inspiration, these presentations will help you create and communicate your brand identity to provide great experiences for consumers.

#1 Top TED Talk: Try Something New for 30 Days

Is there a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, but you never have the time? This presentation from Google’s Matt Cutts inspires you to try something you’ve been meaning to get around to for just 30 days.

Cutts explains that 30 days is the right amount of time to start or end a habit. You won’t become an expert, but you’ll be surprised by how much you can learn in just a little bit of time when you do it every day for 30 days. Small changes are sustainable, so try something small. In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, there are always new things to learn. In his personal experience, Cutts found that through multiple 30-day challenges, his confidence grew, and he became more adventurous.

It can be easy to get into the routine of doing the same thing every day. That’s why Blue Compass took on Cutt’s 30-day challenge last fall. To keep things fresh and grow as a team, each Blue Compass employee came up with a personal challenge to work on for 30 days. Team members completed case studies on Pinterest, researched and implemented Instagram advertising, developed a custom app and more. The next 30 days are going to pass no matter what, so make as much out of them as you can!

Learn more about our 30 Day Challenge

#2 Top TED Talk: How to Make Choosing Easier

In our society, we have a lot of choices. Have you ever spent an afternoon comparing products on Amazon, only to leave the site without buying anything? Some call this the Paradox of Choice: this means when there are too many choices for consumers, it creates anxiety that can cause them not to choose at all.

In this TED Talk, psychologist and economist Sheena Iyengar explains that when faced with hundreds of options, consumers freeze up. They end up ignoring all options. People don’t want to spend a lot of time choosing; they want their task to be easy. How can businesses improve the experience of choosing for their customers?

Iyengar created an experiment with a grocery store that was known for having many options for their products (such as over 300 flavors of jam). She tested her idea that with so many options, the grocery store was actually hurting their revenue.

With the permission of the store manager, she set up a table of free samples and did two trial runs: one with six options and the other with 24. She found that about 20 percent more people stopped when there were more options.
However, when it came to actually making a purchase, the table with fewer options was more effective as a marketing tool. Iyengar explains that a consumer will often choose not to choose if he or she is bombarded with too many options. For your business, that means lost revenue.

Key Marketing Takeaways:

  • People will often opt out of making a decision if it is too difficult.
  • Try not to overload your consumers with varying options right off the bat.
  • Allow potential customers to make an easy, high-level decision first, and then get to the specific choices later on. Otherwise, they will be less engaged and procrastinate.
  • Our brains tell us to take the easiest path to complete an action. As a marketer, you want to tap into your consumers’ desire to act and make it easy for them.

#3 Top TED Talk: How Airbnb Designs for Trust

Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of Airbnb, explains how he created his whole company in the hope that people can trust each other enough to stay in one another’s homes. To build that trust, he used design.

Design has the power to foster community and connection when separation is the norm. As a marketer, you probably want your brand to be associated with traits like trust and community. Here are some tips from Gebbia on how marketers can design their brand for trust:

Let people see behind-the-scenes.

Gebbia found that by showing pictures of the bathrooms, bedrooms and interior of the homes, people were more willing to trust the individual. Why? Because these are areas that are often kept private. By showing the consumers what goes on behind-the-scenes of your company, you can help build trust, too. Instagram is a great tool to demonstrate your company culture and the lives of your employees.

However, Gebbia warns that it’s important to show the right amount. Don’t share too much, but don’t share too little.

Create a well-designed reputation system.

Positive customer reviews were huge for getting Airbnb off the ground, and in today’s digital world, online reviews matter more than ever. Give customers the opportunity to share their great experiences with your business.

Connect sharing and the transaction.

Add a human connection to your transaction. Airbnb does this by encouraging hosts to make their home more than just a hotel room. Some hosts offer a night out with a local who knows the best spots, or a night of cooking lessons from a chef at a 5-star restaurant. How can you add a human connection to your product or transaction process?

#4 Top TED Talk: How to Make a Splash in Social Media

In this humorous, four-minute TED Talk, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian explains how to create a viral campaign and how social media can be used to drive consumer engagement.

In his example, Greenpeace created a campaign that allowed people to vote online to name a whale as part of their campaign to protect the species. Reddit users heard about it, and instead of voting for a more serious name, they supported the name Mr. Splashy Pants. Ohanian explained how this example illustrated that brands must be okay with losing control of their messaging if they want to generate a viral campaign.

Was this the name Greenpeace had in mind? No, but they accepted the public’s choice and created a whole marketing campaign around the name the community loved. By doing this, they were not only able to reach those who cared about the cause, but also those who just really liked the name. The campaign ended up being a success.

#5 Top TED Talk: Got a Meeting? Take a Walk

Nilofer Merchant, an author of “11 Rules for Creating Value,” has a message for office workers everywhere: sitting is killing us. And besides that, sitting can even hold us back creatively. As marketers, we are always racking our brains to come up with fresh and exciting ideas. What if walking more could not only help our physical health but help us professionally and mentally, too?

Merchant suggests turning conference room meetings into walking meetings, saying “getting out of the box can lead to out of the box thinking.” Marketers are solving problems every day. If we want to solve problems, we need to reframe them. The next time you’re scheduling a meeting with a coworker, remember: fresh air drives fresh thinking.

Are You Ready to Up Your Digital Marketing?

If you’re looking to boost your creativity, these are the TED Talks marketing professionals should watch. At Blue Compass, we’re always looking for new ways to be inspired to create the best digital marketing strategies out there. For more marketing inspiration to help you meet your goals, check out our blog from the digital experts!