Top 10 TED videos for marketers


In an era where one post on social media could make you or break you as a business, it has never been more important to think outside of the box. Sometimes giving up control is, in fact, the best way of getting the desired outcome. In today’s economy, marketers can’t afford to be control freaks. Instead, they have to become innovation freaks. Breaking the conventional rules can often help to regain control, create value or turn a failure into an opportunity.

We’ve compiled a list of the theTop 10 Ted talks with a focus on marketing, where speakers give eye-opening ideas which break the mould and will help you to gain a different perspective on how marketers are (or in some cases, should be) doing things. These talks touch on topics such as ownership, commoditization or access, and outline the measures marketers could take to make the distribution of resources more effective.


David Pogue – Simplicity sells

In his original talk, David Pogue discusses why people nowadays feel overwhelmed by the amount of technology available. He explains how, ironically, because the industry made things easier to use, it created a number of new complications. He shares some funny stories from client support call centres and adds a few examples of over-complicating the interface when the original aim was to make it more simple.


Seth Godin – How to get your ideas to spread

Seth Godin talks about the be-all and end-all of each marketing campaign – the ability to create an idea which spreads. Since TV-industrial complex is no longer an effective way of reaching a target market, Godin outlines what to do in order to successfully “disturb” consumers and get their attention.


Joseph Pine – What consumers want

Joseph Pine discusses how goods and services have become commoditized in today’s economy. People no longer care who makes them because the only important thing is the price. It’s time, he claims, to move to a new level of economic value – experience economy – where experiences are becoming the predominant economic offering.


Nancy Duarte – The secret structure of great talks

In this talk, Nancy Duarte draws lessons on how to make a powerful call-to-action which can change the world (no matter how impossible it may sound). She suggests how we can turn the most powerful tools known to man – ideas-  into a presentation. Also, in her speech, she explains how we can turn a call-to-action, into an idea which can change the way the world looks when consumers and companies solve a problem together.


Tim Leberecht – 3 Ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

No matter how hard they try, companies are losing control of both their customers and their employees.  What happens on Wall Street no longer stays on Wall Street. What happens in Vegas, ends up on YouTube. This talk gives some interesting examples on how giving up control or taking control away in an imaginative way, proved to be beneficial for several businesses.


Renny Gleeson – 404, The story of a page not found

In the story of the ‘page you cannot find’, Ronny Gleeson gives some background about the best known and most annoying example of an error, from a family of errors experienced by everyday users. The speaker also takes a different point of view on the 404 – not understanding it as a  failure, but rather as an opportunity to create value.


Margaret Gould Stewart – How YouTube thinks about copyright

Margaret Gould Stewart discusses how Youtube has, as a  creative ecosystem, changed the approach to ownership. She explains that when dealing with digital rights, ownership is a complex web of relationships, all of which are a part of our cultural landscape. Nowadays many of the rights owners take a different approach to copyright, and instead of claiming the rights they allow copies of their content to be published. This speech gives interesting insights into how breaches of copyright can actually be a win-win.


Daniel Schnitzer – Inventing is the easy part

Daniel Schnitzer explains how innovative solutions are useless if the market does not work. Products are not going to solve poverty. It’s the access to them, both physically and financially, that will solve poverty. We need last-mile retailers that bring energy products to the people and enable energy dissemination to people who need it most. He illustrates this point using the issue of energy poverty in Haiti as an example.


Dan Cobley – What physics taught me about marketing

In this speech, Dan Cobley outlines how physics can teach us a lot about the world – including how things work in marketing. Yes, Newton’s law can be applied in branding and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle explains how customers change their behaviour when they are becoming familiar with a product.


Morgan Spurrock – The greatest TED talk ever sold

In this speech, Morgan Spurrock presents you with an opportunity to immerse yourself into the world of branding and marketing. In 2011 he put an ad on eBay offering naming rights for his TED Talk. He thus enabled any company to have their name put on a video but without any knowledge about its content. The result was a completely sponsored film about sponsorship “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”. He discusses the background of the project and how it shows consumers the way in which brands become a part of our lives.