12 TED Talks on Marketing Every Entrepreneur Needs to Watch

Under 8 minutes

1. 404, the story of a page not found by Renny Gleeson (March 2012)

Running into a 404 page is like getting a slap on the face from your favorite brand. Renny talks about how you can turn an error into an opportunity.


2. Inventing is the easy part. Marketing takes work by Daniel Schnitzer (November 2011)

Daniel touches upon his time in Haiti and the difficult time he had trying to sell solar LED light bulbs. Its’ cheaper than kerosene and charcoal, so why weren’t people buying it?

I’ll give you a hint: It’s about accessibility.

3. What physics has taught me about marketing by Dan Cobley (July 2010)

In this talk, Dan Cobley fuses his love for physics and marketing.

To give you an example of what this means, Newton’s law tells us that the bigger the mass of an object, the more force is needed to change its direction. In marketing, the bigger the brand, the more difficult it is to reposition it.

4. Selling condoms in Congo by Amy Lockwood (July 2011)

Amy tells us about her time in Congo and how she learnt part of the reason for high HIV rates there.

The answer has to do with the marketing of condoms.

Over 8 Minutes

5. The Tribes We Lead by Seth Godin (February 2009)

Seth Godin talks about how mass marketing has brought us back to the basic human social units of tribes. He explains how connection and leadership are powerful things that can change the world…and your business.

With examples ranging from the Beatles leading teenagers and hippies in the 60s to Nathan, an SPCA worker who connected people with compassion for innocent animals.

6. How to Get your Idea to Spread by Seth Godin (February 2003)

Seth Godin does another talk where he teaches you the key to getting your ideas to spread and trust me; it’s not about having a good idea.

He moves from the rise and fall of mass advertising to the idea of how being remarkable, and at the fringe of society is what catches the attention of the Otaku (a Japanese works for describing a person who is obsessed with a new product. Aka the innovators and early adopters)

With examples from Pearl Jam, Silk soymilk, and his own Grandfather, Seth reiterates that catching the attention of the people who will really care to listen is the key to spreading your idea.

7. How to Make Choosing Easier by Sheena Lyengar (November 2011)

It’s a problem. We all have it. It’s called ‘choice overload’.

Sheena talks about the negative consequences that come from having too many choices has on your business and the solutions you can apply.

8. Bring on the Female Superheroes! By Christopher Bell (October 2015)

Have you even looked at a children’s toy store? Well next time you do, try finding a female superhero action figure. Spoiler alert- you won’t find one.

A truly inspiring talk by Christopher Bell teaches us about the impact that the media has on how we learn and what we know about the world and the people in it.

9. Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce by Malcolm Gladwell (February 2004)

Howard Moskowitz, a food scientist, used to say, “the mind knows not what the tongue wants.”

We can’t always explain what makes us happy and why we make the choices we make.

Malcolm Gladwell takes a look at the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce and how it unlocked the secrets of a sure way to true happiness.

The answer is beautiful!

10. Life lessons from an ad man by Rory Sutherland

All value is subjective. Rory concludes that through changing the perception of a product, you can ultimately change its value.

Rory uses hilarious examples like an advertisement done by an orange juice vendor in Mexico.

The vendor writes: ‘orange juice $5’ and ‘zumo de naranja $4’. For those of you who don’t know Spanish, ‘zumo de naranja’ means orange juice.

Advertisement is a powerful thing!

11. The Post-crisis consumer by John Gerzema (August 2009)

In this talk, John outlines what a post-crisis consumer looks like. This is important to note for you and your businesses marketing plan!

A post-crisis consumer is one who has moved from a state of anxiety to a state of action. We are more conscious about out spending choices than ever. We make purchases that align with our values, are innovated, and intuitive.

Take John’s example about our move to artisanal and local products. Or how certain communities in the US started to publish individual’s electricity usages and as a result, the electricity usage started to drop.

12. What Consumers Want by Joseph Pine (February 2004)

Experiences are becoming the next economic offerings, but are these experiences authentic?

Joseph Pine says that even if they feel authentic, they aren’t because all experiences are being commoditized. But still, as a business it’s important to make your customers feel that you are authentic.

How do you render this?

The answer: Be true to yourself and other will see your authenticity.

Other Playlists worth checking out if you’re an entrepreneur:

1. How to Work smarter (11 videos)

2. What makes a business work (8 videos)

3. Counterintuitive Career Advice (13 videos)