6 Digital Marketing TED Talks You Need to See Today

From its birth in 1984 to its current incarnation, TED Talks have come a long, long way. During its more than three decades’ journey, if there’s one singular thing that the TED Talks have retained, it’s the passion of the speakers and that of the attendees to learn, share and bask in the glory of knowledge and wisdom that shape human existence.

While TED Talks draw together a slew of inspiring people from diverse domains, today, in this blog post, I intend to talk about 5 digital marketing TED Talks that have touched a chord in me and left me with a deep imprint.

Although I’ve compiled this TED Talks list specifically for the benefit of digital marketers, anybody with a penchant for knowledge can peruse these talks for their benefit.

I hope and believe that these digital marketing TED Talks will move you the way they moved me.

1. Are we in control of our own decisions?| Dan Ariely

Why did I like it so much?

In this TED Talk, Dan Ariely—the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University—delves into the irrational human behaviour that guides human decision making and thereby purchasing behaviour. In an engrossing 17-odd-minute talk, Dan makes some simple yet profound observations and provides insight into how simple tweaks can achieve extraordinary results.

“Our intuition is really fooling us in a repeatable, predictable, consistent way. And there is almost nothing we can do about it…”

2. How great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek

Why did I like it so much?

Author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant, Simon Sinek tells you why certain leaders and organizations succeed in inspiring while others don’t. And in the process, he reveals his golden circle—which in Simon’s own words is ‘probably the world’s simplest idea’.

To prove and justify his points, Simon goes beyond real-life examples and instead, brings biology into the picture. Watch this video to know what drives people to associate with you and your brand. You can also gain some valuable tips on how to build your audiences’ trust from this video.

Hint: It has got a lot to do with ‘believe what you believe.’

“People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”

3. Why we do what we do | Tony Robbins

Why did I like it so much?

One of the most influential self-improvement coaches, Tony explains the 6 invisible forces that shape every thought, behaviour and action in this TED talk.

He delves deeper into these 6 human needs – certainty, surprise, variety, love/connection, growth and contribution and how each of these needs influences our thoughts, behaviour, feelings, and actions. Every single person in this world has these same needs, however, every one of us values it in a different manner. Each of us has varied beliefs on what it takes to satisfy these needs. And this is what becomes the driving force behind everything that we do, thereby determining the direction of our lives and beyond.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

4. Why videos go viral | Kevin Allocca

Why did I like it so much?

Kevin Allocca is Head of Culture and Trends at YouTube, where he has spent more than seven years tracking and explaining trending phenomena. He is one of the world’s leading experts on viral video and in this TED talk, he explains how videos go viral and why that even matters.

Over 48 hrs of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute and only a tiny fraction of these videos ever goes viral and gets thousands and millions of views. And how does it happen? Tastemakers, communities of participation and unexpectedness.

Tastemakers: They take a point of view and then share the same with a larger audience, thereby accelerating the video going viral.

Communities of participation: A community is formed of people who share the video with others, start talking about it, and doing things with it – creating rip-offs, memes, parodies etc. This community participation is how people become a part of the phenomenon.

Unexpectedness: With so much content and junk out there, the videos that go viral have to be something out of the box.

5. How to Start a Movement | Derek Sivers

Why did I like it so much?

An American entrepreneur, Derek Sivers is best known for being the founder and former president of CD Baby, an online CD store for independent musicians.

In this TED talk, he shows a video of a single shirtless dance and how a crowd forms around him. For a while, the shirtless dancer dances alone. Then he is joined by someone else. They dance together for a while and enjoy the moment. Thereafter, a few others join the show and slowly a big crowd is seen dancing around. So what do we learn from this?

Being the leader, encourage the first few people who follow you. Treat them as equals and treat them well. Remember, the shirtless guy was just a normal guy until the first follower joins him. It was he who made the shirtless guy the leader.

Once a group is formed, people will start coming in naturally – they don’t see their involvement as a threat or a risk or something weird. And it’s for this particular reason, an early follower is a special kind of leadership. So, whenever you come across a single person with a great idea, try to be that first follower.

6. How to get your ideas to spread | Seth Godin

Why did I like it so much?

An author of 18 bestsellers, Seth Godin writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and changing everything. He was also recently inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame.

His TED talk focusses on creating bizarre out of the box ideas in a world with so many options and little time. To depict things in a clear manner, he talks about sliced bread, purple cows, and how Arby’s spent $85 million making a national advertisement featuring Tom Arnold.

His talk comes down to some really simple points:

Come up with something remarkable and market it to a group that cares. Mass media won’t really work these days.
Being very good is boring. You need ideas that are truly unique in nature. Focus on what your consumers want and how you’re going to give them that.
Sell to people who listen. Find out opinion leaders and innovators in your community and put all your efforts in marketing to them.

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