TED speakers and pay-per-click marketers share one undeniable trait: we’re storytellers. We distill content into short, enticing conversations with our audiences to get them to “buy in.”
TED started in 1984 as a conference where speakers were tasked with sharing “ideas worth spreading.” Therefore, we thought it only fitting to share our list of the top 10 TED talks we believe every PPC marketer can learn from.
We're All in Marketing: What Evolution Tells Us About Advertising
Ethan Decker, Ecologist Turned Advertiser
Decker utilizes examples of advertising in nature to explain how humans advertise ourselves every day. Decker explains that what matters most to us in life is often invisible (how others see us). People discern who we are by using the visible cues we choose to represent ourselves.
His insightful talk explains how we can tap into what customers care about the most to connect with them via advertising.
Life Lessons from an Ad Man
Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group UK
Few ads have done more in the last decade to change the perception of a product than Old Spice’s “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign. A company once prominently known for the “aftershave dads wear” was relaunched as a manly, swagger-inducing grooming brand.
Sutherland talks about how altering people’s perceptions via advertising can revolutionize how an audience consumes a product.
This humorous talk will make you consider flipping the script on the perception your ads create of your client’s products or services.
There is No Luck. Only Good Marketing.
Franz, Schrepf, University of Amsterdam Student
Schrepf explains that success isn’t a product of luck. Success is a product of good marketing.
By applying the 4 Ps of marketing (product, price, promotion, and place), he explains that we can change how we present and promote ourselves in order to achieve our goals. Schrepf comically summarizes the basics of marketing and advertising using an example we can all relate to: ourselves.
Can Advertising Save the World?
Jeff Rosenblum, Co-President of Questus
Advertising is ready for a revolution; a revolution in which brands empower their prospective customers with advertising rather than interrupting them.
Rosenblum asks, “What if every company we engaged with made it a point to improve their customers lives one step at a time?” In turn, he notes, these “firms of endearment” outperform their competition 8-to-1.
We recommend sharing this talk with a customer struggling to emulate their brand mission in their marketing, or who might not have a mission at all.
Social Media and the End of Gender
Johanna Blakley, Managing Director of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center
Thanks to the advent of social advertising, marketers can now target infinitely more psychographic information about their prospects and customers. Yet, many advertisers still use demographic data to target broad swaths of audiences.
Blakley discusses how people do not congregate by their age or gender online. They congregate around their shared interests and passions.
Free of demographic bias, Blakley recommends smart advertisers embrace and engage with communities rather than demographics. Along the way, advertisers may learn some surprising insights about exactly “who” their target customer is.
How to Magically Connect with Anyone
Brian Miller, Magician
Have you ever been stopped mid-phone call with a client and told “All the data you’re presenting is great, but what does it mean? Are our campaigns meeting our goals?”
Meaningfully connecting with clients is important to: building trust, establishing shared objectives, and (most importantly) giving them assurance their needs are being understood and met.
Miller explains that the secret to connecting with anyone is being able to understand the perspective of the person you’re speaking with. He offers simple techniques to connect with your audience and make every conversation you have a success.
Embrace the Remix
Kirby Ferguson, Writer and Producer of "Everything is a Remix"
When a musician covers or remixes another artist’s song should that be considered “stealing?”
Ferguson uses examples in modern music and technology to help us understand that innovative ideas aren’t always as groundbreaking as we think. He argues that “creativity comes from without, not from within” and that even the greats borrow and transform other works to create masterpieces.
It’s not about copying your competitors outright. Rather, figure out where they’re succeeding and let it inspire you to blow their work out of the water.
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
David Allen, Creator of Getting Things Done (GTD) framework
As a pay-per-click professional, it’s not uncommon to be switching between hundreds of tasks on a daily basis.
Account optimization is never-ending. It’s easy to feel that you’ve never completed anything fully. If you find yourself wishing you had extra hours each day to accomplish more, you’re not alone.
Allen’s GTD method created a movement that is helping people better understand what it means to be fully engaged with work. He offers techniques to determine everything that is vying for your attention, prioritize it, and eliminate unnecessary work distracting you from creating your best, most fulfilling work.
The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers
Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist
Grant asserts that taking a short break from your to-do list to talk to a coworker or visit Facebook can actually make you a more productive employee.
He notes that procrastination can free your mind to generate new, creative ideas.
Grant also offers three habits seen in “originals” that help them look at their failures merely as the first few attempts toward something better. “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,” Grant says. “The more output you churn out… the better your chances of stumbling on something truly original.”
Bonus: The Genesis of Google
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google Co-Founders
Brin and Page didn’t invent PPC Advertising. But they did transform digital advertising into what it is today. In turn, they created one of the most successful companies of all time.
This 2004 talk explains the Google co-founders’ thoughts on company culture and outlines the major innovations Google was working on at the time.
It’s a fascinating time capsule and (at times) cringe-worthy view into what the internet looked like 13 years ago. If you’re looking for something more recent, here is Page’s 2014 talk on “Where’s Google Going Next.”