5 Ted Talks: Marketing Tips From The Best

You only get one chance to make your pitch. So it’s essential you engage your listeners – and never let their attention stray. Media Junkies have identified some of the world’s best marketers. They expertly mix entertainment with content and personal style with professionalism. Polish your pitch with lessons from these top five marketers:

Malcolm Gladwell is a writer investigating the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences. But rather than a dry academic lecture Gladwell presents his research in an entertaining and compelling way. In this clip he uses the research from a tomato sauce producer to analyse the product-service relationship.

Gladwell reinforces his theme by using food-related words: ‘Bedevilled’, ‘horseradish’, ‘dead tomato society’ etc. His gestures are open and visually underscore his content. Furthermore, he engages his audience with vivid, memorable examples. Each of these examples repeats the basic message – listen to your customers’ needs.

Seth Godin takes his listeners on a rich, colourful journey, illustrating ways in which successful businesses spread their ideas. Traditional marketing, he says, is no longer relevant in this ‘age of idea diffusion’.

Instead, to be noticed by consumers marketers must create remarkable concepts. Godin relies on his own remarkable visuals, humour, and ideas to pitch his message. He masterfully juxtaposes bad marketing ideas with good ones and leads the audience to his conclusion.

John Gerzema preaches his message. He supports his apocryphal description of the post-GFC landscape with attributed facts, stats, and scepticism. This scepticism, he sermonises, permeates the psychologies of post-GFC consumers.

Gerzema’s pithy lessons use a variety of clipped, confrontational, and fascinating parables to reinforce his overriding message – Businesses need to re-establish customer trust.

Kevin Allocca, the Trends Manager at YouTube, examines why some web video clips go viral while most are ignored. “In a world where two days of video gets uploaded every minute only the truly unique can stand out.” Audiences define the success of web marketing. But they often follow the lead of tastemakers – influential persons in a community.

To reach your target market you need to find these tastemakers. To find these tastemakers you need to produce something truly unique. Allocca’s presentation is never overwhelmed by the technology he uses. His delivery light and funny, but always focused on his message.

Renny Gleeson empathises with consumers. His presentation seeks to understand the customer’s experience when a webpage fails to meet their expectations. He uses the analogy of being directed to a 404 error page. Gleeson’s message is that even when this happens all is not lost. With some creative thinking clever marketers can capitalise on mistakes and create even stronger ties with their customers.

Gleeson is conversational, understanding, encouraging, and friendly. He urges marketers to examine the possibilities inherent in failures and use them to strengthen relationships with customers.

Give your audience a reason to listen to you:

  • Be responsive to your listeners,
  • Be remarkable,
  • Earn their trust,
  • Appeal to the tastemakers,
  • And be their friend.

These masterful marketers do what they describe – engaging listeners while making the perfect pitch.

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