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One of my favorite things to do when I have some free time on my hands is to watch TED talks. Delivered by experts in various fields and watched by thousands of people around the world, these talks are educational, thought-provoking, and inspiring.

So, I made a list of my favorite marketing-related talks that should serve as a motivation for anyone working in the marketing industry.

#1 Rory Sutherland – Life lessons from an ad man

In this excellent talk, advertising man Rory Sutherland explains the importance of perceived (or intangible) value. Perspective is very important and has a big impact on the decisions we make in our everyday life. When it comes to marketing, brands can use advertising to change people’s perception of a product they want to sell. Besides the many great points, Rory’s brilliant humor and perfect delivery make this talk worth watching over and over again.


#2 Seth Godin – How to get your ideas to spread

Bestselling author, entrepreneur, and marketing guru Seth Godin talks about how in a world of too many choices, only remarkable products can get noticed by consumers. He argues that strategies of mass marketing should stay in the past, and brands should instead market to innovators and early adopters, banking on them to spread the word.


#3 Sheena Iyengar – How to make choosing easier

Sheena Iyengar’s amazing speech on the choice overload tackles a problem people face every day while making all kinds of choices, including buying choices. Experiments have shown that when consumers are faced with choice overload, they often “choose not to choose,” i.e. they choose not to buy anything from a certain business. However, Sheena suggests four simple techniques that businesses can use for mitigating this problem.


#4 Renny Gleeson – 404, the story of a page not found

We all know what the 404 page is and how annoying and frustrating it can be when you see it. However, sometimes you can turn a negative into a positive, and that’s exactly the point that Renny makes in his fun speech. Brands can take advantage of the 404 page by making it something more than a blank error page, and he shows some great examples of how other brands have done this.


#5 Malcolm Gladwell – Choice, happiness, and spaghetti sauce

Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell delivered what is considered one of the best TED talks by telling the story about Howard Moskovitz – the American psychophysicist famous for his study about spaghetti sauce and horizontal segmentation. Although the story uses an example from the food industry, it can be applied to a variety of topics and it helps us understand the nature of choice and happiness. The main takeaway for brands is they shouldn’t put all consumers in one basket, because all of them are individuals with unique tastes. Instead, they should find out what their consumers really want and diversify their product offers.