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Marketers: Here Are The 8 Best TED Talks You Need to Watch

Marketers: Here Are The 8 Best TED Talks You Need to Watch

Posted by Nili M. Zaharony on Dec 09, 2014

Ok…so maybe not the 8 best TED talks ever but any list like this ultimately comes down to objectivity, right? One of my favorite past times while eating lunch at my desk, riding the train into the city, or just spacing out after a long day is tuning into Ted. You never know what you’re going to learn and that’s half the fun! So without further ado, I present the 8 TED Talks for marketers.

What do we do with all this big data?

Marketing cannot exist these days independently of analytics. Susan Etlinger, data analyst and author of “The Social Media ROI Cookbook” and “A Framework for Social Analytics” understands this point better than most. In her talk, Susan explains why, as we receive more data, we need to deepen our critical thinking skills.

“Data doesn’t create meaning. We do.” – Susan Etlinger

How to make a splash in social media

One of the easiest ways to get your brand out there is over social media. In fact, we’ve written extensively about it because it’s a landscape that, while valuable, is changing all the time. In this brief and incredibly entertaining talk, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian talks about one humpback whale’s rise to Web stardom.

“If you want to succeed, you’ve got to be okay with just losing control.” – Alexis Ohanian

3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

The days are past (if they ever existed) when a person, company, or brand could tightly control their reputation – online chatter and spin mean that if you’re relevant, there’s a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over. Frog CMO Tim Leberecht offers three big ideas about accepting that loss of control, even designing for it – and using it as an impetus to recommit to your values.

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Tim Leberecht

How to get your ideas to spread

In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.

“You don’t have to be super outrageous to do this. What you have to do is figure out what people really want and give it to them.” – Seth Godin

Adventures in Twitter fiction

Do you know how to tell a good story? What’s drawing your readers in? What’s keeping them on your website? Andrew Fitzgerald is a member of the News and Journalism Partnerships team at Twitter. In this talk, he explores the short yet fascinating history of new forms of creative experimentation in fiction and storytelling.

“Creative people experimenting with the bounds of what is possible in this medium.” – Andrew Fitzgerald

Txting is killing language. JK!!!

Good writing is at the core of any successful marketing strategy. How can you aim for the coveted “thought leader” role if you can’t string a cohesive sentence together? In this talk, American linguist and political commentator John McWhorter posits that texting may not be killing writing ability quite as much as we’d like to think it does. And that’s because, according to McWhorter, it’s not actually writing.

“Texting is fingered speech.” - John McWhorter

Life lessons from an ad man

Advertising adds value to product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Advertising guru Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value – and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.

“All value is subjective and persuasion is better than compulsion.” – Rory Sutherland

As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

This final video is not about marketing per say but something I find applicable to every company and tech start-up I’ve ever worked at. Today’s businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex – and traditional pillars of management are obsolete. Consultant Yves Morieux says it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit’s warren of interdependencies. Check out his talk outlining the six rules for “smart simplicity.”

“Manage the new complexity of business without getting complicated.” – Yves Morieux

Talks for marketers

Nili M. Zaharony

Written by Nili M. Zaharony

CMO at Penguin Strategies. With extensive experience in B2B startups ranging from enterprise offerings, crowd-sourcing, and cloud analytics, her goal is to transform dry, complex, or technical material into valuable and marketable content.

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