It takes more than technical blog posts and the latest and greatest understanding of Google’s updates to successfully manage clients in the digital marketing space.

As a career account manager, completing my 10th anniversary in the digital marketing arena this year, I know that a deeper understanding of marketing as a discipline and how our brains respond to brands is equally as important. This professions also demands a certain level of curiosity around how to continually improve relationships, while educating and collaborating with clients. As a project or account manager, I’m often the person who needs to break down a complex problem into bite-sized chunks that a person who’s not an expert in digital marketing would understand.

Although keeping up on internet marketing trends does get my creative juices flowing, I’ve found that the best way for me to stay engaged and motivated is by seeking out wisdom from not-so-technical sources. TED Talks have been a well of inspiration for me.  They’ve kept me engaged, interested and have provided motivation when I needed it. Below are five TED Talks I’ve come across over the years that I’d highly recommend to anyone – specially for folks in the internet marketing space.

Lessons from an ad man

Rory is one of the flagship guys in the advertising world. Today he’s the Vice Chairman of Oglivy Group, a long way from when he started at Oglivy & Mather in 1988, as a copywriter working on Microsoft’s account – before Microsoft had come out with Windows!

All of Rory’s TED Talks are worth listening to, but here are my two favorite picks. Bookmark this page and come back when you have time for a break, it’ll be time well spent:

Life lessons from an ad man

Perspective is everything

404, an opportunity

Now for a not so serious and quicker talk, still worth your time. Renny Gleeson talks about how well designed moments can build brands. Something as simple as a 404 error on your website can tell a potential customer something you’re not, or it can remind them why they should love your brand.

This is a light, quick and fun TED Talk to watch, so go ahead and push play.

404, the story of a page not found

Google’s turn

Being that I’m in Internet Marketing I couldn’t not post a TED Talk from one of Google’s own right? With all due respect, Dan Cobley isn’t the most charismatic or speakers, nonetheless I enjoyed this talk where he compares marketing with some of the foundation laws of physics.

Starts out slow but there are some great insights into his talk.

What physics taught me about marketing

Some REAL Out of the Box Thinking!

Now to one of my favorite TED Talks. While this talk isn’t directly related with marketing, it provides us with a great example of what “thinking outside the box” really looks like.

Ricardo Semler was “thinking outside the box” back when that expression didn’t exist. Over 30 years ago he was experimenting with concepts that thought leaders today are uncovering. He’s an organizational changemaker from Brazil, and worth your time.

How to run a company with (almost) no rules

In closing, I hope you enjoyed this series of TED Talks. Please feel free to share your own favorites with us through the comments below or via social media. TED has an excellent archive of talks around marketing, and I would love to watch your recommendations as well.

8 thoughts on “Five TED Talks Every Internet Marketer Should Watch

  1. Jared

    Great finds Ricardo! I really liked the 404 talk. “Little things matter when building brands”. Interesting perspective on building off of small details!

    1. Ricardo Figueiredo Post author

      Thanks! Yea lots of good insight in that short talk. Good stuff!

      ps: this reminds me… we need to look at our 404 page! :)

  2. Stephen Peron

    I really enjoyed Ricardo’s Semler Ted Talk. It is amazing to think that he implemented these more “outside of the box” ideas over 20 years ago. Do you know if these ideas have become common practice in Brazil?

    1. Ricardo Figueiredo Post author

      It’s definitely inspiring, and makes me ask some basic but fundamental questions around why we do things the way we do them… As far as them being common practice in Brazil, I wouldn’t say they are any more than here in the US.

    1. Ricardo Figueiredo Post author

      Who doesn’t right? Instead of a frustrated broken link you can walk away with a smile. Kind of a no-brainer.

  3. Keith Lovgren

    I enjoyed Dan Corbley’s talk about the relationship between physics and marketing. Great stuff, thanks for posting!

    1. Ricardo Figueiredo Post author

      Thanks Keith! Dan’s presentation is great, I love the analogies between marketing and physics.


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