Ideas, choice and perception: 3 TED Talks to help you achieve your tech marketing goals

May 8, 2018

For those in tech marketing, TED talks are an invaluable resource when striving toward goals, whether you’re looking to turn leads into sales or devising an effective campaign to target your most sought-after customer base. 

Conventional marketing efforts of the past now serve as quaint reminders of when customers could be wooed easily. These days, stakeholders are savvier than ever, and acutely aware of the man behind the curtain. To this end, the following TED talks illustrate just how cerebral the world of technology PR has become.

  1. Steven Johnson: “Where Good Ideas Come From”
    Author Steven Johnson has spent his career probing the confluence of technology, science and the experience of the user. His insights are more relevant than ever as technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, thereby changing the way we live and think. Idea creation is the focus of his TED talk, which is a concept on the mind of most marketers.

    Johnson ponders where great ideas come from, and dismisses common tropes about eureka moments in the process. Truly brilliant ideas are not borne of a single instance, but instead come from many different channels (what he terms the “liquid network”). He uses examples as diverse as Darwin developing the theory of evolution to how modern GPS was created (by way of the Sputnik satellite and a few curious lab workers.)

  2. Sheena Iyengar: “How to Make Choosing Easier”
    Do more choices result in more sales? Not so much says Sheena Iyengar, a respected author and professor at the Columbia Business School. Iyengar has come to the conclusion that more choices are actually detrimental to decision-making, and uses the example of a gourmet grocery store offering an abundance of jams (along with everything else).

    Iyengar found that while consumers were glad to sample jams when faced with 24 different choices, they were less likely to make a sale. However, when only six samples were presented, customers were 30 percent more likely to actually make a purchase. Iyengar posits that consumers are actually fatigued by an abundance of choice, and this fatigue can stop the decision-making process in its tracks.

  3. Rory Sutherland: “Life Lessons From an Ad Man”
    Rory Sutherland began his illustrious advertising career as a copywriter in 1988. During the ensuing years, he has gained numerous insights on the world of marketing, including the importance of perception. Creating perceived value for a product is an invaluable marketing tool, as it speaks to something deep within consumers that transcends need.

    At the heart of marketing is persuasion; how do you persuade a customer that your product is the right one for them? According to Sutherland, you incentivize by adding perceived value. He tells the story of how Frederick the Great influenced Germans to make potatoes a staple of their diets by declaring them the royal vegetable and forbidding common people from consuming them. Soon after the German people were eating potatoes in droves because they now had a greater perceived value.

From conceiving a brilliant idea to creating a positive perception in the minds of consumers, today’s marketing gurus must think on their feet to achieve their loftiest goals. 

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