3 Great Ted Talks That Inspire Great Marketing Storytelling


Indeed, storytelling is not just about campfires, myths, and legends. Storytelling is the key to being memorable – and memorability is one of the main pillars of great marketing content and messages.

How does storytelling impact memorability? Well, if we listen to a PowerPoint presentation with just lists and lists of bullet points, certain parts in the brain will get activated. That is, this information hits the language processing parts in our brain, where we decode words into meaning. But that’s it, nothing else happens.

However, when we are being told a story, cognitively – we are actually experiencing it. This means that not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use were we to actually experience the events of the story, are also activated. The greater the activation, the greater the memorability.

So, if storytelling is crucial to effective (and converting) marketing content – what makes for a great story?

Here are three fabulous Ted talks that each take a different angle at what makes for a great story.

1. How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek, see the talk >>

In this famous talk Simon Sinek talks about the ‘Golden Circle’ – where the construct of a great marketing story starts with the ‘why,’ and only then moves on to the ‘how’ and the ‘what.’

Why: The core belief of the business. It's why the business exists.

How: how the business fulfills that core belief.

What: what it is that the company does to fulfill that core belief.

He gives Apple as an example of great brand storytelling. That is, Apple is a great storyteller because they don’t say:

“We make great computers. They're user friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. Want to buy one?”

Rather, they say:

“With everything we do, we aim to challenge the status quo. We aim to think differently. Our products are user friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

2. The Secret Structure of Great Talks, Nancy Duarte, see the talk >>

Now that we know what our ‘why’ is – how do we actually structure our story to be convincing? According to Nancy Duarte, every great talk (or story) has the same structure. She studied the likes of Martin Luther King, Abe Lincoln, and more.

According to Nancy – the key to engagement is to first present the problem with the status quo and then follow a rhythm of reminding them of the problem and how a ‘new bliss’ can change their lives.

3. What Physics Taught Me About Marketing, Dan Cobley, see the talk >>

Ok, so we have our ‘why,’ we’ve got our structure. Now, what are some of the marketing principles that we should keep in mind as we create our memorable and converting content?

Dan Cobley has some insights. Dan was the Advertising Chief of the EMEA region at Google Inc., head of Google UK, Vice President of brand solutions of Google Inc., and Head of Marketing at Capital One.

In his talk – Dan takes a different and insightful approach to marketing and marketing content. Some of the main principles include:

The importance of metrics: “try to measure what consumers actually do, rather than what they say they'll do.”

Be authentic: “no matter how much you've invested in your brand; one bad week can undermine decades of good work.”

Embrace your challenges: “our brand is more dispersed, you can't fight it, so embrace it and find a way to work with it.”

Want to make your marketing story memorable? Get in touch and let’s do great marketing together >>