How Ted can make your ad agency new business more effective

Bon Giorno and Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed some time away and are psyched as we head into 2011. The change of the year is a fine excuse to develop some tactics for your agency’s new business efforts. Today’s nugget is around something that might help…

Do you know Ted?!

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. From their site, “TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.” Gotta love that. Perhaps like you, I knew Ted. But not very well. I thought is was one of those events like DAVOS – full of smart people talking about weighty issues.

And based on what The Missus recently sent me, looks like I was right. Normally, “weighty issues” can mean a bunch of 30,000 foot ideas and thinking that can bore someone to death. But this…TED thing is absolutely worth checking out. There are a ton of marketing implications for what you can see on the site. And here are two ways you can use TED thinking in your new business efforts.

The first one’s a bit obvious. Use TED learning for strategic rationale and pitch theater. Here’s just one example of the cool stuff you can find on their site. The link captures a very bright woman, Rachel Botsman, talking about what she calls collaborative consumption. She talks for about 17 minutes on the topic, defines the term, shows some smart examples and suggests where the trend might go. As an agency guy, it screamed account planning brilliance. A great little bit of video that could be used to sell in an idea, campaign or new product in a pitch. And this was just one of many video bits.

The second way to consider using TED is in your prospecting efforts. It’s very easy to take what you see on TED and, after giving it proper acknowledgement, customize it. A few quick thought starters:

  • Take one of the links, add a relevant spin, and email it to a prospect you’ve been wanting to see
  • Track down the speakers from interesting segments and build an event around their subject
  • Sort through what you see on the site and create a whitepaper around the topics that are more marketing worthy
  • Blog about what you see on the site as it relates to your agency’s expertise
  • Create a microsite that acts as an aggregator of innovative thinking

Anywho, I hope this gets your brain thinking about new ways to win new business in 2011. As you suspect, yours truly will continue to keep eyes peeled for things that can help you. So keep on coming back!

Better yet, don’t miss a thing and sign up for the RSS feed. Or fill out the form on the site to get our monthly newsletter. Do that, and also get a FREE, 40+ page deck on “Eleven Habits of Successful RFP Responses.”



  1. Great post, Steve. I always love the TED conferences. So much cool information and ideas. Gets ya thinkin’.


  2. Steve Congdon says:

    Thanks, Mike. There’s a ton of stuff there. The definitely seem to live up to their mantra!

  3. I’m a huge TED fan. Brilliant speakers, rich food for thought/exploration. Top-notch production quality on the videos. It’s just so great that they made the decision to go open-source with all that fabulous content. (Great for those of us who partake, and great for TED as well, as it’s magnified their brand footprint considerably.)

    In case you weren’t aware, “independently organized TED events” (aka TEDx_______) take place around the world. Here’s the site for the one in Chicago:

    We’ve now had two TEDx events in Rochester, NY. Both were fantastic.


  4. Steve Congdon says:

    Thanks for the heads up on Chicago. It would be great to have the chance to attend. The site you’ve turned folks on to suggests they’re looking for sponsor partners. Which could be an interesting opportunity for the right agency.