If you’re not listening to podcasts in 2018 - you should be.
We’re fortunate enough to live in a time where there is a practically endless amount of knowledge out there that you can consume through your ears via a magic rectangle in your pocket, and it’s all free. Surely you’re making the most of this?
Podcasts are invaluable for almost any discipline, and if you’re trying to progress your career or just grow as a person in any way, podcasts are one of the most accessible forms of passive learning available to us, and one you should be taking advantage of whenever possible.
Below is a list of podcasts that have, in some way, helped me understand or make sense of the wonderful world of business and marketing - not all of these are directly marketing related, go Google “best marketing podcasts” if that’s what you’re after.
Rather, I’ve compiled a list of podcasts that not only deal with marketing and its nuances directly, but also those that will get you thinking outside of traditional marketing paradigms and encourage you to engage with concepts and ideas in different ways, as well as expose you to people and stories you probably would have never otherwise come across.
I feel that as a marketer – or indeed anyone who needs to think creatively for a living - it’s important to get your inspiration from as many different sources as possible. The below has been prolific in helping me understand the world and think bigger.
In no particular order:
If you’re not listening to Radiolab then you’re probably not listening to podcasts at all. Radiolab is a behemoth which has been around since the medium’s earliest days. The podcast is tough to categorise as they cover a massive range of topics, but almost all of them are awesome. From gene editing and killer ants to K-pop and figure skating, you’ll find something that will get you to look at the world a little differently – with all of it being insightful, informative and incredibly well produced.
Some of my weirder and wilder bursts of inspiration have come from listening to Radiolab, and you’ll be surprised at the episodes that end up speaking to you.
Must listen episode: From Tree to Shining Tree
Although it – almost – has economics in the name this podcast is not one I would associate with finance and economics as they are traditionally imagined. Freakonomics covers an incredible breadth of topics and has some of the best interviews you’ll ever listen to – their recent CEO features conversations with some of the most influential people on the planet today – and is where the whole ‘Lady Doritos’ debacle originated. Examining the fascinating micro and macro effects of everyday things we take for granted has been invaluable in informing some of my marketing efforts.
Must listen episode: The Upside of Quitting
Build a Better Agency
If you work in an agency then you need to be listening to this podcast. Host Drew McLennan chats with a range of different guests with each one bringing something interesting and insightful to the table. From business development tactics to working effectively with freelancers to scope creep, the diverse range of guests means anyone working for or growing their own agency will find something of value here.
Must listen episode: What Your Agency Needs to do to Compete Digitally
Ever wonder how inflatable men came to be regular fixtures at used car lots? Curious about the origin of the fortune cookie? Want to know why Sigmund Freud opted for a couch over an armchair? 99PI looks at the subtleties and unnoticed design elements in the world around us. Add to the fact that the host – Roman Mars – has one of the most relaxing voices ever and this becomes an absolute joy to listen to.
Must listen episode: Mexico 68
This is a personal favourite of mine. It can get a bit dense, but the two hosts are incredibly knowledgeable and touch on topics mainly looking at tech and Startup culture – particularly in relation to the big four – but their insights are super applicable to the world of marketing and each episode is full of juicy nuggets that will make you sound smart in your next meeting.
Must listen episode: Addicted to Facebook
Grumpy old Geeks
More tech than marketing hosts Jason DeFillippo and Brian Schulmeister look at the previous week in tech and “everything that went wrong on the internet”. It’s broken down into different sections - from media candy to cyber security – and has a cynical, irreverent tone that makes it a joy to listen to. It’s also a great way to get a weeks’ worth of tech digest news in a hurry.
Must listen episode: Useful but Creepy
6 Pixels of Separation
More traditional marketing focused podcast. This one is produced by agency powerhouse – Mirum – and covers a diverse range of marketing related topics. If you’re a marketer of any kind, then get this in your ears now.
Must listen episode: The Truth about Innovation
This Old Marketing
Another more traditional marketing podcast. Brought to you by the Content Marketing Institute, the podcast focuses predominantly on content marketing – surprise surprise – but covers a range of topics that are invaluable to the modern marketer. They also look at recent marketing news, so it acts as a solid digest as well.
Must listen episode: Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Disney Begin War Over Content
Startup is a great podcast from Gimlet media. It does what it says on the tin, they take a – very well produced look - at start-up businesses and culture. What makes it stand out is the transparency it offers and the fact that and they tend to dig deep, meaning you can tune it to learn from other people’s mistakes before you make them yourself.
Must listen episode: Sex Dot Con
The Tim Ferris Show
One of the titans of the podcast world, Ferris interviews entrepreneurs, industry leaders, world-class athletes, celebrities and more to find out what makes them tick. Each episode is packed with insight from high profile thinkers and performers that you can apply to your everyday life. Some of the takeaways on business operations and time management have been incredibly useful when applied to my own marketing career.
Must listen episode: Managing Procrastination, Predicting the Future, and Finding Happiness
A podcast looking at human psychology, telling stories which highlight why we do the things we do. The podcast claims to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behaviour. As a marketer it’s the “what makes people tick” aspect that can be valuable when thinking about your strategies and tactics, and in general the stories are fascinating and well worth a listen.
Must listen episode: Think Fast with Daniel Kahneman
Economics podcast with a light-hearted touch. A group of entertaining hosts look at economics and financial trends from around the world and dig into them using interesting stories and analogies. It’s far more interesting than you would expect an economics podcast to be and contains useful insight into product development, marketing and more.
Must listen episode: The Vodka Proof
If you’re practising digital marketing of any kind then this one is a must listen. It’s 10-minute bite-size, actionable marketing insight from everyone’s favourite Neil Patel. These are perfect when you have a few minutes to kill and want to ingest something practical and applicable.
Must listen episode: How You Can Make Your Content Addictive
The Joe Rogan Experience
Having been called “Oprah for men” Rogan is one of the most prolific podcasters out there. While many of his episodes might not appeal to everyone, the sheer diversity of his guests means it’s easy to find something you’ll enjoy. Rogan’s interviewing style is earnest and engaging, and over a three-hour conversation with fascinating people, you can be sure to learn a thing or three.
Must listen episode: James Damore – Ex Google Employee
I could keep going with this list forever, there is so much content out there that trying to keep track of it all is a daunting task, but this should give you at least a flavour of the kinds of things available to you.
Hopefully, this has at least convinced you to dip your toes into the podcasts waters, or otherwise introduced you to something new if you’re already a veteran.
Podcasting really is an incredible new medium and one that anyone with a smartphone can start taking advantage of right now. There is an almost infinite amount of content out there, and regardless of how niche your interests you’ll be able to find something that entertains you, and more importantly that you can learn from.
Have I missed your favourite off the list? Let us know!