5 Essential (if Unexpected) Podcasts for New Marketing Leaders

Last week I wrote about how I stocked up my marketing library before taking the gig of Director of Marketing at Charidy. This week, I figured, why not continue the trend? Here are the podcasts I’ve found most helpful in understanding the bigger world of marketing, keeping up with new trends, and finding my own voice. While not all strictly in the “how to do marketing” vein, they’ve been essential to me in lots of different ways; they may be interesting to you, too.

  1. 2Bobs: Not technically a marketing podcast, but required listening nonetheless (or perhaps all the more so). David C. Baker’s “The Business of Expertise” and Blair Enns’ “Win Without Pitching Manifesto” have become bedrocks of my marketing philosophy. Both books are now lovingly dog-eared, heavily underlined, and always accessible for reference. (I didn’t put them in my previous list because a) they were already in my library, and b) as Playboy Magazine once explained upon leaving UW-Madison off of its list of the top 50 party schools: one does not list professionals with amateurs.) The podcast is a delight, both for its consistently insightful and candid look into the trials and tribulations of heading up a creative business, but for the chemistry between the hosts, who are longtime friends and collaborators.
  2. You Are Not So Smart: For anyone in the business of storytelling, copywriting, and persuasion, understanding those invisible, internal forces that dictate our lives and guide us to make the choices we make is invaluable. I love the way host David McRaney unpacks big concepts with genuine curiosity and care, weaving together interviews, research, and just the right touch of social commentary.
  3. Every Little Thing: The website describes ELT as “a factual answering service, specializing in small questions.” Accurate, but insufficient. ELT is a celebration of curiosity. Host Flora Lichtman revels in her guests’ seemingly inane questions, rolls them over her tongue like some exotic dessert, and shares back the joy of her discoveries with such verve and charm that the listener can’t help but cheer her on. That insatiable desire to know, that deep appreciation of the smallest moments and insights — those are the qualities that great marketers bring into their work. I list this podcast not so much for the content as the perspective it embodies. It’s a necessary reminder that bringing a brand to life and inviting your audience into its story should be an act of constant discovery, joy, and appreciation for the little moments in which our ideas intersect with — and add value to — the lives of real people.
  4. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations: While not an Oprah super fan, I can appreciate her story and definitely admire the hustle. What Oprah has mastered — and it’s clear in this podcast — is the ability to make space for her guests and their stories while staying consistently on-brand herself. She deftly interweaves her own background, experience, and insights into these conversations in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the listener or undercut the guest. That’s a dance worth learning for anyone in the business of communicating.
  5. Marketing School: Because Neil Patel and Eric Siu are super smart. These pithy episodes are rich with tips and tactics for, y’know, actual on-the-ground marketing.

And that’s my list!

I believe listening always makes you a better marketer. What’s in your queue?