7 podcasts & audiobooks to challenge and inspire

Robin Emiliani  /  Aug 26, 2022

Podcasts! They’ve been growing steadily since the 2000s, and these days, more than half the US (62%, according to Buzzsprout) has given them a try. A tidy 26% of those surveyed listen every single week.

Friends, I am one of those weekly listeners.

No, scratch that. I’m a daily listener. In a car, on a train, on a walk, [insert Dr. Seuss rhyme here]. I’m stretching this marketer’s brain, packing it full of creativity and stories and new ideas all the time.

And if you’re thinking, man, that sounds good. I’d like to learn something new while folding laundry or browsing grocery store shelves! I’ve got you covered.

But not with the typical lists other marketing agencies might throw at you.

Because there are already hundreds of lists of top marketing podcasts you should be listening to. And they tend to cover the same territory.

Here, we’re not going to do that. My list of suggestions skirts the edges of marketing, looking to disciplines like psychology, linguistics, and storytelling to stretch my marketing muscles in even more ways than the usual suspects.

If you’d like to join me in stretching into those skillsets, here are seven podcasts and audiobooks (my other great audio love) that make me think and leave me inspired:

The Allusionist

While certainly, some marketing is visual or musical, most marketing has some element of words. So understanding how language works, how it shifts over time, and where words came from can be damn useful.

Which is why I love The Allusionist. A podcast about all things language.

Check out recent episodes on Objectivity and Rainbow Washing for interesting, relevant info for marketers (and other creatives).


From sea turtles to personality psychology, Ologies covers anything scientists study. And this includes quite a few topics relevant to marketers (there’s even an episode called TikTokology).

For insights into how people think, don’t miss episodes titled Attention-Deficit Neuropsychology (ADHD), Eudemonology (happiness), Economic Sociology, and Fanthropology (fandom).

For fun and hilarity and a brain break, dive into Teuthology (squids) and Foraging Ecology.

The Screenwriting Life

What can marketers learn from screenwriters? Turns out, a lot.

The Screenwriting Life, run by two screenwriters who worked together on the iconic Pixar film Inside Out, covers everything from how to pitch big ideas in short, compelling ways to how to navigate demanding client and partner relationships. You can even listen to them critique pitches in real time on some of their live episodes.

Episodes 76 (how to give great notes), 69 (comedic writing), and 67 (knowing when to quit) might be good starting points for those new to the podcast.

Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard (audiobook)

Change is ________.

If I ask you to fill in the blank, chances are you’ll toss the word hard into that empty space. Because that truism has been drilled into us everywhere from work to home and in-between.

This book acknowledges those challenges but gives real-world examples of huge shifts successfully accomplished. In business, in deeply personal causes, and in people’s lives.

Want to know how to shift your organization’s trajectory or change customer thinking? This audiobook is for you.

Teenager Therapy

Is your target audience teens, college students, or young adults? The Teenager Therapy podcast is run by five teens navigating life honestly and in real time with their audience. Add to your arsenal of data points on this demographic and your empathy for them by listening to them share openly about their lives and struggles in high school, college, first jobs, and more.

White Homework

Committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace and diverse, inclusive marketing? White Homework, a podcast from anti-racist activist Tori Williams Douglass, is coming at you with bite-sized episodes that’ll help you understand and implement change.

Super Better (audiobook)

Here’s another surprising place marketers can learn a thing or two: games. Join author Jane McGonigal in Super Better to learn how games work, how our minds respond to games, and how you can create a game out of almost anything (nudge, nudge, including marketing campaigns). You might recognize Jane’s name from her viral TED Talk a few years back. If you loved that, the book goes even deeper, weaving stories and games together with the data from hundreds of studies on all things game.

Time to don your headphones

There you have it. Seven great audio sources of inspiration and creativity for marketers.

And if you need more inspiration and creativity? Well, you know where to find us. We’re always up for a conversation about your marketing.


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