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Listen up: The best podcasts for b2b marketers

  • by Matt Duxbury
  • 5th Dec 2017
    • B2B, Web and Digital

2017 has been another big year for podcasts. Having outlived the device it was named after, this surprisingly resilient content format continues to win plaudits and attract new listeners. But which are the best podcasts for b2b marketers?

Podcasting is now so popular that you can find multiple audio series devoted to any subject, no matter how niche. Like other forms of content marketing, the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ to sort through in search of a gem can be overwhelming. As a topic, b2b marketing is no exception, so we’ve put together a short list of top podcasts on different marketing specialisms that get the Upp B2B seal of approval.

Plus, we asked a few Uppers for their personal listening recommendations – not necessarily business podcasts, just their favourites on any topic. Read on for the only b2b podcast list you’ll ever need!

Podcasts we recommend for b2b marketers

If you’re interested in… business growth

The Growth Show

The central theme of this weekly podcast from HubSpot is how to achieve growth, whether that’s expanding a team, an idea or a business. Guests typically sit down with hosts Meghan Keaney Anderson and Kipp Bodnar for a 30-minute conversation that uncovers some fascinating insights about driving success in the modern business world.

In 2018, The Growth Show is set to take a new direction by telling the stories of businesses that came back from the brink of failure. Until then, there are plenty of old episodes to enjoy.


If you’re interested in… brand design

Design Matters with Debbie Millman

Founded in 2005, Design Matters is the original podcast about design. Host Debbie Millman brings some heavyweight design credentials, having worked on global brand projects for the likes of Burger King and Nestle during her time at Sterling Brands in New York.

Guests such as Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell and Alain de Botton have all graced the show, which was named one of iTunes Best Podcasts in 2015. And if you’d like some reading to accompany the audio experience, Millman’s conversations with recognised brand experts are collected in her book Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits.


If you’re interested in… digital marketing

Six Pixels of Separation

Mitch Joel is a digital marketing expert and a highly effective networker, if his podcast is anything to go by. Every week, he brings a big-name marketer to Six Pixels of Separation for a free-wheeling conversation about their career and the state of marketing today. Recent highlights include retired legendary ad creative Alex Bogusky (once dubbed the Steve Jobs of advertising) and strategy consultant Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out.

If you’re looking for different perspectives on the way digital technology and the connected world is changing the way we do business, this is the podcast for you.


If you’re interested in… everything to do with marketing

Under the Influence

Another long-running podcast that continues to grow its audience, Under the Influence is hosted by veteran ad man Terry O’Reilly. It started life as a radio show about advertising for Canadian network CBC, but has since widened its focus to take in the world of marketing as a whole. Recent episodes have looked at influencer marketing, unlikely brand collaborations and what happens when brands get political.

The wide-ranging nature of Under the Influence is exactly what makes it essential listening – plus O’Reilly is an engaging host with plenty of memorable stories about marketing, culture and the art of persuasion.


And the best of the rest…

No Such Thing as a Fish

This weekly podcast from the people behind BBC Two’s QI is a big hit in the Upp office, with quite a few of us listening regularly.

The format is simple, with a group of QI researchers sitting down to discuss their most interesting and surprising recent discoveries. Listen to develop your general knowledge in unexpected ways and stockpile ammunition for future pub conversations.

“I love how each presenter comes with their own take on the fact they’re discussing – you can never predict which direction the conversation will take. It’s the perfect alternative when you get bored of scrolling through playlists on Spotify!” Charlotte Howard, senior account executive, Upp B2B.


99% Invisible

This acclaimed podcast has been running since 2010. Dedicated to “the unnoticed architecture and design that shapes our world”, 99% Invisible is all about making complex ideas accessible. Creator Roman Mars is a captivating storyteller and likeable host, guiding listeners through topics as diverse as La Sagrada Familia, logomark design and the invention of the sports bra.

“Just a bottomless well of incredible facts and ‘ohhh so that’s why…’ moments, this is a really inspiring listen that will make you appreciate brilliant design all over again,” Anthony Jones, creative director, Upp B2B.


TED Radio Hour

Described as a “a journey through fascinating ideas”, TED Radio Hour is based on the famous TED talks and co-produced by NPR. Each show explores a different theme or topic through the input of TED speakers. There’s plenty to interest b2b marketers here – recent episodes have covered the big data revolution and Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of human needs.

“This is great if you enjoy TED talks. And if you haven’t experienced them yet, it’s a perfect introduction,” Mel Daggett, senior account manager, Upp B2B.


Desert Island Discs

The classic Radio 4 programme, still going strong after more than 3,000 episodes, is also available to download as a podcast. A recent edition saw Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg choosing the eight songs, book and luxury item she would choose as her castaway companions.

“The simple format can reveal a side of prominent public figures we don’t often get to see, especially in business. You come away with a better understanding of what makes them tick,” Ann Rimmer, director of brand, Upp B2B.


Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy

Hosted by sports writer and former table tennis champion Matthew Syed, this podcast is recorded just around the corner from our office in MediaCityUK.

Alongside the big personalities of Andrew Flintoff and Robbie Savage, Syed gets stuck in to major talking points from the sporting world and beyond. Recent episodes have touched on time travel, conspiracy theories and reacting to criticism – as well as England’s preparation for the Ashes.

“A very entertaining trio – highly recommended for sports fans!” Michael Clark, managing director, Upp B2B.


Hopefully this list will inspire you to get started with podcasts or add some new titles to your listening schedule. If you have your own favourites already, get in touch and let us know!

For more content inspiration, don’t forget volume two of The B2B Content Marketing Cookbookfree to download now.