According to Edison Research, 67 million Americans listen to podcasts each month. And, as Jay Baer points out, that means that podcast listening is now more common than Catholicism in the United States. What's amazing is the variety of shows out there and the critical importance of the show host. It's not uncommon to hear two interviews of the same celebrity or marketing executive from two different hosts and get a remarkably different perspective. Often what makes these shows special is the host who, regardless of the guest, makes the conversations both interesting and enlightening.

As someone who's published two full seasons of podcasts, interviewing everyone from Tony Robbins to Malcolm Gladwell, there is so much behind the scenes that has to happen for the essence of a great interview to be delivered as a powerful podcast.

The following are nine shows that cover the gamut from customer experience to corporate communications, entrepreneurship to engagement, leadership to innovation, industry news, strategy and sales. In other words, the following 9 podcasts are quite binge worthy for the well-rounded marketer.

1. Customer Experience: The Human Duct Tape Show with Jeanne Bliss

Host Jeanne Bliss is a true authority on creating exceptional customer experiences and her show brings together other experts in the area to break down both the challenges and benefits of a customer-first approach. Jeanne's guest often discuss recent CX snafu's and how they could have been avoided or at least addressed more effectively.

2. Engagement: The Bryan Kramer Show with Bryan Kramer

Brian Kramer, the best selling author of Shareology and Human to Human, brings tremendous warmth to his show with both his questions and his perspective. Featuring a wide-range of successful entrepreneurs and experts, Bryan's show reminds us that all business is in fact personal and most episodes includes a guest providing his or her "life hacks" that will free up time for you to be a bit more human!

3. Entrepreneurship: The Nice Guys on Business with Doug Sandler and Strickland Bonner

Doug and Strickland have the rowdiest show on my list, which only partly explains its popularity (consistently among top 5 on OvercastFM in 2017). And though these two guys clearly have fun on the show and swear a lot in the process, they also manage to get to the heart of really interesting business challenges faced by many entrepreneurs. Like Bryan Kramer, these folks definitely get at the human side of running a business.

4. Innovation: Renegade Thinkers Unite with Drew Neisser

As an award-winning renegade thinker, Drew Neisser has an eye (and ear) for a marketing approach that is fresh and has a special ability to draw insights out of his wide range of guests from CMOs to relevant topic experts. Uniquely, Drew provides an on the fly wrap-up of each episode usually sharing 2-3 key learnings that both seasoned and rookie marketers will find informative if not inspiring.

5. Leadership: Everyday MBA with Kevin Craine

First it's important to note that Kevin Craine has among the most mellifluous voices in podcasting so even some of his more basic questions sound important and profound. Second and more importantly, has terrific guests who always provide actionable insights that just about any one in business can benefit from but that are especially useful to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

6. Media Industry News: Beancast with Bob Knorpp

Host Bob Knorpp is razor sharp and brings a witty edge to his weekly round up of the hot topics in the advertising business. Cajoling his savvy guests to take a stand on the issues of the day, there is rarely a dull moment on Beancast nor one that doesn't inspire consideration by the listener. If you're in the advertising and media business, here's your back stage pass to what's really going on including the good, the bad and the very ugly.

7. PR / Corporate Comms: Focus is your Friend with Lee Caraher

The first thing you'll notice about Lee is that she has a terrific laugh and really enjoys the conversation she has with a broad range of marketing professionals. Lee brings tremendous insights to her questions and also engenders thoughtful conversation with her guests. Given her strong background in PR and corporate communications Lee's show is a must hear for marketers keep on improving in this area.

8. Sales: Accelerate with Andy Paul

Despite cranking out one episode every day of the week, Andy Paul sets the bar high for any guest, challenging them to enlighten his sizeable audience of sales and marketing professionals. Andy is an encyclopedia of what's worked and what hasn't in the world sales and isn't afraid to call BS when a guest ventures into unsubstantiated territory. If you're in sales or want to understand how to work with your sales team more effectively, this is a must listen.

9. Strategy: Marketing Today with Alan Hart

Alan Hart has a terrific way of peeling the onion that is the chief marketing officer, finding out what motivates them and also what it takes to do their job well. His guests range from Fortune 1000 CMOs like Linda Boff of GE and AON's Phil Clement to Effie-award winning VPs of Marketing like Bill Beck of Whirlpool and George Felix of KFC. In other words, he talks with pros who've actually brought good marketing to life!

Do you have others that you believe should be on every marketer's playlist? If so, please add them to the comment section below. With so many to choose from, I'd love to know which ones you believe are "must haves" on your playlist.

Published on: Sep 23, 2017