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Back to School for Marketing & Sales: 18 Resources for B2B Professionals

Every time I see a yellow school bus driving through my neighborhood, I get a twinge of nostalgia and the sudden urge to sharpen a No. 2 pencil in an old-school, manual pencil sharpener. (Then I remember I never have to eat cafeteria food again, and I feel a deep appreciation for adulthood.) If you’re like me and inevitably get nostalgic during back-to-school season, this is the blog post for you.

We’ve put together a sort of curriculum for B2B marketers and sales reps featuring six subject areas, each with three resources ranging from fun videos to in-depth e-books. The best part? Unlike in actual school, all of these “assignments” are optional — but I guarantee the marketing geek in you will love these study materials and find something to inspire your work this fall.

Email Marketing

Required Reading: 21 Email Deliverability Terms You Need to Know

In this blog post, Pardot’s resident email deliverability expert defines 21 crucial email terms that all marketers should know. Read this so you’ll never again stare blankly at your colleague who asks if you’re CASL compliant.

Deep Dive: The Complete Guide to B2B Email Marketing

60% of marketers say that email is a critical enabler of products and services, versus 42% of marketers in 2014. It’s clear that email marketing is becoming increasingly important, which is why we recently revamped our Complete Guide to B2B Email Marketing to reflect current email trends and statistics, the most up-to-date email deliverability and authentication best practices, template design considerations, and key email performance metrics. Whether you’re just getting started with email marketing or want to take your strategy to the next level, this e-book can help.

Extra Credit: The Email Subject Line Checklist

According to SEP, 35% of people open emails based on the subject line alone, so you’ve got a lot riding on just a few words. Follow the six points in this checklist to save your emails from the trash bin (or worse, the spam folder).

Pardot's Subject Line Checklist for B2B Email Marketers

Automation for Sales

Required Reading: How to Boost Sales with Marketing Automation

Phil Simpson, a seasoned B2B sales manager, gives his perspective on using marketing automation in the world of sales. He explains how sales teams are using marketing data, ways marketers can enable their sales counterparts, and how you can get started with marketing automation.

Deep Dive: 25 Marketing Automation Tips Straight from Sales

Ever wonder how your sales team can benefit from a marketing automation tool? At Pardot, we use marketing automation every day, and not just on our marketing team. Our sales reps have had great success using automation during the selling process — and they’re here to offer a few tips that can help you find success as well. From social selling to personalized sales messages, the tips in this e-book will help your sales reps prioritize the automation features that they’ll find most useful.

Extra Credit: Using Sales Insights…Without Being Creepy

There’s a fine line between relevant and creepy. In this 90-second video, Mathew Sweezey draws this distinction to help sales reps avoid coming across as overbearing.

Social Media

Required Reading: B2B Social Media: 2 Critical Questions to Get Started

Our friends at Brainrider pose two questions all B2B marketing teams should ask themselves before diving into the world of social media. If you’re new to the game or want to reevaluate your strategy, this blog post is a great place to get started.

Deep Dive: The B2B Social Media Guide to Best Practices

This e-book is full of resources for social media marketers. Want help prioritizing your time and budget across different social networks, creating a social strategy from scratch, or getting started with social listening? This guide has you covered. Plus, get suggestions for different tools (both free and premium) to help you stay organized and consistent with your social media strategy.

Extra Credit: Social Listening Worksheet

Social listening (or social media monitoring) is crucial for staying up-to-date on what people are saying about your industry, your brand, and your competitors. Use this worksheet to brainstorm keywords to monitor in your social listening feeds.

Pardot's Social Listening Worksheet for B2B Marketers

Lead Nurturing

Required Reading: 5 Lead Nurturing Best Practices for Sales and Marketing

Lead nurturing, also called drip marketing, is essential for B2B companies with long, complex sales cycles. This post on the Salesforce blog goes over five lead nurturing best practices that marketers and sales reps alike should understand.

Deep Dive: The Complete Guide to Lead Nurturing

Want a more in-depth explanation of lead nurturing and its benefits? This e-book can help. Take a look at how automated lead nurturing works, included triggered messaging and lead assignment. Plus, get a quick walk-through of ten must-try nurturing campaigns (from welcome campaigns to competitive drips) and a bunch of worksheets to help you plan your strategy.

Extra Credit: Campaign Planning Checklist

Make sure you have your lead nurturing basics down pat with this campaign planning checklist — before you even get started.

Pardot's Campaign Planning Checklist for B2B Marketers

Content Marketing

Required Reading: Why You Should Create a Content Library For Sales — & How to Do It

A study by IDC states that as much as 80% of the content created by marketers isn’t even used by sales. Marketers, don’t let your hard work go to waste by creating content that sales reps can’t easily find. This blog post walks you through the steps it takes to create a content portal that your sales teams will actually use.

Deep Dive: The Content Creation Guide

According to CMI, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago — but is that content really making an impact? This e-book provides step-by-step instructions to help you create a top-notch content strategy. You’ll also get access to six marketing templates to guide your content efforts — including an editorial calendar and a worksheet for mapping out buyer personas.

Extra Credit: 7 Snack-Sized Lessons on Video Marketing that will Rock Your Digital Marketing World

The folks at Vidyard pulled together 20 fascinating statistics about video marketing that every results-driven content marketer should know. Watch the video below, and then take a look at the rest of the blog post for even more insights.

ROI

Required Reading: How Closed-Loop ROI Reporting Works

This blog post is an oldie but a goodie from all the way back in 2013. We’ve entered an era of marketing accountability in which “brand awareness” is no longer a good reason to invest in most marketing initiatives. Learn why closed-loop ROI reporting matters and how it works.

Deep Dive: How to Squeeze Every Drop of ROI from Your Lead Sources Using Salesforce

This super-detailed blog post from Kissmetrics explores different tools and tactics that can help you get the most out of your leads, from robust solutions like marketing automation to free AppExchange plugins for Salesforce customers.

Extra Credit: Google AdWords KPIs Checklist

Clicks and impressions are worthy metrics, but they won’t tell you everything you need to know about how your paid search campaigns are performing. Use this checklist to make sure you’re getting the best return on your Google AdWords investment.

Google AdWords KPIs Checklist for B2B Marketers

Class dismissed.

If you’re feeling inspired to dive further into any of these marketing topics, we’ve got some (fun!) homework for you. Grab your free copy of The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing for 80+ pages of marketing worksheets, checklists, and best practices — and the best part? You don’t even have to write a book report when you’re done.

Download The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing