The Difference Between Pardot and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud

When Salesforce acquired Pardot in 2013, many digital marketers assumed that Pardot would be integrated and assimilated into Salesforce Marketing Cloud, adding to their extensive marketing services and functionality. However, this was not the case, and to this day Pardot is a separate offering while still falling under the Salesforce banner.

This may seem baffling to some marketers unfamiliar with the tools. On the surface, both Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud offer the same service and opportunities. They both currently have similar review scores and client satisfaction scores at 97% and 99% respectively, and even their own descriptions seem identical.

Pardot is described as “B2B marketing automation by Salesforce, that offers a marketing automation solution supporting the needs of B2B organizations of every size” that helps companies “Exceed revenue goals, achieve sales & marketing team alignment and gain efficient use of existing resources”. While Salesforce Marketing Cloud is positioned as a platform to “Create 1-to-1 customer journeys across email, mobile, ads, and the web. Connect your marketing across commerce, sales, service, and every customer touchpoint”.

To make matters even more confusing, both Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud feed into the Salesforce Sales Cloud!

If your head is feeling a bit cloudy right now, I don’t blame you. That’s why we’ve created this handy blog post to help you tell the difference between the two so that you don’t get caught up in a digital storm of confusion.

What is Pardot?

First, it’s a good idea to briefly cover what Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud is - but if you know your stuff and just want to get to the differences, feel free to click here and get there pronto!

Founded in 2006, Pardot is a marketing automation platform that allows you to identify, nurture and score your leads according to how likely they are to buy, and how valuable they are to your business. This saves businesses and marketing agencies alike who use longer sales cycles, as it automates monotonous yet important steps in the nurturing process.

What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that incorporates integrated solutions across different platforms, including social media, mobile, email, website advertising and more. Salesforce Marketing Cloud includes analytics and event-driven triggers that initiate marketing actions.

Essentially, Salesforce Marketing Cloud incorporates tools that work together across diverse marketing avenues. This includes marketing automation as well as social media marketing tools, website marketing tools and email marketing tools.

The main differences between the two

Upon discovering what the two solutions offer above, you may be tempted to believe that Pardot is the simpler solution to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which is geared towards powerhouse marketing departments and top-tier agencies, however this not necessarily the case.

Pardot: a B2B specialist

At its core, Pardot was built to focus on B2B clients and their specific needs in mind. As a marketing automation tool primarily, it is specialised at scheduled email campaigns, lead nurturing, and keeping the company using it fresh in the collective mind of the businesses they are marketing to.

Such a company will not need to perform text-based marketing campaigns and has only a limited need for social media marketing and website integrations. This company will benefit from the lower cost of Pardot compared to Marketing Cloud as well as the shorter amount of admin training required. However, this company will only have limited integration with Salesforce and no integration with external data sources. The contact management options will also be more sparse, but for companies with fewer contacts this isn’t an issue.

In other words, if you do not need the additional features that Marketing Cloud provides, such as mobile, detailed website marketing and social media, you should stick with Pardot to save money and training time.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: all the bells and whistles needed for B2C

While Marketing Cloud may be more expensive and demand more training, the additional features and capabilities it brings with it will reap two-fold for larger enterprises.

A typical B2C company would have need of large scale integrated marketing tools to address each of their consumers. They would need transactional and triggered email services, and may well benefit from reaching consumers on their mobiles.

In addition to this, a larger company using Salesforce Marketing Cloud will find deep website analytics and integration well-suited for the many profiles that visit their websites each day.

Therefore, such a company will find the higher cost associated with Marketing Cloud an investment due to the additional features and will be able to spend capital on longer training and skills in order to fully take advantage of everything Marketing Cloud has to offer.

In Summary…

Pardot

Pros

  • Modest price
  • Easier to get up and running
  • B2B focus

Cons

  • Limited analytics compared to Cloud
  • Lacks social, mobile and other marketing-specific tools
  • Limited external integration

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Pros

  • A full package of marketing tools from mobile to web
  • B2C focus
  • Full analytics and integrated campaigns

Cons

  • Expensive
  • More complex than Pardot

Pardot and Marketing Cloud Experts

This post may help with a simple overview of which platform is better for you and what the difference between the two is, however, in the real world things may get complicated and not every company simply strictly falls into the B2B or B2C category.

Demodia provides high level digital marketing and marketing automation consulting services that assist companies around the world with their digital marketing campaigns. Demodia can help you work with Pardot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud or any digital marketing service you have.

Topics: Digital Marketing   Marketing Automation   Social Media Marketing   Pardot Marketing Automation

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