From its humble beginnings in 2006, Pardot has grown into a giant. Pardot has remained a distinct product even since being acquired by Salesforce in 2013, and it has become one of the premiere choices in B2B marketing automation technology.
Pardot is an effective platform for B2B lead scoring and lead nurturing, and I’ve talked before about some of the features that make it a great choice in 2019. Pardot has a lot going on in its favour, but in the past, I’ve also highlighted some of the drawbacks. Three areas where B2B marketers might be looking for additional strengths are:
- Lack of built-in CRM
- A lack of social, mobile and other marketing-specific tools
- Limited external integration
There’s a lot of competition in the marketing automation space, so you might need a place to start. Don't get me wrong, Pardot is a well-rounded platform, but it's always good to at least review the alternatives. Here are some Pardot alternatives to consider if you want strengths in these three areas.
Addendum - You should never put all your eggs in one basket and, as it turns out, you shouldn't put all your data with one automation platform. Since writing this piece, Pardot has been offline for 3 days over the last week, with the worst on Friday exposing their data for 15 hours! In the meantime, take a look at some automation alternatives below that may prove a better fit for your company.
Hubspot: for tightly integrated capabilities
HubSpot is the number one marketing automation platform. When you take advantage of its built-in CRM capabilities, you’ll understand why! As far as Pardot alternatives, Hubspot has some of the strongest CRM and Sales automation capabilities of any other marketing automation vendor.
HubSpot's Sales CRM is a great resource for analyzing contact engagement, triggering personal email engagement campaigns, as well as determining interest. Hubspot's CRM also includes a form builder, so you can capture contact data directly from your website as you run campaigns. As the industry leader, HubSpot also offers good external integration with Salesforce's own CRM as well as numerous other tools.
All this combines to make HubSpot the first choice among many firms as far as sales and marketing automation.
You could also consider: SharpSpring
Among its many strengths, SharpSpring also includes comprehensive CRM tools integrated directly into their marketing automation platform, all for a very reasonably monthly budget.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud: for a wealth of marketing-specific tools
If you’re doing B2B selling, you might think of mobile phones and social media channels as a B2C concern. Today, though, this would be a mistake—LinkedIn, for one, is more useful to B2B marketers than it is to B2C, and one 2016 Forbes piece called B2B social media outreach "a crucial part of the process."
So if you want an automation tool that incorporates social media, email, mobile, and a more complete suite of marketing tools, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a sensible alternative to Pardot. It’s more geared towards B2C, true, but it has many strengths that make it attractive to B2B firms, too.
You could also consider: Agora Pulse.
If you want to focus on automating your social media presence with tremendous precision, Agora Pulse focuses on this area.
Oracle Eloqua: for more external integration
Oracle Eloqua incorporates an amazing Cloud Connector architecture that makes your own and third-party tools easier to incorporate and use. The Oracle Eloqua platform has prebuilt connections with software like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and more, so you can augment your B2B marketing platform without any extra headache.
Eloqua's Campaign Canvas tool enables users to run email campaigns with external assets. These campaigns can also include data collected via cloud connections. Oracle Eloqua integrates with the Salesforce CRM platform well, giving users the option for native integration, manual campaign association, and the Salesforce campaign association application. If you are looking to go with a marketing automation platform with extensive external integration, Oracle Eloqua is a sensible choice.
You could also consider: Zoho Campaigns
Zoho Campaigns is an upstart that you could consider if you’re looking for online marketing platforms with many integrated features. In addition to boasting lots of external integration, Zoho has a lot of great in-house features, including email campaigns, survey creator, docs, forms, a webinar builder, and more. It’s clear that Zoho Campaigns is an ambitious company looking to capitalize on external integration capabilities.
What to think of next
These are some good places to start if you’re looking for to really augment areas where Pardot isn’t the strongest. Ultimately, your marketing platform should be the one that makes your work easiest. So if you have lead scoring down and you want to improve your outreach, think of exploring something with better social media capabilities.
These are a few ways that you can think about different marketing automation platforms. Of course, if you’re looking to take the next step, Demodia are happy to help!