What is Pardot and what does it do for marketing automation

Digital Environment
2021.04.29

Salesforce Pardot is a tool that allows you to completely control how many users you are leaving a cookie for, how many have entered the system thanks to your marketing actions, how many are ready to be passed to sales to manage them, how many have received an offer from the sales team, or how many opportunities have been won and have even generated customer acquisition and loyalty journeys, etc.

All of this is possible thanks to its great structure. After logging in, we’ll find Campaigns, Forms, Assign to, Opportunities related to the prospect (Candidate or Salesforce contact), Completion Actions, Email Tracking, Automation Rules, Pardot API, Engagement, and much, much more. Marketing professionals have a clear conversion and loyalty funnel at their fingertips, which they can share with different departments at the right time.

Pardot allows you to drive, measure and share your Inbound Marketing with different teams, from acquisition to converting prospects into brand ambassadors, through loyalty, all controlled with Pardot's famous Marketing Automation.

The origins of Salesforce Pardot

The union of Pardot and Salesforce took place in 2013. Salesforce bought ExactTarget that year, when Salesforce’s marketing was just “Campaigns” and some HTML templates with the words “Join us” on the banner. And just then, ExactTarget bought Pardot. Therefore, Salesforce’s purchase was doubled and would cover its future strategy of both B2B and B2C marketing. 

Marc Benioff said the following: “I hope that the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) will spend more on technology than the CIO (Chief Information Officer) in 2017.” At the time, the words were received incredulously, but it turns out he was right. The goal was, and still is, to align the sales and marketing departments in a way that would allow for resource optimization and not duplicate communication with prospects. And with Pardot, it was a success. 

Originally, Pardot was a tool that could stand alone, without a CRM, because of its small “Prospects'' tag that could serve as a mini CRM. It doesn’t have a large amount of data behind it, but it does have detailed information, such as the “Activities” and “Audit” tabs and more information about Scoring and Grading. But above all, Pardot was a walking API, capable of connecting with any CRM, Salesforce or not, until Salesforce limited it in 2018. After this moment, if you wanted to connect Pardot, it must be done to a CRM, and it can only connect to Salesforce itself. 

What does Pardot do? It’s main functions: 

Acquisition with Pardot Marketing Automation 

Client acquisition is the first obsession of any marketing professional, and not for nothing. One of the first goals of a company is acquisition: to attract our possible clients, making conversion easy through attractive content, effective landing pages, attractive emails, tracked content, forms, etc. Pardot’s functions give you the ability to define origins easily, generating clear campaign structures and making it more clear than ever before that for Pardot, UTMs are the tool’s first weapon. Pardot is focused on cookies and pure conversions, a field in which it excels. 

Pardot allows for not just the creation of landing pages where the content we want to offer can land safely, but also for the registration of all the movements of a prospect. Let’s digress about prospect and its meaning; in Pardot, we are all equal and when qualifying, it doesn’t distinguish between leads and contacts*. Everyone is a prospect, thanks to codes that are inserted into the content that we associate with the platform; later on, they will serve to associate all the activities to a prospect, in addition to allowing us to create email templates or upload our own HTMLs. We’ll discuss forms in the next paragraph. 

*Previously, when prospects were in Salesforce, Pardot could perfectly identify if they were a candidate or a contact. 

Salesforce Pardot and Conversion

Forms are very important to Pardot. With this tool, filling out a form goes from being a transitional experience to becoming an almost interactive activity. We can choose between forms that fill out 'on their own' as they have already collected data about us (progressive profiling) or forms (Forms & Form Handlers) connected to Salesforce, and that also bring a series of Completion Actions that make things happen as soon as we click on the magic 'submit' key, such as getting an email automatically or becoming part of a list that will feed a journey. And if you forget to include a Completion Action, don't panic: Pardot has some backups for these scenarios, including Automation Rules.

What happens if you already have a form that sends data to an excel on your website and you want to improve it with Pardot’s functions? Well, you can link it to the tool through a 'code' that provides the solution called endpoint 'by Form Handler'. Nothing escapes, everything is traced, placed and ready to convert. And not only that, but when it enters the system, the necessary people are alerted, either Sales/Call Center or Owners in Salesforce, and the prospect is placed in lists to start the communication flow.

Loyalty thanks to Salesforce Marketing Automation

Loyalty is probably another of the main obsessions of a marketing professional. It deals with resolving the necessities of a prospect and maintaining the relationship at the same time, adapting to new demands.

Pardot does it through a passionate journey called Engagement Studio that allows us to guide the person who left us their email on a path in which we can automate the sending of an email with Pardot, depending on if they’ve clicked or not, what websites they’ve visited, and if they have consumed a specific content. Or, if they are part of a list that has previously been registered through a form. You can create journeys to figure out each interaction and bring your prospect along the best possible path. Engagement Studio offers one of the best functions across Pardot.

ABM and Mediation with Pardot

Pardot is focused on the B2B environment and, although marketing is always directed to people, Account Based Marketing (ABM) has come to stay. It’s imperative, within B2B strategies, to keep in mind that we are talking about companies and that, independently of who they are, we want to align ourselves with the company’s needs. 

The union of marketing and sales is one of the cornerstones of Pardot. To achieve it, thanks to automation and the different rules of lead qualification, we can award points (Grading and Scoring) to our prospects that, with the integration of Pardot with Salesforce, are then moved to the commercial department already qualified (MQL; Marketing Qualified Lead) and are ready to be converted into clients. From marketing, we must clearly outline the rules to define when a lead is qualified and when to pass them to sales. Therefore, we avoid fruitless efforts on the commercial side. If marketing does their part for the commercial side (MQL), the SQL rate (Sales Qualified Lead) will surely improve.

And how do we measure success? With the reports provided by Pardot that explain who has visited your landing page, who filled out the form, who clicked on links from your email, or the steps that a prospect took from when they were just an IP address until they gave us their email and started browsing our site. If you go to the “Reports” tab and look for the “Lifecycle” report, you’ll be able to see absolutely everything about the conversion in Pardot. In addition to Pardot’s reports, Salesforce also provides us with reports and panels that give a complete and necessary vision of the process. Pardot and Salesforce are the ideal combination to ensure the optimal tracking of a client’s behavior. 

The advantages of using Pardot with Salesforce

The key advantage to using Pardot is marketing process automation, which saves the time and effort of the team when creating, executing, and measuring successful campaigns. But there are others that are just as important: 

  • Personalization: the high level of participation permitted by Pardot allows us to create more solid relationships with prospects and interact with them through dynamic campaigns that are adapted to the moment in the brand relationship. We can better understand the client experience and perfect all the steps of the process that go from marketing to sales. Pardot realizes client tracking in each moment of the funnel and presents adjusted content at this moment in a dynamic way; it shows you what it is doing and when. 
  • Lead quality: frustration with leads is a constant point of contention between marketing and sales. Pardot will help you create a better relationship between the teams, given that the prospects generated are the right ones. Through Scoring and Grading techniques, we can ensure that we are classifying leads according to their awareness for and interest in the brand or product. And with this score, we can deliver leads to sales at the ideal time. 
  • Acceleration of sales: this advantage is a direct consequence of the two previous points. Managing the opportunities is the priority, and Pardot highly values classification and prospect grading. With automatic grading, we can ensure that the leads that we pass on to sales are prepared, and we can even receive real time alerts on our phone about the leads, if we so desire. 
  • Improve the ROI: obtaining insights of the true return on investment of our marketing campaigns is possible. Tracking allows us to detect and increase the investment in campaigns that have worked well. In addition, Pardot generates closed circuit, lifecycle, and search reports to give a better perspective of the level of the sales cycle, identify where the prospects are, and the impact of Google AdWords, beyond the cost per click.

In short, Salesforce Pardot is Marketing Automation at its best. It’s the definitive solution within the Salesforce ecosystem for managing and meeting the B2B needs of companies. It’s a platform that will allow you to make a quality leap in your relationship with potential customers, generating new opportunities and improving the relationship between the marketing team and sales representatives. At Leadclic, we highly encourage you to implement it.

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