Marketing Automation – The difference between Pardot and Marketing Cloud

Marketing Automation in Salesforce

It isn’t surprising that a company named “Salesforce” is good at providing tools for the Sales Force. Marketing Automation is a key capability to give sales reps the best tools to get better productivity. For 14 Years, Salesforce has been named a Leader in the Gartner Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant.

Gartner Sales force Automation 2020

Marketing automation helps to identify potential customers, automating the process of nurturing those leads to sales-readiness. It automates actions that bring prospects to the point where they can be directly approached by the sales team to close a sale and start an ongoing relationship. Marketing automation does this by improving the efficiency of your sales funnel, quickly turning a broad base of leads into happy customers using a combination of tactics.

B2B Marketing automation

The business-to-business arena has been the traditional home of marketing automation. That’s because B2B prospects and customers form a small, focused target market, which is usually:

  • engaged in a multi-stage procurement process
  • part of an ongoing relationship of repeat business

For these reasons, B2B is a relationship-driven environment where product education and awareness building are vital. It’s also an arena where purchases are not made on the spur of the moment by individuals; instead, they are considered and rational, and usually involve more than one person.


So what is the difference between Pardot and Marketing Cloud?

In an Interview by Saleswings with one of the world’s leading Marketing Cloud experts: 4 x MVP Eliot Harper, he answered:

Pardot is a B2B marketing automation platform and is primarily oriented to nurturing prospective customers with email. Pardot is designed with marketers in mind. The platform excels in creating simple, personalized emails and lead capture forms, while also offering lead scoring and a lead nurturing engine (Engagement Studio) for building automated programs.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud, on the other hand, is an enterprise-level digital marketing platform that was originally designed for B2C marketing, but is also often used for B2B marketing. There are many differences between the two platforms, but to summarise them, I would broadly group them into three categories:

1. Personalization
2. Channels
3. Data
For personalization, Pardot offers ‘data merge’ style personalization of emails and dynamic content, to display content variations based on defined criteria. However, Marketing Cloud enables advanced content personalization through a drag-and-drop email editor, which is complimented by AMPscript; a scripting language that enables you to create programmable content when necessary.

Concerning channels, while Pardot enables you to send emails and create landing pages, Marketing Cloud is an omni-channel platform. In addition to creating emails and landing pages, the platform also offers mobile text messaging, in-app messaging, group messaging, social and digital advertising capabilities.

And on data, while Pardot offers a set of predefined objects for data storage, Marketing Cloud offers a relational data model, where you can create an unlimited number of tables (or ‘Data Extensions’) and perform ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) processes to import and export data to and from external sources, that can be orchestrated using Automation Studio.

Companies who are serious about data driven marketing will typically find Marketing Cloud to be a better fit.

Our experience

Our experience at Two21 has been to use Pardot to cover most requirements. The biggest restriction is channel, which we augment that with SMS campaigns using MessageBird or Twillio.

The benefit we have found is that Pardot is on the same interface and the support effort is significantly less therefore has a higher ROI for most. If you need an omnichannel, Enterprise solution and you have a dedicated marketing team, Marketing Cloud is likely to be your best option. If you are a NFP, Pardot is a simpler solution that will do almost everything you will need.


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Speak to us to find out more about Pardot or Marketing Cloud and how we can help you.  We are considering certification meetups for Marketing Cloud later in 2021.