Read Time: 3 minutes 15 seconds
As a business owner or executive, you likely spend a lot of time focusing on your business marketing. After all, marketing is the most important tool for attracting new leads, guiding existing prospects along their buyer journeys and converting them into customers.
According to SmallBizTrends, small to medium-sized business owners spend an average of 20 hours per week focusing solely on marketing management. Manually typing up, testing and sending off marketing emails, creating social media campaigns and measuring the results takes time away from other important business operations.
Embracing marketing automation can reduce the time you spend on repetitive marketing tasks, as well as:
- Optimize the ROI of marketing campaigns
- Improve the quality of inbound leads
- Align marketing and sales goals more effectively
When it comes to marketing automation tools, the two most well-known software solutions are Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud and Pardot. But what is the difference between these two and is one a better option for your business? Let’s take a closer look at the key differences between Pardot and Marketing Cloud.
What is Marketing Cloud?
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a marketing automation and customer engagement platform, offering capabilities that support marketing activities, including:
- Multi-channel marketing campaign creation and execution
- Dynamic customer journey building and nurturing
- Social media engagement and advertising
- Pre and post-campaign analytics and assessment
Marketing Cloud does this through built-in components called “Studios” which manage communication channels and “Builders” which manage marketing data and content.
Using Marketing Cloud, businesses can automate email and marketing campaigns, engage with customers in real-time, automate social media and mobile marketing, and track the success of these campaigns to create personalised, multi-channel customer journeys.
What is Pardot?
Pardot is a marketing automation and customer engagement platform that offers businesses tools to automate their email and marketing campaigns, track the success and effectiveness of these campaigns, identify and target high-potential leads and nurture these leads through the sales funnel.
Pardot has built-in capabilities that allow businesses to do this, broken down into 5 general categories:
- Lead generation
- Lead management
- Email marketing automation
- Analytics and reporting
- Alignment between sales and marketing goals
With Pardot, businesses can create personalised, meaningful connections with leads and customers, move prospects through the sales pipeline and empower their sales teams to close more sales.
What’s The Difference Between Pardot and Marketing Cloud?
Initially, it might be difficult to tell the difference between Marketing Cloud and Pardot. It’s clear that they both bring an array of benefits to marketing automation and customer engagement, and offer similar features. However, Marketing Cloud and Pardot each have very particular use cases where they’re best implemented.
Marketing Cloud’s email marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing, online advertising capabilities lend themselves well to businesses that need to reach customers across multiple channels.
Businesses with large databases that have lower basket values per sale tend to achieve the best results from using it. Marketing Cloud is best suited for B2C businesses looking to deliver a highly personalized customer journey across multiple channels, or B2B businesses aiming to deliver a more B2C customer experience.
Pardot offers marketing tools for email and social media marketing but its features are more tailored towards creating personalised drip marketing campaigns and assigning scores and grading to leads to streamline and focus marketing efforts.
Businesses that have dedicated sales representatives responsible for funnelling smaller, high-value deals through the pipeline will benefit from using Pardot. Pardot is ideal for B2B businesses that have smaller client databases and longer sales pipelines.
Is Marketing Cloud Or Pardot Better For Your Business?
Deciding whether to opt for Marketing Cloud or Pardot for your business might be a little tricky, even after reviewing the essential differences between them. Keep these points in mind before making your decision:
- Marketing Cloud works best for a shorter, more transactional sales cycle.
- Marketing Cloud benefits businesses with a large database and lower value per sale.
- Marketing Cloud offers a wide range of tools for managing email, social media, mobile and online marketing and advertising.
- Pardot works best for a longer sales cycle with multiple decision-makers.
- Pardot benefits businesses with a smaller database and a higher value per sale.
- Pardot offers comprehensive lead identification, assessing and nurturing capabilities.
Remember that although Marketing Cloud is primarily designed for B2C and Pardot for B2B, B2C companies can use Pardot and B2B can use Marketing Cloud. It’s best to assess your business’s unique requirements when deciding between Pardot and Marketing Cloud.
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