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Pardot or Marketing Cloud: Which Is Right for You?

As a certified marketing automation agency, we work with Salesforce every day to help our clients realise their automation potential and drive sales opportunities for their pipeline.

With specialist experience in both Pardot or Marketing Cloud, we pride ourselves on our expertise when it comes to these marketing automation tools.

While similar in their abilities, these marketing automation software options do have different features that will suit different customers’ needs.

We’re often asked to compare the two, so here we break down some of the differences and similarities to help you work out which is right for you.

Pardot vs Marketing Cloud

To understand the difference between Pardot vs Marketing Cloud let’s start with the basics.

What is Pardot?

Pardot defines itself as a tool that “powers your marketing and sales success by improving alignment between teams, driving and nurturing new leads.”

This alignment is crucial when your product or service comes with a long sales cycle, where the time between lead acquisition and sales is biggest.

This is why Pardot is a great tool for B2B where the decision process is lengthy and even involves multiple people.

What is Marketing Cloud?

In contrast, Marketing Cloud describes itself as a tool that helps you “grow relationships and revenue with seamless experiences from ad to account, email to e-commerce, social to service, and more.”

As you can see by Marketing Cloud’s focus on the “experience” this tool is ideal for B2C transactional purchases that involve several marketing channels.

Now let’s take a look at some key points of comparison.

Platforms: How well do the tools integrate with other platforms and campaigns?

Platforms

Pardot

Pardot integrates well with all the major email and social media platforms and even SMS.

As such you can use it for lead generation, scoring and assignment. With its functionality to manage various platforms, you can use it for content webinar and account-based marketing.

Marketing Cloud

Marketing Cloud also integrates with email, social media platforms, SMS, ad display advertising.

With its broader functionality across B2C platforms, Marketing Cloud is great for those  multi-channel campaigns and lets you run chat in real time.

Salesforce Integration: How well do Pardot and Marketing Cloud integrate with Salesforce?

Salesforce Integration

Pardot

Pardot is aligned with Sales Cloud to connect with many of the standard Salesforce objects including leads, contacts, opportunities and even campaigns.

Marketing objects like emails and landing pages are on the core Salesforce platform but some of the database is off-platform.

Marketing Cloud

Even though Marketing Cloud is closely related to Salesforce, it’s not on the core Salesforce platform because of its size and power.

This means that connectors are used to sync data between Salesforce and Marketing Cloud.

Technology: What technical skills and knowledge are required?

Technology

Pardot

Pardot is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) platform.

It’s standard set up is fairly accessible, but without specialisation in the platform and it’s technology, you might find yourself limited to a one-size-fit-all case.

One way to get the best bang for your buck from this platform is to get a Pardot Specialist Manager.

Marketing Cloud

Marketing Cloud can be harder to use than Pardot and can also take longer to learn. When it comes to the data management side of the platform, you will likely need a developer.

It also has features such as ‘builders’ and ‘studios’ which sometimes require specialist knowledge to use.

Pricing: Let's talk price tags and getting the most value out of the tools

Pardot vs Marketing Cloud pricing

A quick glance at the prices will show that the Pardot licence is cheaper, but don’t let price be the sole deciding factor for which tool you use.

Instead, choose the right tool for your business needs as this will save you budget and give you a better return on investment in the long run.

When you choose the wrong platform, often you’ll end up spending more on unnecessary customisations and integrations.

What does Pardot pricing not include?

While the Pardot licence covers many essential features, it does charge for add-ons for some advanced functionality like analytics and AI-enablers.

What about pricing for Marketing Cloud?

Meanwhile, Marketing Cloud is sold in modules which makes the price less clear. To get an accurate quote, you’ll need to work out exactly which marketing channels, capabilities, and reporting you’ll need as part of your account.

Our certified team of marketing automation specialists are here to help you make the right decision for your business.

Pardot vs Marketing cloud: Which is right for you?

Still tossing up between these two great marketing automation tools? To make a long story shorter:

  • Pardot is great for longer sales cycles especially in B2B products, whereas Marketing Cloud is better for those multi-channel B2C campaigns.
  • Depending on your customer base, your needs and budget, you may benefit from using both Pardot and Marketing Cloud together.
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