Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot are both digital marketing and marketing automation platforms owned by Salesforce. So, which one’s for you?

If you have Salesforce as your CRM system, then adding one of the Salesforce marketing automation systems into your marketing tech stack to help improve customer communication and marketing efforts should be a no-brainer.

But how do you choose which Salesforce marketing automation system is right for your business?

At first glance, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot appear to have similar, if not the same, functionality, with CRM integration, the ability to create and send emails, email marketing automation, and social media marketing. But if you look deeper, you’ll uncover a number of differences between Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot.

We’ve put together some handy questions and reviews of both Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot to help you make the decision about which Salesforce marketing automation system might be right for you.

Is your sales cycle long or short?

If your organisation needs to regularly engage with customers across multiple channels, you work in an industry such as retail, FMCG, travel and leisure, or entertainment, then the features of Sitecore Marketing Cloud might be better for you.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud comes with email automation, social listening and posting, mobile marketing functionality, and much more. This will help you engage with, and tempt your customers to make a purchase in a short space of time.

It allows you to know your customers and engage them in new ways with relevant messaging by connecting all your data, sending the right message at the right moment using intelligent marketing automation, and with AI-powered personalisation allow you to market to every type of customer as your business grows and trends evolve.

If you have a long sales cycle, or you sell high-value products, it’s likely that your customers don’t make a split-second decision to purchase at that moment in time. They may need to consult with other people before making the decision. Because your product is of a high value, they may need some time to consider it against others.

In this scenario, you need a marketing automation system that allows for superb lead nurture, and that’s Pardot.

Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud both have email automation capability. But with Pardot, you’re able to more easily set up and manage drip email marketing campaigns that use a customer’s interaction with your website as key triggers to take action. This makes the email communications they receive from you much more personalised.

Not only that, but you can score and grade your website visitors against your organisation’s own specific lead criteria, and assign high-scoring leads automatically to your sales team for follow-up, as well as notifying them when a specific person is on the website at any given time. This is something you don’t get with Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

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How much do you need to engage your customers?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is made up of a range of different ‘studios’ that each focus on a digital marketing channel or area and, as already stated above, is perfect for organisations with an impulse-driven customer base and need to provide a personalised, omni-channel experience to each and every customer.

Within Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you’ll find:

  • Email Studio for creating and sending engaging email campaigns
  • Social Studio where you can gather all your social media accounts together and publish, engage, and listen to your audience in one place
  • Mobile Studio where you can personalise mobile interactions including SMS, push notifications, and chat messaging
  • Advertising Studio through which you can manage 1-to-1 advertising using your CRM data to acquire and re-engage customers
  • Interaction Studio which lets you visualise, track, and manage real-time customer experiences, driving valuable engagement at the right moment, just the way your audience prefers
  • Journey Builder for creating and setting up customer journeys across multiple channels and multiple departments

Pardot will not give you the ability to drive messaging and communication via mobile devices, and whilst it will allow you to post on your own social media channels, it doesn't give you any social media listening tools.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Social Studio helps you create social media messages and includes powerful listening and engagement tools, acting more like a social media management tool.

Pardot can help you deliver automated personalised emails based on a website visitor’s action. This allows you to educate, engage, and keep your brand top of mind during a long sales cycle or with a product or service that is of very high value where it takes time to make a decision.

For the sheer volume of engagement possibilities across multiple channels, Salesforce Marketing Cloud wins hands down, if a high, frequent level of customer engagement is necessary for your business.

Do your customers buy for their company or for themselves?

When it comes to Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs. Pardot, many people in the industry assume Pardot is for B2B brands and Salesforce Marketing Cloud is for B2C brands.

Pardot is indeed targeted towards organisations that require lead management and close alignment between the sales and marketing functions to help drive potential customers towards a decision to get in touch and purchase.

And Salesforce Marketing Cloud indeed gives an organisation greater capabilities and functionality around mobile marketing and social media channels that tend to have a greater focus in the world of B2C, where brands want to reach consumers wherever they are at any given moment.

Regardless of whether your organisation sells and markets B2B or B2C, you need to look at both Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Pardot.

Evaluate the following factors:

  • Your business and marketing objectives
  • The potential size of your database (small or large)
  • What digital channels you’ll need to engage with potential and existing customers (mobile marketing, social media, email marketing etc.)
  • What you intend to achieve by adding marketing automation software to your marketing tech stack

How we can help

The need for marketing automation technology to streamline and shorten complex marketing tasks is vital in any business.

The decision to go with Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot is not just as simple as B2C vs. B2B. It’s vital you consider the length of your sales cycle, and how often you want to engage with your customers and where. You need to choose the system that fits with your marketing and business objectives.

As a Salesforce Partner, with many years of experience working with websites, marketing automation, and CRM, we have a team of consultants and specialists who are ready to help when you make the decision to implement and work with Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot, and integrate these systems with your current marketing technology stack.

If you’d like to know how we can help your business take advantage of Salesforce marketing automation, drive more leads, engage customers, and drive better marketing and business results, then just get in touch.