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Marketing Cloud vs. Pardot: Which Tool Is Right For You?

Marketing Cloud vs. Pardot: Which Tool Is Right For You?

Tim Edwards

Tim Edwards

Founder & CEO
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From Salesforce comes two popular, mighty platforms that are leading the charge in marketing automation. These two systems Pardot and Marketing Cloud. Marketing, sales, service, and IT teams — Salesforce Pardot and Marketing Cloud can help you in nearly every avenue of your company.

However, choosing between the two platforms can be tricky because both can level up your marketing efforts substantially. Knowing how they differ and fit to your business can be a game changer.

What is Pardot?

Pardot is a B2B email marketing automation platform that gives marketers the ability to track website visitor interactions using cookies and streamline lead nurturing through highly personalized email campaigns to increase conversions.
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With Pardot, you can find your best leads, track campaign engagement, and follow up with your prospects and customers. This esteemed tool makes getting leads a lot easier and keeps customers coming back.

What is Marketing Cloud?

Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing automation system that consolidates all of your channels, not just email (which is what Pardot primarily focuses on). With this monster of a system, marketers can take their automation a step further. Several steps further.

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Marketing Cloud guides prospects into becoming a customer, but does so in a way that is completely personalized. With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the people are the ones defining the types of relationships they have with brands. A customer’s journey can expand across channels and devices, creating a unique 1-to-1 experience between prospect and brand.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud vs. Pardot - Main Differences Between Platforms - Pros and Cons - Infographic

Pardot vs. Marketing Cloud — Main Differences

The key difference between Pardot and Marketing Cloud is the buying cycle. One is not better than the other, they are both just for different audiences.

Another thing to note is that Pardot’s features and pricing can be tailored to different types of B2B businesses, and works well with integrations; however, Marketing Cloud goes a step beyond for bigger B2C enterprises with large databases.

The best part about Marketing Cloud? Akin to Pardot, Marketing Cloud can also be tailored to your business needs; however, there is so much more. Depending on the needs of your business, you can add on more studios to expand the avenues of marketing you can go to.

Pricing for Marketing Cloud is not available until you try out a demo for your business, ensuring that it is the right fight for your company. If not, A Salesforce Representative may suggest to you a Pardot edition.

Choosing which platform is best for your business depends on:

  • Digital channels you want to use
  • Size of your prospect/customer database
  • What you want to achieve

Something to note is that both tools can be tricky to learn. That is why LearningCurv offers online training courses to help you along the process. With a tool as complex as Pardot or Marketing Cloud, you might even want to consider bringing in some outside expertise to help set it up. Which is why we also offer implementation assistance to make sure your configuration is optimized.

In the end, it is important to ask yourself — do I want to focus on the audience I have or do I want to cast a broader net? What size is my business and what type of customer am I looking for?

Pardot: B2B Marketing Automation

Now that you have a general understanding of Salesforce’s marketing automation tools, let’s take a deeper look at Pardot and how it nurtures a prospect into a lead —  this nurturing process really differentiates Pardot from Marketing Cloud.

This mighty tool aligns marketing and sales, bridging the B2B gap between the two, which is often the reason why so many companies lose potential customers.

This is all solved through Pardot’s:

  • Lead management
  • Automated actions
  • Marketing campaigns

Pardot Lead Nurturing

Pardot allows for an excellent nurturing process. Its lead management and long-term nurturing thrives in the following conditions:

  • Long sales cycles
  • Closing through a sales team (not transactional)
  • High ASP (average selling price)

Pardot email automation has some advanced capabilities. By using website behavior and interactions as triggers — such as clicking on a referral link, typing in your URL, or downloading whitepapers — Pardot can track a prospect before they even convert using their unique tracking cookie.

Once a visitor has this cookie, Pardot can track their browsing behavior, determining if they are a qualified lead or not through lead rating.

To get a more in-depth view of Pardot’s database, email assignment, lead assignment, and more, we have an excellent (and free!) Beginner’s Guide to Pardot.


Download the Beginner's Guide to Pardot

Make sure you get the most out of your investment in Pardot with marketing automation tips and strategies from our Pardot certified experts.

Pardot Salesforce Integration

If you are worried about bringing over information from Salesforce to Pardot, there is no need to worry. Pardot securely syncs with Salesforce with the help of the Salesforce connector, ensuring that all your prospects, contacts, and leads are safely linked between both systems.

Once connected, a query is sent to Salesforce every 2-4 minutes for updated records. Admins in Pardot can also sync behavior, controlling whether a field can be updated in either Pardot, Salesforce, or both. Prioritizing data value in Pardot can help you protect your data that you have gathered without worrying about Salesforce overriding it.

Marketing Cloud: B2C & Beyond

Marketing Cloud is great for a unique one-on-one customer journey that goes beyond just one channel and is all about finding out everything about the customer. With this behemoth of a marketing tool, you can dip into every digital avenue.

With its various modules, Marketing Cloud focuses more on B2C (though some B2B brands use the platform too) with its compatibility with advertising platforms, social media, and SMS. Having transactional mobile and social messaging helps push the prospect further down the funnel in a way that feels natural and personal.

Marketing Cloud Studios

The studios in Marketing Cloud offer something for each area of marketing:

  • Email Studio: Builds personalized email campaigns
  • MobileConnect: Manages personalized interactions such as SMS, push notifications, and chat messages.
  • Social Studio: Allows you to engage with customers across social media channels.
  • Advertising Studio: Uses CRM data to target advertisements 1:1, acquire, and re-engage customers.
  • Journey Builder: Build personalized 1:1 customer journeys that stretch across all channels.
  • Datorama: An all-in-one marketing platform for your KPIs, data, and decisions.
  • And more!

Due to the complex nature and number of tools and features in Marketing Cloud, having someone who is knowledgeable and trained in the product is essential for the success of any B2C business considering this system.

Marketing Cloud Salesforce Integration

With the help of Marketing Cloud Connect, integration with your Salesforce CRM is seamless. Marketing Cloud Connect syncs your Salesforce Sales, Service, Community Cloud, and reports in an instance, combining both systems for easier targeted campaigns.

Not only that, but Marketing Cloud Connect fleshes out a 360° view of a customer by maintaining all of the contact records of email tracking history, enhancing individual customers’ profiles for an extraordinary marketing performance. This specific type of integration is only native to Marketing Cloud, not Pardot.

Choosing the Right System for You

Having a marketing automation tool is essential for the success of a business, as it allows marketing and sales to work together seamlessly. Deciding between different systems can be challenging, and there is a lot of information to digest. But we hope that breaking it down makes it easier for you and your company to choose.

Fortunately, our LearningCurv consultants help all types of businesses get the most out of their marketing platforms, even Marketing Cloud which is one of the most complex. If you need further assistance in navigating Salesforce marketing automation, our consultants are Salesforce certified in both Pardot and Marketing Cloud and can help you master either platform.

Need help mastering your marketing automation tool?