Pardot vs Marketing Cloud – Which Tool is Right for You?

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Salesforce offers two extremely powerful marketing platforms to users: Pardot and Marketing Cloud. Both platforms have numerous advantages and when used to their full potential can deliver outstanding performance. However, there are some crucial differences between these two tools and it is important to ask yourself which one is right for your company.

The Core Difference: B2B or B2C?

The core difference between Pardot and Marketing Cloud is they are designed with different types of businesses in mind. The Pardot platform is optimized for business-to-business companies (B2B) whereas the Marketing Cloud was developed to meet the needs of business-to-consumer companies (B2C). This key distinction may provide a quick answer for which one is right for you, but let’s dig in a little deeper and take a look at the hypothetical profile of a company that should use Pardot vs one that should use Marketing Cloud.

A Typical Pardot Client

A typical Pardot client is a B2B company that sends out scheduled email campaigns and takes advantage of automation strategies like drip campaigns that keep the company fresh in the collective mind of the business they are marketing to. Such a company will not need to perform text-based marketing campaigns and has only a limited need for social media marketing and website integrations. This company will benefit from the more moderate cost of Pardot compared to Market Cloud as well as the shorter amount of admin training required. However, this company will only have limited integration with Salesforce and no integration with external data sources. The contact management options will also be more sparse, but for companies with fewer contacts this isn’t an issue.

A Typical Marketing Cloud Client

A typical Marketing Cloud client is a B2C company that sends out scheduled email campaigns and utilizes drip automation programs as well as more specialized email services such as transactional emails and triggered emails. This client is likely to have a much larger social media presence and may benefit from text-based marketing messages sent directly to their consumers’ phones. This client will thrive on comprehensive Marketing Cloud features like advanced website integrations and full, complex integration with the Salesforce platform. The company will also have access to advanced contact management solutions to handle the many thousands, even millions, of consumers they may communicate with on a regular basis. This company will find that the higher cost associated with Marketing Cloud is more than worth it for the extra features and will likewise be able to invest in the longer training time necessary to get admin up to speed on all that Marketing Cloud has to offer.

Pardot and Marketing Cloud Consulting

While the profiles above are relatively simple and very easy to distinguish from each other, in the real world the boundaries may be blurry and you might find yourself unsure of which marketing tool is right for your company. The Refinery Source provides high level Pardot and Marketing Cloud consulting services. We can help your company make the right choice and also advise you on how to get the most value from your new marketing solution.

By Kevin Knight

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