The Salesforce community was in for a big surprise in April 2022, when the software giant announced Pardot was being renamed Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. While it wasn’t very hard to understand the reason why Salesforce chose to rename Pardot, it left many wondering whether the product will become a part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) and its implications for their businesses.
Today, we’ll try to analyze whether Salesforce will incorporate Pardot into SFMC and what it would mean for millions of users of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. But first, let’s quickly examine the history of the two products and try to understand how Pardot and SFMC help companies achieve marketing success.
Why It’s Important to Know the History of Pardot and SFMC
It’s interesting to know both Pardot and SFMC were standalone marketing automation platforms before they were acquired by Salesforce; Pardot was offered by a company of the same name, while SFMC was known as ExactTarget in its earlier avatar. Many observers of Salesforcebelievethe inherent differences between the two products are the major reason why the CRM solutions developer didn’t try to fuse them. The observers also consider Pardot and SFMC to be different from other Salesforce-native products despite the company’s efforts to integrate all its products to create a cohesive CRM ecosystem.
Having briefly looked at the history of the two products, let’s proceed to see how they help companies meet their marketing goals.
SFMC and Pardot – Two Different Products that Help Marketers Win
As we’ve seen, SFMC and Pardot were different products (and continue to be so even after they were acquired by Salesforce). Both bring their own, powerful capabilities that help marketing professionals to get valuable insights and take the right actions at the right time. Let’s now examine how each of these popular marketing automation platforms empowers companies to achieve their marketing targets.
SFMC – A Robust, Comprehensive Marketing Automation Platform
SFMC comes with a wide array of features that lets firms build strong relationships with their customers – from sending personalized e-mails to analyzing marketing data and coming up with the right social media strategy to leveraging the benefits of mobile marketing, organizations can harness the immense power of the product to enable seamless experiences of consistently high quality across multiple marketing channels. This makes SFMC eminently suited for facilitating transactional purchases, earning the reputation as the ideal B2C marketing tool.
Pardot – The Perfect Tool to Handle Long Sales Cycles
Pardot is well-known for its ability to facilitate smooth ‘considered purchasing’ involving long sales cycles and multiple stakeholders; no wonder, it’s regarded as one of the best B2B marketing automation platforms. Pardot is extensively used for e-mail marketing and engagement scoring. While companies using Pardot need to hire people with specialized skills to utilize the tool, it has a low learning curve and a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) interface that enables users to create forms and landing pages rapidly with minimal effort and cost. In a world where time is money, the user-friendliness of Pardot will go a long way in enabling enterprise marketers to cater to the dynamic needs of their customers.
Let’s now move on to examine a few factors to analyze whether the two products will be combined into one.
Incorporating Pardot into SFMC – A Few Key Aspects
I believe 3 major factors will influence any decision of Salesforce to mash Pardot and SFMC together. They are:
- Design of the Products
- Cost Implications for the Buyer
- Availability of Skilled Professionals
Design of the Products
As we’ve seen earlier, Pardot and SFMC were developed by different companies before they were acquired by Salesforce. The differences in their design can be a major problem for Salesforce to bring the capabilities of both tools into one. The CRM solutions provider will have to integrate two very different infrastructures, each with its own objects, fields, interface, and code.
Cost Implications for the Buyer
Cost considerations of customers will go a long way in determining whether Pardot will be ‘assimilated’ into SFMC. The software company sells each of these products independent of the other, and companies can buy both. But seldom do we come across organizations that use Pardot and SFMC together, and the reason for this is it’s expensive to buy licenses for the two products.
Availability of Skilled Professionals
Users of Pardot and SFMC need to hire personnel with relevant technical abilities to make the best use of the marketing automation platforms. Many Salesforce professionals have specialized knowledge and skills needed to handle either SFMC or Pardot but it’s hard to find people who have expertise in both. While it’s not impossible to master the two products, it takes considerable time and effort.
In the final analysis, I believe Salesforce will not incorporate Pardot into SFMC because of the various challenges involved. The two tools are made differently, and it may not make perfect sense to club them together. But, as the famous physicist Neils Bohr once remarked, it’s difficult to predict, especially the future.
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