Should I use Marketing Cloud or Pardot?
This question comes up a lot from marketers and sales teams alike. Salesforce has two marketing automation offerings and each has its own core functionality, strengths, and use cases.
B2C and B2B companies all use marketing automation to send personalized, timely, and relevant messages that result in higher engagement and revenue. And to answer the question which you should be using depends on your audience, sales process, marketing channels and more. Let’s take a look at how marketers from B2B and B2C are using marketing automation.
B2C Marketing automation
B2C businesses use marketing automation for revenue generating campaigns that directly impact sales. Marketing automation is used to send personalized, automated emails to customers based on time or action-based triggers. Each email is carefully crafted to drive sales and targeted specifically based on the consumer’s personal information, online behaviors or past purchases.
Marketing Cloud’s real strength lies in its ability to craft 1-to-1 customer journeys, integrating social, email and mobile platforms. B2C marketers use promotional messages, transactional messages, event marketing and mobile messaging to develop sophisticated cross-channel customer journeys. Marketing Cloud can integrate with Sales Cloud, but can be used effectively on its own.
B2B Marketing automation
B2B businesses use marketing automation a bit differently. They are focused on nurturing a lead through a sales funnel. These marketers are trying to provide value to leads and partners and educate and onboard customers. Messages are targeted based on a customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey and their engagement with content in order to pass highly qualified leads to sales.
B2B companies also use marketing automation to send campaign-based emails that are aimed at driving free trials, sign-ups, onboarding, and, ultimately, revenue.
Pardot’s features are geared toward B2B businesses. Its use cases include landing pages & forms, email campaigns, prospect activity tracking, automated lead assignment and webinar promotion. Pardot’s strengths in sales enablement, lead nurturing, scoring and grading and integration with Sales Cloud allow marketers to develop full customer lifecycle marketing campaigns.
When to use Pardot or Marketing Cloud or both
If your primary goal is to nurture leads in order to pass them off at a certain “qualification point” to a specific person or team, Pardot is your tool. If your main goal is 1-to-1 engagement with a lot of social media emphasis, Marketing Cloud is likely more appropriate. Marketing departments tasked with achieving many of these goals, with sales processes that span B2B and B2C, may find the answer is both.