1. No clear profiles or personas
Developing content that speaks to your buyers is crucial in conveying the trust, authority and thought leadership necessary to win customers over in a competitive market.
Your success with Pardot is largely based on your success with content marketing, which must begin with the development of customer profiles or personas. Profiles represent your ideal customer and include demographics, behavioral patterns or goals.
Most B2B companies have more than one type of buyer but the tendency is to over complicate it. When developing profiles, think about how you need to market to each segment differently. If you have a small marketing department, or marketing team of one, you don’t need to create a robust plan for every type of buyer. Put your energy into your best type of customer – the one with the highest revenue opportunity that closes the fastest. Chances are, this will also simplify your marketing message and resonate stronger with an ideal buyer.
Remember, you can add Profiles to Pardot and grade prospects according to if they fit that profile. You can use this feature to help your sales reps prioritize prospects in the system that are the best fit for your product or service.
2. No journey for your visitors and prospects
One mistake Pardot customers make is only using Pardot as a list email blast tool.
Customers today travel a path that puts them in control, not the sales rep. As a marketer, that means much more of the sales process is in your hands. That’s daunting but it’s also powerful considering that if you’ve done your job well, you’ll be shortening your sales cycle and helping your sales reps focus only on the best opportunities.
The main benefit of Pardot is the ability to create customer journeys that recognize and capitalize on the buyer’s journey. From awareness, to consideration to decision, there must be steps and content at each stage in order to effectively move a prospect through to becoming a customer. A sophisticated tool like Pardot can automatically move people down a desired path based on their behavior.
3. Not leveraging the full capabilities
Pardot as a technology is generally a user friendly tool. However, in the day-to-day life of a busy marketer, it’s difficult to spend the time necessary learning how each tool works and use cases for various features.
CRM integration with Salesforce, for example, is often an overlooked feature that can really help tighten the gap between sales and marketing and prove marketing ROI through closed-loop reporting.
Pardot training through a Certified Pardot Consultant is a great way to learn how other businesses have used different Pardot features and stay up to date on the latest trends and technological advancements. Look for a consulting partner who offers resources certified on your organization’s CRM.
4. Letting bad data continue to proliferate
Big data isn’t getting any smaller. The longer you ignore data issues, the more complex the cleanup process can be. Not to mention, your reporting may be incomplete and inaccurate.
Data issues can arise for a variety of reasons — failed initial migration, lack of integration with other systems, incomplete training with your sales reps or lack of ongoing maintenance.
There are many ways to address data issues. Using dynamic lists can help you audit your data for inefficiencies while automation rules can help mass update prospects with the right values.
For deeper integration issues, we recommend using Salesforce Sales Cloud as your CRM, which offers an open API to facilitate easier and faster integration. Not only will you help data quality, but you’ll also save lots of time maintaining data in two systems.
5. Not addressing adoption issues
Another top Pardot mistake to stop making in 2016 is not addressing adoption issues that can greatly harm your ROI. It can be very problematic to continue letting your marketing or sales team use other systems and processes that are not in Pardot or Salesforce to do their work.
It can be difficult to understand how different processes can be moved to Pardot, such as list management without dedicating time and resources to Pardot training.
Sometimes, there’s also a larger issue at stake within the CRM system. Conducting a proper discovery and building complete system requirements during implementation will help minimize post-implementation issues.
6. Weak lead generation strategy
Pardot is a fantastic tool for nurturing leads and gleaning all kinds of marketing insights. But you still have to implement a strategy to get those leads on your radar so you can start marketing to them through Pardot.
Building a strong website, maintaining a regular blog, adhering to clean SEO practices and maintaining a presence on other websites where your prospects visit it important to generating traffic to your website and capturing them as a lead.
Using vanity URLs on direct mail pieces, and services such as Invoca for inbound calls and AdWords, also help bridge the gap between traditional and inbound marketing methods.
7. Not thinking big picture
Salesforce offers an entire technology ecosystem in which to transform your business for the future. Pardot is one such product in that ecosystem. A big part of marketing today is creating a delightful experience that wins customers over and keeps them coming back.
Making it easy to do business with you starts with the first phone call they take from a sales rep after downloading an eBook and ends with their payment in your company’s bank account. Streamlining all your processes, end-to-end, is critical to securing your spot in the marketplace.
8. Not talking to your sales team enough
Sales and marketing historically were very separate entities. But with the growth of digital CRM and marketing automation, these departments have merged. As a Pardot marketer, make sure you work closely with your CRM administrator both on the integration of shared fields and training with the sales team on features they can use to manage intelligence from Pardot or add prospects to Pardot campaigns.
You should also always be working with them to ensure strong data governance and that you are capturing data through Pardot that helps the sales team prioritize their day and focus on their best opportunities.
9. Not allocating resources to Pardot marketing efforts
Building out a successful content strategy takes time. Between the website, advertising, social media posts, tradeshows, presentations and email marketing, there is a lot of work to be done. More and more organizations are considering scaling back their sales teams to accommodate more marketing people who have more control over the sales cycle and outcomes like never before.
If you’re a marketing team of 1 or 2 you can also leverage a network of freelance writers and designers to augment your internal team. There are multiple sites such as Upwork, Blogmutt and Growth Geeks offering talented individuals at reasonable rates. Narrow your search by giving candidates test projects and then working with the same person as regularly as possible to maintain consistency with your brand.
10. Not getting the reports you need
Closed-loop reporting is a huge wish list item for marketers purchasing a marketing automation solution. But depending on the complexity of your sales process, it can be difficult to complete. The Pardot Campaigns tool features a great dashboard showing how much revenue a specific campaign brought to the company. But it’s not customizable or robust enough to show campaign influencers.
We recommend using Salesforce Sales Cloud to customize the reports and dashboards you need to manage your marketing effectively. The Salesforce Campaigns tool is a great way to prove the ROI of a complete marketing effort involving multiple touchpoints.
It also takes a good strategy to develop the campaign structure you need, as well as solid data, to get the most complete and accurate reports.