Pardot vs. Marketo - Two Popular Tools in Marketing Automation
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Pardot vs Marketo - Which Tool is Best for You?

TransFunnel Consulting
TransFunnel Consulting Aug 05, 2020

Pardot vs Marketo - Which Tool is Best for You?

Marketing automation will be a US$ 6.4 billion industry by 2024. Globally, marketers are realizing the worth of automating various facets of the marketing strategy to achieve cost savings, better ROI, more accuracy, scalability, strengthened sales figures, and identifying, monitoring and achieving tangible measures of success.

There is a problem of plenty when it comes to choosing the right marketing automation software for your needs. Ideally, you should pick a software that aligns with your marketing objectives, and delivers value for money. There are plenty of software out there who call themselves the best, who the market calls the best available on the market and which market research companies say are the best.

Yes, it is imperative that you give importance to what the market is saying, but it also makes a great deal of sense that you also do your own research into the features of the various automation tools and zero in on the one that you feel is best for you.

In this article, we have picked two popular tools, namely Pardot and Marketo and conduct a comparison between the two to make your job of making the right choice, a tad bit easier.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Marketo vs Pardot - let’s see who wins or will it be a tie?

Let’s begin.

Pardot Vs Marketo – An Introduction

Pardot is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based marketing automation software by Salesforce that offers a diverse and comprehensive range of services to marketers, automating time intensive tasks such as email marketing, lead management, web form management, website tracking, social marketing, reporting, landing page personalization and much more. From nurturing leads to email campaigns and from ROI reporting to harnessing the power of AI to achieve marketing transformation, Pardot delivers everything you want from a marketing automation solution.

Marketo is a lead nurturing platform offered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model that helps you attract and convert leads, build and grow customer relationships, and ensure that your marketing spend is focused on marketing activities that deliver maximum revenue. It also help you take a close hard look at your marketing campaigns and keep refining them so that their optimum potential is achieved. Right from targeting the right prospects, and creating and managing meaningful campaigns to lead nurturing and measurement and optimization, this is one campaign tool that takes charge of the entire spectrum of your marketing activities.

Pardot – Extensive Feature Set

1. Seamless Lead Management

Just lead nurturing won’t do, you need adaptable lead nurturing that adapts to changing audience interests and behaviour. You should be able to send emails at a time when the recipients are best placed to open them, and you also need to re-energize sleeping leads; and after all this is done, you will need a report on your lead nurturing strategy. This is what Pardot brings to the table. But, this lead nurturing is also backed by an ability to qualify leads based on their interest in your products and services and brand interaction so that you can reach out to those leads that are primed to become paying customers. Pardot also automates activities such as lead assignment, and rule setting so that you can create dynamic leads for better targeting.

2. Simplifying and Accelerating Email Marketing

Pardot speeds up the effort intensive process of creating the right emails by offering a user-friendly visual editor; you can also pick from a range of engaging and well-designed responsive templates, which can also be customized to suit your requirements. The key to creating the right email marketing strategy is sending the right email at the right time, and this is where this tool comes into its own as it enables creating an email schedule wherein emails are sent at a time you or the tool feels is best. You can also get the advantage of an autoresponder for all those forms on your website and landing pages. Another critical benefit Pardot brings to the table is that it helps you modify content based on the level of engagement. You can also segment your messaging, for effective prospect targeting.

3. Empowered Marketing with AI

Data monitoring is a breeze with Pardot courtesy Pardot Einstein, an AI backed lead scoring, behaviour scoring and campaign insights feature. In one fell swoop, you get a clear idea of the kind of prospects that are really interested in all those assets you are creating, and also assign scores to them. This allows you to focus on those leads that have the potential to deliver more value to your business and basically get the time saving advantage offered by a more accurate and fast lead scoring process. Marketers are also looking for any advantage that helps target their leads better and with behaviour scoring you are able to identify those leads that have the best chance of converting into your customers. One of the biggest advantages of the lead management feature is that it offers your deep insights into those campaigns that are delivering the most ROI and will also help you optimize campaigns that are not working for you.

Marketo – All Encompassing Feature Set

1. Comprehensive Prospect Targeting and Conversion

With Marketo, you get a wide ranging set of tools that enable you to get a thorough understanding of the market by offering a 360-degree view of your prospects and customers. The software also offers key insights into brand engagement to help you target the right audience with a razor sharp focus. By tracking content performance and leveraging a massive library of assets, you can custom messaging based on an incisive understanding of your target audience. Marketo’s content tools are backed by AI to deliver more value to your content strategy. With this tool, personalization is a breeze and you can also create multiple campaigns easily and seamlessly to target a wider audience, and engage with prospects faster and in a more targeted manner.

2. Value-Added Customer Nurturing and Retention

Buyer journeys are both linear and non-linear and in both cases fairly complex. Marketo helps you create data-rich customer profiles and target them with the help of pre-built, easy-to-use templates and programs. You can optimize the potential of email marketing campaigns by personalizing each one of them to align with the customer profile and strike up engaging and relevant conversations with them. You can create campaigns that address customer needs at each step of the buyer journey, so that you are able to push them deeper into the sales funnel. You also get automation integrated with AI to get the benefit of trigger-based automation, wherein buyer action/reaction/engagement/behaviour can trigger automated communication. Leverage the benefit of automatic lead and account scoring to make key marketing decisions based on in-depth customer intelligence.

3. Impactful Analytics and Monitoring

Your marketing campaigns will falter if you aren’t able to analyze their impact. Marketo gives you the ability to drill down into the engagement performance of both your lead and account strategies. You can analyze the trends, compare ROI of various programs and also focus on the performance of each and every piece of content, to know what worked, why it worked, and how it can be improved. Don’t worry if you think whether you can make sense of all the data at your disposal. You can choose from a variety of pre-configured dashboards to view critical performance metrics of your campaigns and channels. The dashboards are intuitive, and can be configured as per your expertise. As and when you develop more understanding of the various facets of Marketo, you can add more data categories to the dashboard including ROI, CMO, Web Traffic, Content Marketing, Paid Media and much more.

Pardot Versus Marketo – Head to Head

Features Pardot Marketo
Ease of Marketing Campaigns Setup and Deployment
Creation of Landing Pages
Reporting and Analytics
Integration with Other Platforms (Salesforce, Sugar, Shopify, Magento etc.)
Lead Nurturing, Scoring and Management
Content Personalization
A/B Testing
Social Media Marketing
Great Customer Support

So, who wins in the battle of the marketing automation tools? If you want to take a look at them purely from a market share perspective, here are the numbers:

However, the real test of a tool is in the hands of the users. And from a user perspective, both these tools come good on parameters like comprehensiveness, cutting-edge features, usability and performance. The choice really boils down to which is the tool that you prefer. There might be a case wherein, you will see Pardot as a better option (from a features perspective) than Marketo and vice versa. If you ask us, both are great and there is no clear winner.

However, some points that we want to highlight are -

  • Marketo provides multi-touch Account-Based Marketing (ABM), and in-depth integration with SFDC. This is something that Pardot significantly lacks.
  • Marketo handles personalisation at content level and targeting level much better than Pardot.
  • Marketo's segmentation and logic library is much ahead than that of Pardot.
  • Marketo has in-depth bi-directional inbuilt integration with major tools , and  it provides a better API connectivity option than Pardot.

In a nutshell, choosing the right marketing automation tool really depends on your needs, interests and preferences and what you feel is the right tool for you. So do your research, go through the product demos, ask for a free trial period and only then make your choice when it comes to Pardot vs. Marketo.