If you run a Google search for a marketing automation system, the top search results will highlight Pardot and Marketo, apart from of course HubSpot, Salesforce, and Leadsquared. Both of these software are synonymous with marketing automation, boast of similar capabilities, and are key to making marketing smarter for businesses.
While Pardot and Marketo are two of the most popular marketing automation platforms today; if you need to make a decision of picking one over the other, how do you do that? Luckily, we have gone ahead and made that process slightly easier for you. We have broken down how Marketo and Pardot stack up against each other in terms of marketing features so you can pick the solution that is best suited for your business goals.
Adobe’s Marketo is the premium cloud-based automation solution for enterprises and B2B and B2C companies, but it works equally well for small and medium-sized businesses across industries as well. According to Ryan Vong, president and CEO of Marketo partner Digital Pi, “Depending on the company size, business and maturity almost anyone can be a Marketo user”.
The platform is heavily customisable and is known for performing and resolving any marketing automation needs. Experts turn to Marketo to power businesses and scale operations. The amount of in-depth analysis and tools Marketo offers is incomparable, and instead, you will have to ensure you have the bandwidth to optimise your Marketo investment.
Pardot by Salesforce works with Salesforce customer relationship management solution (CRM). Companies using Pardot as a marketing automation tool generally have revenues between $1 to $10 million. The platform allows you to generate leads, develop and execute personalised campaigns, and manage all customer interaction from one, single centralised interface. Pardot is favoured in B2C scenarios but includes features suited for B2B cases as well.
Let’s compare both platforms across some of the most demanded marketing automation features.
Managing marketing campaigns is a breeze with Pardot. The centralised platform makes it easy to implement, automate, and track campaigns. You can build visually appealing email campaigns using the simple drag and drop editor. Additionally, Pardot campaign management tools include a blogging tool which is not available with Marketo. You can easily customise page URLs through Pardot interface. Pardot, however, doesn’t offer the ability to create SMS messages or test HTML and link validations as part of campaign management.
Marketo allows you to build and scale campaigns across multiple channels in real-time. Marketers can deliver targeted messaging the moment a new email address is captured based on its Account Profiling technology and behaviour tracking bot. The software enables you to plot campaigns using lead lifecycle and revenue models which are not available in Pardot.
Source: Channel Marketer Report
While both systems are powerful lead generation tools, there are some features that work better on one against the other. Pardot allows you to design captivating landing pages without the aid of a developer. The system tracks website visitors and their behaviour, and auto-syncs incoming data with the CRM system so you can instantly segment leads and personalise messaging. Marketo’s landing build and form builder are not as customisable and somewhat “rigid”, however, the platform does have a progressive account profiling tool that helps your discover leads and track them through the funnel.
Pardot’s email marketing is geared towards drip campaigns, however, users have found the in-app templates to be quite limiting. This forces marketers to build emails from scratch. However, right from engagement studio, drip programs, and one-to-one emails to list emails and autoresponders, Pardot's various email features can effectively help you send personalised emails to your prospects. On the other hand, Marketo’s email visual interface is built on WYSIWYG editor, is easy to use for beginners and pros, and is perfect for scaling operations. The software offers A/B email test so you can see which version is more effective. Marketo has the uppers hand because of its ease of personalising email campaigns without dealing with the headache of IT.
Marketo is a powerhouse when it comes to reporting and analytics. There are many aspects in its reporting structure that aren’t offered by alternative software without having to jump to a premium price. The system allows you to track and relate the opportunity pipeline and revenue back to marketing campaigns. This feature comes extremely handy when reporting marketing efforts to “C” level executives. Additionally, all of Marketo’s reports are accessible via an app, so you can track in real-time from literally anywhere. Right from powerful insights on your marketing performance, ROI and uncovering long-term trends, Marketo's Performance Insights dashboard lets you create and share reports across the organisation.
Pardot's reporting & analysis tool, on the other hand, helps marketers track the campaign success and understand the impact it had on your target audience. The customisable dashboard offers an in-depth understanding of what each member of the team finds relevant as per their areas of work and can initiate and build further campaigns accordingly.
When compared side by side, both Marketo and Pardot easily integrate with the same major platforms. Pardot, being a SalesForce company, has a huge advantage on the integration side, but that doesn’t mean Marketo is any less. One of the major advantages of using Marketo is its ease of integration with SalesForce. The integration only takes a few minutes. Marketo also offers SAP, HootSuite, Unbounce, and Oracle integration which are missing in Pardot.
Training & Support and Pricing
Great customer service and technical assistance are imperative when it comes to marketing automation. Pardot wins this round because they offer a free trial where you can play and test the software, unlike the “guided” trial offered at Marketo. The Marketo training is quite basic and additional training come at a premium price. Both platforms have online technical communities that can serve as a boon for your IT staff.
Marketing Automation consultants find Marketo to be fairly competitively priced and it a good value for money. The software allows you to get the marketing job done without the heavy price tag associated with other options. Marketo basic monthly pricing is $895, while Pardot is at $1,000. It is important to remember that with both software, the final pricing is contingent on your company size, needs, and usage.
Who is the Winner?
Between the two marketing automation supergiants, Pardot has the more aesthetically pleasing user interface. Klein from ClickTime says, “Marketo’s UI is slightly out-dated which makes it difficult to find what you are looking for.” Marketo requires a little bit more upfront training before you get into the swing of things. However, once you have mastered Marketo, adapting to other marketing automation software becomes a breeze.
So, you can see that both automation platforms are a force to be reckoned with. When it comes to selecting one solution over the other, the decision really boils down to what features your company needs from its marketing automation software. Some questions to guide you in this decision-making process include, “what are your goals?”, “how do you want to use the platform?", etc. Plus, don’t forget considering budget into your decision-making either.
If you want to Pardot or Marketo consultation, contact Transfunnel and our experts will guide you through the process. What does your business use? Marketo or Pardot? Do you have experience with both? Share your thoughts, recommendations, and experience with us in the comments below.