Remember, it’s a bad idea to assume that Pardot and Salesforce abide by the same rules, but once you’re aware of the quirks and accept their ways of integrating, then you will be able to run streamlined, impactful, Marketing and Sales funnels.
“12 Things Salesforce Admins Should Know About Pardot,” written by Lucy Mazalon over at Salesforce Ben came across my feed the other day. I read with great interest to see what someone else thought my Salesforce Admin should know about Pardot.
First things first, the article should instead be titled, “12 Things About Pardot for A Person Who Knows Nothing About Pardot.”1 I do think that Mazalon approaches the topic from a good perspective, as it is also my experience that professionals with “sound knowledge of the traditional ‘core’ clouds” do hesitate when it comes to Pardot.
Lack of integration between Salesforce and Pardot
Mazalon notes in her introduction that “the Salesforce Pardot team are working very hard to integrate the two technologies into one powerful platform,” I personally have yet to see much fruit from those labors. We’ve been using Pardot at GreatAmerica Financial Services for almost four years and the product we use today is 95% the same as the product we signed up with back in 2013.
As we signed up with Pardot shortly before the Salesforce purchase, the first two years or so of using Pardot we were told (if not promised) that the purchase of Pardot would lead to greater functionality, focus, and investment from Salesforce.
Lack of seemingly coherent long-term strategy for integration
One such area, as Mazalon notes as a difference between SFDC and Pardot, is Salesforce Campaigns and Pardot Campaigns. This was a learning curve for us – albeit, small – that only added to the confusion between how Pardot and Salesforce can and should work together.
While we now know the difference between the two types of campaigns, it’s my professional opinion that users of both Pardot and Salesforce shouldn’t have to know the difference.
There needs to be a clear strategy for how Pardot and Salesforce work together, not as two separate products. I understand this falls more on the Pardot team, rather than Salesforce, due to the scale of the differing products. However, in both talking with Pardot reps at Dreamforce and in reading Salesforce marketing materials, one can easily get the impression that Pardot is truly a part of Salesforce, when that could not be further from the truth.
Lack of reporting options
If you’re looking for reporting other than the standard “How did my email perform?” then you’re out of luck. We ended up running most reports in Excel. Yes, Excel.
Why do we use Excel for reporting? Because there’s truly a lack of robust options within the Pardot platform to parse your lists, contacts, or data of any type.
A note of my own bias
As a Certified Pardot Specialist, I feel that I have a little bit of experience with Pardot. I was also the person at my company who drove the original decision to use Pardot several years ago. So, it pains me to list some of my complaints here publically, but when my team and I encounter the same obstacles repeatedly with little-to-no improvement from Salesforce, the high opinion of Pardot becomes a little stale.
As of October 2017, we are no longer a Pardot house. We used the summer and fall of 2017 to transition our company to HubSpot and we are not looking back.