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When looking at marketing software for businesses, Pardot and Salesforce Marketing Cloud are two big names that regularly come up. Especially if you already use Salesforce, these two are probably your two best options for utilizing a powerful and fully integrated marketing platform with your CRM.

While both solutions are directly connected to Salesforce CRM, they do have some pretty significant differences. In this article we will be taking a closer look at both Pardot and Marketing Cloud, their strengths and weaknesses and some recommended cases for who should use which.

The Overview

While both of these programs can be very complex, and handle a wide variety of marketing needs, deciphering which one you should use is luckily not so complicated. If you need a place to start, look no further.

Pardot is aimed at B2B marketing and focuses on nurturing leads to the point of handing them off to a Sales representative. If your process is dependant upon “high touch” interactions with customers and clients, this may be the option for you.

Marketing Cloud is a more robust platform and focused on B2C marketing. If you are looking for 1-to-1 interactions with customers, through social media, subscriptions and a large database of users and customers, this is probably the option for you.

However, it should be said, the above recommendations are not hard and fast rules. Can Marketing Cloud be used for B2B? Absolutely. It depends on your needs. Can Pardot be used for B2C – potentially, but with less functionality than most companies would like for their marketing.

engagement programs

The Details – Pardot

Essential Features:

  • Email Marketing – A WYSIWYG email editor, with a selection of pre-built templates, dynamic content and in-depth analytics on email clicks, opens and more.
  • Social Media Marketing – direction connection to your social media accounts, link tracking and content scheduling for easy Social Media posts
  • Engagement Program / Drip Campaigns – a personalized journey for each prospect, with responsive automation based on the prospect’s actions
  • Integration with Salesforce CRM – Direct connection to the CRM lets you parse leads and data between the two, and send real-time notifications to the Sales team
  • Lead Generation – Tools for landing pages, forms and lead segmentation allow you to capture leads from your website and get them ready to put into the funnel.
  • Reporting and Analytics – Tracking for your different campaigns, and ROI so you know which marketing initiatives are working best.

Other items to consider:

  • Pardot is generally more user-friendly. It requires less setup and customization than Marketing Cloud – however, Pardot  cannot do quite as much, functionality wise, as Marketing Cloud
  • Businesses can see results from Pardot without a large, or dedicated marketing team.
  • Pardot is generally less expensive than Marketing Cloud

The Details – Marketing Cloud

Essential Features:

  • Journey Builder – personalized multichannel customer journeys, that reach across the entire lifecycle from leads to cases.
  • Email marketing – Email builder feature mobile-optimized templates, dynamic content and rich formatting (JavaScript and AMPscript).
  • Social Media Marketing – Connect to your social media accounts, plan and publish your campaigns and monitor the results
  • Mobile Marketing – Mobile device marketing, including two-way communications and tracking of user activities.
  • Advertising – Tools to advertise on the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and manage those ads at scale using rules and collaboration.
  • Predictive Profiling – Allows you to create contact profiles, infer customer preferences, and automate marketing decisions based on the resulting customer behaviors.
  • Web Personalization – Connect Marketing cloud to your website, where you can track visitors, get data on their actions, and create smart content to enhance the user experience.
  • A single data platform – All of your customer data (from all sorts of sources) becomes centralized on the Marketing Cloud Platform, giving you a more complete view and tools to analyze, filter and segment.

Other items to consider:

  • Marketing Cloud has a wealth of features and options, however, to fully utilize them you will need a good amount of customization and at the minimum, a small team of people to run the system.
  • Marketing Cloud will most likely cost you more to set up and to purchase that Pardot.


So there you have it. Hopefully, this has given you a bit more clarity into the two systems and which one is right for you!

-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team