Pardot: Unified Marketing Automation Technology

Posted on 2015-05-07 15:08:33
Salesforce and Game of Thrones are connected in more ways than one. We loved Jenna Hanington’s witty take on the current state of marketing technology using GoT in a recent blog, so we decided to take a look at our own use cases, which we hope will help you navigate your way through the gauntlet of options. Marketing can definitely feel like a battlefield; not only are we fighting for customers, but we are also fighting an internal struggle of what technologies to use. Social, paid, emails, organic, videos, blogs, analytics; it gets overwhelming unless you use marketing automation RFP to optimize marketing activities. But you’re not alone. The key to sanity in marketing today is automation, and tools like Pardot are there to help. We use Pardot every day and it’s helped us to simplify otherwise tedious processes and to gain insights into our clients. Let’s take a look at the five big marketing technology houses from Hanington’s blog and how Pardot has helped us at Pracedo to unify them. Big Data  What’s cool in Pardot: Big data is a hot buzzword in marketing lately, and it gives the impression of massive databases full of granular information. But it’s much more manageable than its name suggests. All you need is the right tool. ROI, behavioural targeting, and sales integration are the key marriage points between Pardot’s marketing automation and big data. Pardot allows you to set up campaigns (consisting of emails, landing pages, forms, social posts, etc.) in which you can assign values and monitor ROI. Pardot tracks a multitude of touch points within your marketing campaign so you can get a better understanding of your consumers’ behaviours. For every prospect in Pardot you can see how they have interacted with your marketing elements in Pardot. Did they click on your Google Adwords ad? Did they open an email? Have they registered for your happy hour? The more you know, the more accurately you can structure your marketing strategies. How we use it: As a small business, we don’t have an incredible amount of data. For us it feels a bit more like “medium data.” We particularly like to use Pardot for behavioural targeting and sales integration. If one of our sales people enters a prospect into Salesforce, our marketing team can easily find them in Pardot and add them to any particular campaign. This is especially helpful in our email communications and event invitations; the sales integration makes sure that no one is forgotten. Pardot has an interesting feature that gives each prospect a score. This score signifies how much they have interacted with our marketing elements. The more a prospect engages with our material, the higher the score. We can easily sort through our prospects to see whom we need to engage with more.
Reporting What’s cool in Pardot: Pardot has only four main navigation tabs and “Reporting” is one of them, if that tells you anything about how important reporting is. And according to the recently released 2015 State of Marketing Report conducted by Salesforce, analytics is one of the top three technologies marketers see as critical in the customer journey (along with mobile applications and CRM tools). Reporting tools come standard in nearly all marketing automation tools, but it’s the type of reporting and ease of access that makes a difference. Our favourite thing about reporting in Pardot is how far it reaches within the platform. Everything is reportable and you can access reports on every level. You can enter the main reporting console and look at all your campaigns on a single graph. Or, for example, if you have just sent an email you can view reports on it specifically within the email console. How we use it: We don’t always pull large reports because most of time those don’t serve our immediate needs. As our business grows and we have more data, the full reporting features will become more useful. But most of the time it’s enough for us to take quick looks at specific metrics, such as the CTR on the links in a specific email, another handy feature within Pardot. We’ll say it again: reporting in Pardot is everywhere.
Social Media What’s cool in Pardot: Social Media and consolidated reporting can be like oil and water. Each social space has its own reporting platform. Without automation tools like Pardot, you have to enter each platform individually, export the data, format it to fit a general reporting template, and combine it with all the other social platforms’ data. But within Pardot, you can post to all your social media at once (using connectors), and then see a single report on that specific post with data from every platform. Recalling the Salesforce report, social media is (not surprisingly) a major focus for marketers this year. Of the top five areas where marketers want to increase spending, areas related to social media dominated the first three: social media advertising, social media marketing, social media engagement. Having a social element in your automation tool is essential. How we use it: Sometimes we don’t want to post something to every platform all at once and we want separate tracking URLs for our Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. With Pardot’s custom redirects we can create trackable URLs unique to each social platform, and then can view reports on each separately. While Pardot’s social media console isn’t the most complex, it streamlines the tedious process of posting updates and it keeps all the basic data in one place. And let’s not forget that it’s housed along with all of your other marketing initiatives for easy comparison and reporting.
CRM What’s cool in Pardot: Pardot was built specifically for Salesforce and will integrate seamlessly with your Salesforce org. And CRM is becoming an increasingly valued technology to marketers (remember, it’s one of the top three). Let’s say you are running an Adwords campaign (Pardot also connects to Google Adwords). A person clicks on your ad and is taken to a landing page with a “contact us” form. The visitor fills out the form and goes on with his/her day. A few minutes later, they get a welcome email from your company (which is very important, here’s why) thanking them and providing more information. On top of that, one of your sales people immediately gets an alert that this new prospect has been assigned to him/her. This process is all automated in Pardot. You can track ad campaigns, set up automated emails, and create rules triggered by a variety of completion actions. How we use it: In addition to campaign tracking and emails, we also use Pardot to monitor our clients’ interactions with us. Pardot tracks these as activities. We can know the last time a client visited our site, opened an email, clicked on a link in our blog, etc. This is extremely helpful in knowing more about what is relevant to our clients so we can continue with useful marketing initiatives and drop the ones that our clients aren’t interested in. It’s considerate to our clients as well as helpful to us.
Email What’s cool in Pardot: Even with the rise of social media, emails are still a powerful way to connect with consumers and clients. The majority of marketers still see emails as either a critical enabler of their products and services or directly link to their primary revenue sources. Email campaigns are a central part of Pardot’s services, and probably the most robust of everything the platform has to offer. Where Pardot rises to industry trends is with the variety of customizable and responsive design templates. Every year, more and more consumers use mobile devices to read emails, hardly a game-changing revelation. But it’s still something to always remember when creating an email campaign. Pardot has several responsive email templates that you can easily customize using point-and-click features. Meaning, you don’t need to hire a new developer to create mobile-optimized emails. How we use it: We’ve been using Pardot’s email features to invite clients to our Salesforce1 Platform workshops. The process is intuitive and streamlined so it’s easy to manage many emails at once. The most fun comes with checking in on all the stats after we have sent an email. Pardot offers the standard metrics like delivered, opened, bounced, etc. But it also tracks what links each recipient clicked, so we can further understand what content is relevant to our clients on more personal level. This helps us optimize each email we send thereafter.
Sales Intel What’s cool in Pardot: CRM and sales intelligence go hand-in-hand inside Pardot. Pardot’s strongest features for sales intelligence is with its visitor to prospect tracking and reporting. Within each campaign you can see the number of visitors and the number of prospects. The goal is always a 1:1 ratio of visitors and prospects. Pardot also has a great lifecycle report, which displays your pipeline from visitors to won deals. It also calculates the average time it takes to convert a visitor to a won deal. How we use it: We use Pardot particularly to see which avenues our potential customers take to reach our door. Google natural search, Google Adwords, the AppExchange; we have connectors within Pardot to all of our external marketing campaigns. This allows us to optimize our campaigns and focus on the paths that work. For existing clients, Pardot allows our sales people to see how their clients are interacting with us online. Have they come back to our website a few times? Have they not registered for any of our events? These are all behavioural flags that our sales people need to see in order to strengthen their relationships.
Marketing automation is good for both you and your consumers. It will save you time and energy, while providing the most relevant information and services to your consumers. -The Pracedo Team