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When Salesforce acquired ExactTarget several months ago, they also swooped up marketing automation player Pardot (pronounced Par-dot) in the acquisition. Being a member of the Salesforce ecosystem is a huge advantage for Pardot, but here are some key features that make them a very desirable marketing automation platform:

Progressive Profiling:
Progressive profiling is a very powerful, yet unobtrusive way to collect more data on your customers. The first time a user fills out a form on your website, you will probably collect some standard fields: name, email address, company name and phone number. Once you’ve captured their information and a record is created, you can then prompt different form fields the next they visit your website. As an example, you may want to start building out their profile and collect data on the company size or industry. The difference that Pardot offers is that you can use progressive profiling functionality on your own website by simply embedding Pardot form code. You’re not restricted to using a Pardot-specific landing page to gain the benefits of progressive profiling like you are with other marketing automation vendors.

Site search
If your website has a search box, Pardot collects the data that users are imputing to search your site. This data can be used to trigger activities or alerts. For example, if someone is searching “pricing” on your website, that is a good indication that they are considering purchasing your product. By tracking search queries, you can score prospects and even follow up and send collateral or information related to what they searched for on your website. As a bonus feature, analyzing a site search report can give you insights on what content you should add to or expand on your website.

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Screenshot of Pardot logic – Click to enlarge

Simple User Interface:
Marketing automation logic can be tricky to decipher from a visual point of view. Since conditional if/then statements are used to trigger events, it can be confusing to understand exactly what is going on within a specific marketing program. Pardot organizes their programs  in a liner flow, which are very intuitive. At a glance, if/then statements can be easily viewed and understood – even by non-Pardot users.

Marketing automation is one of the hottest software platforms on the market right now. While most people want to choose their solution based on price alone, I recommend evaluating other considerations such as Salesforce integration, UI, ease of use, frequency of updates and support. If you’re stuck on how you should move forward, give us a call and we can talk you though different options.

Want to jump on the Pardot bandwagon? Give us a call and we’ll tell you about our Pardot consulting services. Also, leave us a comment below and tell us exactly what you love about Pardot!

Jen Stretch

Jen Stretch is a marketing professional with a decade of web-based technical experience. Her core competencies include Salesforce.com and marketing automation consulting, implementation, and training. She is a certified Salesforce.com Administrator with five years of marketing automation experience.

Jen is also a enthusiastic cyclist and applies the same competitive spirit that she has on the bike to push businesses out of their comfort zone and beyond their perceived finish line.

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