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Pardot vs. Marketing Cloud Explained

Pardot Vs Marketing cloud

Among the wide variety of software specifically designed for automating marketing, sometimes it’s difficult to choose the one that perfectly fits your needs. It’s the situation where the vendor’s reputation in the market comes into place. Salesforce is considered to be the best provider when it comes to offering marketing solutions that can be tailored according to the requirements of any business. But here again, you need to make a choice: Pardot or the Marketing Сloud. In this article, we will provide you with all the peculiarities of these systems so that you can easily make the right choice.

Marketing Cloud vs. Pardot: What’s better for your business?

When reading the general product descriptions, one might ask: is Pardot the same as Marketing Cloud? As you might have guessed by the title, it’s not. The first point that requires consideration is the business model. If your company is selling products or services directly to end customers (also known as the B2C model), you should look at the Marketing Cloud offerings. If your organization is B2B oriented, it’s better to opt for Pardot to meet your marketing needs. There are also a bunch of other major factors to consider, regardless of whether you are choosing between these two options or just looking into all possible variants. Your main goal is to cover the needs of your business with marketing automation. These factors are as follows:

  • Marketing team processes. Gather a list of the responsibilities of your team and think over all the established flows as well as the things that require improvement. Also, make sure to learn about the previous marketing systems used along with their drawbacks and critical bugs, as it can be useful when researching the features of the tools you are considering.
  • Company marketing strategy. Think over the marketing strategies that are common in your company; i.e. the cold calls and emails, newsletters, promos, social media communication, and other channels.
  • Marketing metrics. Think about the metrics that are used to assess your marketing performance. This one may seem to be odd in the context of marketing automation, but when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your campaigns, it will help you save a significant amount of your time and money. If you miss specifying the metrics in the requirements for your marketing tool, you may get into trouble later when this data would be required to take data-driven decisions.
  • Marketing objectives. Think over the goals that are set for your marketing teams for the upcoming period (it’s recommended to start from the annual ones and focus on the long-term plans). This will help you to consider the long-term solution that will correspond to your future plans without a need to think about the replacement. When it comes to Salesforce, even if you would require a new integration with third-party software such as Gmail, it will be possible to develop the necessary solution without the need to switch to another marketing management system.

Pardot vs. Marketing cloud

Only when you have conducted this primary research may you proceed to compare the features offered by marketing automation solutions. So let’s get down to business and look over the core features and peculiarities of both Pardot’s marketing solution and Marketing Cloud in Salesforce.

Pardot vs. Marketing cloud


With the integration of Pardot in Salesforce in 2012, it is a perfect solution for any marketing team to enhance the company sales through the variety of necessary functions that make seamless marketing automation possible. It’s a great opportunity to personalize the content and track user interaction.

Facilitation in managing your leads.

With the help of Pardot, converting leads to successful sales becomes much easier, since it allows you to automate email campaigns based on the preferences you indicate, such as specific time or user actions. It is also possible to assess the level of prospectiveness and highlight the leads that are most likely to be converted. In addition, you can attract new leads through a simplified process of designing smart forms and landing pages. In terms of social media, you can schedule posts in one click and make the most of your SEO effort by integrating AdWords to keep a hand on your ROI and analyze the search results.

Vast email marketing opportunities

Pardot email builder is known for its user-friendly interface that allows customizable ready-to-use templates, letting users tweak the design options as they like. You can personalize your messaging options by having the opportunity to choose the custom “From” address and dynamically change template content based on the probability of engagement. Apart from the opportunity for scheduling emails, it’s possible to set up automatic responses to the contact form submissions or any incoming emails from the potential leads. What’s more important, it facilitates the management of A/B testing of email campaigns and includes advanced Anti-Spam filter checkups to ensure that your emails will land where they are supposed to.

Connecting your marketing team with the sales department

Boost your sales by joining the efforts of your sales reps with the marketing team. It is possible to create email campaigns and assign the rights to authorized members of the sales team to send newsletters and handle other email communications with clients and prospective leads, as well as track email responses along with open rates in Gmail. With the help of real-time notifications that can be received by email, desktop alerts, and mobile pop-ups, your members will be able to address questions faster, thus closing more successful deals. In addition, it’s possible to track what’s going on behind the sales chats to have a full picture of users’ history and forecast the lead behavior. Effortless integration with Salesforce CRM gives it one more advantage in terms of your sales and overall revenue.

Providing a one-stop shop to have a clear picture of your metrics

This feature allows you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns based on channels. It also shows your ROIs and provides you with an overview of your funnel to give you an opportunity to assess its health and see the weak points. Thus, you can assess whether your marketing efforts have paid off and what strategies are effective and what needs to be changed. Pardot also allows for seamless integration with third-party tools, such as Google Suite (including the already-mentioned AdWords, Google Analytics, Gmail), Social media, Salesforce, and others.

Artificial intelligence opportunities

With the help of Einstein AI implemented into Pardot, marketing efforts become smarter as you can predict the behavior of your leads, show suggestions on leads converting, and show when it’s the best time to initiate the communication based on previous engagement experiences.
One more important thing to mention, Pardot reduces the risks of human error by automation in all processes involved in the marketing of a business.

Last but not least is the price. It’s one of the major decision-making factors and in these terms, Pardot offers opportunities for small businesses as well as for the larger enterprises offering a different set of included options based on the plan you choose.

pardot pricing


Salesforce Marketing Cloud explained

The question “What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud and how do I use it?” is a popular one, and for good reason. Once you start looking into it, you will likely get lost in the variety of information out there, so let’s make it simple for your right here. Marketing Cloud is a set of programs for marketing automation that is powered by Salesforce and allows managing campaigns to include multiple communication channels with ease. Overall, Marketing Cloud is comprised of versatile product solutions covering a specific set of goals. The main distinctive feature from Pardot is that Marketing Cloud does not require to purchase CRM additionally and can be used as a standalone product. Here are the main products along with their functions and pricing.

Journey Builder

This product enables tracking user engagement, leveraging the right triggers to present your products to both your existing and prospective customers, and use multi-channel communication via SMS, emails, pop-up mobile notifications. In addition, with its help, you can predict changes in the client’s behavior. What’s more, it’s possible to keep all your teams aligned by offering the customer journey visualization including all the departments that participate in the interactions with customers. The pricing depends on the set of the chosen features (such as mobile support and Einstein AI integration) that are present only in the Corporate edition. The function that allows managing several companies or business entities within one license is available only for Enterprise clients.

salesforce marketing pricing


Email Studio

It’s hard to imagine building productive marketing campaigns without having a strategy for sending emails, but it’s also difficult to find the proper products. Email studio offers you all the features you need for email marketing, including the built- filtering of target users and custom list creation. You can also easily manage the design by inserting HTML elements, images, and sliders with the drag-and-drop function. With automatic scheduling, you can rest assured that the email will be delivered in the right time and AI insights will help to deliver only the relevant information to your subscribers. Pricing options also depend on the presence of certain features, such as Publishing Across Social Networks, which is not present in the Basic edition but can be purchased additionally.

salesforce marketing pricing


Advertising Studio

Gain the ability to quickly synchronize advertising data from all channels that you use, segment customers based on their preferred advertisement options, automate the creation of Facebook ads, and find new prospects. With the help of this tool, you can increase the ROIs and personalize your marketing communication by keeping all data from your Adwords, Facebook, and other systems within the Salesforce Advertising studio.

Audience Studio

This product allows you to keep track of your segmentation and interact with your subscribers and customers through emails, push notifications, and other means by gathering customer data from any third-party applications integrated via the native data management feature and set up the custom rules on who should see your advertisements. With the powerful AI in the Audience Studio, you can increase your customer base by showing ads to the users who match your customer persona profiles and modify user journeys by finding the patterns of behavior for different segments. Note that the Einstein AI and extended data feed are only available in the Professional and Multichannel editions.

audience studio pricing



As can be inferred from its name, this product is all about data management. With it, you can have a full picture of the performance of your team in terms of marketing by integrating and analyzing all of the data presented in various tools and formats used for your advertisement campaigns to create real-time reporting. This will allow you to see the general trends of your performance without the need to manually gather all the sources and analyze the data presented in them one by one, thus saving you more time to dedicate to other strategic tasks for business growth. The pricing depends on the number of users and rows (the volume of your marketing data submitted for analysis).

salesforce datorama pricing


Interaction Studio

This product lets you to make the most of your marketing campaign by setting up offers based on the rules that will be relevant to your particular target audience so that no efforts are wasted. Another great feature about this platform is the real-time notifications about the products when users interact with your ads or almost make a purchase by placing the product in the cart. It also helps to create a user profile by analyzing previous purchases and forecasting future sales.

When it comes to Salesforce Marketing Cloud Pricing, it all depends on the edition and the product. Overall, the platform provides diverse features to cover different aspects and areas of a company’s marketing.

Wrap Up

It’s clear to see that the choice of Marketing Cloud over Pardot or vice versa clearly depends on your objectives. Both of these solutions are developed with the facilitation of marketing management in mind but they use different approaches. However, one thing is abundantly clear: with Salesforce Cloud Marketing your advertising efforts are paid back in spades. It is equally valid that there is no ‘all-encompassing’ automation tool for marketing, thus one should select a tool depending on their unique set of goals that need to be achieved in the near future.

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Written by

Arthur Koryaka

Starting from 2007, Arthur managed to successfully help automotive, insurance and healthcare industries to adopt a CRM system. As an experienced consultant, Artur proved his practical knowledge by passing certifications for the different Salesforce roles. Over the years, Arthur is developing his expertise in the financial industry and helps clients migrate to Finance Sevices Cloud.

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    Comments (9)

    • Jim Bacon

      I have used alternative CRM platforms such as Oracle and Google but found Salesforce to be the most efficient and effective.

    • Virginia Bauder

      Is it true that the Pardot login access will change in future versions?

      • John Elliott

        In the Spring 21 release, the biggest change is that Pardot’s legacy login system will be discontinued and Pardot will need to access with Salesforce login credentials.

    • Herbert Johnson

      Currently, there are 10 prospects in the Pardot drip program coming on a dynamic list. All these prospects are Never Active or Inactive since March 2020′. will they pass through the next step (sending email)?

      • Viktor Latorre

        Yes, prospects that enter the program will follow all the steps, regardless if they are active or not.

    • Joseph Mayers

      Do I need a consultant to set up Marketing Cloud?

      • George Braden

        Yes, you do.
        There are 6 programming languages that come to play in Marketing Cloud. Your solution likely will use some of these. Typically, companies do not have specialists with the skill sets of Salesforce. A Certified Marketing Cloud consultant has studied over a year to become certified and has experience with the software. He can implement any business case.

    • Cindy Walters

      Which solution is more functional?

      • George Braden

        The difference in functionality has nothing to do with it. Accord to your purpose.
        If you want to grow leads and pitch them to a specific person or team, take Pardot. But if you need to connect with users and subscribers with social media, use Marketing Cloud. Marketing departments with sales processes spanning B2B and B2C will do both.


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