Marketing Cloud – what’s right for my business?


Over the last few years, technology has dramatically transformed the way businesses market themselves to their customers. With the rise of the mobile and digital age, companies have been challenged to adopt marketing technology to stay competitive, or face being left behind. Never before has there been such a vast selection of marketing tools available for today’s marketing departments. However, out of all these tools, there has been more and more talk around marketing automation and how businesses can embrace this technology.

Marketers today are under pressure to be innovative, tech-savvy and constantly on the lookout for new ways to engage customers and prospects across multiple touch points throughout the customer journey. And let’s not get started on analytics and ROI. Your business may be running successfully on Salesforce, but you haven’t yet connected all the dots to provide a seamless customer experience across Sales, Service and Marketing. This is where marketing automation becomes an invaluable tool to delight your customers and boost your sales.

I regularly come across companies with successful Sales or Service Cloud implementations that are looking at ways to improve their business by leveraging marketing automation. However, with Salesforce, companies are presented with two automation platforms to choose from, namely Marketing Cloud and Pardot. But how do they differ from each other and which one is right for your business? This question can be a tough nut to crack and the answer depends largely on your business objectives and your marketing strategy. The two Salesforce products available confuse many companies, so it is with this in mind that I’ll aim to highlight the benefits of the two tools and hopefully make it easier for you to understand the differences. If you are one of those companies investigating marketing automation for your business, then this post should help you in your research.

Marketing Cloud

Oh what possibilities! Salesforce Marketing Cloud is perfect for you if you want to communicate across multiple channels; mobile apps, text messaging, email, social media and the web. With the journey builder you can design customer journeys that leverage multiple channels and are triggered based on customer activity or data. For example, you can automatically reach out to a customer when they abandon their full shopping cart or, if it is their birthday, why not send them an automated special offer? With geolocation features, it’s also possible to send customers a personalised message through your app notifying them of an offer when they are within close proximity to your store. With the contact builder you do not just rely on simple profile attributes like first name, last name, email, etc. Instead, you can build and have a holistic view of your customers by creating a schema of data tables. That way you can easily perform segmentation based on any data available in the cloud, whether it’s customers with a certain purchase history or a specific status in your loyalty program.

Marketing Cloud is ideal for you if:

  • You are a B2C company
  • You are a medium or larger sized company
  • You want to use multiple channels
  • Your volume of email sending is high
  • The complexity of your marketing effort and data are high


Automate your lead qualification and spend your time generating even more leads! Pardot is simpler than Marketing Cloud, but that doesn’t mean it is not a powerful tool. In fact, Pardot is a truly strong instrument to track your website visitors. You can score and grade them based on their activities and characteristics, which will help the marketing team determine if they are hot leads and should be passed on to sales. With Pardot you can also design strong drip programs that will keep your prospects engaged and let you be top of their mind in the sales cycle. Marketing automation is normally considered for marketing, but Pardot can also allow sales to get in the game and send targeted emails prepared by marketing. Most of the time your sales team knows best when it comes to understanding what customers are looking for and Pardot empowers them to act on it.

Pardot is ideal for you if:

  • You are a B2B company
  • You are a small to medium sized company
  • You are looking to accelerate your sales pipeline
  • You have focused on email and web channels
  • You want better and more automated lead qualification
  • You want stronger collaboration between sales and marketing

Why do I have to choose?

Technically you don’t have to choose, you can have both! Marketing Cloud and Pardot are both marketing automation tools and they do overlap in some functionality. But both of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Marketing Cloud can be used across multiple channels to build truly unique customer journeys, which is where Pardot lacks capability as it focuses on web and email predominantly. Pardot on the other hand is really strong on lead generation and accelerating pipeline – hence scoring and grading, features that are missing in Marketing Cloud. That being said, if you are looking at a strong setup that can help you generate more and better qualified leads, as well as engage with existing customers across different channels while tailoring a truly unique customer journey, then you might be looking at joining forces using both Marketing Cloud and Pardot.

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