Expert Interview Series: Part 8
Pardot, the popular marketing automation platform helps to cut down on mundane tasks. While its key features include email marketing, forms, engagement history, segmentation, scoring, grading, lead qualification, search marketing, marketing analytics, and multi-channel marketing, it appeals to new users as an intuitive tool with a not-so-complex learning curve.
But no matter what, the results might not justify the investment if you don’t prepare the ground for the implementation of Pardot. So, we got in touch with Kristina Alexandra, MCAE Pardot Consultant, Salesforce Marketing Champion, and 8x certified CRM and Marketing expert to help with learning the ropes of the automation platform and gaining insight into the best practices that drive best results with Pardot.
Let’s dive into the nuggets of information shared by her.
Pardot offers a robust foundation for marketing automation but we know it can be overwhelming if there’s no proper direction. What will your advice be for new Pardot users?
Kristina : Many businesses choose quick-start implementations just to get Pardot in their software stack. But they decide to save on proper training, training materials, and monthly managed service from consultancies that are always on top of all features and updates and have no great wealth of experience to add as the business grows on the platforms.
The best decision a company implementing Pardot can make is to:
- work with an experienced consultant
- never underestimate proper training sessions specific to each team in the business using the platform
- managed services monthly support and expertise
I would recommend businesses work with independent contractors/consultants who can deliver the whole implementation with a very hands-on approach. And for less as medium/large consultancy. Contractors can deliver a bigger value in a shorter amount of time than working with large consultancies that have assigned many people to one project.
How important is it to organize data in Pardot? How can one make the best use of tags, folders, and campaigns for the same?
Kristina : What if we flip the question and I would ask you “How important is it to organize your flat/house? Would you be able to find a toothbrush, plate, water, or clothes to wear if there would be no order? What if there were no distinguished places where specific items are stored?
Same with Pardot. If you want long-term order and you want to enjoy using the tool, you must design a folder structure that will suit your organization. Below are example criteria on how you can organize your folders and sub-folders from top to bottom
Business Unit (if you still use one BU because of the limitations)
Region (by regional marketing teams)
There are 3 main benefits of having a proper folder structure:
- By having a proper structure and order in your org you will ensure that you can easily share campaign folders with your team members and that they can easily take over if necessary.
- You can easily maintain your folder or tidy it in the long term by being 100% sure which campaign folders and assets are out of date and then deleting them.
- You will be able to easily spot campaigns and create assets from the previous year’s campaigns and re-create them if necessary.
We all know how essential it is to personalize emails today. Can you share with our readers how personalization works in Pardot and what tools can be used to deliver a customized experience to email recipients?
Kristina : Personalized content performs better, and frankly these days audiences expect at least some degree of personalization from all communications they receive, otherwise, they simply unsubscribe to avoid masses of unwanted emails.
To make sure you have a great understanding of what your prospects expect to hear from you, make sure that your implementation consultant sets up the following
- Email Preference Center
- Pardot Dynamic Content
- Handlebars Merge Language (HML)
Can you share with our readers how Pardot B2B Marketing analytics can help to create more engaging content and improve the ROI of their marketing efforts?
Kristina : Pardot B2B marketing analytics makes the life of a marketer easier by directing their attention to relevant information. Also, it puts forth the performance of the marketing collaterals. Combined with the reporting capabilities and customizations in Salesforce, it becomes a great tool for improving your marketing return on investment.
That being said, to achieve the expected success with B2BMA, you must have a strategic approach to all the marketing data you are collecting to track all the important pieces of information for the “big picture” you want to see.
There are many different ways to assign prospects within Pardot. How to determine what is the best option for someone?
Kristina : The most popular and used ways that come down to prospect assignment are:
- Automatic assignment to a lead queue
- Automatic assignment to a region-specific lead queue based on the specified country
- Round Robin Assignment
- Assignment based on specific campaign
- Assignment based on when a certain Score (and/or Grade) is reached
- Assignment based on specific Grade (Buyer persona)
It is also important to answer key business questions, like
- What is the New Prospect volume on a daily/weekly/monthly basis against the sale agent or sales cycle capacity
- The cost of business services/products you are providing and how well-nurtured and knowledgeable a prospect needs to be before they enter Salesforce
- How long does it take to make a Prospect sales-ready
and many more…
Pardot is vast but there must be a few best practices that help to sail smoothly. Can you share the top 5 based on your experience?
Kristina : Yes, here are a few best practices I swear by.
- Enabling Connected Users
- Setting up a solid Folder foundation
- Enabling and developing a strategy for Connected Campaigns
- Personalized audience-specific engagement and content sharing
- Automations and Page actions that are giving the right signals to the right people
Pardot can work wonders for an organization if you get the hang of it and its numerous beneficial features. I hope this interview with Kristina would help you make the most of Pardot for your business and to get unmatched results.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the same. Head to the comment box below.