Does Your Business Need Pardot: 5 General Misconceptions of Marketing Automation Software

• Date: July 2021 •
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Marketing Automation Expert,
Head of Marketing at Twistellar
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Many businesses consider marketing automation to be a must-have. According to the latest Salesforce State of Marketing Report, the average enterprise has 900 (!) different applications to enable data-driven marketing. How often, though, does quantity lead to the quality of marketing processes? And what are the planned outcomes of the transformation?
No matter what tool or platform you are going to have, the results might not justify the investment if you don't prepare the ground for its implementation. Taking Pardot as an example, we will discuss what companies expect VS what they really get with the help of martech tools.

The Role of Marketing Automation

However tempting to imagine it this way, the customer journey isn't straightforward. You don't just fill in the pipeline with the clients, and then push them to obtain products with thousands of irrelevant messages. Each interaction needs to play a role in converting your customer into your partner.
It is especially true for B2B companies with considered purchases. So it's up to marketing teams to provide an engaging, powerful, and personalized experience for a customer from his first visit to the website to him making a purchase.
Salesforce Pardot Pipeline
Marketing automation software provides a central database for oiling these processes.
  • It automates repetitive tasks
    such as email & ad campaigns, content distribution, handling contact forms, and social media planning. As a result, marketing operations are more optimized, and conversion rates increase
  • You have access to analytics
    Data and marketing are synonyms. Relevant information about your customer behaviour gives more opportunities to personalize messages, fine-tune campaigns, and prove marketing ROI
  • Seamless experience
    If integrated with the CRM, a unified platform harmonizes sales and marketing teams in their approach to customers
However promising these benefits may sound, not every business needs marketing automation. There are two critical factors to consider before going in for it.

1. Growth strategy

First of all, it's impossible to upgrade something that doesn't work. Consider the current marketing processes in your company. If you have an active multi-channel strategy, then automation will serve you best, as it provides an all-in-one automation tool. But if scaling isn't on the horizon, and an email channel, for example, is enough to keep you afloat, then it's worth taking your time.

2. Ecosystem

This point backs the first one. An ecosystem is a base for your growth. So think about the tools that would fit in properly in the current ecosystem and help you scale faster. For example, Pardot integration with Salesforce expands its functionality with minimum errors in data syncing plus gives more automation options.
Keeping these two factors in mind, let's see how exactly marketing automation works on the example of Pardot. It is a B2B automation platform aimed at midsize and large companies that use Salesforce.
Pardot is in charge of the upper layer of the sales funnel. It means that you can build your customer journey and organize lead nurturing processes with it.
Track visitors and convert them into prospects
Use criteria-based automation tools to perform actions on prospects
Score and grade prospects to prioritize activities within your team
Engage them with adaptable email & social campaigns
Analyze how they interact with content
Segment effectively
Push high-quality leads to sales
As a result, anonymous website visitors get converted into qualified leads. Sounds impressive, and Pardot sticks to its promise. However, a tool is not enough to achieve success.
For creating a realistic perspective on its capabilities, you need to give the boot to misleading expectations. Let's dig into the most common of them.
Misconception #1

Pardot will drive revenue growth and replace my marketing team

Several surveys outline two key barriers to marketing automation success: lack of strategy and good quality content. Automation won't do marketing for you - it can only streamline your operations. So, if your existing marketing processes are chaotic or close to absent, Pardot won't help you save the day. However, with a costly, complex, and time-consuming strategy, it fits the bill.
The most salient benefit of Pardot is cutting down on mundane tasks: you can set up automation rules based on criteria, such as a prospect's grade, a landing page view, or email opening, schedule email campaigns, and autoresponders, enable A/B testing and analyze SEO, - all on one platform.
Pardot Automation Rule Editor
Automation Rule Editor
In the long run, automation helps to boost revenue if configured and bolstered properly. But to do so, you still need to invest in talent. Your team will have to take up not only strategic development but also powerful content generation.
Misconception #2

Pardot will help me generate more leads

Most automation tools help with the middle of the funnel. For example, Pardot creates prospects when visitors leave their contact details on your website interacting with the forms or content (downloading books or guides).
After that, you perform engagement campaigns aiming at converting your prospect into a lead. Moreover, with the help of segmented and customer-centric content, you have more upsell opportunities. In short, Pardot enables inbound lead generation.
What's important here is that it doesn't work with the top of the funnel, which usually poses challenges to most teams. So make sure to have a long-term plan and a steady flow of leads before implementing an automation tool.
Misconception #3

Pardot's for email campaigns only

Email automation is a proven and most wanted marketing automation technique. Pardot has an intuitive email builder with templates, custom design capabilities, scheduled email sending for drip campaigns, and deep statistics. It also provides such useful tools as A/B testing, SPAM filter check-ups, email testing, and rendering.
Pardot Email Template Editor
Email Template Editor
Nonetheless, the success of email campaigns relies on the personalization and relevance of your messages. Content here again comes to the fore. For that, Pardot offers opportunities to keep one step ahead in customer engagement with the help of various channels, like socials and ads.
Misconception #4

Pardot's self-sufficient

Let's not forget the goal of marketing automation - warm leads. Leads that turn into paying customers. To make it real, sales and marketing teams need to join forces. That's why Pardot gets integrated with a CRM system, such as Salesforce.
With this combination, you can deliver warm leads to your sales team, and they will know how to break the ice using the information about their previous interactions.
Misconception #5

Pardot's an out-of-the-box solution

Business automation implies upscale. The tool you choose has to be flexible enough to align with your growth. Flexibility is usually the other side of complexity.
The main barriers to marketing automation adoption include integrating data from sources and systems (56%) and lack of resources, staff, or skills for setting up rules, lead scoring, and sequences (49%).
For these reasons, hiring an outsource consultant allows you to set up all the processes quickly and benefit from specialized expertise. Thus, you can ensure a stable growth path aligned with your business needs.
Twistellar's marketing team is using Pardot too to analyze and increase the effectiveness of our engagements. We have dealt with its implementation and configuration for various industries. We'd be happy to share some use cases!
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One might come to the conclusion that marketing automation is a bad idea. Not at all! It spans operations and narrows your work down to really impactful tasks. However, the success of marketing automation is a matter of right expectations and strategic planning.

To sum up:

  • Not every business needs automation
    Think about current processes and your scaling plan
  • First comes the strategy, then the tool
    Content and skilled people matter
  • Talk to your team first
    Analyze the channels you use as well as your sales cycle
  • Generate a steady flow of leads
    Pardot will help to capture and nurture them
  • Integrate it properly
    Consider the existing ecosystem and other tools you might need in the future
  • Outsource to save time
    An experienced consultant will highlight the pitfalls to be avoided, save budget and time with its implementation
If you still have second thoughts on Pardot implementation, turn to us for a free consultation
Salesforce Certified Pardot Specialist,
Marketing Manager at Twistellar

Our deep understanding of Salesforce platform ensures successful handling of projects in any domain
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