11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2014 2:08 PM by Josh Hill

    Anyone ever play in Pardot?

      Preface: NO I am absolutely not looking to moving away from marketo . In fact we just purchased a second Marketo instance for a sister agency. I'm asking because I have a specific question about Pardot functionality for an external client and I don't have an answer. This may be the least likely place to find this answer, but I know a lot of folks on here specialize in different automation systems including Pardot. 

      SO: If you've ever tinkered inside of Pardot, could you let me know if the system allows triggered campaigns like in Marketo? I'm thinking specifically how we build in marketo specific triggered smart campaigns that can do things like scoring, alerts, MQL and SQL qualification, etc. but are not related to an email or event specifically. 
        • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
          Matt Stone
          You can do what's called Automation Rules in Pardot, which can basically do the same things as triggered campaigns.

          Most of the same functionality exists between both platforms, just in different places. For example, you can fire rules in Pardot directly from an email, instead of creating a trigger campaign with the email action starting it off. Same thing for a form, the rules are contained within the form itself, not in an external campaign listening for it.

          The Automation Rules I believe are closer to what you're looking for, but I don't remember precisely.
          • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
            Thanks, I remember that (3 years ago at this point) Pardot was lacking much of the enterprise-level scalability of Marketo which is why we declined to move forward. I didn't want to give someone bad advice on their question. Thanks for chiming in with your experience. 
            • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
              Hi Naor,

              I am pretty familiar with Pardot.  They do have the ability to trigger campaigns, but there are some significant functional differences that you should be aware of, as follows:
              1.           Unlike Marketo, where you can create sophisticated workflows based on any behavior in one place (Smart Campaign), Pardot requires that you trigger a set of rules in different areas of the application for different behaviors.  So you need to go to Page Actions to setup workflows around web page visits, and you are forced to copy and paste the URL into the trigger.  Form completion actions are in a different area, etc.  So you end up having such workflows all over the place.  And each area has a subset of the overall workflow actions available within the system.  To trigger workflows off of anything beyond  basic email, form and web behaviors, you are required to trigger based on someone being added to a list.  There is no way to trigger workflows directly based on data value changes or cross-channel behaviors like in Marketo.  Anything like this requires a list, which can get unwieldy very quickly. 
              2.           There is no equivalent of "add choice" (conditional logic) in the workflow.  In Marketo you can create one Smart Campaign that performs different actions depending on certain criteria being met.  To perform a different  set of actions based on the same trigger in Pardot, a separate Automation Rule and separate associated list would be required for each unique action.  For example, if you wanted to setup a lead assignment rule that assigned a lead to a different person or queue based on region, you could do it in one Smart Campaign in Marketo.  This would require a unique Automation Rule and List for each variation in Pardot.
              3.           There are a limited number of triggers and flow actions in Pardot as compared to Marketo.  A big one, for example, is the lack of a wait step action.  Wait steps are only available in Pardot's Drip Programs, but not in their Automation Rules.  Drip Programs in Pardot have a very, very narrow set of actions focused on drip nurture, so they don't come into play when building very specific workflows as you would using a Marketo Smart Campaign.
              4.           There is no ability in Pardot to trigger workflows based on very specific triggers, such as when a data field value changes from one unique value to another unique value, such as lead status changing specifically from "Recycled" to "Engaged" for example.

                   Also, as to your mention of using workflows to move leads from MQL to SQL, etc., I don't believe these are available in Pardot.  Rather, these are hard-wired in Pardot.  As soon as a name is generated, that is defined as a Prospect in Pardot.  An MQL stage is triggered when a lead is assigned to a rep.  An SQL is triggered when a contact is added to an opportunity.  So it doesn't work like Marketo where you can define the stages, as well as when to transition individuals from one to the next.

                   All of this information can be verified through the Pardot knowledgebase, which is open to the public. 

                   Hope this helps.


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              • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
                Wow thanks for that comparison Michael. For those of us not familiar with Pardot (but who may have clients still using it), this is very helpful. Fortunately there may be an opportunity to check these shortcomings against their needs and build a case for Marketo instead! 
                • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
                  Thanks Naor.  I like your plan.  :-)
                  • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
                    Michael, nice list, but I think you missed a very important one - Pardot does not give you the ability to specify how often a lead can run through the flow. A lead can only run through an automation rule once!
                    • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?

                           Thanks Rajesh!  Since we (Product Marketing) own competitive intelligence, I'm more than happy to crowd source our intel!  :-)

                           Do you have any good common use cases that demonstrate the importance of being able to control how many times or how often a lead or contact can run through a flow?

                           As a sidenote, when we compete with Pardot, the Marketo workflow engine is one of the biggest differentiators between the systems, but especially for new buyers, it is one of the hardest to convey!



                      • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
                        Matt Stone
                        Even though you can't run through an automation rule multiple times, you can still run through completion actions attached to forms, emails, etc. multiple times. Pardot also has something called Segmentation Rules that allow for a lead to run through multiple times.

                        The main difference is these things are decentralized and in their own groups, rather than all contained within a singular smart campaign. But you can essentially do the same things.
                        • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
                          Matt, while there are often ways around certain limitations with the Pardot workflows, there are many things you simply cannot do in Pardot that you can do in Marketo quite easily.  We run into this with companies that swap out Pardot for Marketo all the time. 

                          As for the ability to run leads or contacts through a workflow multiple times, there are many cases where that is important outside of an action related to a form, email or landing page.  For example, companies may want to run weekly data cleansing campaigns to normalize data, which would require leads to run through the workflow each time.

                          Pardot's segmentation rules are very, very limited.  They only run once, and then you have to run them again manually.  Plus, they have an extremely limited number of flow actions.  Primarily, they can add or remove people from lists, or add or remove "tags", and aside from a few CRM related actions, that's about it. 

                          When all you need are basic workflows, Pardot can likely do them.  As your lead management requirements get more sophisticated, there are things that you cannot do in Pardot.  Aside from what Rajesh pointed out, much of this has to do with the following three Marketo Smart Campaign features:

                          •           Breadth, depth and specificity of the triggers and filters
                          •           Support for conditional logic in the workflow in
                          •           Support of detailed wait steps

                          Having so often seen companies run into limitations with Pardot workflows, saying that they esentially do the same things is simply not true.  The difference goes well beyond the fact that they are more centralized in Marketo.

                          • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
                            Matt Stone
                            Mike, there's things that Pardot does much more easily than Marketo and there's things Marketo does much more easily than Pardot. As an employee of Marketo, you're a little biased in this discussion.

                            As someone who has used both products, I'm giving my opinion, which is that both products can essentially do the same things, albeit in different ways. Marketo requires workarounds for some things that are simple in Pardot and vice versa.
                            • Re: Anyone ever play in Pardot?
                              Josh Hill


                                   I agree with much of what has been said here regarding Pardot functionality. I saw another demo recently and spoke with a partner of theirs. There are serious workflow deficiencies in controlling how leads flow and things that Mike  and Rajesh have said.

                                   Specifically, your Pardot workflow applies to ALL leads now and before and forever after. So your trigger campaign doesn't just hit the next lead, it hits ALL leads who qualify. Thus, the Automation Rule is both a Batch and a Trigger. In Marketo, we have to run separate flows if we want to trigger on a behavior or on a past behavior (Orange vs. Green). This allows much more control over what happens to leads during scoring or modifying data, etc.

                                   My understanding of Pardot is that it would be good for an organization that doesn't have any automation and is still learning. But at some point (just as in HubSpot), they will need more sophistication with lead management and that's where Marketo shines along with Nurturing systems and organization.