Whether you run a marketing department of just yourself or you have a whole team of minions cranking out landing pages, sales funnels, automation, and tracking, there’s always room in a marketer’s toolkit for something that saves time and effort.
Enter Salesforce Pardot, business to business (or high consideration) marketing automation software that takes some of the heavy lifting off your shoulders.
Salesforce Pardot doesn’t take away your job, it frees you up to do more marketing activities such as lead generation and account nurturing.
Step into the top of our funnel and work your way down to learn about how Pardot may be just what you need.
Salesforce Pardot Marks the Spot
Pardot us, but we just had to get that pun out of the way.
Now we can get on to the important information.
We’re going to give you an introduction to Salesforce Pardot, especially for those small and mid-market Salesforce users who run their digital marketing via the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Salesforce Pardot is an integration with the existing Salesforce Sales Cloud software. Whilst you can integarte Salesforce Pardot with other CRM’s it’s been optimised to suit Salesforce Sales Cloud (CRM).
Pardot is marketing automation software for business to business or high consideration purchases. Pardot works really for B2C when the purchase requires interaction with a sales executive in a high consideration purchase such as property, finance, certain areas of travel, auto or education.
It enables marketers to:
- Exceed lead generation goals
- Empower sales teams
- Collect every marketing and sales tool under a single “cloud”
The good news is that there’s nothing additional in terms of Pardot School that you need to know. Salesforce just gives marketers, sales people, and business teams the ability to sell better, monitor their progress, collaborate, and adjust plans on the fly.
Focus on Figures
Sometimes, the numbers can do all the talking that’s needed.
Salesforce Pardot did a study in 2015 that revealed a 34% increase in sales revenue when customers implemented Pardot. Those same customers also saw an average of a 37% increase in their marketing campaign effectiveness.
Some of these customers, listed with testimonials on the Pardot page, include industries such as education, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, and airlines.
Salesforce Pardot for Marketers
Salesforce Pardot and Salesforce itself have become such a marketing juggernaut that we rated it number one in our list of 10 best cloud services for booming businesses.
Why did it take the top spot? Even if you just make use of just a couple of these features, you’ll find out why Salesforce is usually considered the number one customer relationship management tool (CRM for those of us who love marketer alphabet soup!).
- Lets you collaborate in real time on a single platform
- Total and complete lead management customization
- Cross-platform capability to follow you from the computer to your mobile to your tablet
- Thousands of apps already created plus the ability to create your own
- Dashboards that provide insights and reports at your fingertips
- Knowledgebase of over 300 articles and growing
And when you really get to the interesting details of exciting marketing actions and opportunities with Pardot, you’ll be able to harness the power of:
- Behavioral tracking (see who clicked where, who spent more minutes on a specific page, who deleted your email without reading it)
- Real-time activity alerts (find out when your prospect clicked a page, downloaded an eBook, or entered information on a form)
- Automated lead assignment (no more hot potatoes with sales reps and no more prospects falling through the cracks)
- Warming up cold leads
- Closed loop reporting, which attributes revenue to the correct campaign, team, and representative
- Message targeting, which gives prospects access to unique content that they actually want to read/interact with and feel that is tailored to their needs and pain points
You wouldn’t tell just one side of a story when you’re crafting a campaign, so let us share with you the entire Pardot picture.
Pardot is a Real Investment
When you are ready to commit to Pardot, you’ll need to put your money up front. There are no free trials (as of the time of this writing) and monthly accounts start around a thousand dollars (US).
That figure only goes up though, when you look at the optional features you’d like to take advantage of (so spend some time evaluating what’s available and create a “shopping list” so you can really analyze what tier to sign up for). Or just chat with us or the Salesforce Pardot team and we can help determine a best fit.
For example, if you want to implement A/B testing, which is when you send multiple – but different – emails about the same campaign or build different landing pages and then compare their results, you’ll need to subscribe to the higher tier ($2,000 a month).
See Your Sales Funnel Come To Life
Whilst there a dozens of features which make life easy in Pardot, there is one report which really brings home the bacon – the The Lifecycle Report.
The lifecycle report brings alive volume, velocity and visibility in your sales funnel:
Volume – how many prospects are at what stage of the buyer’s journey
Velocity – how long does it take from first touch (ad click, web visit, google search etc) to deal closed and won
Visibility – what are the conversion rates from visit to prospect, prospect to lead, lead to opportunity, opportunity to revenue.
Really, who doesn’t want to know these statistics for their sales and marketing team!
Sign on the Pardotted Line?
Are you ready to implement Salesforce Pardot? Great! We can help!
Not sure about how Salesforce Pardot would fit in with your current or planned marketing strategy? Great! We can help with this too!
The first step is to click here and fill out our short survey. This opens our lines of communication and we can begin getting to know just how to help you best.
Don’t forget to check the “Salesforce Pardot Consulting” box on the survey page, as well as any other marketing assistance we offer that sounds interesting.
You can even tell us about your marketing goals and pain points. We look forward to hearing from you.
Marketing automation has gone from rising trend to essential strategy in a matter of a few years.
To the uninitiated it may sound like a buzzword that threatens to replace real marketers with robots, but in reality it’s a smart way to generate, nurture and qualify leads so your sales team can focus on what they’re good at: selling.
If implemented well, it can drive up conversions and help you forge smarter, more profitable customer relationships. But if done badly? You could waste time, money and end up behind the eight-ball when it comes to responding to your customers’ cues and needs.
If you are wondering what marketing automation is, read more here.
If you’d like to unlock the many advantages marketing automation offers, here are five pitfalls to avoid when building your strategy.
1. Neglecting stage one of the funnel
For a successful automation strategy to work, it’s important to be able to attract the right prospects in the first place. That means focusing on the discovery and awareness phases to attract and ‘warm up’ potential leads before pushing them into the sales funnel.
2. Focusing on the channel, not the customer
Are you starting with the statement: ‘We need marketing automation to help us with our email strategy’? Sure, it can help you with that. But the best way to make the most of the technology is to take an omni-channel approach.
That means putting the customer first and considering all their touchpoints. If you treat each channel as a separate strategy, you could be missing out on opportunities to engage with both new and existing audiences.
3. Not doing your platform research
Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Pardot, Marketo, Hubspot, Act-On: you’ve probably heard the names, but which is right for you? It’s important to understand the key strengths and differences before deciding who to go with.
If your focus is on engaging and growing an existing audience using social media, EDMs and content marketing, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has a great range of features to support this.
If you need something that focuses on generating, nurturing, tracking and converting B2B leads through marketing automation, then you should lean towards Salesforce Pardot.
Marketo is another option to throw into the mix. It’s a marketing automation platform that combines social, mobile and ad targeting to help nurture and engage potential customers.
At Blirt, we love the Salesforce platform as it enables best in class data driven marketing.
We believe in applying the right technology to the right customer experience.
4. Going it alone
As with onboarding any new strategy or software, there are bound to be hiccups along the way. That’s where talking to an expert really makes a difference. Blirt can advise you on set-up, implementation, training and goal-setting, as well as reporting on performance and using data to feed back into your sales and marketing strategy.
5. Forgetting to be human
When we talk about marketing automation, we mean using the best technology available to nurture prospects and offer them the optimal experience of your business.
We’re big advocates of using platforms such as Salesforce to help us achieve this. However, we understand marketing automation enables rather than replaces all of your existing marketing efforts.
It takes the human touch of creativity to personalise your messaging for each different touchpoint, and a real person to determine the triggers for an EDM series or automated content delivery and campaign. And, importantly, it takes human analysis to use the learnings from customer behaviour data and feed this back into your marketing strategy.
At Blirt, we believe people buy things from people – it’s the essence of our approach to branding. So, when it comes to designing marketing automation within your MarTech stack it is Automation 101 to start with the customer in mind.
Stuart Leo, Founder and MD, Blirt
Stuart is the founder and Managing Director of Blirt – passionate marketer, brand strategist, MarTech devotee and leader of the team at Blirt.
As one of Australia’s leading MarTech strategy groups, Blirt specialises in customer experience, marketing automation, digital communications & full funnel customer engagement to help organisations lead in the experience economy.
Why Does A Marketing Agency Get Involved in Salesforce CRM?
In a show aired more than ten years ago, Oprah asked her female viewers to take off their tops and examine their bodies carefully. As it turned out, eight in ten women were wearing the wrong bra size.
What do Oprah and bra sizes have to do with Salesforce and CRM?
Well, from our experience, eight out of ten businesses are using the wrong CRM solution or data structure.
Salesforce is the world’s most trusted CRM platform.
Here’s the deal: CRM software has evolved from a simple contact management system into a complex tool. It does more than simply recording your customers’ contact information – it can now also track the details of every interaction and the customer’s position in the sales funnel and provide valuable reporting on the customer experience; the propensity to purchase the next purchases the value of the current purchasers and who is likely to purchase again.
Having access to valuable insights, you can easily identify prospects, convert leads, up-sell existing customers, and manage sales and marketing. It goes without saying that choosing the right CRM platform and deploying the right structure for your CRM platform for your business can improve productivity, boost sales, and enhance customer satisfaction.
So, how can you make sure that the CRM solution that you choose will help your business grow and prosper? How can you find a CRM tool that is ready for the ever-changing modern sales process?
Enter Salesforce. We’re advocates of Salesforce simply because of it’s platform scalability. No other platform has the ability to mould itself to your customer journey whilst providing the insights and a high level of data security. Hundreds of thousands of companies around the world have chosen Salesforce as their CRM to help them streamline the customer process.
Salesforce CRM provides an adaptable and customisable mobile experience via Salesforce1
Why does a marketing agency get involved with CRM delivery and technology – isn’t that what IT is for? Now, more than ever, technology is at the heart of the marketing solution.
We’ve moved from information technology into marketing technology to create better customer experiences.
More than 50% of buyers are more than halfway through their buying journey before they reveal themselves to you. For this reason, there has been an explosion in technology to help drive the buying experience giving greater service to the customer whilst enhancing the intelligence around the buying process.
There is a marketing technology arms race on and the infrastructure of any data intelligence process is the CRM platform.
What Makes Blirt’s Approach To CRM Different?
The Blirt approach to Salesforce CRM is designed to help companies unify their sales and marketing experiences across the customer journey in order to deliver a best in class customer experience.
Here’s what makes our approach different.
1. CRM is the technical foundation to the customer experience
2. A CRM is not for the sales, marketing, finance or IT department – it is for the customer
3. The right CRM platform empowers an omnichannel experience
Let’s unpack each of these:
1. CRM is the technical foundation to the customer experience.
A great customer experience has a technical foundation built to support the customer journey. This means that the organisation is capturing the right data at the right time in order to ensure the right content is being served to the customer at the right time.
Practically, this means that marketing automation platforms need to sync data into the CRM, ad technology needs to ensure attribution of spend can be modelled on journey touch points and brand advocacy can be tracked across the various stages of the buying process. There is so much more but these are the fundamentals.
2. A CRM is not for the sales, marketing, finance or IT department – it is for the customer.
A CRM platform’s purpose is not to make your IT teams life easier to manage data, rather it’s purpose is to empower your entire organisation to serve the personal and individual needs of the customer better.
This is a radically different viewpoint to normal business practice.
Isn’t the purpose of business software to make it easier for staff to do business? Yes, but it’s not the first reason. It is not at the cost of a better customer experience.
A good investment should mean it will do both. However, it will ensure life is better for the customer first – that might mean internal teams may need to work harder in the short term to power up a better customer experience and make it easer to do business in the mid term.
Here’s the rub – it’s easier for sales people to not get up and greet a customer when they walk in the door of a shop but it’s not accepted as it’s a poor customer service. We all get that we should work harder and smarter to create a better physical customer experience, the same applies in the digital.
3. The right CRM platform empowers an omnichannel experience.
In today’s always on, hyper speed mobile, omni device world, we need to ensure the technical foundations of the CRM allow you to:
- Connect research insights back to personas and individual contacts within the CRM
- Conduct research on a journey stage basis, i.e. research is triggered based on a stage in a customer journey, not a date in a marketing managers calendar.
- Analytics can be connected to individuals and from there aggregated up to personas and market segments
- Development segmentation that can be automated and intelligence gathered in real across all touch points
- Understand and deliver ROI and calculate it across all investments and related back to customer segments
- Build advocacy that can be personalised to the contact level and customer data interrogated to show your promoters and encourage referral activity.
We prefer the Salesforce platform simply because it allows us to deliver a better customer experience at the best performing ROI.
What should I do next?
If you don’t have clarity on your customer experience strategy, we should start with understanding your customer and market place through our CX Insights research, read more here.
If you don’t have a CRM and need to get the basics going, read about how to get started with Salesforce here.
If you do have a CRM but you need to start building better marketing process and intelligence, read about marketing automation here.
Or if you just need to have an open, no BS conversation about how to grow your business, talk to us, say hello here.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation is the process of nurturing prospects and customers with highly personalised, content driven communications across the customer journey.
Think of big brands like Amazon, Apple, Google and others where you’ve been gradually nurtured or lead in to a position to buy because the digital communications helped education you through the buying decision. Marketing Automation is the both the software and science of that process.
Marketing Automation is particularly effective in considered or high engagement purchases where a buying time might last weeks, months or even years.
Leading software brands in this space are Salesforce Pardot, Hubspot and Marketo.
At Blirt, we’re big advocates and partners to Salesforce Pardot so our bias and preference is definitely for this software. We’ll explain why, a little later.
What Should Your Marketing Automation Do?
A great marketing automation platform (like Pardot! – nudge, nudge, wink, wink) should do this:
- Provide profiling and user segmentation
- Integrate closely with your CRM data
- Integrate content across the customer journey and automate the serving of this content
- Provide ROI insights around first touch, last touch and customer activities
- Make it easy to send personalised email
- Serve personal content to known prospects and customers
- Provide notifications to marketing and sales users around user behaviour
- Manage campaigns
- Allow collaboration across teams (client and agency side)
What Makes A Great Marketing Automation Process?
A great marketing automation process should do this:
- Integrate Paid, Earned and Owned Media; Content, AdWords, Display, Retargeting, Email, Social Media, Native Advertising
- Cover Top, Middle, Bottom and Post Transaction of the Sales Funnel
- Be “Always On”
- Built of customer research and insights
- Is scalable so it can grow over time and reinforce future campaigns
- Be harmonic – it works in harmony with offline activities
- Demonstrates ROI and shifts the needle on the business
How Does Marketing Automation Work?
Marketing Automation works by:
- Taking a click from a user where they may have clicked on a link, piece of content such as an ad or visited the website and then stores that information on a cookie.
- Future visits and activity are tracked providing intelligence through scoring and grading to a sales team
- As the anonymous visitor continues to engage with content across the site and throughout the customer journey, this activity is accumulated and added to that cookie profile.
- At some point the visitor converts and opts in to communication provide some personal or business information which is stored within the CRM.
- Past activity is now connected to the prospect and future activity continues to be added for better personalisation and communication.
- As the prospect continues through the customer journey, the prospect is supplied with email, content, ads and other useful information to support the decision making process.
- At some point the prospect purchases and the opportunity is closed and the revenue can be tracked backed to source campaigns and relevant journey activity providing insights for effective communication into the future.
At Blirt we talk about omnibound communication. What is this? Well, it’s about identifying the business goals and objectives and tying your omni-channel activities back to them.
For example, there is no point driving marketing automation campaigns for just clicks, leads or visitor activity. What matters more is knowing revenue per channel, sales per campaign or velocity of a sale.
That’s why we work with our clients to develop always on, customer centric, data building communication programs across paid, earned and owned media channels.
Need To Know More?
Talk to us, we’d be happy to show you how you can find, win and keep more customers with greater brand engagement through strong marketing automation programs.
One customer to rule them all: New prospect management efficiencies in Salesforce latest connector update.
Pardot has taken another exciting step towards its enhanced integration with Salesforce in the latest Connector Update, which sees improvements to ‘Bidirectional Sync’ and merge/delete functions for prospect data.
The new trigger function allows users to automatically delete or merge prospects when the corresponding record in Salesforce have also been deleted or merged. This new feature will put an end to scenarios where the Pardot Prospect, whose details have been changed or removed in Salesforce, could still be sent emails or contacted from Pardot. Once enabled, if a prospect is deleted or merged in the Salesforce CRM, the same changes will be made automatically in Pardot, thus ensuring all prospect details up-to-date and preventing test or junk records from influencing campaign measurements.
This new function is available in connector settings, as seen in the below:
The second Connector Update relates to the bidirectional sync, where the most up-to-date prospect data can now be selected as the preferred data source. Previously one platform’s prospect data was chosen over the other, whereas this function allows users to select the latest prospect data to have been updated as the preferred data and is sync’d accordingly on both platforms.
In order to utilise this new function, Pardot customers using the Salesforce Connector can select “Sync Behaviour” on both prospect custom and default fields (see below).
We see both of these updates as a nod to Pardot’s recognition that users should see parity in data, irrespective of the platform they interact with on a day to day basis. In organisations where the sales teams primarily live in Salesforce and modify lead and contact records, the marketing team can now expect the Pardot database to be up to date without worrying about discrepancies.
This shift represents another step towards platform integration and we at Blirt are excited to see the roadmap unfolding to benefit user experience.
You can read more here on the Pardot Blog
If you would like to learn more about Salesforce, Pardot, Blirt or anything else in the digital marketing world, click here to talk to us.