What Is Pardot in Salesforce (Marketing Cloud Account Engagement)?

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (previously called Pardot) is a B2B marketing automation tool that helps marketers identify which leads are most likely to convert into customers. This platform has an entire suite of features designed to help businesses create meaningful relationships and empower sales teams to close more deals.

In our guide, we cover what MCAE is, what it does, who can benefit from it most, how much it costs to implement, and more.

What is Pardot (Marketing Cloud Account Engagement)?

Pardot is a marketing automation platform Salesforce created to empower businesses to generate and nurture leads. Recently renamed “Marketing Cloud Account Management,” Pardot is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool. With it, your team can track communications with contacts, measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, automate tasks, build workflows, personalize content, and much more.

In short, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) helps you effectively communicate with the right people at the right time – using their preferred methods. It leverages all your information on a prospect in Salesforce, collected through forms, campaigns, and interactions with your business across various platforms. 

If you already have Salesforce and your business is primarily B2B, consider syncing MCAE with your CRM to “drive demand and build relationships.

Why did Pardot change its name?

The name change is part of Salesforce’s “MC Easy” initiative to make all Marketing Cloud products more consistent, unified, and easier to understand. While “Marketing Cloud Account Engagement” may be a mouthful, Salesforce believes the name change better represents what the software is and does.

Pardot isn’t the only platform getting a facelift, either. Here are other name changes Salesforce has implemented so far:

  • Interaction Studio > Marketing Cloud Personalization
  • Messaging/Journeys > Marketing Cloud Engagement 
  • Salesforce CDP > Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform
  • Advertising Studio > Marketing Cloud Advertising
  • Datorama > Marketing Cloud Intelligence
  • Marketing Cloud > Marketing Cloud Engagement 

The functionality, pricing, packaging, and features of these products have not yet been affected. Salesforce hopes these name changes will create more consistency across various platforms and “speak the language of the customer.”

Is Marketing Cloud Account Engagement B2B or B2C?

Pardot was commonly associated with B2B users in the past, while Marketing Cloud was considered more of a B2C product. Now, Salesforce is trying to lift this divide and encouraging businesses to use MCAE and Marketing Cloud side by side. Rather than categorize users this way, however, Salesforce insists that B2C and B2B users can and should use both platforms.MCAE and Marketing Cloud side by side. Rather than divide users into one category or the other, Salesforce insists that B2C and B2B users can and should use both platforms.

However, it’s still used more by B2B customers than as a B2C solution.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement vs. Marketing Cloud Engagement

Here are some highlights of “Pardot” and “Marketing Cloud” to help you differentiate the two.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engagement (Marketing Cloud)

  • Reach customers using their preferred mobile channels
  • Optimize email engagement with targeted messaging 
  • Deliver highly targeted ads across various channels and networks
  • Predict customer preferences and automate relevant messages using customer data
  • Build seamless customer journeys easily 
  • Analyze results and optimize performance
  • Boost productivity and save time with AI
  • Optimize email and mobile campaigns in one place
  • Traditionally B2C

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot)

  • Automate and customize journeys for high-quality leads
  • Align sales and service by giving each department complete visibility into prospect engagement
  • Optimize marketing touchpoints and connect them to the sales pipeline
  • Segment contacts based on engagement
  • Alert sales when prospects are most engaged
  • Use AI to scale your efforts (e.g., lead and account scoring)
  • “B2B Marketing Analytics Plus” offers predictive insights and connects marketing efforts with ROI
  • Account-based scoring and marketing analytics align marketing and sales on key accounts
  • Traditionally B2B

What does Pardot/MCAE do?

Let’s dive deeper into all Marketing Cloud Account Engagement has to offer. Some of it overlaps with Marketing Cloud Engagement, while other features are unique to MCAE.

1. Lead Generation

Attract high-quality leads and send them to all the right places using landing pages, forms, social connectors, and search tools.

2. Lead Scoring & Grading

Score prospects based on how they engage with your business – even across multiple products or business units. You can also grade them based on how well they align with your ideal customer or target audience.

3. Lead Qualification

Combining a lead’s score and grade, you can identify your hottest leads for your sales team to target next. 

4. Advanced Automation 

You can set numerous automation rules to run various tasks on autopilot. Automatically deliver personalized messages and dynamic content that pulls data from your Salesforce CRM. MCAE can also automatically score leads, segment lists, and personalize campaigns using built-in marketing tools.

5. Email Marketing 

Build engaging and eye-catching email campaigns that deliver personalized content to different audiences and audience segments. Nurture leads and boost engagement and conversions by sending targeted offers and building automated workflows. You can also perform A/B testing to see what resonates most with your audience.

6. Personalization 

Dynamic content is used to deliver relevant messages to contacts by automatically pulling their CRM data. You can personalize forms, landing pages, social media messages, and emails from a single location. 

7. Analytics and Reports

Use data to maximize your sales and marketing efforts and take strategic action at the right time. You can integrate your search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) products to determine ROI. Learn which campaigns were most successful in the past and which leads are currently connected to specific marketing efforts.

8. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Your marketing and sales teams can fully utilize Einstein artificial intelligence to connect with contacts at precisely the right moments. Leverage Einstein AI to identify top candidates for account-based marketing, find the leads that are more likely to convert, know when leads are ready to buy, and more.

9. Predictive Analytics & Personalized Product Support

Under the “Premium” plan, you gain access to “B2B Marketing Analytics Plus” and “Premier Support.” These products provide advanced predictive analytics that scale with your business and give you personalized support whenever you need it.

10. Powerful Integrations

Integrate Google AdWords, bit.ly Pro, Eventbrite, Native CRM, webinars, and other products to work seamlessly with your platform and support your sales and marketing efforts.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) Pricing

The cost to your business will depend on your unique needs and desired features, but this rundown should give you an idea of where pricing starts:

  • Growth Plan: $1,250 per month to fuel growth with marketing automation (lead generation, qualification, and management, email marketing, personalization)
  • Plus Plan: $2,500 per month to unlock more marketing and analytics features (add advanced automation, personalization, and qualification, advanced analytics and reporting)
  • Advanced Plan: $4,000 per month for advanced marketing automation and analytics (add business units and developer sandboxes, AI for marketing and sales)
  • Premium Plan: $15,000 for enterprises (add predictive analytics and personalized product support) 

Ready for a Pardot/MCAE implementation?

Interested in learning more or giving Account Engagement (Pardot) a try? We’d love to have a conversation with you to learn about your current goals and help you decide if MCAE or another Salesforce solution is right for your business. 

No matter where you are in your Salesforce journey, Port & Starboard would love to partner with you and provide the support you need. You can reach out to us online to request more information or schedule a call. We look forward to talking with you!

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