I’ve been working for and with Marketing Automation and CRM platforms for a little over 7-years and have experience actively engaging  on Marketing transformation leveraging  several tools, each with their  pros and cons. Nowadays, one question I am most often asked  when considering Salesforce’s solutions for Marketers is “what is the difference between Marketing Cloud and Pardot?” Let me give it a shot to share an objective opinion…

Let’s first take a Closer Look at Pardot and what it does

Email Marketing (well duh)

  • Create professional-looking email campaigns fast with 36 customizable, out-of-the-box templates or build your own fully-branded templates (from headers and logos to font size and color) with a simplified WYSIWYG editor.
  • Personalize the buyer’s journey and tailor your emails to prospects’ interests with dynamic content.
  • Optimize deliverability with custom email authentication, SPAM analysis, email testing, and automated CAN-SPAM compliance.
  • Automation reduces human error and takes the manual labor out of lead assignment, segmentation, and lead nurturing.

ROI Reporting

  • Use the Google Analytics Connector to sync visitor and prospect data between Pardot and your CRM (his is actually pretty cool stuff).
  • Get a high-level view of your sales cycle’s health with Lifecycle Reporting (real cool). 
  • Monitor the performance of your paid search campaigns with Pardot’s paid search reporting.

Sales Intelligence (bring back the ❤️ between Marketing & Sales)

  • Real-time sales alerts make immediate follow-up a piece of cake.
  • Pardot’s blended lead scoring and grading model mean sales reps won’t waste time chasing down dead ends. 

Lead Generation & Management

  • Pardot’s intuitive WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You get) interface makes designing and launching landing pages and forms a snap. Optimizing your landing page is also a breeze with automated Multivariate Testing.
  • Create polished forms with real-time field validation and Progressive Profiling designed to increase conversions by never asking for the same information twice.
  • Connect all of your Search Campaigns on one cohesive platform.
  • Run more targeted campaigns using Pardot’s easy-to-use segmentation wizard.

Social Marketing

  • Save time and continually distribute your content with scheduled social postings.
  • Provide sales reps additional insight with social profile lookups.
  • Let others circulate your content for you by adding social “share” buttons to your email, blog posts, and white papers.
  • Post to multiple channels simultaneously, cross-sell your content and track the success of your social efforts — from one all-inclusive platform.

Now let’s dive Into the Salesforce Marketing Cloud

The famous Journey Builder

  • Let’s you test multiple variations of content, channel, timing, and frequency.
  • Automatically monitor and respond to customers.
  • Reach across the customer lifecycle creating Salesforce contacts, leads, cases, and tasks.

Email Marketing

  • Utilize mobile-optimized email templates.
  • Create 1-to-1 experiences with dynamic content, JavaScript, and AMPscript.

Predictive Intelligence

  • Create predictive profiles for each contact.
  • Infer customer preferences.
  • Incorporate merchandising or business-centric rules.
  • Predict and automate marketing decisions based on customer behavior.

Mobile Marketing

  • Engage in two-way mobile communications.
  • Track and send mobile messages.
  • Track when a custom opens your app.


  • Adverse on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Manage ads at scale using creative permutations, rules automation, and team collaboration tools.

Social Media Marketing

  • Listen and analyze social media conversations.
  • Publish and plan social marketing campaigns.
  • Monitor your social media presence.

Customer Data Platform

  • Bring in data from any source.
  • Build a single, 360-degree view of each customer.
  • View, analysis, filter, and segment data – this is where Marketing Cloud can get you going bananas

Web Personalization

  • Track page view, click-through rates, and more with actionable web analytics.
  • Create smart content with pre-built and custom layouts.

How do they integrate? 

The tools do also have a slightly different co-existence with Sales Cloud and Service Could. Here’s a bit more information about both:

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Logo

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Integration with Sales/Service Cloud

Pardot Logo

Pardot Integration with Sales/Service Cloud

  • Allows to Sync on Email Address or IDs as the unique identifier
  • MC has full functionality when connecting to one CRM connector at a time but has the ability to connect to multiple SF orgs but functionality is minimized
  • Let’s you Sync standard Salesforce Objects to MC (Leads, Contacts, and Accounts)
  • Enables you to Sync custom Salesforce Objects with MC Data Extension
  • Sync MC Activities to Salesforce Custom Object
  • MC custom Actions include: Send Email
  • Sync is automatic
  • Pardot and Salesforce sync on Email Address as the unique identifier
  • Pardot can only have one CRM connector at a time
  • Allows to Sync standard Salesforce Objects to Pardot (Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opps) and custom objects
  • Let’s you Sync Pardot Campaigns to Salesforce Campaigns
  • Enables you Sync Pardot Activities to Salesforce as Activities
  • Sync Pardot Scoring to Salesforce as custom fields on Lead & Contact
  • Pardot Visual Force Pages include: Pardot Activities, Pardot List Management, and Pardot Social
  • The Pardot custom Actions include: Send to Pardot and Send Pardot Email
  • Salesforce Pardot is Salesforce1 friendly
  • Sync is automatic and runs every 10 minutes

As a general guideline

I want to leave you with a general guideline to compare the two after reviewing each product and taking a dive into integration.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Logo

Positioning: The Salesforce Marketing Cloud: The digital marketing platform for 1:1 customer journeys across email, mobile, social, advertising, and the web.

Pardot Logo

Positioning: Pardot: B2B Marketing Automation by Salesforce

CRM integration

Salesforce Marketing Cloud: CRM System not required Most likely a Salesforce Sales Cloud user…

Core Functionality

Journey management, email marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing, display advertising, and web personalization.

B2B marketing automation, lead scoring, lead nurturing

Example Use Cases

Promotional Messages, Transactional Messages, Event Marketing, Mobile Messaging, Cross-Channel Journey, Social Listening & Publishing

Customer Lifecycle Marketing, Landing Pages & Forms, Email Drip Campaigns, Search Campaigns, Prospect Activity Tracking, Auto Lead Assignment, Webinar Promotion


1:1, Real-Time Journeys, Reporting and Analytics, Integrated Social Insights and Publishing, Integrated Mobile

Sales enablement, Lead Nurturing and Scoring, CRM Automation, Additional connectors, Owner Assignment


Greater Configuration Effort, Heavier Customization but the possibilities are sheer endless

Email is the unique identifier, Data deduplication may be required, data cleansing may be required


Adobe Marketing Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, and IBM Marketing Cloud

Marketo, Hubspot, Eloqua

Get in touch if you fancy a demo, or of you want to discuss in more detail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed