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Pardot Marketing Software Review

 

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Pardot Review—Additional Marketing Capabilities

Additional capabilities in the Pardot marketing automation software include the following:

  • Pardot's Adwords integration is uniquely strong. The AdWords Spend to Revenue methodology is supported by the combination of three integrated components: 1) a nightly synchronization with Google's AdWords service to capture spend / cost data; 2) a perpetual synchronization with Salesforce.com's Opportunity data (the CRM synchronization occurs every 10 minutes) to get exact revenue figures from the CRM's Opportunity object; and 3) a conversion tracking code embedded in the "Thank You Code" portion of a form on a landing page. This automation to capture cost and revenue figures—and simplify Adwords profitability reporting—will certainly be appreciated by companies with a material Adwords spend.
  • Like many marketing automation software systems, Pardot is quickly expanding its use of social media tools, which include the AddThis sharing widget for email and landing pages, the bit.ly utility for URL shortening and click-through tracking, and a connector for the Qwerly API (application programming interface) which mines the public web and inserts social data profile updates for leads and contacts. Additional lead and contact data can be separately obtained with Salesforce.com's Data.com. Pardot also pulls the pieces together for social activities. For example, you can pull in social personas, schedule social network posts, link them to a campaign and direct visitors to a landing page. Despite Radian6 being a Pardot client, the company does not offer any social monitoring or web listening capabilities. This is a weakness in most, but not all, marketing applications that we suspect will change over time as social listening becomes a key marketing activity.
  • For email integration, Pardot offers a Microsoft Outlook plug-in which permits users to send trackable emails or email marketing campaigns from Outlook. Pardot also supports Apple Mail, Gmail and Thunderbird (the world's largest open source email application).
  • LeadDeck is a desktop application that displays real-time alerts of website visitor and prospect activity. When website visitors take action, LeadDeck will pop-up small, unobtrusive notifications that permit sales or marketing staff to click for more information, send emails in a single click, perform quick lookups of anonymous visitors in LinkedIn or Jigsaw, access the prospects CRM profiles, or click the prospect record to drill down for more details about browsing activities. LeadDeck runs on the Adobe AIR framework (on the desktop) and is embedded in the Salesforce.com CRM application.
  • Mobility takes a mixed approach depending upon the device. Pardot offers a native iPhone (iOS) app downloaded from the iTunes store. This approach delivers an optimized user experience for the device. Other devices such as Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile can be accessed using a common browser, however are not really tailored for any particular form factor, giving users very mixed experiences. It appears Pardot may pursue an HTML5 development approach going forward—something that's now being touted by Salesforce.com and competitors such as Eloqua.
  • An interesting feature that caught our eye during the demo was the use of tags to annotate marketing records. Tags are user defined keywords which can be applied to campaigns, leads and assets – and permit users to run queries and reports based on tags. Tags were born with the social media era and are often associated with folksonomies, which is a system of user defined classification by creating and appending ('tagging') records with annotations for later lookup or reporting.
  • Pardot's international capabilities are a bit undeveloped but beginning to show some traction. For example, the company has added an optional parameter to Campaigns to mark them as EU Privacy Directive compliant. This effectively enables users to determine which member states should be included and then delivers notice to the EU reader that they are being tracked, and requests their permission to continue. The marketing software can also manage double opt-in requirements.
  • Pardot delivers a library of traditional reports, but for more advanced marketing analytics, the company takes a best of breed approach and partners with GoodData. The result is an impressive set of dashboards and business analytics that support highly graphical charts, pivot tables, time-based snapshots and ad hoc analysis. Users or administrators can create custom reports on the fly, schedule reports for automatic distribution, and export reports to PDF, Excel or flat files.

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